If the 5 AM sunrise or the screeching birds don’t wake me up before my alarm at 7:30 AM, I consider myself lucky! Once I am able to sit up and open my eyes, I hobble out of my little bedroom and into my dorm’s main room to grab breakfast. Every Monday-Thursday (the days I have class), I always have breakfast (an apple and peanut butter) in my dorm.
Classes start at 9 AM so I usually throw on my uniform (white button-up shirt and black skirt), and walk out of the room by 8. This hour gives me enough time to make the trek to the Faculty of Law building on campus that all of my program’s classes are in.
My dorm, Uniloft Student Housing, is tucked away at the end of a narrow road called Soi 7. This road is barely wide enough for cars to pass each other, and there are motorbikes constantly zooming by. The 8 minutes that it takes to walk down Soi 7 are filled with smells of small shop owners grilling meat or veggies, the noises of cars and motorbikes, and sunlight so bright that it is hard to keep my eyes open.
Soi 7 connects to Suthep, which is one of the main roads in the city of Chiang Mai. It runs along the entire backside of the university, and goes all the way up to Doi Suthep (a beautiful temple that is Chiang Mai’s most famous attraction). In order to make it to the back entrance of the university, I have to walk a few minutes on and then cross Suthep. This task can be simple or scary, depending on the day of the week and how much traffic there is. I have definitely learned how to cross the street with more confidence, even if it means running out in front of cars or crossing one direction at a time.
Once I make it across Suthep, I pass through the small door-gate that marks the back entrance of CMU and wait for the shuttle.
My favorite way to get to the Law building is to climb onto the “express,” then wait at the main switching station for a shuttle marked with a 3 or 4 to get me the rest of the way. CMU’s campus is very large so if I didn’t take advantage of the shuttle system, I would arrive at class dripping in sweat!
Upon arrival at the Law building, I fill up my water bottle at the water jugs and get comfortable in the Law cafe until class starts. On Monday and Wednesday, my class schedule is simple: Thai 1 (speaking and listening) from 9-10. That’s it! Tuesday I have Art in the morning, then Thai 1 speaking lab, Buddhism, and Thai 2 (reading and writing) in the afternoon. Thursdays are very similar, with the day consisting of Thai 1, Thai 2, and Buddhism.
Once I am done with class, I hop on the shuttles that take me to the back of campus, walk down and cross Suthep, trek up Soi 7, and hang out in my room until I make plans for the rest of the day.