Greetings from Thailand! Kassy and her husband have finally arrived in Thailand and are starting to get settled in Bangkok. In this episode, Kassy tells Andrew about her first impressions of the new country and shares a couple of funny and interesting stories from her first days there. Tune in to hear about Kassy’s adventuresRead MoreThe post Simplified Speech #156 – First impressions of Thailand first appeared on Culips English Podcast.
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Simplified Speech #156 – First impressions of Thailand
Culips Everyday English Podcast
Hello there everyone, my name's Andrew and I'm Tessie and this is the Qlips English podcast.
Hey there Qlips community, you're listening to simplified speech.
The Qlips series, which features clear, natural and easy to understand conversations
in English about interesting topics.
Today, helping me with this episode is my cohost Cassie.
Hey there Cassie.
Hey Andrew and hey listeners, greetings from Thailand.
Yeah, greetings from Thailand.
Cassie, I'm so glad to hear that you arrived in Thailand, safe and sound.
Yeah, my husband and I just arrived here like a week and a half ago and we're just starting
to get settled in Bangkok.
Yeah, that's great.
And I thought that we could dedicate this episode to hear about what your first impressions
of Thailand are like.
I'm so curious to hear some of your stories about this new adventure that you're on.
Yes, and I am so excited to tell you about it as well, but before we do that, I will take
a moment to tell everyone about our transcript and study guide available for this
So guys, studying with the transcript and guide is a great way to learn with us.
In the study guide, you'll find detailed descriptions and real world examples of all the
You'll hear Andrew and I using here today.
There are also activities designed to help you build your speaking and writing skills.
There's a quiz and much more.
To get the study guide and transcript, you need to be a Qlips member.
To learn all the details and to sign up, just visit our website, Qlips.com.
We also want to give a shout out to one of our listeners named Michael, who is from Germany.
And Michael left us a five star rating and a fantastic review on Apple Podcasts.
And in his review, he wrote, hey, dear Qlips team, I'm Michael from Germany and I love
With my sister in law who lives in New York, I will soon start my own business in the
For this, it was necessary for me to improve my dusty, school English.
I succeeded with your podcast.
I'm getting better and better and more and more confident in communicating with our American
Please keep up the good work.
Thank you for that awesome review, Michael and Cassie.
Don't you think that's pretty fitting that review for this episode because we're going
to be talking about starting a new life in a foreign country.
And it sounds like that's exactly what Michael just did.
Yeah, Michael and I have got a few things in common.
I think so.
So thank you for learning English with us, Michael, and good luck on your new adventures
in the USA.
And Cassie, of course, thank you to everyone out there who's been supporting us by
telling their friends to listen to Qlips or by leaving ratings and reviews on their favorite
podcast apps because it really does help us a lot.
And of course, we very much appreciate it.
And with that being said, Cassie, I want to jump right into our main topic for today,
which is about your first impressions of Thailand.
So let's get into it.
You said earlier that you've been in Thailand now for about just a week and a half.
So it's very much still fresh and in the beginning stages.
What's it been like so far?
Tell us all about it.
Well, Andrew, it's been really great so far.
And I don't think listeners will be able to hear it.
But I'm actually experiencing one of the differences between Thailand and Korea.
And that is the torrential downpours of the rainy season in Thailand.
So listeners, this is our first time recording where I am in Korea, where I live.
And now Cassie is in Thailand where she lives.
And I guess in Thailand right now, it's the start of the rainy season.
And we just pressed record and started getting into this episode.
And then Cassie said, Andrew, the rain just started.
Can you hear the heavy rain in the background?
And we had to stop and do an audio check just to make sure we weren't getting drowned out
by the sound of the falling rain in the background.
So I guess that is one major difference that you're experiencing right from the start.
Cassie is the difference in weather and climate in Thailand.
Yeah, that's right.
And I haven't been stuck out in the rain so far.
So I can say, I actually really love this weather from an insider's point of view.
Someone's safe inside a dry room because Korea doesn't really get these big thunderstorms.
And I think they're so cool here.
We got them back in Pennsylvania in my hometown.
But I haven't heard them for a while living in Korea.
Yeah, we do get heavy rain. There is, I would say short rainy season in Korea.
And the rain does fall very intensely during that period.
But it's not very often that you hear thunder or sea lightning.
I'd say like only a couple days a year, really.
It's quite rare in Korea.
So that's cool that you get these big rain storms there in Thailand's.
And Cassie, don't you think that it's great weather for reading?
I always love reading a book in a heavy thunderstorm.
Yes, exactly. Or just taking a nap.
But then hearing the sound as the rain falls onto the roof.
Yes, very, very nice.
So apart from the weather and the climate,
what are some of your first impressions of Thailand?
Is there anything that jumped out at you that was really interesting or exciting or new or gave you
like an, oh my god, moment?
Yes. So I don't know if I was being reckless.
But I really didn't research Thailand much at all before I came here.
I was like, you know what? We're just going to jump into this.
So I didn't know what to expect.
And after being here for a week and a half, I can say there are some things that I found
super, super cool and some things that really scared me at first.
But I'm getting used to. I'll start with the scary thing first
and then talk about the fun things.
Sure. The scariest thing from me here was the, how would you even call it?
I would say pedestrian walkways and a pedestrian is a person who is not driving,
who is walking.
So do you mean like the sidewalks or the crosswalks?
Both. So there aren't really a lot of sidewalks in Bangkok or at least not in my area.
So when you walk around, then you have to walk right on the street with all the vehicles?
Yeah, there's like a half foot or you know, maybe like, I don't know, 15 centimeters
wide gap between the cars and the walls in between the buildings.
And that's where you have to walk. And the motor bikes are like zooming by inches from my elbow.
And I was terrified at first. But I saw like all of my co teachers and little
middle schoolers just walking right next to all these cars. And I'm like, I'm being ridiculous.
If everybody else can do it, so can I.
All right. So some traffic culture shock. I'm wondering, like, I have never been to Thailand,
but I have visited some other Southeast Asian countries before, which maybe are similar.
I'm not exactly sure. But I think maybe they're a little bit similar.
And I always noticed like when traveling in countries like Vietnam, for example,
which is maybe my closest point of reference.
Crossing the road can be really nerve wracking for people who haven't experienced
that kind of traffic before, where you have lots of vehicles.
It seems at first from our Western perspective, it seems kind of chaotic. Like, there's no
system. After you spend some time in that place, you notice, oh, there's a system. It's just
different than what I'm used to. But crossing the road when there's no crosswalks and no stoplights
can be harrowing at first. Is that what it's like in Thailand too,
do you just sort of have to cross and be confident and get everybody to drive around you instead
of stop for you? Yeah. There are some crosswalks and things like that, but there aren't really
red lights. So everybody's still moving all around you. So yes, confidence is key. If you just
get your head out there and start going, then you'll make it through, hopefully. So far,
so good, right? Yes. And Cassie, we're also going to share with us a funny story or something.
No, just good stories before coming to Thailand. So many people told us,
Thai food. It's so delicious. It's amazing. The best part about Thailand is the food. So
my husband made it his mission to find some of the best street stall foods. So not like a
typical restaurant, but you know, these really small mom and pop shops just along the side of certain
alleyways that have like two or three tables and they're a little kitchen area and, you know,
their meals are piping hot and like a dollar 20 or something like that. And have you had some good
culinary experiences that way? We have. Yeah. We found two or three spots. We really love
for Thai listeners out there. Sorry. I don't remember the names of any of the foods yet.
It'll take a little while before you memorize all of the food names. Maybe. Yes. But they've all
been really delicious. We have only had one miss when it came to food. It was some sort of green
curry. I think it's really popular here. But I don't think our taste buds have adjusted to that yet.
It was a little spicy for us. I see. Yeah. I've heard so many good things about Thai food. And I've
only really tried Thai food at restaurants like in Canada and here in Korea. So I don't have
that authentic experience yet. But definitely Thai food is very, very delicious from what I've tried.
So that's awesome that you get to live in such a great food country. You get to go from Korea to
Thailand. Yeah. That's amazing. Yeah. Those are two amazing food countries. Yeah. Yeah. That's so cool.
So what kind of things have you done so far? Have you done any sight seeing or
been to any attractions or anything or has it just been kind of settling in? We have done a little
bit of sight seeing and we always combine it with a mission for every day life. So for example,
we wanted to go check out again. I might be butchering this pronunciation. The chat a check market.
I think that's how you call it. Really huge open market. Okay. But we also wanted to get a bus pass.
When you travel around the city, they have these lines called the BTS line and the MRT line,
which are like fast trains that move all over the city. And you can pay for a single ride using cash.
But you can also get a card that is rechargeable. So our mission one day was to first get a bus card
that was rechargeable and then to find our way to this big open market. Nice. And what was the
market like? Huge. Just though other words besides that there were stalls for everything, clothes,
food, drinks, pets. They had like bunnies there. You could buy. Wow. Sounds really like probably
very busy and bustling place. Yeah, exactly. And I heard it's a little better now because COVID
laws are being lifted. So you can go without a mask. Some places. It's still good to wear,
especially in that busy market. But apparently a few years ago when COVID was really
scary. But they were all these stalls everywhere. It was just chaos. But it seems like
Thailand's really opening up now and tourists are coming back. But they're still not too many.
So you feel like you can really explore the area. Yeah, that's cool. You might get more of an
authentic experience right now when there are fewer tourists than they're usually are. So
you should take advantage of that maybe before crowds come back and full swing because I know
Thailand is a popular tourist destination. It's like a huge part of their economy and so many
travelers love to visit that place. Has you talked about getting around, walking on streets,
taking the bus, how has navigating in a brand new foreign country been? Have you gotten lost at
all? Are you just using your phone for navigation? What's getting around like? That was one of the
other first things we did. We went to the phone store and we got very large data plans so
that I could use Google Maps anywhere I wanted to go. But luckily the roads are kind of chaotic
but they do have a system. So this road called succumbit road where the BTS line is is a huge
road that cuts through all of Bangkok and continues even further and then all of the other roads
kind of shoot off from that. So in my area as long as I know where the main succumbit road is,
I can kind of figure out where I'm at and then move on from there. So it's a really nice anchor
spot or like landmark in the middle of the city that helps you figure out where you are. Yes,
exactly. And because it's so hot I found out that people don't really walk that much here they do
but most people take a taxi or a motorbike everywhere. Yeah so there are probably motorbikes
all over the place. Yes, I have not ridden one yet but my husband has ridden one a couple of times.
Oh really already? Yes, so there are motorbike taxis. So one driver rides on the front and then
he'll ride on the back and he'll hold like this bar that's in the back of the seat.
Oh okay okay okay I see what she means. Yeah I've done that before as well the motorbike
taxis they're pretty fun. So Cassie I imagine there's gotta be some kind of like culture shock
a moment for you. I know you've only been there for a week and a half but there's gotta be
something that you're like oh my god wow that's wild like that's so different from my home
culture or that's so different from Korean culture. There've been anything shocking or surprising
to you apart from the traffic. It kind of goes hand in hand with the traffic. A lot of streets in my
area are cut off by gates like there are gate guards everywhere. Interesting. Yeah I don't know if
it's because my area is pretty expat heavy so there's a lot of high rise condos with very expensive
price tags and the people who live there want to have a safety first kind of policy. So a lot
of these condos are guarded by security guards and a lot of the streets that the back streets
that they are located on in order to enter those back streets you need a pass on your car or
something. So I found that very interesting the guards are very friendly towards pedestrians
we can just walk on through usually. Thank goodness because I don't speak any time and sometimes
I get up to a gate and I'm like I hope they don't talk to me. So that's another thing that I wanted
to ask you about actually and maybe we'll wrap up with this question is what's communication like
like you said you don't speak any Thai yet which is totally natural only being there for a week
and a half do Thai people speak English in your experience are you able to talk to them in English
or is it mostly just body language at this point? Yes a lot of people speak English and even if
it's not perfect they they try their best everybody's been super duper duper nice to us. We haven't
had any bad experiences with that and I actually feel sad I can't speak it more my my mission
is to learn at least a kind of a advanced beginner level of Thai. Yeah well it will take a little
bit of time but I'm sure you'll get there and I think it always does go a long way to be able to
speak some of the local language even if you can't speak it fluently right even when I travel
I always like to try and learn like hello and thank you just to throw it out there and putting
in a little bit of effort goes a long way I think but that's great to hear that you haven't had
any negative experiences with the people or any kind of communication issues so far that's great.
Yeah there is one more thing I'll add this is kind of a funny anecdote one we've actually come across
a bunch of Korean speakers in Thailand. Oh yeah every time I hear them I'll hear like a sentence
of Korean and I'll go oh there's one there's one oh there's one isn't that weird how that happens
that happens to me when I'm abroad as well like I'll be back home in Canada and then suddenly I
hear Korean and it's like it's weird when that happens because compared to other foreign languages
it just stands out and it's like oh I understand what you're saying it's it's very strange.
Yes that's true and then also my husband is skin is a little bit darker than the average Korean
I would say and we were surprised by this a lot of Thai people look kind of similar to Koreans
and their haircuts are kind of similar but a lot of their skin is more of my husband's skin tone
so a lot of times when we go out they see me and they're like up yet foreigner she doesn't know
anything and then they turn to him and start speaking Thai and he's like I have no idea what you're saying
I know what that feeling is like because I have some Korean American friends who don't speak
Korean very well and I also have some friends who are born in Korea but adopted out to the USA
as babies and have come back as adults and these friends don't speak Korean very well but
ethnically they are 100% Korean so of course they look Korean and when we go out to restaurant
or something you know I actually speak Korean better than them but they get all the attention
because the staff sees me and it's like automatic foreigner I'll just talk to the Korean person
and yeah I create some awkward experiences sometimes that's funny I'm sure your husband's
a little bit panicked in those situations he takes it in stride I have been so surprised at how
well he's adjusted but he's like oh yeah I love this place even one day when we move back to Korea
I want to bring my future kids here so they can experience Thailand too oh that's awesome
well I'm happy to hear that you guys are settling in all right and I'm sure you'll have
many more stories for us and a lot more to share in the future and we'll keep coming back to you
for more sources of entertainment and fun stories Cassie going forward that's great
for now I think that will bring us to the end of today's episode everyone so of course thank you
for listening as always and great job on completing an English study session with us and of course
we would love you to add to the conversation so now it's your turn and maybe you have something to
share with us about a visit that you've taken to Thailand before or maybe even you have a question
for Cassie about what it's like to live in Thailand please leave a comment on qlips.com or on our
discussion form or even on our Instagram page and share those comments and questions with us
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brand new episode and we'll catch you then goodbye
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Albert Einstein said, 'If you can't explain it simply enough, you haven't understood it well enough'.Dr Andrew brings such simplicity to explaining the workings of the brain. It's actually a hacker's guide into our own brain. You are doing great service to humanity Dr Andrew.4 months ago·9 likes·
Insightful and timely. Heartfelt words of personal and intuitive wisdom. Matt speaks directly from his heart about life wisdom’s coming from experience and deep thought. I love it. Victoria Mcknight·6 likes·
I find these weekly podcasts to be super inspirational, they seem to always motivate me to look at my purpose. Matt not only brings in his personal life experiences but he delivers them in such a way that they are relatable.4 months ago·6 likes·
I find these weekly podcasts to be super inspirational, they seem to always motivate me to look at my purpose. Matt not only brings in his personal life experiences but he delivers them in such a way that they are relatable.·10 likes·
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