Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Break, or How I learned to stop worrying and have fun

Okay, let's be honest, I wasn't really worried to begin with. I arrived in Bangkok late. I had decided to take Biman Bangladesh Airlines, because it was the least expensive, but also because several of our students parents work for Biman. I like to support the people I know. Biman always runs late. First we were supposed to arrive at 13:50, which left me ample time to catch the last sleeper train at 19:30, then they switched to their summer schedule, which meant arriving at 17:00. Then we actually arrived at 18:00 pm. Which left me catching the 22:50 train to Surat Thani, 2nd class (the difference between second and third class is Air Conditioning). The seats were like bus seats, no armrest in between two people, which means I spent a good portion of the night cuddling with the Thai guy sitting next to me. They did lean back a bit. And I did have my neck pillow, but there was little sleep to be had. The universe was trying to make me hate train travel. It didn't work, for two reasons A) my love of trains knows no bounds and B)the train (two buses, a pickup truck, and a taxi) brought me here:

Okay, it was a little gray, but hot, and the water is nice and warm. I had joked with my students that I was going to sit on the beach and read a book for the whole time, but I hate to sit around.

On Saturday, I got in around 5 pm, and stayed in for the night, exhausted from the long travel day.

Sunday I woke up at a leisurely hour, got breakfast and laid on the beach for a good long while.

Note the ample amounts of fresh fruit and pork products.
I also went back for seconds on bacon.

Don't let the sky fool you, it was dang hot. So hot it fogged up my lens
every time I tried to take a photo.

Then I had the great idea to rent a scooter and go to town (Ao Nang). I'm not really one for driving scooters, what with a brother who broke his arm riding a motorcycle and a father who broke a whole mess of ribs and punctured a lung on a Harley. I decided that my life is too short to live in fear and I did it anyway. The difference between a motorbike in Thailand and in the US is that there are so many more motorbikes on the road here, cars and trucks take much more notice of them. Also, you generally aren't driving really fast, the highest I ever went was about 60 kph (36 mph), but usually around 40 kph (24 mph). I never did get a picture of myself on or near the scooter, considering I'm travelling alone. I should think of making a selfie taking stick like this lady
Ao Nang Beach

Green Papaya salad for lunch, super spicy and delicious.

The main strip in Ao Nang. I walked this a couple of times.
Little shops line the whole thing. This is as busy as it got.
View from the hotel's restaurant. Not bad, eh?

Dinner at the hotel.
The next day I had a massage on the beach. I don't know how I've lived without a Thai massage to this point, but I'm definitely going to rectify that in the long run.

I then scooted into town again and got a pedicure (I get one in every country, this ranks the best so far, but the one in Nepal and Australia were pretty terrible, so it's not really a contest yet). The pedicure also came with a Thai massage.
Orange toes to match the sunset
The next day was time to leave Krabi, which involved an overpriced car ride to an airport, a packed airplane, missing a train in Bangkok, trying to get a taxi driver who wouldn't rip me off, and finally arriving at my hotel. Which was very near everything, including several malls with movie theaters. I went and saw G.I. Joe Retaliation, not because I expected it to be good, but because it has Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in it. It was awful, in case you were wondering.

The next morning I ventured to Ikea, which involved a ride on the BTS (the elevated metro system), standing in a filthy alley way waiting for a shuttle bus (oh yeah, there was a half naked guy in the alley too!), and then finally getting a fitted sheet and a duvet cover for my bed. Trust me, it was worth.

I rounded out the day by getting fish tacos and seeing another movie, Oblivion, which was much better than the previous movie.

The final morning I slept in, got room service, and said goodbye. I know that I didn't do everything the normal tourist would in Bangkok, but that's what this summer will be for, this trip was for relaxation, and it fit the bill just right.

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