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Portfolio 2: My early days in Auckland, New Zealand

My first day in Auckland was quite strange. As soon as I arrived at one of the university accommodations, a residential assistant (RA) helped to carry one of my luggages and I asked him, “where is the lift?” He laughed and said “no lift here, you have to walk up.” “Well, floor four is not too bad, but with a big luggage, it is pretty heavy for me,” I thought. I managed to get to my room on floor four. After the RA opened the door, I thought the room was very small. “Where is the air-conditioner?” I asked. He laughed again and walked to the window and opened it. “No lift, no air-conditioner, and with such a small room like this, how can I live in here?” Many thoughts came into my mind and I missed home already. What I had imagined before I came was very different from what I experienced at that time. During dinner time at the dining hall, I met a lot of new students, most of whom were originally from Asia as I guessed from their appearances. It was a great relief to see a lot of Asian students here. “I am not the only one from Asia in here…hmm…good.” However, after a while I discovered that most of them have lived in New Zealand for many years. Some of them were even permanent residents here. No wonder their English was so good. Even though some of them were new to this country like me, they were from China, South Korea, or Japan where they could meet a lot of friends from the same ethnic group. These people normally socialize with their own ethnic groups, and the language that they speak is, undoubtedly, their first language. I felt like I was alone. “No Thai students here…and my English is not good…many students here like to associate with those from their own country. What am I doing here?” The only things I could remember about my early days in Auckland were ‘I miss home, I miss home, and I miss home’. I used the Internet almost all the time in early days to talk with my friends and family. Having a chance to speak Thai with friends and family back home made me very happy. After a while I got used to being lonely and liked to keep myself in a room using the Internet talking on Skype with friends and family in Thailand. It was such a joy to speak Thai.