Monday, June 20, 2011

Update Special! Swamps and Tattoos

From the Swamps

Sitting in New Orleans the only place where you can find 1/2 dozen oysters on a half shell for $10 at the airport. Great for all you sea-foodies, less great for land lubbers like me-self.

Been sent to the Big Easy on assignment. Well, not the big easy, Morgan city from whence I shall commence fishing and alligator wrestling and swamp shenanigans. Or something.

As I am on assignment for I will refer you to my blog there for further updates.

Thai Tattoos.

Thailand is known for many cool and badass things spicy curry, may thai, temples, the red-light district and cock-fighting. However at its heart is a deep reverence for Buddhism.

One of the interesting artistic expressions of this is complex and intricate tattoos which work as amulets and ward off evil or bring good luck to the wearer. Many tourists to Thailand get a tattoo as a souvenir imprinting on themselves this unique style of ink.

Thai tattooing goes back a ways and it is traditionally done in a very ritualistic manner. many modern parlors keep up with the spiritual heart of the art even as others do whatever to get farang( that's you white folk) cash.

This article on NPR is not only interesting but check out the photos! I know Fiz has been contemplating adding some ink to his skin next time we are there. Its important to remember that just because you are a tourist does not mean you are entitled to a scared art and equally important to remember that just because you are a tourist you are excluded from a sacred art. Intention Intention Intention.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bylines and Passports

There is always some glitch in travel plans, sooner or later it happens that something gets sticky.
In general I hope it happens sooner and is gentle and gets itself over with before a trip begins in Ernest.

This time its my passport. After we got married we changed out names so, naturally, we needed new passports. We sent them out in March. I still haven't gotten mine back yet. :(

Fiz, thankfully has received his. But I'm concerned my passport has fallen through some sort of bureaucratic crack and is stuck, lost and alone waiting for rescue.

This obviously puts our plans, not only on hold but in jeopardy. Can't go to Thailand with only one passport. Still, I am planning on. I believe everything will come through in the end. Its painful watching plane tickets soar in price, especially in the last few weeks.

Planning for long term, long distance travel is complicated. You need to budget, to plan where you will stay, for how long, how will you get there, ect. Planning to move is even stranger.

I am a person who likes to have a plan, but traveling has shown me that teh best laid plans often go awry or get changed. So we are keeping it loose, which to the outsider ( an myself) can see foolhardy.

For those who are curious we hope to leave late August. We need to be there for the 29th and I would like some time to acclimate before I need to be functional in a course.

The course itself starts in Cambodia, we will spend two weeks there and then we will travel to Pattaya in Thailand. Once the course is finished we will either take a few days and go south to hit a beach or two, or we will go directly to Bangkok to start job/apartment hunting.

Job prospects look good. Seems from internet chatter and word of mouth that there are more jobs teaching English than English teachers. As I have a degree and will be certified I don't anticipate having trouble locating suitable employment. Apartments about in Bangkok and they are cheap compared to Amherst ( unbelievable as it may seem) so again, not stressing too much.

Fiz however posses a different sort of challenge. He will be TESOL certified but have no degree. We will have to see how that plays out. I hear mixed things, some say it will be fine others think its disastrous.

So what's our fall back plan? Vietnam. Cambodia, India, Turkey, Budapest. All of the above.

As to by-lines; mine is officially now Kathleen Broadhurst. I debated for a long time whether or not to use my maiden name vs. married name but considering I have already had things published in my maiden name and my married one is super long I was convinced to go with the Broadhurst straight up. Not without regret or mixed feelings but it looks to be a better career move. We shall see.