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THAILAND | Tuesday, 14 November 2006 | Views [972]

September 19 - Tuesday

"Is today Tuesday?" - S
"Hang on."  - J as he checks the day feature on his watch.
"Yep.  Tuesday.  I can't believe it." - J

We're losing track again.  We moved residences today after two nights at the Green Island Guesthouse.  They're in the middle of expansion and have only one television channel, no remote control in the room.  This is unacceptable.  Funny how just a couple  months ago we were thrilled with a flush toilet and free hot showers and a place to lay our tent that had a little cushion to it!  It's a little embarassing actually.  As we were packing our things the power went out.
"Time to go." - J
It's a scorcher today.  I was out before 0800 and was dripping by the time I got back to the room.  We have tinted windows and blackout curtains but you could feel the heat beating through the window and working against the a/c.  We had turned in some laundry to do and while Jon waited for that to be brought out to us I walked around the block looking for another place to stay.  The criteria has changed a bit:
Private shower with hot water
Fridge in room
Television that has a sports channel that will cover the Ryder Cup this weekend.
TV remote control
We're in the Karon Beach Inn which I had scouted out a couple days ago but we went for the other place for 100 Baht less. 
We've spent most of the rest of the day trying to stay cool by going and checking our email, picking up staples at the mini mart and laying around in our underwear with the a/c turned up while watching movies on cinemax or HBO.  We haven't been terribley productive.  I'm finding the heat a little uninspiring.  Our room is a lot better so that's good and the desk clerk is really sweet.  We were going to exercise this morning but decided not to since it was so freaking hot this morning.  We'll go out tonight and exercise like we did a couple nights ago. 
Internet is cheaper at this beach but I've been forced to go to the chain coffee shop for writing. 
I'm just across from the beach and am hoping that by the time I get ready to go it will be cool enough to exercise. 
We do have a new ritual now of going to a stall about a block away for fruit every day.  A woman will cut and prep a pineapple, pomello for you  and half a bunch of minibananas all for 70 baht!  It's fun to watch.  The pomello is like a pale grapefruit but not nearly as tart, the pineapple is much sweeter and no tartness at all like the one back home.  We go through a pineapple a day and the bananas are about three to four inches long, are a little more yellow and have a stronger banana taste.  It's all really good.  My new favorite is a cracker with creamy peanutbutter and sliced bananas. Yumm-o.
We went to Phuket town yesterday and that place was pretty urban, dreary and a bit of a downer.  We did have some good pizza and talked and did some shopping.  The big thing we learned yesterday was not to tell the tuk tuk driver where we wanted to go unless we had a map to point exactly where it was we wanted to go.  For example Jon told the guy we wanted to go to the city center and we were taken to the Central mall which turned out fine - in the end.  There was a bit of confusion for a while and we eventually just decided to got to the mall which was nice, they had a grocery store there too.  We caught a cab to some other markets and just kind of wandered around until we were starved, ate some dinner and met our driver in the designated spot for him to take  us back to our guesthouse.
One thing I won't miss is the aggressiveness of the tuk tuk/taxi drivers and the guys outside the tailored clothing stores.  I can certainly appreciate the need to make money but it get old fast and I'm very glad that I'm not the one trying to sell tailored suits to tourists.  In fact, I am extremely glad that I have the life that I do and can go home to the US and find a job probably pretty easily that will earn a wage where I won't have to have to worry about where the next dollar will come from or where that dollar will be spent, never mind saving any of it.  We know and remind ourselves often of how lucky we are.  I read the the local newspaper that there was a happiness poll taken recently and, apparently this happens on a regular basis, the people of Thailand are survey about their level of happiness.  In Bangkok it was almost perfectly split 50-50 whereas in northern Thailand which is where most of the poverty is in the country, they had the highest rating for happiness.  The article alluded to the possibility that the people of the north were in a make-due-with-what-you-have belief which was reflected in the higher happiness rating. 
As we were riding the tuk tuk to Phuket Town yesterday we past rubber tree farms.  I've never seen a rubber tree before and am not sure exactly how they work but I took a picture anyway!
The other thing I won't miss is the bartering for nearly everything.  I mean really, when it's all said and done it's only the difference of a couple bucks and there's been many times when I couldn't care less because I know we were getting such a deal or that we wouldn't be able to get a similar item at home but - it's the thing to do.
I saw a little kitty curled up in a chair that had been turned upside down and stacked onto a table outside a restaurant.  It looked all cozy and comfy - I had to take a picture.  When I went to turn around and continue my walk to the shore I nearly fell over this white dog with the sweetest, happyiest face just looking up at me expectantly.  I assumed he wanted me to take his picture - so I did and he proceeded to follow me to the end of the street.  I stopped at the end of the street to jaywalk to the other side
So did the dog.
"Shoo, go on now." - S 
I performed what I thought was the universal sign pointing him in the right direction:  pointed finger with sweeping arm going from dog to direction we came from.
I didn't work.
We crossed the street together.
As we got farther from where we met up I started to get a little worried.  With all the time we spent together if this continued I would feel an obligation to make sure he got home safely.  I mean we crossed a busy Thai street together - that definitely shows a certain level of commitment.
Well, I tried the fake out and stood looking in the window of the Kodak shop which had tsunami pics posted in the window.  After what seemed like a long enough time I turned to continue down the sidewalk to the shoreline. 
There he was, ahead of me know, leading the way, looking over his shoulder every so often to make sure I was keeping up. 
We rounded the corner and there were three other dogs nearby and this proved to be distraction enough for the little guy and I was able to continue on my way unescorted.  I didn't see the dog on my way back but I also didn't see  him run over in the street either so that's good. 
We talk a lot about all the things we want to do when we get  home or what we want to do with building our house or new things we want to try, start again, continue, etc.  The list seems long and I'm not sure how we'll every find the time to get to our evergrowing interests - and we haven't even finished the trip yet.   I honestly can't believe it's been almost four months since we left.  It feels like so much longer, so much has happened.  Other than the obvious I miss the Pacific Northwest weather, the fall weather will be starting soon if it hasn't already.  Fall is my favorite season, the weather, the colors, the clothes.  I don't think I'm cut out for tropical living - there's just too much sweating involved but if I could just keep the curliness in my hair - that would be good.  I do miss wearing real clothes - we both do and have had whole conversations about it.  Maybe it's just wearing something other than the three pairs of shorts, two sports bras and four tops that I'm wanting...I can't even remember what kind of clothes I have at home anymore.  We got rid of so  much stuff before we left.  I told Jon that I'm going for a full on makeover when we get home - my wardrobe has been running more on the unisex side and I haven't worn makeup in a really long time. 
Our bicycle tan lines have blended and we now have the usual bathing suit tan lines.  The tan parfait on my arms is gone.  We're not burning anymore like we did when we first came to Europe - thank goodness.  Now people are thinking I'm part Thai (I so don't look Thai) and Jon is more Spanish now.  Most of the travellers are retired people or couples in their later thirties and up.
We placed our writeup about who we are and what we're looking for while WWOOFing (Willing Workers of Organic Farms) in New Zealand: www.wwoof.co.nz
And we've gotten some really cool responses.  One was from a dairy farm north of Aukland, the owner is a meat inspector another place has a farm with animals but is also a horseback riding and river kayaking biz - just to name a few of its activities, a few others.  They all sound really exciting and we're even more excited to know that we are welcome to go to these places - granted it's free labor but for four hours of work - I'm not sure who is getting the better deal!  We're psyched and are trying to get organized to make a trail to all these farms that have emailed us.  Our only problem is running out of time.  Right now, it's like we're in slow motion.  I know that things will be going by at warp speed once we land in NZ.

Tags: Adventures

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