Peace Corps Problems

I have a new friend. He happens to be a toad. Almost every night I faithfully find him sitting motionless atop my clothes basket, frozen as a statue. Sometimes I know he's there from the rattling of plastic bags I hear across my room. Then there was the time the umbrella in the corner of my room started shaking out of thin air. It was propped upside down, so I went to look inside of it. Sure enough, it was my toad friend again.

Typically Thai houses are much more open than houses in America. They are sort of like indoor/outdoor houses. Screen-less windows are always open, there are tiny holes in the tops of the walls (to let air flow through I suppose, as well as lots of mosquitos, dtuk-gees, jing-joks, and other creatures) and the main door to our house locks by putting a wooden bar across the wooden accordion doors. Needless to say its hard to keep things OUT of the house. My family has recently unwillingly adopted a stray cat. I don't think anyone in my house, other than myself and my 4 year old “nephew,” is happy about it, but there is no way of keeping it out!

Of all my new animal friends the toad is definitely the most loyal. To paint the most descriptive portrait I will tell you of our latest adventure together. On Friday I was leaving my site to go to Bangkok. To get there I have to go to the major city in my province, about an hour away, and then take a train. I had left my house after school, packed and ready to go. Around 10 pm I boarded the train and started getting things out from my bag to make the overnight train ride as comfortable as an overnight train ride can be. Suddenly I looked down and two eyes attached to a brown, wart-covered body stared up at me. My friend had hopped in my backpack ready to accompany me to Bangkok. I was horrified and sadly did not reciprocate his loyalty. I discretely tossed him out the window while trying not to bring any more attention to myself than there already was being a 'farang' (foreigner). Oh, Peace Corps problems..



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