Sadly, my time in Thailand has come to an end, after six amazing weeks of being among newly made friends and in an exotic new country. I am writing this on the airplane heading back to Montreal, and as much as I want out (because of boredom), half of me wants to turn the plane around and head back to Thailand. I already miss a lot of the food, fruit, and customs of the country and of my exchange school, Regents International School Pattaya. Of course, life must go on, and I have to come back to Canada and readjust to the time zone and the ways here.
Two weeks ago, my roommate, Osman, left to help look after his grandmother. I can tell you, I was really sad to see him leave, even though I would see him in school the next day. He was the funniest guy I have ever met, and I was never bored with him. But, as I said, he left, and I roomed with another one of my friends, Jeenchai. Though not as funny, he was special and entertaining in his own way.
For two weekends, I was hosted by Osman because he had been staying with his grandmother. In the first week, his parents were visiting from Russia, so we went to see a couple of tourist places. On Friday, we saw a Chinese museum and the Pattaya Buddha Mountain. I also got to eat a coconut and lots of passion fruit. The next day, we went swimming in their pool and just relaxed. On Sunday, we went shopping and then I had to go back to school. The next weekend was a more relaxed weekend. We stayed inside a lot because it was one of the only times it rained while I was there. On Sunday, we went shopping for souvenirs because it was my last week there.
On my last day, and for the first time, I wore my LCC suit to school – all the other days I only needed to wear a shirt, pants, and shoes, because of the heat – and yes, I was sweating most of the day. I had to wear the uniform because I’d made a promise to someone that I’d wear it on the last day. At the end of the school day, after getting our grades for the term, everyone said goodbye to me. They were all upset that I was leaving, and they also said that I should’ve been there for the school Songkran (the Thai New Year) party the next day. I was told it was really fun, but sadly, I wasn’t going to be there. It was a very sad day. I got back to the boarding house and immediately started to pack, because I had to leave in seven hours and I’d barely packed. I took a break for dinner, and I’m glad I went, because it was the school Songkran dinner. It was a feast, and I can easily say that that was my favorite meal there. There were two appetizers, four main courses, an amazing dessert, and then lots of different fruit. I was challenged to eat a whole chili pepper, and I did. The next five minutes of my life was spent eating tons of fruit and breathing out sharply to get rid of the spice. It was a fun last experience in Thailand.
More quickly than I’d expected, my time to leave the school had come, and sadly, I walked down the same corridors I had walked down 100 times before to get around the school, but this time would be the last. As I got on the bus, I took one last look at the school that had become my home for the last six weeks of my life. I would miss it. I said goodbye to all the boarders and the staff who had welcomed me when I’d arrived, and then I left for the airport. After a total of twenty hours in the air, and three hours sitting in the airport, I am back in Montreal, welcomed by the thing that most of the people in Thailand have never seen, and the thing I haven’t seen in six weeks: snow. – Eli Samuel ’17, Exchange Student at Regents International School Pattaya