Monday, May 02, 2005

Parasailing in Phuket

Hey guys. Change of plans...
So I was going to meet my friends sister in that country - We left for the Nan airport at 1:30 and didn't arrive in Bangkok until after 8. Yeah, we totally missed our connecting flight to Udon Thani where we were meeting our friend and all of her friends from Europe and her roommates AND there was not another flight that night. I talked w/my friend and w/ zsila & we all decided it wasn't really worth it to go there (b/c we would still have to take a bus from the airport etc.) I was really disappointed at first but we got a *great* consulation prize - even if it did cost us an extra $75 for the plane ticket. We had already called the Baptist Guesthouse in Bangkok (where we stayed the first time) and arranged to stay there when we were still in the airport in Nan. So when we got to the airport in Bangkok - which we are *very* familiar with - I even chatted with a friend I made at PB air the last 3 times we there and he gave us a bunch of pumpkin seeds to snack on :) We went to Thai airways and got our tickets transferred from Udon Thani to Phuket, which took some doing. We got a taxi and by this time recognized our surroundings enough to give him directions. We arrived at the guesthouse a quarter 'till 11, everyone there was already asleep or gone so we grabbed the envelope which already had our names on it from the inbox, stored our luggage in another room & drug ourselves upstairs.

Yeah - an airconditioned room! It was soooo nice. Then we woke up the next morning and headed back to the airport. I finally talked (actually, *paid* -literally) Zsila into going to this really awesome hotel. I mean we are going to be here for ONE night, we might as well do it right, when will we get to be here again. We are staying at a new hotel in Patong - IT IS BEAUTIFUL!!! It is either a 4 or 5 star hotel and was only like $96, isn't that amazing! As soon as we walked in we got first rate treatment, they had us sit down and brought us ice cold cloths and these great iced ginger drinks while they checked us in. Our room is awesome, I LOVE the bathroom, sooo nice - especially after what we have grown accustomed to over the past month. The beach is breathtaking and the night life is great - soooo much going on. We ate two huge hamburgers then laid out by the pool this afternoon. The pool is enormous, like 3-4 olympic size pools placed end to end with all these neat alcoves and shallow places to sit. Then we went and walked on the beach - the sand *literally* sparkles like diamonds, I've never seen that before. It is so beautiful. There really weren't that many farong's (westerners) on the beach, but a lot of local thais - mostly just wearing their clothes (either b/c they don't have swimsuits or they are modest). Hey Dustin & 'Manda - the beach we are at reminds me a lot of that one we went to in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua - only bigger, more touristy, and more pristine. The mountains on the side even wrap around like a crescent - just like they did there. Our hotel is in an awesome spot! I love how they sell fresh chopped fruit on the side of the road and on the beach - yummy! When we were walking on the beach we saw these people parasailing so we decided to do it - I mean what an awesome view - It was such great fun! The thai guys running it were a hoot! We got all harnessed off and we started out just standing on the beach with the big speed boat on the ocean in front of you along with a pile of rope and then as the rope unravels and disappears in front of you they are like "one, two, three, run! And then all of the sudden you are just waaaaaay up in the air looking down at all the clumps of fish - thankfully I saw no sharks:) And then you just stretch out your hands and it is like you are flying high above the ocean looking at the mountains and the beach below. Gorgeous. And well worth the $15.
Then the boys took us back to the hotel on their little motorbike (don't freak out Dad - it was right down the road) so we could pay them. I reeally have to go to the bathroom and I have a feeling this place only has a squatty potty & I am not to keen on those so I might have to wrap this up quick. We just went to this fun bar and had lattes (yes it's 10 million degrees outside but I had a latte). We made friends with the girls working there and I bought a T-shirt. It is called 2blacksheep - it's an Irish pub! But, of course not really. They had this crazy band of younger to middle agers rocking out, playing all the songs we know, actually when we were walking by they were singing "I love rock and roll." Hilarious. These people all look like, well, not a band, and they are all rocking out with their cute thai accents. The played the cranberries - which the British dudes we befriended were singing at the top of their lungs. It was just too much! The weirdest juxtaposition of cultures and environments, and music. So after the band took a break we talked w/ the Brits about how scandelous Prince Charles and Camilla are, how Prince william is probably really so&so's son (princess Dia's "officer & a gentleman"), and how they all want him to be king and think Charles should just move away. It was all very entertaining. This morning on the plane I was reading the Bangkok post - I'll have to bring it home, it was soooo interesting. In it was a lot of stuff about Nepal, Burma, etc. They are so jacked up. Anyways, at one of the little shops outside we met this guy that is Nepalian, grew up in Burma, and now lives here, so I picked his brain about the situations there. I love talking to people from other cultures. I have learned so much this month.

Ok, I had to suck it up at use the squatty potty. It's basically like a urinal stuck flat in the ground and you just literally squat, I forgo to put toilet paper in my purse earlier so yes, I had to drip dry (I know TMI - too much information!) Then you take the bucket from the trashcan fool of water next to it and dump a bucket full of water down so it will "flush." How nuts is that, I'm sitting here typing on a computer (even if the letters are writtin in pink magic marker on the keyboard!) and there isn't even proper plumbing.

Oh, back to the Nepalian - He recommended this place for us to eat - about 20Km south of where we are. So we got in a song tow (and the driver offered to wait 2 hours while we ate and then drive us back, I'm talkin' serious service in this country people - we bought him a chocolate Sunday 'cause he was so nice!) This place rocked! The tables were right on the beach - the beach that was littered with all the little wooden curved fishing boats that had been out no doubt catching our dinner. We walk up and do we get a menu? No we get this cut little Thai girl (and this is ALL outside) pointing at these cement vats filled with water and HUGE fish and blue crabs and she is like - "pick." That's what I call some fresh seafood! I talked to my little blue crab. I was like "sorry I'm about to murder you..." He tasted delicious. As they say here - arroy ma ka! Zsila picked out a white snapper - that sucker was splashing all over the place! (that is until they grilled it with coconut and ginger and it came out as a flaming soup, it was awesome). We shared the two and then both had chocolate for dessert - I had a banana split - mmmmmm.

I cannot tell you how utterly surreal it is to be here. Do you know how absolutely glued I was to the TV over Christmas break... I was completely captured by the tsunami coverage. I remember doing my FP rotation and telling the staff how I didn't know where I was going to go in April but how I would really like to come here and now here I am! God is good.

Ok, I will write more later.

Love y'all!


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