First day of school!!! We were up at 6.00am, for breakfast at 6.30am and then on the school coach to school leaving the hotel at 7.00am. We needed to be there for 7.30am to meet our buddies and get our timetables. Emma is buddied up with Jazzie (Jasmine), Ella with Gwen, Eleanor with Jasmine, Nishka with Yeouong-Yuh, Bisola with Nina and Rosie with Jean Jean. We were also allocated to Houses, and given a House shirt. Lessons today included English where some of us did "Much Ado about Nothing", and some of us did Creative Writing. We then all had Gymnastics together which was so much fun. Mathematics was circle theorem and Geography was Human Geography where we learned about sweat shops in SE Asia. Rosie had an RS lesson where she learned about the divine argument versus the universal argument, and played cards! Ella, however, had a Physics lesson and studied energy transfer and in Maths did trig.
Our buddies joined their friends at lunchtime, and the conversations between us all ranged from life and uniforms, through to bees and Cumberland Sausages!! The food is great! Break was danish pastries! The HIS students didn't like them but we told them we had hot chocolate, which they thought was funny. Lunch was a huge variety of western(ish) and Thai/Asian cooking which was very tasty. We have learned the term "Mai Pet"which means "not too spicy". We can also say Thank you (very important phrase – Mrs A) which sounds like Sour di Kah. We say "kah"at the end of the words because we are females, the boys say something else.
After school we returned to the hotel, had a brief meeting with Mrs A and they showered and changed before boarding the coach again to go to Baiyoke Tower for dinner. We went up in lots of fast elevators and then finally got to the 82nd floor where we were to eat dinner at the Crystal Room. This was a fantastic eat and come again buffet with food choices from all over the world, but specifically various forms of SE Asian cooking. We had little stoves in front of us where we could cook noodles in stock before we ate them. There was lots of fish and some of the fish was cooked for you while you waited. The view from the window, across the city, in the dark, was like someone had lit up red and white lights in strings on a Christmas tree. The roadways were clearly marked out by the lights and you could see that there were only a few main routes that people could take in their cars.
Buses here are funny. You have the cheapest ones, where there are no windows, so no air-con and everyone hangs out trying to get some fresh air, which only circulates when the bus is moving (which it wasn't so it must have been dreadful in there), and air conditioned ones which cost a lot more with all the windows tightly shut and people sitting in the cool. Talking about the vehicles moving – we took 3 hours to get to the Tower. The traffic was bad. Mrs. Adamson said she would never complain about the M25 Chorleywood to Heathrow stretch ever again. Still, the residents have a unique way of driving – there are no rules. The traffic jam was so bad that at one stage only the motorcycles were moving and they were threading their way between cars like a line of ants. Then there were the drivers who decided that a 4 lane duel carriageway was not working, and eventually there were 7 lanes going in the direction that we were going in, and the opposite carriageway was down to a single lane (no central reservation). At one stage we decided to get out and walk the final 800 metres when we had only travelled 100 metres in 30 minutes. A brisk walk to the Tower through the crowds, and we were within striking distance when the bus caught up with us. Cue loads of laughter and we piled back on and drove the final 200 metres to the turning in the comfort of air conditioning.
After dinner we drove back – it didn't take 3 hours! and went to bed – Rosie having ironed her school shirt for the morning.'
We'd like to thank the HIS staff, Miss Harriet and Mr and Mrs Ed and Finn who gave their time to accompany us.
This is the Baiyoke Tower in daylight. We had dinner last night at the Crystal Grill on the 82nd floor, then went to the Observation platform and took photos of Bangkok by night. It is not that far from where we are staying, but took us 3 hours to get there by coach. Traffic – but we left at 4.00pm for a 7.00pm dinner booking. That's Bangkok!