Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Koh Samet

A couple weekends ago I took a little trip down to Koh Samet which is a little island only about 2 ½ hours away from the city. It’s a great place to get to for a quick little vacation. Koh Phangna was really nice but it took forever to get there and back. I was able to leave Bangkok on Monday morning and be on the beach at Samet by lunch. The island was beautiful and had lots of rocky coast on which I could scramble. The entire east coast was just bay after bay after bay with rocky outcrops and jungle dividing them. We spent almost our whole first day walking around the island and swimming in the different bays. It was great. It started to drizzle at night so we didn’t move around too much but we went to a place that had a reggae band and Chris and I got on stage and played the conga drums and sang back-up. The next day, the rest of our group arrived and we did the same thing as the first day, except that we hiked farther and went through the jungle trails instead of the rocks. It was great to be reminded that I live in a tropical paradise. Believe it or not I forget this from time to time.

Much love

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Movie, Movie

I just signed up for membership at the movie rental place down the block and have been renting movies at an alarming rate. It started when Chris and I decided to watch "In The Name Of The King" which was that movie that was mistakingly labeled "Wire: Season 2, Disc 2" when I bought it. We checked out the cast and the general plot and it seemed like it would be moderately enjoyable. Well not only was the disc mislabeled, but it was a bum disc and would freeze then skip over large parts of the movie. At that point we were so invested in the movie that we had to go out and get it.

So far I've got "In The Name Of The King" (surprisingly enjoyable), "The Assassination of Jesse James" (Very cool, and visually appealing), and "12 Monkeys" (Loved it, something I should've watched a long time ago). If there are anymore suggestions as to newer movies that have come out since I left, or reminders of great movies from the past, I'd love to hear them and I'll try to find them. The movie store is horribly disorganized. Occasionally there's grouping by genre here, or actor there but I might as well be sifting through a bin of dvds.

And I already bought a Thai copy of Tokyo Drift so no need to mention that one.

much love,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Attack of the Swine Flu

Giant flu epidemics aren't that serious in America. SARS, bird flu, and most recently swine flu never really appeared to threaten the existence of humanity. The drastic reactions and precautions taken to avoid it seemed more silly than necessary. Southeast Asia gets hit a little harder by these flus-du-jour so their reaction to them is far larger and it's not entirely without reason. There's been over 4,000 reported cases in Thailand so far and the death toll is up to 24. Granted, that's a very small percentage and the people who've been dying already had health issues, but it's enough to send the country into a panic. Seeing students with face masks is becoming more common. Even people on the street are wearing them. My classes are about half full now since most kids are either sick or their parents don't want them exposed any more than they need to be. The Thai ministry of public health has ordered that tutorial schools and other after-school programs be shut down for two weeks. I was super-excited to hear that but then it turns out we're staying open because it doesn't apply to us. Bummer! Anyway, it's bad and it's gonna get worse before it gets better. My friend Mike who's teaching in Japan has had to wait until now (school vacation in Japan) to come visit because he has to go through a one-week quarantine/sterilization procedure upon his return and he couldn't take the time off. The good news is that he's finally coming this weekend which is gonna be very cool. It's been 'quiet' here for a while after our initial onslaught of visitors.

If you're worried about me contracting the swine flu, don't be. Actually I'm pretty sure I already had it and got over it in about 2 days. Maybe it's my American upbringing but it doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

much love

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Fourth

Happy 4th of July everybody!

Another one of those days with a little extra sense of homesickness but I was able to counteract it throughout the day. Since it was Saturday I had a very busy day teaching but I was able to slip in a little July 4th here and there which was fun. We even read a story called "Hot Dogs". I explained that it was a big holiday in America and a time to have fun with friends and family. That evening we had planned to go to a friend's house for a rooftop bbq, which I was super excited about, but threatening rain derailed that idea. Instead we ended up going to The Roadhouse which is a steakhouse that we've had designs on going to for a while now. The Fourth seemed like a perfect day. It was so good so good. I got a beef brisquet (sp?) sandwich with some potato salad. We ate on their third floor which was like their pub floor so there was all sorts of entertainment. Pool, darts, foosball, golden-tee, and a really fun shuffleboard/curling type game that i'd heard about but never seen. We ended up playing that for a while and watching the Williams sisters' finals on tv. It seemed like an appropriate way to spend my Fourth. I've written about this before but I'll say it again. It's been nice since the election. I'm not sure how much has really changed, but now when I saw I'm from America there's a feeling that I'm received differently. And for the better.

Much love
(and bbq)