The first and the only one Thai student that I knew in the university was Joy.
During my study, in Free University of Bolzano there were only two Thai students: Joy and I.
Joy got Erasmus Mundus scholarship in the same program with me, but she got it before me several years. She studied her first year in Sweden and second year in Italy. When I met her, she was doing PhD in the university.
We got to know each other very fast and easy. I guessed that because we had the same background and spoke the same language, we then attracted each other. I am glad that I knew her; Joy always gave me good advice.
Joy once told me that with foreigner friends there was always a wall that stood between her and them. I guessed that because they had the different backgrounds. I felt the same, but both of us spent most of our time with foreigner friends; Joy and I met each other from time to time.
Joy recommended me to one Thai housewife. I had a chance to meet her once. After that, I did not know more Thai.
Until one day, after living in Bolzano for 6 months, Joy told me that one Thai lady owned a jewelry shop in the city center. We decided to go to that shop to meet her.
P’ Tui, the owner of this shop, has been living in Italy for 20 years. After talking with her, I thought she was Italian. She knew a lot about Italy; she also could speak Italian language. After knowing her, I knew many Thai housewives in Bolzano.
Actually I walked pass her shop several times. In front of the shop, there was a sign written in Thai ‘บ้านไทย’ (which was ‘Thai house’ in English), but I had never noticed even once!
P’ Tui always invited Joy and me for dinners. Her cooking was really good. Not even once that I rejected the invitation from her! Until these days I still feel thankful for her kindness.
While I enjoyed living abroad and learning new things from foreigner friends, meeting Thais and having dinners together from time to time reduced my homesickness.