Puff the magic dragon
Trip Start Oct 29, 2009
14Trip End Apr 28, 2010
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Where I stayed
huts, guest houses, my room
But I will give you some brief updates of what has been happening in Thailand
Concerning teaching, the month of December and January have been very good. They have been filled with celebrations, holidays, sports week, canceled classes and midterms.... because of this, it has been hard to get into a teaching routine, but it has given me plenty of time to create 3 different teacing units :) So teaching has been good. The kids are hard to handle sometimes... teenagers ahhh!, but overall they are fun.
A young Thai lady in my office was getting married and she invited me to her wedding reception.
It was in Chaiyapun, about 4.5 hours north east of Ang Thong. So we left at 6am am and got there at 10:30am, we went and had an 8 course thai style lunch -“family style”- including the leg of a pig with skin and everything, I felt sick just looking at it. Then we got back in the van and headed home. Stopping at a silk shop where I bout a few cool knickknacks and a bunch of street side markets. Afer another 6.5 hours we finally made it back around 10pm omg a long day of driving in the van…. But I am glad I went.
After van rides, a night in a hotel, ferry rides and a sawng thaw ride, I finally made it to Lonely Beach on Ko Chang Island. Ko Chang is in the Gulf of Thailand close to the Cambodian border.
Ko Chang is very beautiful, with a tropical landscape and warm water.
The boat left out of Bang Bao pier. The weather was fabulous and the boat ride was great. The two scuba dives were super fun even though the water had very poor visibility. It was great to scuba dive again, I love it! My instructor was this guy named Matthew. He was young and super nice. Then it was just me and one other guy in my group. My scuba partner was Dominic from Norway and he was super nice as well.
The water was so warm that I just went in in my suit and rash-guard! We did one dive, had lunch, relaxed and then did another dive at another location. Amidst all of this we had a great time jumping of the top of the boat into the water! Then back to Bang Bao pier and then to lonely beach.
This evening was new years eve, so I actually met up with a group of people that I had met in Pai, we had a great time… drinks and dancing on the beach with music, fire and fireworks, and it was a lot of fun all the way ‘till 2 am.
I had such a great time out on the scuba boat that I went out on the scuba boat a second time!
I relaxed, snorkeled and one of the instructors gave me a ‘free’ scuba dive. But the visibility was horrible and it was better snorkeling. Oh well. I love being out on a boat it makes me feel so free!
Cha-am - city on the beach
(south west of Bangkok along the gulf of Thailand)
I headed down to the beach for the weekend with a few other people, and two of the people we met up with were amazing at guitar and singing, so we had wonderful music all day and night!
There were hundreds and hundreds of thai tourists and weekenders at the beach... it was jammed packed people, jet skis, banana boats and venders. And a few times i was stopped and grabbed for photos with random Thai people.... weird :)
Besides that, I had a very nice time relaxing , people watching, walking on the beach, getting some sun, and listening to the guitar
**-So A beach setting like this would never pass saftey or health laws in America.... There was no roped off area for the people or the jet skiis. So people would be floating and swimming in the water, little kids would be playing in the sand along the edge of the water, and people would be strolling by when all of a sudding a jet skii would weave quite quickly through the crowd of people, and then promptly accelerate onto the sand to park. These jet skiis also had outboard motors with huge propellers fastened onto the back of them.... i can't even imagine what kind of injuries they see at this beach.
The Bridge on the River Kawai - WW2
A few fellow teachers and I headed a couple hours south west to see Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi is famous for all of its WW2 history.
We went to a limestone cave / wat, a huge wat on the side of a mountain that was one of the best wats I have seen so far, a museum about WW2 and the River kawai bridge, ate a lot of western food… it was a great weekend!.
So, do you remember my last trip to Chiang Mai / Pai and our random experience working for the Great Tour company?..... Well this weekend was the opeing promotion of their new tour. And so they wanted us to be there at the party / promotion....
Everything was paid for…. A round-trip flight, 3 nights in a guest house, and transportation to and from the airport and the party!!! wow I could live like this more often :)
On Saturday we headed over to the party at Chiang Mai University… It was outdoors and beautifully set up, with free food, an open bar, and a little stage (look at the pictures). I enjoyed a lovely evening, but it was a bit weird considering pictures of me were on display…. Crazy, and we got to watch a video promoting the tour and I was in it as well. It is still hard for me to process what actually happened this weekend.
This weekend I also did a lot of walking around, shopping at markets, eating pancakes, and I read almost the entire book, Memoirs of a Geisha which is really good and I became addicted.
On that Note:
Interesting observations about the Thai people/culture and interesting experiences altogether:
-these are some funny similes that some of my students did in class:
-my room is as messy as your room
-school is like amusement park of knowledge
-my hands were as big as a pig
- santacrus is as handsome as a superstar
-may your smile be filled all over your face
-One of Sara’s students in M6 wrote this (17-18 years old)
*this student’s name is Ice, he is a boy but considers himself a girl…. Lady boy
New years resolutions
-I will be a good girl
-I will have a surgery
-I promise to study hard
-I hope to be a beautiful girl
-I hope to see a better day
Best thing that has happened to me - I have a boyfriend
Worst thing that has happened to my - I broke my boyfriends heart
-I still find it hard to process, knowing that the person writing this looks like a boy, but he considers himself a girl…. So you must be careful, for instance if you are having teams, girls vs. boys, then ‘Ice’ will be on the girls team not the boys team
-one of the teachers witnessed a movie murder in our lovely town of Ang Thong.
A group of mafia guys impaled a man through his stomach and out his back with a huge machete.... the police stopped by for a minute but did not even question the sole witness, the teacher tried to resuscitate the victim, but was unsuccessful... the police and the mafia have each others backs