Emma: Under The Ropes
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Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Bangkok, etc.
I'm a 26-year old British expat who's living in Thailand working as an English teacher and competing as a Muay Thai fighter. I moved to Bangkok from Poole, UK in 2011 after a backpacking trip and haven't looked back since.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
As with all bloggers, I wanted to document and share my experiences, but Under the Ropes was really born from a desire to put something out there for other women in the world of Muay Thai. In such a male-dominated sport, every female voice counts.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
My favorite blog posts of mine are:
- Muay Thai and My Introversion
- How Strength Training Saved Me from an Eating Disorder
- Pumpin Iron II: The Women – Challenging the Ideals of Femininity
- Does Fighting Change You?
Tell us about the ways your new life in Bangkok differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
My life in Bangkok is very different to that of the UK. I have a relaxed, flexible work schedule that allows me to focus on my sport, which is wonderful. Life is generally more relaxed here, and I did have some slight trouble getting used to the slower movement of things in a working environment at first, but soon accepted it as part of the package.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Bangkok? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I first came as a backpacker, having only booked my first night’s accommodation and planning to just take it from there. Thailand is generally very tourist-friendly so it was easy to navigate my way around, it was part of the adventure! When I came back as an expat, I already had some knowledge and experience of life there, so didn’t find it too difficult.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Language barriers can always provide some hilarious misunderstandings, but my favorite one was when a Thai friend of mine who owns a business called me in a fluster because she thought that one of her customers had sent her an incredibly rude email, because they had written 'FYI'. I was confused as to why she thought it was rude, and it turned out that she thought it meant 'F*** You, Idiot'! Thankfully, I was able to let her know the real meaning before she responded!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Bangkok?
- Don’t worry about planning too much before you come here. Most things are easy to organize once you get here.
- Embrace the culture.
- Give yourself time to travel and explore, there are so many beautiful places to see!
How is the expat community in Bangkok? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
Bangkok has a huge expat community and in that, I’m lucky to have made some great connections and found some friends for life.
How would you summarize your expat life in Bangkok in a single, catchy sentence?
Fighting, teaching and blogging in Bangkok.