April 1991 was a memorable time of my life since that was the first time when I have to travel abroad - going to Thailand for my postgrad program.
I was lucky to be accepted at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) located in Pathumthani Province (just 30 minutes from the old Don Muang airport) to pursue a MSc degree in Urban Planning. It was not easy to accept the fact that I will be leaving my home country and be a stranger in a Buddhist nation. With my positive attitudes towards living, it was not really hard to be exposed to a different culture.
My AIT life was never been dull considering that I did alot of things that improved my personal wellbeing as well as my spiritual orientation. Aside from my academic involvement as a full time postgrad student, I was also an active member of the various students' body organisations. And because of this involvement, I had the opportunity to meet the Queen of Thailand, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit (in the picture shown) in an environmental awarding ceremony, and her youngest daughter in one of the Cultural Shows organised by the students. My brief encounter with Her Majesty The Queen of Thailand was televised nationwide as I was told by my close friends.
With my 2.5 years residency in Thailand provided me the opportunity to explore the country - from Pattaya up to Chang Mai. With my work as a Program Associate in an environmental training organisation offered much of the benefits in undertanding the essence of environmental protection and conservation. I visited the country for 4 times already in a span of almost 12 years after I left the country in 1994. Some of the milestones of my life in Bangkok are:
- first time to play golf (just one hole)
- first time to join swimming and volleyball competitions
- first time to be a stage actor
- first time to be a church choir member and a cheer member
- first time to sing without any accompaniment
- first time to be an emcee in a formal occasion
- first time to eat 'rambutan' (fruit)
- first time to ride a train and 'tuktuk', and an elephant
- first time to hear a cow-sound from a frog
- first time to have a Thai girlfriend
- first time to visit a red district, Patpong