294 DAYS STORY IN “THE LAND OF PLEASURE” (THAILAND)
“There are two things I have been waiting. The arrival day, and the saying-good-bye day. Because you know what? After awhile in Thailand, I ain’t the same person anymore as I was.” –Arghya.
Hi, where do I have to start? Kind of long story to tell, and too much awesome memories stop by. 10 months is not a short time. 2-3 pages are clearly not enough to tell whole experience, but I am gonnatry.
So,my name is Arghya Narendra Dianastya. My parent and bunch of my best friends call me AGA. Somehow, because different accent between Indonesian and Thai, allof my Thai friends call me AKA (อาก้า). I am 21 something years old, and wasborn to be an confident-open minded-blisful-little bit clumpsy guy.
WRONG TRAIN !!
Being an agriculture student is very hard and tough. No one has a dream to be a farmer, is that right? neither do I. When I was in high school, my ultimate dream were to be an english teacher, politician, or activist. Almost all of my high school time I spent for reading a book, joined social organization and dreaming some crazy stuff –nothing to do with science and agriculture inparticular. The reasons I study agriculture were first, my high school GPA was not good enough (pretty rough actually) and second my high school teacher offered me a full scholarship programme in agriculture faculty. I took the chance without thinking twice. There were serial tests need to be done. such as academic test and English profiency test. Fortunately, I got admitted, and from that day, my dream to study in social faculty was torn apart and new journey was about to come.
Just like an old man said, “sometimes, thewrong train takes you to the right destination”. It is true. 2 years study agriculture, without so much put interest on it, there was an opportunity for 2 semester exchange, in Thailand. Back than, I was pretty aware that my GPA wasl ow, but I was surely confidence would be selected, because my English is not that. So again, I took the chance, and Universe once again helped me through. Out of 7 students selected, I have the lowest GPA, but I succeeded sneaking into it.
Almost all of the youth want to travel around the world. Feel new culture, experience new thing, feel free and those kind of things before dying like an old man. 10months in Thailand gives me a chance to feel it. Alot of things to do here. Focus on academic is the number one priority, but being happy are also unexceptional. I am gonna tell all here, one piece at a time.
ACADEMICIS THE TOP PRIORITY
OK, I have to tell you something, All of the classes I took in Kasetsart University were awesome !! Somehow it is easier tostudy using English. The lecturer spoke faster, the knowledge was also wider because many informative references are provided in English. I had no problem at all with that. There were 2 classes which was held with Thai students, one was undergraduated student (Horticulture 3rd year) and another class was Master and Ph.D students.
One subject I loved the most was Agricultural Biotechnology. They taught about Evolution -DNA-RNA-genes-and micro particle stuff. It was hard because you have to remember alot of things, but it was also interesting because of the concept that the lecturer offered. Evolution is the forbidden theory in my country. Most of Muslim Clerics do not agree with that concept. Students also put no interest on it. Hearing the basic explanation about it was pretty amusing, broading my perspective throughout science.
At the end, 3.6 in GPA was not that bad, beyond my previous expectation. I amstill wondering, is it bacause we are an exchange student or we did actually great? Because almost all my agriculture friends got C on average. But thankyouanyway. Learning is always the most interesting part of our journey of live,isn’t it?
My special problem was about Sugarcane Tissue Culture. I was very very lucky because I got the kindest advisor ever,Ajharn Sontichai. I did not believe that Ajharn Sontichai was kind lectureralthough my friends already told me, not until I saw by my own eyes. This lecturer is smile almost everyday, and heart warming too. He provided me everything for my research. And He always finds a solution for my culture contamination. I got many contamination, and he was not angry at all. I always remember his “take-it-easy” altittude. He had never pushed me to finish my special problem. He accomodated all of my special problem ideas, and gave little bit correction. Among other students, my special problem was the easiest one, and I also finished the first while the other were still working on their special problem, thankyou very much Ajahrn^_^.
There are 2 Ajahrn Sontichai’s statments that I always remember. #1. “I hope you can learn something from it.” #2 “I will give you ‘A’. I dont need score anymore, but you need still.” It shows that AJ Sontichai focuses on the process and does not pay alot of attention in score. Thanks..
ONCE IN A LIFE TIME
Ok, I did pretty neat in academic activity here, in KPS,more or less. But the most memorable one were outside campus activities. My motto during 10 months in Thailand is “When you in Rome, do as a Romans do”. I was trying to feel what Thai people feel, eat what Thai people eat, think what Thai people think, tavel like a Thai(mostly as a solo traveller, travelled in almost 15 provinces, mostly using public train), I also went to the tample, and try to pray in Buddhist tradition. Intense political condition lately during my exchange period was also coloring my story here.
Many culture shock, but personally I could manage it and had fun with it. Really. Let me break down one by one. From the think like your King, Thai-English,Alcohol, Gamble, Thai Food, Gay and Lesbian (I have seen alot), Youth Culture etc.
Thai friends? They are all friendly. They said I am the first international student that visit their student club or student homebase. Sometimes they offered me help too. Thanks to all of them. They made my day. Because of them I can speak Thai, instead of they learn English. Because of them I know underground Thai culture little bit more. Some of them even know me and “say-hi”, although I do not know their name. It happened many times. It was hard to remember all of their name any-way.
I love football. ASEAN football is the most. Fortunately, Thailand has the best national team and football club in Southeast Asia. The most famous and number one club inThailand is Buriram United with GU-12 as a nick-name of its loyal supporter. Since the scholarship for exchange was announced, visiting Buriram United Stadium was on the top list. I did visit Buriram United Stadium on Mei 10th, 2014. Buriram United was not the only football club I have visited. Almost all top football club in Thailand I have already visited. Club like ; Suphanburi FC, ChonburiFC, Buriram United, MuangThong United, Singhtarua FC, Bangkok Glass FC, BEC Tero Sasana, Ratchaburi FC, or even Nakhon Pathom United. Sometimes I watched the game with my Thai friends. They helped me showed the road, and recommended affordable acomodation.
LOST MY BIKE
It was horrible day. How come? I did lock the bike, but I was unlucky. Somehow my bike was lost. I already told the police inside the univ and security guy. We were trying to find the bike together, for 2 days, and eventually I came to realize that my bike will never turn back. From Mei 10th to these days, I go to the campus on foot. That’sokay. It makes me healthy, even my Thai friends oftenly offered me a ride, they said “Pai song mai?”.. and I always say… “Yes, sure!” J
Dont worry, I am undoubtedly ready pay for the amends. It was my fault, and no matter what, I will not make an excuse.
IT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
It is kind of sad, not all the memories and blisful experiences fit on 3 pages essay. But one thing for sure : Time Goes Very Fast. It is nearly one week before saying good bye. Everything I got in Thailand is very memorable, just like a “Tom Yam Goong”. Bitter-Sweet-Salty-Spicy-Tasty-Sour memories mix all at once. I know other awesome and big things are yet to come. Let it be as it should be..
Thank you for everything. “Khob Kun Krub”.
Made by love-
Arghya Narendra D.