Friday, January 7, 2011
The Long Invasion
One Long Blog
wow...this is going to take a while to write down...
so it’s been what, 3 weeks, getting close to a month?
Having my parents in thailand was certainly interesting and a big adventure.
It started out on...well what ever day that was with my parents flight being delayed and such so I got to spend some time with Mint at tuition which is always fun.
When I finally got picked up and we finally made it to the airport and my parents plane finally landed I was getting a little excited. Finally I spotted them and I did what any self-respecting 18 year old would do. bound up and down like a 3 year old. Hugging, watering eyes and greeting were had. My parents met Som and my third host dad. we then piled into a van and were driven to our hotel, my parents were pretty bagged but we still went and walked around and down the street just to show them a little of bangkok.
anyways I’ll make the days go as short as possible.
day one: first stop was a boat tour through the klongs in bangkok. got to see a lot of neat things and more temples then we could shake a stick at. Then it was off to the grand palace where I would suggest to NEVER rent a audio tour guide (almost put me to sleep). After was.... where did we go? uuuhhh oh right we took a tuk tuk to a supposedly beautiful park that turned out to be a dud but we instead found a backpackers back alley with awesome restaurants and stalls selling great star wars t-shirts. We then went for my parents first thai massages which weren’t that bad actually though the people were a little soft on us We then got to make our way to the lrt and then to the Siam Niramit show that I went to before with Som. Both the parents were blown away by it so I did my duty.
went to a flower market in the morning, beautiful. then we headed to chinatown and saw a movie being filmed, but wayy to crowded there. Then we tried to find a ferry, well that was an adventure all on its own but hey we finally got there. We took the ferry to Wat Po, a giant reclining buddha temple. that buddha was HUGE! and the temple itself was pretty large. went running around there and saw the cutest little french girl with blonde curls. After that we crossed the river to Wat Aran. Another temple where you could climb up and see the skyline of the city, well kinda through all the smog (gross). by that time we were all templed out and found our way back to the hotel. We then had to catch a cab to the train station. literal train station where we would take a midnight train to a city down south which I don’t remember. Anyways got onto the train and well second class was...interesting to say the least. sleeping on the train was even more interesting. Horrible sleep with my headphones constantly trying to strangle me but I couldn’t sleep without them because the train was so loud. we arrived at our stop at 4 in the morning which was not a pretty picture for me. Then we took a bus to the pier which i met an awesome sexy french guy who was backpacking and wanted to become a chemical engineer or a physiotherapist. We got on the boat and headed for Koh Tao. Our first island. when we got there... well I went into shock. That island is not thailand. It’s closer to central america. almost all white people, almost no thais. everything was in english. then there was smaller things like there were zero pictures of the king. It bugged the hell out of me at first.
anyways we checked into our hotel then went to the dive shop and wound up diving that afternoon. We took a refresher course which was good for us then went for a fun dive though the dive was a tad crappy. Then once we got out I started to feel a little sea sick and missed out on my second dive and opted to lay n the boat and sleep...and again like in Japan, I got burned... what the heck. One guy who was a younger dive master was well...gorgeous. blonde hair. tan..sorry but he’s a guy I’d love to remember.
Anyways lol made it back to the beach and I think we just puttered around the rest of the day.
Next day i opted out of diving and me and mom wandered around. Got some great photos and saw some really cool things walking around the island. Its funny. there are literally 47 dive shops on that island. it’s all just scuba diving and bars there. I also let my mom fall asleep at the pool and get burned. i swear I thought she was awake.
The next morning I felt up for diving, something felt right about it. I was the only diver withTim, a good looking guy with one smokin sexy girlfriend. We had a great dive at shark rock though i was looking up half the time hoping for a whale shark to pass over. Whale sharks are my unicorns and seeing one, well I could die happy. saw barracuda and well the dive was pretty awesome. Got back to the boat and we were heading to our next dive site when suddenly everyone was running to the front of a boat. A pair of pilot whales were a few hundred meters away. My first whales. I was tempted to dive into the water right there. Other boats started the charge for the whales but our boat was the lucky one. one of the pilot whales literally swam under the front of the boat. he was beautiful and most of the dive masters had never seen a whale so close. I thanked Poseidon over and over in my mind for that moment. Anyways I didn’t dive the second time but snorkeled. Fun chasing the fish around and I had a good time.
The last full day on Koh Tao was spent with my mom. we were going to do a long boat tour around the island and go to various snorkeling places. we we didn’t get a long boat. we bot a huge 30 person boat. my mom was not happy in any way. she warmed up after awhile and the day was nice. The third stop was the nicest with lots of fish and rocks and oh I ripped off the rest of my nail. it’s all now just skin and lumpy stuff, it looks great. We then were taken to twin beaches. Snorkeled and played with the underwater camera much to my pleasure. we were then taken back and met up with dad after his day dives and before his night dive. I can’t remember exactly what we di that night I think just walked around and checked stuff out.
Travel days are never really fun, but we took the ferry back and met the driver who was the owner of the hotel we were going to. Now my mom warned me it would be rustic. It was well....RUSTIC!!! It was about 2 seconds away from being the trek stop in the middle of the jungle were I was terrified of something large and furry touching my feet. well what a great way to spend christmas eve. pulled out crib but never finished the game, got talking instead to a family from singapore who was originally from england with two adorable kids. Lily and Edward. anyways we fell asleep that night listening to christmas music.
Christmas morning was a surprise with gifts stacked nicely on the chair. I’m so grateful my parents hauled all those gifts half way around the world and all through thailand just so I could have a surprise. After I was finished opening my mom made me and my dad walk outside. then she tossed us our annual escapade. silly string. War broke out in the jungle... I think I lost this year but it was so much fun. cleaning up was not so fun. After we headed for breakfast then a boat tour of the lake near by. The lake was gorgeous, surrounded by mountains and just so beautiful. We got driven around a little then taken to our lunch stop. before lunch we were able to jump in the lake which was so nice. It was bathtub temperature and just wow. I had a fun time swimming with Lily and Edward.
After an awesome lunch we were taken to a trail where we had to hike, then take a raft, then walk to a cave. this cave beat the heck out of the cave in costa rica by a long shot. it was small but so beautiful marred only by lily constantly going “can we go out of the cave?”. After a walk back and such we parted ways with the other family who were sleeping on a floating house on the lake for a night while we headed back to the shack cough i mean treehouse. It was a very different christmas though I’m lying to my mom saying “Worst. Christmas. Ever” comic book man style.
An early wake up and catching a minibus to a pier, with waiting and booking of more flights we then made it onto a much older, unsafe ferry. during to boat ride the people turned off the air conditioning...they must have been heartless to do that. Anyways our next stop. Koh Phi Phi (said Pee Pee for those people like my father and mother). This island was beautiful and well think of it like taking Koh Tao and mixing half thailand in. There were no cars, and lots of streets to walk through. we spent our first day just walking around. We planned a dive for the next day and got everything sorted for the rest of our trip which was nice for my parents me thinks.
The next day I was not feeling so hot so I opted out of the dive and my parents went without me. I spent the day roaming to island, walking from beach to beach. I found a little cafe and bookstore. I went browsing through the books and the first book my eyes zoomed in on. A buffy book. It was fate. I spent a great time reading and eating an awesome tuna melt before heading back. Went swimming in the ocean and cut myself on the rocks of course but it was nice. When the parents got back we went out for dinner and drinks. Went to see some fire dancing which was nice. I got volunteered for an intermission game where we had to pop other peoples balloons. It came down to me and an american. I won! take that america. I won a bucket..which liquid in it... took us awhile to get back to the hotel.
I felt a lot less then stellar in the morning and my parents left me alone in the room. I din’t make it out of bed until around 4. Once I finally got out we made it around for dinner on the other side of the island of a restaurant owned by a guy who survived the tsunami and rebuilt the restaurant from almost nothing. we bought his book which was quite interesting and saddening to hear his and other people’s accounts of what happened that day to them.
Again with the travel days.
back on the ferry then to the airport where we flew to BKK. I said goodbye for now to my parents and returned to Sriracha as they headed north to Chaing Mai. I finally got to sleep in my own bed for the first time 3 weeks. Though only for a night as I was whisked off to alayna’s for two nights to celebrate new years. first night was swimming, then the next day was bowling, karaoke, shopping and such in Bang Sen, then back to the house for a small party, ice cream KD, and movies. at 12 we were watching Shutter Island but we paused and fist bumped the new year, and truthfully I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it with anyone else.
I got a phone call from Mint to go to Tron with him and his sister, so me and Alayna hiked it over to Robinsons to meet them where we played air hockey and guitar hero. We then hit the movie which was awesome with great CG effects. We then got driven home by Mint’s parents...that was weird. Then we got taken right back to Robinsons for dinner. After I went home to my house. got to have a lazy day which was super nice after so much.
umm Then came the day where my parents would fly into Bangkok and come out to Sriracha to visit me and my town. Som and I met them and we headed to the fancy dancy hotel that was so swanky. We were then taken to Pattaya and were shown around. We then were taken to A Tiffany’s show. dozens of Transsexuals prancing about the stage is so little clothing and with such great bodies that I was green with envy. It was a really great show and even my Dad liked it. we were taken back to the hotel and Som left us for the night. Then the adventure began. I had to find a machine to fill up my cellphone so I could contact Alayna for what time she should meet us the next day. It took 4 7/11s and finally Robinsons, but I found a place to fill my phone up. Then we went for some sushi and then it was off to bed.
In the morning we were picked up and taken to the school by Som. we met up with Alayna and then headed to the english teachers lounge. My parents met Steve, Dino, Mat and Howard along with the other teachers I’ve grown to cherish. Som was pretty impatient and wanted to keep things moving but we were rebels and stay, an hour maybe lol. Howard was his usual charming self towards Som, man Howard your great. Anyways we then went to see my three host family houses. Then I got to realize. My third host family is so far outside of town. It actually hurt thinking about it. I just I don’t want to move. I love my second host family so much They re so nice and so like a family. I also like being in town. I can go places easily and just ugh... I’m not really excited to move.
When Som dropped us off at the hotel we made our way to robinsons were my parents got some massages and we went to MK’s for lunch. Then there was swimming in the very cold pool and much underwater photo taking. After we had to go to our club’s roatary meeting. They had this nice party for them with gifts and a fancy dinner and all these things that I didn’t get when I got there. It hurt a little. It was a nice dinner though when it came time for speeches I was told to go up, earlier in the day Som had questioned my ability to give speeches and, man I had to show him up, supposivly I did very nicely. There were much speeches and talking on pomp during the evening. After the meeting we all had full body massages which was super duper nice. We had to find our own way back to the hotel through back alleys...scary stuff.
In the morning we had the fancy breakfast anf then went for a walk to the floating island. We played around with the turtle pond which held good sized green and hawk bill turtles, we met a man who was wearing a texas shirt but actually lived in Canmore!!! woohoo. We talked and at one point he said “the three best years of my life were spent in Texas” and I couldn’t help but say “how depressing”. he just threw his head back and laughed.
We had a coffee with some of my teachers who gave a gift to my parents and then we rushed to Swensons for icecream before making it back to the hotel and sending my parents off. I didn’t even tear up this time because really, 5 months isn’t that long.
Got to take a tuk tuk home, that was interesting
Got two days of school which seemed extremely mundane after a month of non school and many adventures, but it was fun. won a chesire clock out of the new years gift exchange in my class.
Having my parents here was an experience and I’m glad they came. This also marks my half way point through my exchange. I’ve learned so much already and made so many memories. I cannot wait for the rest of my exchange and everything it will bring me