Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Thailand 2023 - 2024
Sawadee ka! My name is Anna, and I am traveling to Bangkok, Thailand where I will serve as a Volunteer Legal Advocate at Asylum Access Thailand (AAT). AAT provides comprehensive support and legal services to refugees. At AAT, I will conduct client intake and research. Read More About Anna →

Pink era 2.0

I had a bit of a hair crisis over the weekend! I’ve been wanting to dye my hair pink again and a coworker recommended a salon here. However, my hair turned out more reddish brown, and I was hoping for a true pink. I thought the cut/color might grow on me, but the next day, I woke up and realized it’s really not the color I was envisioning. I decided to go back to the salon the next day for a color correction. I asked them to lighten the color, and even though it’s still not exactly what I was wanting, it does look more pink to me now. And, the good thing is that since it’s just hair, the color will fade over time. So, I’m on a new hair journey and trying to work with this hair for now. 

the new hair! still getting used to it – it’s an adjustment

A lot of my weekend was consumed by being at the hair salon, but other than that, I also spent our office wellness day reading with a coworker friend at a cute cafe here. The cafe is pretty close to my apartment, just two stops away, and it has a view of the iconic elephant building. I loved the minimalist decor, and it wasn’t very crowded, so we got a lot of reading done. Cafe culture is pretty big here, and the cafes are designed in a way where people could spend all day there.


view of the elephant building

On Sunday, a friend and I went to Ari, which is a neighborhood home to a great selection of cafes and restaurants along its quiet tree-lined streets. We went to several niche shops, starting our day off with lunch at Ong Tong, which has won Michelin awards. My friend and I both got khao soi, which is a delicious and traditional Thai food; northern Thai curry noodles. The soup was so thick and creamy, something that curry lovers will definitely want to try. It was on the spicy side for me, but not my friend lol. I forgot to say ‘mai pet lui,’ no spicy. After this, we went to a few vintage shops, including Hide, which is a select shop where they collect different Thai designer brands. The clothes there were out of my price range, but still fun to look at and get a sense of unique/quirky Thai fashion. We also passed by Darq, a specialty chocolate bar, and decided to stop in. The owner is really passionate and dedicated to the chocolate bar business. He urged us to get Kamphaeng Phet and Vietnam, which are two versions of their iced chocolate drink. It was super rich and some of the best iced chocolate I’ve had here.

iced chocolate

Work updates:

The RSD team is working on piloting a new screening process, which is designed to increase efficiency and save time. Previously, clients would be screened by a legal advisor for us to learn more about their claim and see what sort of assistance we can provide the client. Those full screenings were quite lengthy and could take several hours at a time.

The new screening process consists of a pre-screening part 1 and part 2. In part 1, basic demographics are collected, as well as identifying any vulnerabilities the client might present. In part 2, this is for the legal advisor to understand why the client had to leave their country of origin and why they cannot go back. Then, if it is a case we might be able to assist with, we will schedule the client for a full screening which is to understand their claim in-depth, including dates, locations, etc. Although it’s still early on, it does seem like this new pre-screening process will save the RSD team time. For example, with one client that we spoke to, it became clear that the client’s issue was about a land claim matter, but it didn’t fall under the grounds of the refugee convention. Due to this, less time was spent overall than would’ve been spent on this one client in the previous method. Given the team’s limited resources and time constraints, this is very important.

another beautiful bkk sunset in my neighborhood

reading on my balcony

Steven being a loaf

night market near my neighborhood that I love to go to, Jodd Fairs


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