Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

Well I made it home safe and sound. Margy's wedding was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed my short time in Hong Kong. The actual wedding was great with the ceremony taking place on a boat in Hong Kong Harbor and then making it over to a delicious restaurant on the island. An excellent time was had by all. I wish I could've stayed longer but my flight home was the next day. I had no major problems during my trip although there were a few close calls. I thought Hong Kong was chilly but it wasn't close to the Logan parking garage at midnight. Yikes. Plus, my dad parked in Row Z so there was a fair bit exposure to the elements.

Since I've been back I've been able to see a bunch of my favorite people with many more still to come. This blizzard I wished for is certainly rad and I got in some sledding the other day(!) I've been asked this question a whole lot since I've been back so I'll address it here. My future plans are: Enjoy the holiday season with friends and family. I really haven't thought too far beyond that. I need to find a job. I would love to put my Intl. Relations degree to work and ideally I would like to land a job that would send me back to Thailand.

There really isn't a whole lot of culture shock coming back. I mean, I've lived here before. Things aren't that weird. I think a bigger shock is the transition from Bangkok to Chatham where there's only 2 traffic lights and places actually close at night.

I'd be lying if i said I didn't miss Thailand a lot already. It was an awesome experience and I know I'll go back someday. With that said, It sure feels good to be home.

much love

ps. my first meal back was a Steak Bomb and a coke from D'Angelo! I've also had a burger, pizza, wings, and all kinds of other tasty treats. I'm dreading the day I get a craving for some Thai food and have to shell out $7.00 for some Pad Thai that most definitely won't compare.

pps. Now that I'm back and have a fast internet connection, I can finally upload those videos I took so long ago. I didn't forget. I just need to find an adapter for my laptop and I'll get them up here asap. Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Phuket, dude

My recent trip down south was another success. My first stop was in Kao Lak where I met up with Ryan, Fern, and Kat. Ryan had been in the area for several days on a scuba trip so he knew the best places to go. After we rented the always necessary motorbikes, we zoomed down to a great little beach with a bungalow restaurant. There was a laxy river that emptied out into the ocean near us and Ryan and I took an opportunity to go exploring. There wasn't a whole lot going on except we saw some workers clearing land for a new resort. Part of their project was what looked like excavation of an old swimming pool. Ryan said he went down a washed-out, overgrown road the day before and got to the ruins of an old resort. It's been nearly 5 years since the Tsunami wrecked this part of the world and they're still not fully recovered. The restaurant where we were sitting held a staff vs guests volleyball game in the afternoon which was a lot of fun. They also had a giant soccer game later and the two of those really wore me out.

The next day we decided to go down to Phuket. It's the biggest tourist attraction so we figured we should check it out. Needless to say but it was very touristy. There were Farangs everywhere and the part where we stayed was pretty busy. We were right on the beach so the next day we went for a stroll. The bay where we were offered every kind of extreme water sport. Jet skis, windsurfing, parasailing, banana-boating, etc. A couple of us were feeling under the weather so we opted for a trip to what i could best describe as an aquatic playground. For 300฿ we could spend the day climbing on inflatable mountains, jumping on sea trampolines, and riding the "water-totter". It was a lot of fun and it was probably the nicest salt water i've swam in since i've been here. After that, we went to Fern's favorite place "monkey beach" which is a little beach restaurant that has a little gibbon. He would swing around and wrestle with his best friend, a pug. I loved it. After that we went down to the walking street where all the different bars were. It was pretty sleazy and a lot like Pattaya. Fern told us that it wasn't like this before the Tsunami, and that foreign investors rebuilt the area in a totally different image. We had a good time though and wound up at a bar that looked like a space station and had weird dancers in full body black and white spandex suits. Strange. The next day we went back to Kao Lak to return our bikes and catch a bus back. Aside from a small fever, a very successful trip.

much love

ps. my favorite band from Blues Bar is performing a concert at the Thailand Cultural Center tonight and guess who has a ticket!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Father's Day

The king of Thailand is celebrating his 82nd birthday today. As you may already know, the country is absolutely crazy about this guy and so the whole city has been set up with large pictures and displays to celebrate the king's big day. Normally, every citizen would be wearing yellow to show their love (that's his color) but because of the political situation they've changed it to pink. Since everyone has this special day off, I finally was able to go to the enormous weekend market in Jatujak park. It was really neat with varied shops that went beyond just the cheap t-shirts and handicrafts that dominate the other markets I've been to. They even had a couple pet shops with puppies, birds, and baby rabbits. Adorable!

In other news, my last day of teaching is finally upon me. Tomorrow will be my final day at ICR Sathorn. I was promised a pizza. This whole week I've had my replacement hanging around and observing my classes. He's an alright guy and I'm comfortable leaving my kids with him. I'm probably gonna let him do most of the heavy lifting tomorrow since my brain will likely be off in Phan nga. I'm taking one last trip down south with my friends which promises to be lots of fun. I'll let you know all about it when I get back.

As an added bonus to today being the king's b-day (or moreso because it's his b-day) today is also Father's day in Thailand. So a warm wishes to all those dads out there. Happy Father's Day!

much love