Letter from America
Eighteen-year-old Phongphanich "Mean" Rujirattanalai from Samut Prakan is on his own half the world away in the United States. He tells us why he is there and what life is like.
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"Mean" in the middle of his friends in America.
Phongphanich Rujirattanalai, also known by his nickname "Mean," is an 18-year-old from Samut Prakan. He is a long way from home. Let's let him tell his story in his own words.
Provo, Utah, United States
Phongphanich "Mean" Rujirattanalai
I’m currently studying at Nomen Global Language Center in Provo, Utah. I have been studying here for the past 8 months.
I wanted a place that is safe, inexpensive, and provides a good education. So I searched the internet and found Nomen Global.
I want to learn English because I want use it for study and communication with English speakers, and to be ready for the ASEAN community which will use English and Chinese as international languages.
I have a lot of international friends here at Nomen Global. There is Tai, for example, who comes from Vietnam, Louis from Mexico and Muhanet from Saudi Arabia. We study together, play soccer and help each other to learn English. Reading and writing English is hard for me, but speaking English is easy.
When I first came here, I didn't' know what real American food was – and I still don't because it is a mixture from many countries. I think that Thai pizza is better than American pizza because the toppings are fresher and sweeter.
I like Provo, Utah, because it is safe, quiet and very close to nature. It is easy to get to the mountains. I also have been to New York for a two-week vacation I think New York is a good place to visit, travel, shop and eat, but not a good place to live.
For one thing, you have to tip. In New York City they want a big tip for EVERYTHING. For instance, I went to the barber in New York and I had to tip him $5! Here in Provo I never have to tip like that and the same is true of Thailand.
Also, New York seemed very dangerous and dirty. I did not feel safe there. I was in the Bronx and I saw a thief steal a lady's purse.
I will return to Thailand at the end of April for a 3- month vacation. I look forward to seeing my family again. Then I will come back to America to go to Brigham Young University.
Learn from listening
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currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน
inexpensive: not expensive - มีราคาถูก
look forward to: to feel pleased and excited about something that is going to happen - ตั้งหน้ารอคอย
mixture: a combination of different things - การผสม
nickname: an informal name for someone or something, especially a name which you are called by your friends or family, usually based on your proper name or your character - ชื่อเล่น
thief: someone who steals something. An instance of stealing something is called a theft - ขโมย
topping: a layer of food that you put on top of a dish, cake, etc. to add flavour or to make it look nice - สิ่งที่ใช้แต่งหน้าอาหาร
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