Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dragonfruit, I heart you

Dragonfruit, YUM! (and mango)

What dragonfruit looks like on the inside.

Loi Krathong in Krabi Town

Loi Krathong is celebrated all over Thailand. It takes place on the full moon of November. Loi = float. Krathong = the name of the thing you float. The tradition is a combination of paying respect to the waters (on which you float your krathong) and cleansing yourself of your sins and such or making a wish. It was such a great experience to be with the locals and some farangs (foreigners) on this magical night that was accompanied by a torrential downpour, that still seems like a dream.
A family lights their krathongs.
Come on, baby, light my krathong!
Meet Roslyn from AUS. Fellow volunteer. We laugh until we cry. <3
Girl in the water.
Mine went out quick and my wish was sooo good and not about me! Sad.
Unfortunately, the rain extinguished the candles quickly.

Krabi Town, my home, in photos

Krabi Town: population of about 30,000. My home for the next 4 weeks.
Frog pond behind the house.
Caveman, one of 4 statues representing Krabi.
Caveman because many important anthropological findings were discovered here.
The symbol of Krabi: Khao Kanab Nam 
Inside of the caves at Khao Kanab Nam.
View from a cave!
Just a little closer...and...exhale....
Wen. The best. Totally hooked me and Roslyn up because we are "arsa samak" (volunteer)!!
Yeah, pretty stellar.
Just in case you weren't fully appreciating the beauty, the sun set...
Just a regular sight on the way to the supermarket.
Half a rainbow? I'll take it!
Dear friends.

Nong Khai, in photos

Volunteering photos to come later...
Dropped off at 5:50am near the Friendship Bridge.
Mekong River. Laos on the other side.
Nong Khai
Kai, Pada, and Pai!! Some of the best people ever!!
Star fruit picked from a nearby tree. Yummy yummy.
Key words to learn
Buddhist Hindu Sculpture Park. All done by one man.

Preparations for papaya salad (too spicy for me!).
<3 <3 <3
Karen, Mexican, American, Dutch
Yes, of course we went to a cowboy bar. Thais version of country is rock popish.

Chiang Rai (province), in photos

Wat Rong Khun - The White Temple

HUGE BUDDHA (how he is labeled) near Golden Triangle
Well, of course.
From Thailand you can see Burma! (and on the right (not pictured) is Laos)
So close to Burma, and yet so far!
Visit to Long neck "village". Number 1 worst experience of my life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mai pen rai

I was thinking this morning about how I have been in Thailand for so long! I have seen so many different cities & towns, eaten so much good food, learned nit noy (a little bit) of the language and quite a bit of the culture, gone to 2 reggae bars & 1 cowboy bar (the locals love 'em!), met a few interesting people from around the world, and have felt so happy. Then I realized it has only been 23 days! I feel like I have been here for 2 months at least. So, time is a funny thing. 23 days is not a lot of time to feel "Oh, my super duper awesome friend Dasha is really not around", but I feel like "Oh wow I have not seen my family and friends in sooo long" (but I'm not sad, how can I be?! Have you seen my photos? :) ) Time is a funny thing. And when I looked at a calender today to figure out the next 4 weeks of volunteering, I felt like it would all be over so soon! On December 24th my mom will fly into Bangkok and it seems just around the corner. December 31st we fly to Cambodia and, really? Goodbye, Thailand? This is the only thing that makes me sad: leaving Thailand.

So, I come to a key phrase in Thai culture: mai pen rai. Mai pen rai means "it's cool", "never mind", "it's fine", "no big deal". A man spilled his cup of soda and ice on the overnight bus to Chiang Mai? Mai pen rai. My flash drive got a crazy virus and destroyed all of my graduate school essays in the blink of an eye? Mai pen rai (although at first I did mayyybe freak out a little). When you give me something and I say thank you (korp kun ka for women, korp kun khrap for men), you reply "Mai pen rai" - it's not really 'you're welcome', it's more 'don't even think about it.'

Well, time flies and in 6 seemingly short weeks I will be leaving this glorious country, but mai pen rai.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grasshopper eats grasshopper!!!

This guy

This guy
My last name means Daughter of a Blacksmith but it can also mean GRASSHOPPER!! The insect grasshopper hails from the Sunday night market in Chiang Mai.

I apologize in advance if the video is only interesting to me and Astrid!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Trekking through Doi Inthanon National Park, in photos

Words cannot describe and photos do not do it justice.
More elephant riding!
Wonderful views.
Pong and an innocuous spider.
Sleeping quarters. It was very, very cold at night!
Tongdee - the man with the guitar and dozens of magic tricks.
Rice field
Astrid, Leanne, and I found this view while walking around the village.
It was our secret and we stayed there mesmerized for a long time.

There has to be a limit on how many shooting stars you see in one night, right? "dow tak". I saw 6, I think.