Monday, November 10, 2008

Long time overdue

Well I'm probably the worst blogger ever. It's been about two months since the last update and I guess I will fill you in on whats happened since I last wrote about ping pong. In addition to normal day to day activities I have had some pretty interesting experiences in the last two months. The most notable would be vacationing in Ko Samui for school holiday.

Ko Samui 10/15-10/19
My initial impression of this island was surprise at the number of foreigners there. The whole island is covered with tourists driving their recently rented motorcycles and nearly crashing into each other as they went. I went with three other exchange students; Lucy from California, Kaaren from Oregon, and Stijn from Belgium. The first day after getting off the ferry we checked into the Montien House. It was a nice hotel on the beach and conveniently owned by Kaaren's dad's friend. Her host family arranged for us free rooms and a driver to take us around the island. During the days we toured around the island and saw different sites like the Big Buddha statue (see picture below) and Grandmother and Grandfather rocks. Those attractions were interesting but like most of the Thai islands, nightlife is reason tourists come. Thailand is known as a one of the most popular destinations for sex tourists in the world, so it was no surprise when we saw the streets filled with older gentlemen and their younger Thai "girlfriends." Most of these women come from very poor upbringings in the Northeast part of Thailand. They normally worked manual labor jobs in fields or factories before deciding prostitution was a better source of income. Besides the prositute bars Ko Samui had some crazy reggae and nightclubs. My favorite club being the solo bar which opened from 2am-6am and was packed with the craziest European rave dancers ever. I met a wide range of characters at this bar most notably the bathroom attendant (see picture below) who gave out free neck adjustments. I can't think of much more then that, life on the island is a daily routine of waking up late and doing whatever you please. I told my dad that chaweng beach felt like a modern deadwood. We went during the off season so the "normal" tourist families were non-existent. In their place were a different bred of tourist, a more friendly "rough around the edges" crowd that included backpackers and Thais.

This Buddha statue is the one of the more popular tourist destinations because of it's enormous size.

A pretty normal representation of a Ko Samui off season tourist

My friend Stijn and our favorite bathroom attendant. (the best masseuse)

Stijn in our hotel room

The view getting off the ferry.

The ferry we took to Ko Samui.

A market near the grandmother and grandfather rock.

So I will try to be better about posting more into this blog. Right now I have a lot of stuff to do, most importantly mailing my sisters birthday package (2 months late ahhh) and working on online psychology, which I'm super behind in.