Same same but different

My exchange semester in Thailand, Phuket.

Buddy Program and Homestay in Phananga

In PSU they offer us a great opportunity to get deeper in thai culture with Buddy program. All the international students who want, can have a thai student as their buddy for whole semester. They help you to understand more about their own culture and habits and of course if we have any difficulties in our normal life (like me with my phone bills :D) or with the school. As exchange, we tell about our home countries and the differences between Thailand and home. I must say that thais were amazed how good eveything are in Finland and how beautiful it is with four different seasons because they have only two: monsoon and dry.

My buddy took me different restaurants which I would have not found myself and introduced to different foods which I would have never tried without her. She also explained me a lot about relationships and normal life in Thailand. For example, Thailand is known for sextourism and prostitution is very openly available, but overall sex is a bit tabou and they don’t talk about it openly. Like in Finland we have a lesson about puberity, safe sex, etc. There they have a lot to improve, because now HIV is a issue in Thailand.

Having a thai bbq dinner with thais and Simone.

Having a thai bbq dinner with thais and Simone.

Also some of the international students had a possibility go for a overnight trip to the countryside to stay with a local family. That was a great weekend! First we traveled couple hours with a minibus to the “jungle”. Then we arrived to a small yard where was two buildings and about 7 smiling thais welcoming us to their home. I must say that it was nothing like a luxury hotel: old house with brickwalls ( no bamboo, thank god), kitchen was outdoors with a little roof and two toilets with real toiletseats. Flushing worked with a bucket of water and there was electricity too so not too bad at all. Boys got one bedroom and girls another and we slept next to eachother on the floor with little geccos.

The ladies of the house showed us how to make coconut milk from the draft and men of the house took us to a boattrip. We went by the boat to a beautiful bay and collected clams from the sand. After couple hours of clam hunting, swimming and sunbathing, we went to see the local market street. When it was getting dark, we went to back to the house and started prearing dinner. For the dinner we had chicken skewers, steamed clams, shrimps and other thai goodies which just blew my mind. It was one of the tastiest bbq dinners what I have ever had! YAMMY!

Clam hunting

Clam hunting

In the morning we woke up early to see the sunrise from the hill and gosh it was beautiful: fresh morning air, a bit chilly (yep, in shorts and top) and the sun coming behind the mountains.

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Then we went to busy morning market place, where all the local people were already bustling. We bought ingredients for breakfast and drove back to enjoy a full meal. Of course, everybody were very tired so little nap time before hitting the road again. We visited a park where monkeys were ruling the place and hiked in a national park to see waterfalls and enjoy a little swimming break. Then it was time to thank the hosts and go back home with new experiences. It was one of the best weekends I had in amazing Thailand. Khop-khun-kha!

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