The Mysterious Mr. X

*Poof* just like that graduation is over and now the ‘real world’ begins. It was a magical weekend filled with family, friends, wine, and the occasional public sobbing. It is hard to say goodbye to a life built with amazing people; but the next adventure is just around the corner. Or in my case, it has already begun.

Casual update: I am in Thailand. It is somewhat appropriate that Thailand was my first international experience as a vet student, and now as veterinarian. Gosh. How time flies. I was asked to come here for two weeks where I am taking part in a new ‘Ecosystem Health’ exchange program to enjoy it for my own benefit, and to assist with the research and adapting it to become an annual event. I am travelling with a final year vet student. After the scheduled two weeks, we are going to volunteer at an elephant rescue for a week. Because why the heck not?

The travel was surprisingly hassle free, and I basically woke up on the other side of the world with the occasional wake-up by strangers who fed me. I can’t really complain. All this travel has made me really good at falling asleep in strange places. A skill I relish. Though it did make arriving at 1:00am rather difficult, and I spent a good portion of the night staring at the ceiling and listening to the raging thunderstorm that was going on outside.

As for the accommodations for the first night, well.. let’s just say it started off with a mildly sketchy appearance and ended with us being shown the smallest of rooms with one bed no larger than a double. Um. Oh boy. We eventually got it sorted out, but my travel companion and I confused the manager who didn’t understand why a male and female would request separate beds. I am not sure ‘just friends’ translated appropriately.

Our ride to the university campus arrived promptly at 11:00am with a driver who did not speak but handed us a letter. It was from one of our hosts who could not be there to greet us but informed the driver where to take us and how to show us to our rooms on campus. Sure, why not. Though in the letter he was referred to as Mr. X and I still have the urge to know his origin story.

The drive was wonderfully familiar. Bangkok is a strange mix of extravagant buildings, decaying apartment complexes, and road-side stands, with a few religious statues scattered in between.

Once Mr. X brought us to the campus, we were given key cards and led to dorm rooms. Though strangely mine has three beds and Brett’s just has two mattresses on the floor. There was also a lovely welcome basket waiting for us with odd looking snacks and seaweed flavoured chips. Adorable.

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After we settled in we were taken out for lunch by one of the veterinarians we will be working with, who I met back in September back on PEI, and one of the people who had been corresponding with us from the administrative side. They are very kind and tried to feed us as much food as humanly possible. I am not sure I will ever be hungry again. Though just in case, they made us stock up on many snacks for our upcoming trip to the rural campus. While shopping we noticed a pig carcass being butchered in the middle of the produce section. No one else seemed alarmed by this.

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Tomorrow we have a ‘toxicology lecture/lab’ of some sort and will be travelling to the rural campus. Perhaps Mr. X will once again grace us with his presence.

According to the schedule, while at the rural campus we are going to, “prepare field equipment and personal belongings to stay overnight in the forest”. Oh good. I was worried I would have a bed the whole time. While camping in Thailand was not really on my list of things to do, I remain hopeful that it is some form of cabin.. maybe? I guess we will find out. Adventure is out there! Right?

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