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The Month of The Coconut.

“A coconut is like a womb” – Celery.  

   A coconut isn’t birthed with its sweet milky water within. A coconut absorbs all that surrounds it. Rain, heat, energy gets filtered through a coconut’s stringy brown fibers untill it reaches the core where it turns rich and sweet. A coconut needs its habitat to feed the change within. It cannot do this on its own. Without its surroundings a coconut may never reach its full potential.

This past month was The Month of The Coconut in my eyes. While I’ve had hundreds of coconuts since being in Thailand I’ve never felt so connected or grateful for the ones I’ve savored just recently.

  My first coconut of the month came after completing my master cleanse. It was brought to me by good-hearted people to my pre-k classroom. When I had a moment to enjoy it alone I popped the straw through the meat still intact under the hood of the cracked coconut and sipped on the most exquisite water. I immediately doubted the nature of my treat. “They know I can’t have chocolate right now! They know I can’t have coffee!” On further inspection I realized that the coconut had not been tampered with other than to toast and crack open! I, myself, had pierced the fresh meat of the coconut with my own straw! This was the most pure most delicious fruit I had been so lucky to enjoy!

Weaning myself off the cleanse I bought coconut after coconut and bag after bag of coconut water. At once I had bought eleven whole servings! Eaten and shared throughout a day or two.

I used my coconuts as a relief of stress. Last month was the beginning and end of so many different things all at once it was difficult to manage. My workload, my social life, my house, my lifestyle, my heart, my journey. All going through changes at once and a good stretch everyday wasn’t releasing enough endorphins. Popping the straw through the icy ballooned bag or digging my spoon into the creamy walls of a whole coconut seemed to ease my mind and soul. Whatever energy I wasn’t allowing to pass exerted itself and I was turned happy by the sweet water.

One afternoon after digging in “our” garden I sat at “our” glass table with my housemate. We sat together and ate two ice-cold fresh coconuts. She looked up mid-coconut and said to me “A coconut is like a womb” and then told me about what she had recently read. I laughed loud and hard. Thinking of my favorite little snack as a uterus was not something that appealed to me.

As the month closed and my obstacles still stood their ground I thought more about the coconut and what my housemate had said. A womb absorbs its surroundings to make a hospitable and rich environment for a child to grow in. That sweet child is the product of what habitat the mother creates. As the child grows it continues to absorb and filter its own atmosphere.

This filtration doesn’t end. Daily we are faced with energies negative and positive that are absorbed and released. The coconut and the child are the same. They have no ability to control their environment and how it affects them. We do. We are what we create for ourselves. While we are products of our environment we have the strength, will and sense to turn a sour core sweet. Absorb the good energy to help you change from within.

 Filter your surroundings to reach your potential.

 

 

 

Enough of this sappy shit! [sorry mom]
Next month – travel updates!

Much Love…

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Bpai Than [In time]

        During the Holiday break I hit the road! Spent a cozy and warm Christmas in the comfort of my own home with good company and slow cooked eggs [sometimes the electricity comes in at a trickle- scrambled eggs took a full sixty minutes!]. Then when the hour hit that everyone puts down their toys and looks up to realize that Christmas is over I hopped on a bus headed south.

Phang Nga

“A town of valuable minerals, admist water village, fantastic caves, peculiar mountain, “Jampoon” flowering plants and fertile natural resources.”

As they say.

The draw for me after Ko Panyi was Khao Kien! Khao Kien is a small island with ancient cave drawings by ancient cave dwellers. The pictures are said to depict the surroundings as it were and indigenous fish and animals! It tails my every thought that keeps me awake on the night bus and I am eager to get there and find my boat out to the cave!

We took an overnight bus and arrived in the early morning. The bus leaves you at the Phang Nga bus station in the middle of the small city. Winging it, we looked briefly at the map placed in the station and walked to the street to pick a direction. “Right”. So we went right. We didn’t walk far when we came across a small motel with tourist information that was still closed. While deciding what to do I watched the housekeeper, a small toothless man, open up shop. He put out his offerings to his honored spirits, lit his incense and candles, poured water into beautiful silver pots and surrounded by the delicious smoke prayed expertly and thoroughly. When our toothless friend finished this he watered the plants and then focused his attention on us. We asked him which way the bay was and he pointed up the road in the opposite direction we had come from and circled a vague area on our tourist map. Being unfairly early we decided we’d walk despite the heavy packs on our backs! Plus we had plenty of time!

Well, we walked and we walked and we walked until this girl got a little more than edgy. After harassing a handful of local shopkeepers we found that there was a songtaew [ a pickup truck with benches in the back, this one happened to be wooden which is shockingly common] that went down to the pier where the longtaews disembark [ long wooden Thai styled boats with a single small engine]. Once getting to the bay we realized accommodation was far beyond our pocket budget so we wandered over to the information lodge where Mr. Bang Bao found us only minutes later.

        Bang Bao is an extremely untrustworthy character by both appearance and behavior. After asking a few questions about seeing the islands he told us that he knew a place just outside the port area that was cheap and clean. With this he came through. The place was very Thai and very cheap. Perfect fit! So why not trust him to make further bookings? I may have been the only one that was going by this logic, however. After asking an obnoxious count of times “Will we go to Khao Kien? Are you sure?” I eventually sealed the deal with Bang Bao to go see the Phang Nga islands the next day. 800 baht and breakfast! Cool beans.

The next morning as I wait for him alone [errands were being ran] Bang Bao arrives early. He starts talking about prices very quickly in both Thai and English knowing very well I can communicate in both. Suddenly there are now park fees and time issues because the wind was too strong to stay out so long. At first the price drops in half because I agree to do a half day. Then it doubles because of the unmentioned park fees. I am not happy and he knows it. He manages to squeeze out another 200 baht for the park fees, the errands have been run and we are on our grumpy way.

There are four couples on our boat. Ourselves, two Filipino women, two very hung-over Slovaks, two Germans plus our barefooted and able boat’s man. Bang Bao peaces out leaving behind measly fried rice and a large jug of gasoline but not before asking us to throw down more money for a kayak “adventure”. We say no and we’re happy to see him go.

The waters are muddy and are lined with mangrove trees. As we break out of the inlets and into the bay the deep brown color remains but jagged islands and peaks begin to jut out of the mangroves.

Our first stop is at a huge ship pumping and plopping out fat Farang onto tiny inflatable kayaks captained by tiny dark Thais wearing bright shirts and dramatic head coverings for sun protection. We hadn’t paid for this. After asking what the price was to kayak, finding it a fraction of Bang Bao’s stated price, we decided to go. So we joined the mass plopping into the kayaks and met our captain, Nong Sun. Nong Sun is younger than us only by a few years and is excited to have us on board. We didn’t realize until later but we get a special unseen tour! He pushes us in and out of canals within the mangroves, trees with leg-like trunks, caves, through rough water and through incredibly placid water.  He has found little bits of the rockfaced islands we pass that look like animals. The names he tells us sound self proclaimed but we except them and strain our eyes to see what he sees.

We do actually see a dinosaur type animal basking on one of the rocks we steer around and a walking fish! This trip brightens our moods and we are suddenly slightly nicer to each other and lend a smile or two to the people around us [who seemed equally cranky].

We board our longtaew and head off.   Oki, off to Khao Kien right?!

Nope! Ko Hong it is! This is an island that is so filled with caves and holes that it’s almost porous! Water can travel right through it if the tide is high enough! It’s beautiful and we enjoy passing by it.

So Khao Kien, next? No. A small and surprisingly dirty beach was our next stop [and by small I mean near 20 feet]. No information on the random island. “You! Swim!”, says our boat’s man. We all mope around until its time to head off.

Next stop:JamesBondIsland! Oki! This was something we’d looked forward too. Its one of the reasons that Phang Nga is as well known as it manages to be. We’re given thirty minutes. An inverted island about three stories high- maybe five- with an unbelievably tiny base that is slowly being eroded by the salt water the surrounds it. Its neat but it looks just like the thousands of billboards we’ve seen for the last few days. They even had some that now seemed life sized! What was most disappointing was that on the shore across from it was a tourist trap of a market. Jewelry being sold for triple its going rate and aggressive women in beautifully beaded head wraps grabbing your hand and dragging it over to touch the carefully displayed product.

What was most fascinating was the ginormous and unworldly straight wall that slanted out of the sand at an alarming angle. I had never read of this prior and still have not been able to find too much information but it was amazing!

Alrighty now, boat’s man, Khao Kien!? No? Oki, we’ll settle for this random cave. It’s glittery and distracting enough for now.

Ko Panyi- The Floating Village. This is what first sparked my interest in Phang Nga. A link sent to me by a friend really lit the fire. If you don’t watch the video it’s about a group of young boys who wanted to play soccer but had no place to play being that their village is raised no more than ten feet above ocean water. They set out to make a floating pitch. Wooden planks and steel nails came together in the same fashion as the rest of the village to make a floating pitch where the boys practiced enough to compete in the province’s upcoming soccer tournament.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU4oA3kkAWU

Today the floating pitch is dilapidated, sunk in on one corner but has been replaced by a bright blue cement multi-sport courtyard.

We arrive on Ko Panyi and our boatman informs us that again we’re allotted an oh-so-generous thirty minutes to look around. While the rest of our party parks themselves at the first dock we’re taken to and don’t move an inch we both step into the village on our own on the same mission. “THIS WAY TO THE STADIUM” the signs read as they lead you through the village. Shops drip southern Thailandfrom the wooden ceiling to the planked floor.  It’s dark and cool inside the village as if it’s entirely indoors. Then light reflecting off a large blue and green cement field shakes me out of my maze induced hypnosis. A school for the village children is right on the edge of the village with plenty of sunlight and fresh ocean air. Kids are playing on the court, studying in the classrooms, creating in the art rooms and totally ignoring me. They’re used to strange people walking through their school. At the back end of the school I turned the corner to see the floating pitch half sunk in the water. There seemed to be a lot of construction all over the island but not too much reconstruction going on. It had been this way for years apparently and nothing had been done to fix the relic. Mai bpen rai, chai mai? No worries!

As usual we climb into the boat last to face our fellow adventurers whose feet are tapping in the wait for us. We leave Ko Panyi behind and I’ve stopped asking what’s next.

Lulled by the rock of the boat over the rough waves I allow my self to nod off. Dreaming or daydreaming [whatever a light nap brings] about the day’s events kept me content and shortened our trip to the next destination. I came to quickly when I felt the tug of the longtaew struggling to go in the opposite direction. “Khao Kien” our salty boat’s man yelled over the loud engine as he pointed over the left side of the longtaew. 30 feet or so away from the island we’re floating back and forth fighting the current to stay in front of the exposed cave. It was shallow enough and lit well enough to see the drawings as red lines over jagged grey and white stone but not quite as a representation of the cave dweller’s habitat or even as a fish. Luckily for me we had a camera with which we zoomed in and took half decent pictures. As I was hoping we’d get closer we began to speed away in the direction of the pier. A total of twenty seconds was spent in front of this ancient artwork.

 Heart broken I start to laugh knowing that this won’t be the last time something I look forward to most sits just out reach. But it’s ok. I remind myself how many more things in this world are left to see and that it will all happen in time.

Bpai Than.

Satisfied I lay my head back down for the rest of the ride.

Much Love.

 

[Kudos, props and thanks to Bcusi for the beautiful pix and tolerating  me and my constant requests for pretty shots]

An Acknowledgement of Neglect

Dearest Blog,

     I am truly sorry for the neglect and dissappointed in my own efforts to keep you pretty, polished and posted! Dearest blog, it is no excuse to be so happy with and involved in one’s own life to an extent such as this! From here on out I would like to give you my word that I will give you the word atleast once a month- no matter the length.

    My Dear Blog, I’d like to catch you up with the happenings of the past few months in great detail but I feel that will only put us behind in whats to come! So I will share with you a few of my favorite frames from a few of my favorite memories.

    I hope this helps soothe the burn of neglect.

So Much Love.

 

 

Good Things Happen

Good Things Happen.

unfortunately no pictures of Lak but this is the awesome he breeds.

 

 

A recent venture back to the personally tainted island of Samet has reminded me that good things happen. Even in a strong current of mal-intent there is good floating somewhere on the surface.

On a trip a few months ago my purse was taken from me by some boys that work behind Sunrise Bar on Ko Samet. They are known to be naughty and not in the adoring way. I am not free of guilt as I should not have let my guard down. Knowing better, I still got too care free.

Well, this past weekend I made an exception to my sworn vengeance against Ko Samet for my girl Claire’s Birthday. She’s a lovely girl and its where she chose and I did not argue! We ended up having an absolute blast with absolutely no hiccups like last time!

straight up good time.

I ran into the man Lak, who taught me to spin Poi [fire dancing]! After catching up he was very  happy to tell me that he had my wallet! He laughed when I asked which one and then told me to see him at Naga tomorrow [Naga is the main bar/hotel/restaurant where us cool cats chill]. I did, I saw him and he handed over my entire purse with all of its contents! Lak had found the Sunrise boy with my purse, reprimanded him [Lak is an elder],  took my purse from him and held it safe in his own bungalow waiting for me to come back to the island!

Chan Lak Lak [I love Lak]

I made some Thai friends in town that are my age. One being Tong, a boy who was recently hired as a lab assistant at PCCChon. Thais like to think that as soon as you meet them they have to teach everything they know about the area if you show any remote interest, so Tong has [enthusiastically] taken me to the market I’ve eaten in many times, described in detail the nearby bus routes I’ve ridden many times, pointed out the surrounding mountains and taken me to feed the Monks.

Every morning the monks wake up at the crack-ass [excuse me] of dawn if not before and make their way into the nearest market or village to be fed by the people. You give them food and they give you prayer. Tong and I bought prepackaged bags of fresh food and headed over to his most familiar Monk. This man was standing in a little nook along the side of the market that seemed to be his morning home base. He was ancient looking hunched over holding a  shiny metal basket beginning to be filled with food. His eyes were on the brink of clouding over but as Tong took off his shoes, placed the food in the basket, lowered his head and raised his pressed palms to his brow the Monk began to sing a deep prayer as clear and crisp as his orange wrap. I was amazed. While the monk sang Tong poured water from a small silver jug into a small silver plate untill the prayer finished. When Tong was finished I was so beside my self all I could manage to say [idiotically enough] was “Me? Same same? Tong laughed and said yes and I followed his example but he poured the water for me.

I seriously need to get over my space invasion fear. I could have taken wonderful pictures on my own but I don’t want to offend.

I didn’t retain any of the Thai I learned that day. I want to say it was because I was so distracted by the experience but that morning I woke up pretty ill and my head was in a daze.

The next day was the day many of the Thai celebrate the Chinese New Year [Feb,2]. They celebrate by gathering in their homes and paying respects to their relatives passed with prayer, food and incense. As I lay in bed unbeknownst to the activities that bustled in the homes beneath my bed my phone rang once, thrice, SIX times before I convinced my self I should answer. It was Pi Lek, one of my Thai mommas. She could not have known I stayed home from work that day as she told me the day prior she would not be attending herself. She asked me to come down stairs and eat with her family. I said “Tisa mai sabai wanee kha. Mai hue, kab kun kha.” [I am not feeling well today and I am not hungry, thank you]. Not quite getting the gist or over-excited for the phalang to meet her family I hear her voice out side my apartment and a knock at the door [whilst still on the phone]. I let her in and let her convince me to come downstairs to eat. I met her family [her nephew is a student of a friend of mine], ate delicious Chinese Thai food and allowed the family to asked as many questions as they wanted. They left a short while after I came which I was grateful for because I was feeling the little energy I had escaping slowly. I sat with Pi Lek a little bit and she taught me how to choose good fruit at the market as she filled a plastic bag for me from the left overs.

This week, though slightly dampened by illness, was rich in positive energy. I am so lucky to have had all three experiences and am secretly tying the tree together as a good omen for more good things to come.

Much love.

Where to? A conflict between Socialization and Submersion.

Where to tootsies?!

Read more…

The New Year’s Full Moon

Ah, New Year’s Eve in Thailand, how you treat us all so well.

With a four-day weekend ahead of us Susan, Francesca, Ashley, Jefferey, Christoff, Geneva, Lily, Tamara and I loaded ourselves onto two separate buses headed in the same direction. Lilz, Tam, Eva and Christoff headed out on an earlier bus and Fanny, Snoozin, Smashly, Jeffy Lube and myself hit the nine o’clock bus out from Bangkok [actually Smashly left from Hua Hin but for the sake of detail I’ll say she was with us]. We rushed the crowd knowing if we did we’d get the good seats. We settled down in the VIP section around a small table. With a 12 hour trip ahead of us we negotiated with the benches and our buttocks untill they agreed on comfortable position.

We were Ko Pengan bound.

The Full Moon Party awaits.

We played cards for a few hours testing the patience and tolerance of our fellow passengers. When the lights went out at a ridiculously early hour Jeff pulled out his headlamp and we continued our gaming. We were far too exited for sleep.

jeff’s handy dandy head lamp

We arrived in Surratthani around 6 AM and waited for our ferry that would take us to Pengan. We finally docked at the pier after passing through the ports our beloved islands Ko Tao and Samui. We were welcomed by Ashley’s smiling face and flowing red hair excitedly waving us on in her direction. She had arrived early and set up a Songteaw ride to our resort. On this ride we learned that most of the island was under construction. With out a doubt, developing commercially. The road that takes us to our resort was ridden with potholes and the areas around it had been recently blasted. Clay of a deep shade of pink boxed our songtaew into the road. The ride took about 45 minutes. There were seldom cars passing in either direction.

our first few steps on pengan through the lines of vined trees

We arrived at our resort call Silver Cliff  which was clinging to the side of a mountain on the water’s edge. The ascent was steep and exhausting, we were breathless and puzzled as to how we were to make it up later that evening after a glass of giggle water or two!

Silver Cliff

After arranging a pick-up truck to take us out to the Full Moon Party we relaxed and gathered the energies we knew we would need for the night to come.  A nap, shower and an evenly distributed bottle of Hong Thong later we were ready to rock! We hopped in the back of the pick-up truck and bounced our way down to Haad Rin, where the full moon shined from every Phalang’s eyes.

our multi-person ensemble

What we call “Buckets” were being served at every five foot interval if not less. Buckets are just that, they are beach pales you used to [or still do] make sand castles out of when you were a child. Sometimes they are the same colors too. Normally they fill the buckets with a few watery shots of the poison of your choice , ice and soft drink. Here, at the Full Moon, they poured the contents of an entire flask into the Buckets. They vary in price, taking advantage of the unknowing Mooners, between 350 Baht [about ten dollars] to 100 Baht [about three]. We made frequent visits to a friendly merchant that seemed to understand we’d had a Bucket or two before coming to Pengan. These visits were frequent not only for the sake of thirst but out of necessity too! The blob of Mooners swayed so frantically that losing a bucket to the sand was a regular occurence.

The saying goes like this: F*** it! It’s a Bucket!

Along the beach of Haad Rin there were thousands. The rumored head count as 65, 000 Mooners. Before entering the beach they charged you 100 Baht and gave you a bracelet, I’m assuming that’s where the data came from.

moonerblob

 There was just so much going on it was hard to keep focused on one thing! There was dancing [of course], frolicking, fire slides, fire limbo, fire jump rope, glow sticks, Thai, Americans, French, Brazilians, Germans, Japanese, English, pod things on bouncy strings, trance, house, hip hop, acid jazz, Jack Johnson [???], “mountains”, ocean, platforms, floating debris, men in dresses, women in dreads and NEON. Neon was EVERYWHERE. Blacklight seemed the most prominent illumination on the beach. Everyone glowed. Not in the “this-place-is-incredible-I’m-so-happy” glow but the “I-just-smeared-a-ton-of-paint-on-my-body-for-two-dollars-becuase-I-know-it’ll-make-the-pictures-look-AWESOME”  glow. Speaking of which, before we entered the Full Moon we spent sometime outside of the walls had dinner and moseyed around. I was waltzing by a tattoo shop with conThai chilling outside on the steps and noticed they had a few bottles of paint out. I asked one if he’s paint my leg and he gladly obliged! Not long after I had a full length of iridescent leg!

fanny and snoozin

Flaming Jump Rope, if you look hard enough you might be able to see Lube and I awaiting our turn which never came due to loss of bucket, a situation which must always be handled immediately. Nothing to do with fright.

We sat FireSlide for a while, the energy there was intense!
FireSliders launching into one another
some bouncy thing on strings
irresistible
i think this is the reason Zombie is a fav amongst the Thais.
it’s a family affair!

This debauchery went on all through the night and the morning. It was the type of fun that for one minute it was midnight and everyone’s giving kisses and buying drinks and the next the sun was coming up and everyone’s giving kisses and buying drinks.

we were dumbstruck when the sun started rising

That morning around 10 or 11 AM everyone began to part their ways either to go back to their resort or to find their way to the “backyard” parties [the afterafterafter hour parties] I chilled for the day but didn’t head back to the Silver Cliff. I had met some cool cats and we laid poolside. When I did decide to head back I found that NO ONE would take me to my end of the island. Every taxi car, mottorcy taxi and taxi boat left me with nothing more than “Mai Dai” or cannot. This explains why we were taken down in a personal pick-up truck instead of the generic Songtaew and why virtually no one was on the road when we made our way up there in the beginning. Night fell and I was wandering in and out of travel shops hopping they would be able to help me back to the Cliff. The kindest offer I was given was 2000 baht, which is approx. sixty dollars, and a lot of currency for Thailand. As I was weighing my options and financial situation I walked head drooping along the Haadrin Road when someone called out to me. I looked up and there was a bald man and two girls sitting under a glowing sign that read: Crystal Dive.

 I smiled and walked up to them. He, Bambi, asked me if I was alright and listened understandably already knowing the ways of the island. I then told him about my experience in Ko Tao diving with Crystal prior. We chatted for a while about familiar names and dive places in the area then he began to advice me as to what he thought I should do. “I know you want to go home, but you are alone, not only will it be expensive it’s dangerous. Not all Thais have the best intentions and there are stretches on that road where no one will hear you.”  Understanding what he meant I decided to take his advice. He pointed toward a few hotels that should have had rooms available for cheap. As I was making my way from my first rejection to the next I heard someone run up behind me. One of the girls had caught up with me and said that they had forgotten that they, Crystal, actually had a bed available! In the girl’s room there was a third bed they used for their accessories. Bambi offered it to me for free and when I asked if I could give him anything he said, 100 Baht for the girls to clean their sheets tomorrow and a good review for Crystal Dive.

Good things happen…

I stayed the night, cleaned up, ate dinner and headed back to Silver Cliff the next day. I left on the nightstand a hand made paper thai card thanking the three of them for their overwhelming kindness and 100 Baht.

So here it is again, Crystal is where you want to go for your diving experience. Not only is it the cheapest place in the world to dive [Koh Tao] the instructors are fun, the employees are kind, the sites are gorgeous and the party is right near by.

Much Love to Crystal Dive and all that work there.

perfect for any diver, backpacker or luxury beach seeker

  The rest of the time spent on the island as done so by lounging and eating untill we made our way back on the  buses and back to the students.

view from our cliff

 

Much Love.

Infinite Christmas

 

 

Christmas is really year round in Thailand.

They refuse to take down the fairy lights, a snowman or xmas tree will always be found drooping in some corner or greeting you at some mall and the schools immediately start planning next year’s recital as the little elementary elves step off the stage with their glittery make-up dripping into fur collars.

 

Christmas turns elementary school into beauty pageants

 

Christmas in Bangkok is more extravagant than Christmas in New York City.

 Yea, I mean we do have a ginormous home-grown pine tree looming over an ice rink full of lovers and chestnuts roasting over rolling vendor stoves parked under synchronized snowflaked fairy lights but in Bangkok every single tree is dripping in white lights. Every road that surrounds the grand Palace is lit ablaze as far as you can see down in each direction. 

Though they are playing Christmas music and Santas are running ramped through obstacles of over sized Christmas gifts you start to realize that all this jazz ain’t for Christmas. When you ask a Thai what they are doing for Christmas they look at you like you asked them to list the cast members of Swiss Family Robinson. “I do not for Christmas” one of my students told me her brows furrowed under a brim of synthetic white fluff.

So whats all this fuss for? Whats all the money, time spent rehearsing and hours of decorating all for? For me it’s come down to three things: Fun, Phalang and the New Year.

Fun: This is a party culture, Thai. Any excuse to party and enjoy yourself isn’t an excuse, its reason. Why shouldn’t you be happy?

Phalang: Tourists stimulate the economy here greatly and good hospitality is valued strongly. Why not please the Phalang when it’s so fun?!

New Year: This is what all the fuss is truly about. Thais exchange gifts and spend time with their families during the change of the year. They call New Year’s Eve “Countdown”. There are massive parties and festivals just like everywhere else but the few days before and after the countdown is spent with your family. I look at it as a fusion of  three major holidays in our culture. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. They gather to appreciate another and express their love during a time of rejuvenation and new beginnings.

So, what did I do for Christmas this year?

I laid under a canopy of giant multi-colored umbrellas and read. I ate Som Tham and sticky rice and lounged  on my own all day! It was beautifully relaxing and was the perfect Christmas gift to myself. Later that night I met up with Susan and some of her friends. Grace [from Ireland], Francesca, Jeffery and Ashley [all from the states]. We had some drinks at a Phalang bar and ate a western meal of linguine in a lovely creamy mushroom sauce. I got to skype the family and see their beautiful faces. I was feeling very home sick so it was nice to see them.

The next day we did the same amount of sun bathing and lounging. It was about 85 degrees on Christmas day. :]

coastal cave
the essentials

At PCCChon my Gifted English Club put on a small performance of song and story in the morning. They gave out lots of candy and cookies to the student body which began the rampant spread of a mass sugar high.

Ying, a new Thai teacher and a few of my advanced kids
they can be so sweet
Pi Gao, Pi Nok and Pi A not speaking English

Though the students did their best to pretend like this was meaningful to them and sang their little hearts out, the head of my department was disappointed with their performance and continues to complain about it to this day. Today is January 16th.

 “Even when you take out a screw, it still leaves a hole” -Pi Gao

I guess not all Thais are the happy, Mai Pen Lai folk I thought. But whats one in a million?

 

Much Love.