A Month Deep

Trip Start Jan 06, 2007
Trip End May 19, 2010

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

I have my first official Thai sunburn. I spent the morning and early afternoon in a kayak and not only accumulated more freckles on my face and arms, but a wonderful cherry tint in the shape of a life jacket. We entered the ocean near Pranburi and kayaked to a small river village where to my surprise we were soothed by not only the peaceful ocean sounds, but also Britney Spears. I even had my picture taken. I wasn't sure if I should smile and wave or keep a determined face and pretend like I was a serious kayaker. I ended up smiling, but kept both hands on my paddle.

Last weekend (1/26-27) involved a quick to Bangkok, I met up with some friends and had my first hostel experience. All was well until Saturday morning when I decided it would be a good idea to start my day with a shower. I crept out of bed and tried my best not to wake the 5 other sleeping strangers, I made it into the bathroom relatively smoothly and opened the first stall door to find a nice little surprise. Either the toilet had backed up, or someone never made it onto the toilet. I quickly shut the door, gagged a few times and showered in the next stall over. It was no longer a question as to the funky aroma filling the room.
The rest of the trip went on without a problem, I ventured to the Siam shopping district and spent a good half an hour resting and watching the most glorious TV I have ever seen, 60-something inches of LCD glory. Harry Potter never looked so good. I left the mall for more affordable shopping and found a market square just a few blocks down. I did my first real shopping in quite a long time and have never sweat more doing so. Imagine the muggiest day in Missouri then add a million people wherever you are. It rained that morning and was damp, stinky, and HOT.
Sunday was another shopping day, everyone went to Tcuk-Tcuk a huge and difficult to navigate market that literally had everything you could imagine. Shortly after our arrival I didn't think I was going be able to handle another moment in Bangkok, I had my first real experience with culture shock. We were dropped off in front of the "live animal-section," of the market, which began with puppies. I thought how cute, puppies, then there were more puppies, and more puppies. Then here were squirrels, turtles, fish, ferrets, rabbits, rabbits in dresses, more puppies, snakes, lizards and any animal the could and shouldn't be domesticated. All of which were in cages, stacked on top of more cages, next to more cages. It was overwhelming and upsetting and the more I wanted to find my way out the deeper I seemed to get.
I eventually made my way out and survived the rest of the day. On my way to the van station to return to Hua-Hin I found an "I Love the King" shirt which lightened my spirit and reminded me a few of the things I love about Thailand. Like KFC and $5 t-shirts.
School is finally feeling like school, with March comes a mass of papers and presentations (and spring break). While it is a month away, my weekends haven't been spent with necessarily studious, educational, but not in the desk and pencils sense. I celebrated my 20th birthday with a few friends and even found cheesecake and discovered the glory that is Swensen's ice-cream. I went down to the beach for some Chinese New Year fireworks and pretended that it was all for me. Vain, yes, but then again I am an American.

I would also like to add that at this moment I am wishing the distance was not so great, the passing of Coach Jon Strodtman has been especially difficult for me and I am thankful and truly blessed to have had him in my life. Though I played with him for just two short years I feel like he has coached me my entire life. He created a family within Hickman soccer that will never be forgotten. Thank you Coach Strodtman and my thoughts are with all those mourning this great loss.
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