Monday, September 12, 2011

A Good Day

By Kathleen

We have arrived in Thailand. After 8 hours on a bus, then a boat and then a mini-bus we are now on the island of Ko Chang, one of the largest islands in Thailand.  Its only a brief stop we are headed to Pattaya to finish our teacher training tomorrow, which means that by the time this is live, we will probably be there.

Cambodia was a generous and friendly host and I really enjoyed our time there. I would be down to return if the wind blew us in that direction at the end of this course, its rough, its poor but it’s got a sense of humor and that’s worth a lot.

The Wild Westy-ness of Cambodia is intriguing, and its not everyday that you stay at a place that has “ happy pizza” with free delivery on speed dial. The work in Cambodia seems more interesting too with NGOs and aid organizations vying for access and money and trying to outdo each other’s helpfulness. 

Cambodia often felt like a place without a history, a Lord of the Flies type experiment. “ What would happen if we just removed everyone from the ages of 40-60” because that’s basically what the Khmer Rouge did.  That act of cultural self mutilation has left a very young population who are trying to make the best of life without rules.

Thailand in comparison seems stuck up.  It’s funny returning to a country that you have visited before, old impressions clash with new ones, perspectives change.  But back to Ko Chang.

So here we are in one of the hot beach vacation destinations, smack dab in the middle of the rainy season. (Kind of like going to Southern Spain in January).
I’ll be honest, I’m not a big beach bum. I don’t like sand or seafood and I burn faster than you can say SPF 75, I also look like a dead fish in a bathing suit all glaring white and shiny, so I try not to spend too much time catching the rays.  Tropical places usually get the better of me and I find myself slinking into the water but I didn’t exactly mind when we awoke to a drenching day. Besides there’s other things to do… like ride elephants!

Ko Chang is structured like many of the Caribbean islands, a giant mountain erupting out of the ocean and so we ventured up, into the jungle and climbed on some pachyderms to go plodding through the torrent. I couldn’t tell if our mahout (the men who spend years training elephants) thought we were crazed or silly but he pointed out exciting things like a baby turtle struggling up a flooded hillside and a giant well concealed poisonous spider that looked a lot like the ones I saw in Louisiana.

Travel Tip of the Day: Never let the weather get you down. Rain or shine, you’re there when you’re there its up to you to make the best of it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, what's wrong with the South of Spain in January? So it was a little wet but the prices were more reasonable and the town of Ronda was just beautiful.