From our global reporters
Coming to Thailand to take up her studies at Bangkok University only days after the bloody Ratchaprasong crackdown, Italian Stefania Pittia didn’t know what to expect.
Me with the Thai flag (I know that I have the eyes closed, but the picture represents my willingness to be part of Thailand, even if I am a foreigner).
This is the first part of Stefania’s story. We’ll have part two next week.
Stefania comes to Thailand, part 1
I started appreciating Asian countries quite late. But now I love them, above all Thailand. Stefania Pittia
I am 25 years old and I am an Italian University student. When I realized that I would have the opportunity to study for 2 months at Bangkok University International, I was very excited. I had travelled a lot with my parents since I was a child, but being alone in an eastern country with the difficulties of language, culture and religion while at the same time attending university courses trying to get good scores – those were going to be hard challenges for me despite my strong motivation. I did not know that Thailand would slowly enter my heart. Stefania Pittia
My Thai experience did not start in the best way. In fact, I came in contact with one troublesome aspect of the country when I was still in Italy: the Thai political crisis. It was on the 26th of May 2010 that I had to change my flight ticket, arriving in Thailand 3 days later. I was afraid of the situation since TV journalists had shown blood and violence in the city.
Fortunately, when I arrived in the “Land of smiles”, the situation was pretty calm. However, I did see a notice at the entrance to the passport check in Survanabhumi Airport warning passengers about the curfew imposed in Bangkok. So, for the first week I stayed in my residence room day and night.
Then, I started to go around the city. The main attraction for tourists was to take pictures from the BTS of the burned Central World. After one month I went to a bar in a hotel near that shopping mall and there was still a smell of burning.
In order to come into contact with Thailand and Thai people, I started to look at them and learn from them. I tasted their typical foods, for example PAD THAI, FRIED RICE, TOM YAM, PAPAYA SALAD. I really loved the way they sell food along the streets. In the evening I used to go out and see the markets, while walking around the city.
One evening a strange thing happened to me – an indirect effect of the political crisis. While shopping in a street market, I saw a wallet. I asked the price from the seller; it was cheap but the wallet was somewhat flawed, so I said that I did not want to buy it. The seller was persistent, however, trying to convince me to buy the wallet.
I said: “no thank you. Sorry”
The seller got angry with me and in a frustrated way she threw away the wallet saying that she had to sell something. She needed the money. I was really scared. Three months of closure and zero profits as the result of the political troubles were behind her emotional response.
challenge – something that needs a lot of skill, energy and determination to deal with or achieve สิ่งท้าทาย
motivation – enthusiasm for doing something; a reason for doing something แรงบันดาลใจ, แรงจูงใจ
aspect – one part of a situation, problem, subject, etc ด้าน,มุม
crisis – a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point ช่วงวิกฤต
journalist – a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television ผู้สื่อข่าว
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
calm – peaceful and quiet สงบ
impose – to introduce something such as a new law or new system and require people to accept it การกำหนด
residence – a place where someone lives ที่อยู่อาศัย
attraction – something which makes people want to go to a place or do a particular thing สิ่งหรือบุคคลที่ดึงดูดความสนใจ
indirect – happening not as the main aim, cause or result of a particular action, but in addition to it โดยอ้อม
wallet – a small flat case that people keep money, bank cards, and small documents in and usually carry in their pocket or bag กระเป๋าขนาดเล็กที่ทำจากหนังหรือพลาสติก
flawed – spoiled by something บกพร่อง
persistent – continuing to do something in a determined way ดื้อ, ไม่ลดละ, ไม่ย่นย่อ
frustrated – feeling annoyed and impatient because you are prevented from achieving something ผิดหวัง,ท้อแท้ใจมาก, หงุดหงิดใจ
profit – money that you make from selling goods and services after all your costs have been paid กำไร
emotional – related to strong feeling such as anger or love, or strong feelings in general อารมณ์
Stefania Pittia was born in 1985 in Monfalcone (Gorizia), Italy. She graduated in Business Economics at Udine University with a Bachelor’s Degree and continued her studies attending courses for a Master’s Degree at Udine. In February 2011 she will graduate, presenting a thesis on the impacts of the subprime crisis on Thai real economy. During the last academic year, she had the opportunity to study for the summer period at Bangkok University International, where she also attended a Chinese language course.
She is planning to study for another Master’s degree in International Business and, in the meantime, find a job that allows her to work with companies that have relationships with Asia.
Now she is working for 3 months at the Thai Italian Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok as an intern, thanks to the opportunity given by her University in Udine.