Greetings, I am a Thai rice farmer now

Hello hello hello! Quick summary of my life right now. Basically spent the last 5 weeks farming rice in the rice fields of rural Thailand. Before we even get started let me just say that rural Thailand is on a completely different level from rural Ecuador. Looking back I just don’t even understand how I made it through Ecuador. But anyways I think I’m going to stick with this little theme I’ve got going of doing a highlight reel.

So here we go!

  1. Arrived in Thailand after 52 hellish hours of traveling.
  2.  Sat in my hotel room staring at the ceiling contemplating whether I was dead or alive for a full 24 hours.
  3.  Went to Thai lessons and attempted to learn Thai which just wasn’t and isn’t happening.
  4.  Was forced to go to the hospital where I was laughed at by a Thai doctor bc I told him I didn’t believe there was anything wrong with me.
  5.  Was forced against my will for the second day in a row to go to the hospital. Was told I wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital until I pooped into the tiniest cup in the universe. Sat at the hospital from 9AM to 5PM struggling to produce even the most minimal sample. Was finally successful after 8 hours of sitting and drinking the heinous tasting drink known as coffee only to find out I had nothing wrong with me (which I already knew).
  6. Went to a place called UHDP which is a seed bank/agricultural development compound thingy. Basically summer camp.
  7. Lived in a nasty bunk room with 11 other girls.
  8. Got CEREAL for breakfast (this is a big deal).
  9.  Caught, beheaded, and gutted cat fish with my bare hands that we then proceeded to eat.
  10. Binge watched How to Get Away with Murder. This show is addicting even though the acting is downright terrible, but Annalise is such a force she kinda makes up for it.
  11.  Was persuaded to take shots of a mysterious liquid known as Moringa from a random missionary that was staying at the compound.
  12. After having drank the liquid we were told that it was either supposed to make us very sleepy or very alert. Nothing in between.
  13. We then received a sermon about how we need to decide to either join the Lord with him and his Moringa or be with the Devil.
  14. I then gave the missionary Katie Mathisen’s email when he asked for our contact info.
  15.  Moved in with our host fam, an adorable elderly couple named Mae Deang, and Pa Moon. Went to our house to discover a new queen sized mattress wrapped in plastic waiting on the porch. We then moved this into the house and it became our bed which I shared with my roommates Ana and Katrina for the next 4 weeks.
  16. Received our Thai names. We are known as the Fruit House because we are named Som (Katrina), Apple (Ana), and Sham Poo (Me). Which means Orange (bc Katrina is a ginger), Apple (lol), and Golden Apple (shampoo).
  17. Ate quite a large amount of rice in many different forms. Ate everything from sticky rice to steamed rice, fried rice, sweet rice with custard (a personal fav), rice cakes, rice jellies, etc. I don’t even know how many more things I ate that were made out of rice but there were plenty more I can assure you.
  18. Ate wonderful home cooked Thai food for every meal.
  19. Cut rice, bundled rice, tied bundles of rice, carried rice, beat rice, and worked in hella rice fields for the past 4 weeks.
  20. Basically my routine was eat, sleep, and breathe RICE.
  21. Had snack time at 10:30 am every morning.
  22. Had work playdates with other families arranged by our host parents. One day at work our mom brought us 5 sticky rices so that we could share with Kate and Maddie and make friends bc she didn’t think we had any.
  23. At 12 PM everyday of work the host families would yell at us to GO HOME GO HOME until we obeyed and walked home.
  24. Made a dope video about rice called The Story of Rice. Go Watch It. NOW.
  26. Seriously go watch it NOW…..please.
  27. You can come back to my extremely long blog post in a few minutes. 6 minutes 27 seconds to be precise.
  28. Participated in the lantern festival, made lanterns and set them off down the river.
  29. Lived with an evil cat named Meow who would jump on me, hide in our blankets, and pee on Katrina’s shirt.
  30. We then discovered that we could trap Meow under a plastic contraption and did so as often as possible without our host family noticing.
  31. During one of my nightly bucket shower I was squatting so that I could get the water over my entire head when my thighs proceeded to lock. As I realized my predicament and began to fall backwards I scrambled for something to grab onto to keep myself from landing on my ass. But alas to no avail I ended up falling on my ass on the slippery and nasty cement floor and slid all over the place and couldn’t get up for 5 minutes.
  32. Semi successfully peed in a squat toilet for the last few weeks (I am getting better at this!). But every time we had to poop Katrina and I would sneak to the public bathrooms without our host family noticing bc they had real toilets.
  33. Almost caused some other serious cultural controversies. One time we weren’t sure if our host mom was telling us to cover up or if she wanted us to hang our clothes up and another time we thought our host dad was asking us if we wanted to shower, so we told him “Later! Later!”, then we realized he was asking us to leave so that he could shower.
  34. Went to work with our host families at an organic market at 4:30 AM in Chiang Mai and helped our families sell their organic vegetables.
  35. Proceeded to go to 3 other farmers markets.
  36. Had Thanksgiving Dinner American style in Thailand. Complete with rolls, pumpkin soup, cranberries, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, apple crumble, and a big heaping pile o turkey.
  37. Went to see the Hunger Games in Thailand which is a BIG deal. Now that I am out of the country I can safely discuss this without risking being detained by the Thai Government. We weren’t sure if the movie was going to be shown in Thailand bc a week earlier a group of people were arrested in Bangkok for doing the 3 finger salute thing bc Thailand has the same government as the Capitol in the Hunger Games. Lmao.
  38. Also had to stand up and salute the King before I got to see the movie.
  39. Side note someone was recently arrested and is facing a 30 year jail sentence for photoshopping a picture of said King.
  40. Randomly discovered the joy that is Cold Stone Creamery while in Thailand. All Lovin No Oven is a cup of ungodliness.
  41. Took a Muay Thai boxing class and got schooled by an 8 year old boxing legend.
  42. Went to Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Sanctuary which is a reserve that helps rescues elephants out of abusive working situations. We met and learned about elephants whose legs had been blown off by landmines or blinded by circus lights.
  43. Played with and bathed elephants. Caused a scene when instead of bathing the elephant we all decided to have a water fight and bathe ourselves in the nasty water we had just watched an elephant pee in.
  44. Kate almost got taken out by a huge piece of elephant poop. It nearly knocked her over it was so big.
  45. Got two Thai massages both of which ended with random Thai women shoving their feet up in my crotch. Apparently this is common practice in the world of the Thai massage.
  46. Religiously followed the schedule of ABC family’s 25 days of Christmas and watched a Christmas movie every night of December.
  47. Discovered the absurdity that is Portlandia.
  48. Watched all 8 HP movies. (Jk this is still a work in progress but we are getting there and will eventually make it).
  49. Hosted a Christmas party complete with Home Alone viewing, snow, (jk we bought some mysterious chemical in a can and sprayed it on stuff), and a Christmas tournament with 2 teams: The Krusty Crab vs The Chum Bucket (captains of the team were Kate and Steven whose main element of their friendship is their mutual love of Spongebob Squarepants).
  50. Said goodbye to our host families. Just about every host parent was crying and everyone was hugging, EXCEPT for my host mom. Who after I gave her a hug repeatedly pinched my stomach and told me that I liked to eat her food a lot. She then continued to pinch it in front of everyone who had stopped crying at this point and was instead laughing at me.
  51. The gap year 30 (as we’re dubbing it) is just all too real.
  52. To sum up Thailand, as our host families summed it up for us with the only 3 Thai words any of us really know, Thailand was “dee, im, alloy” which means good, full, delicious.
  53. Once again, if you made it this far you rock.

Happy Holidays and talk to you all in India!