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Thursday, March 29, 2012

I made it!

I made it back home safely from Thailand via Korea. 17 hours total flying time, 22 hours total trip time. Plus the day I lost crossing the International Date Line. I am wiped out but I got my Whataburger! Now I am just resting and readjusting to life (temporarily) back home. I am excited to see everyone soon! -Tyler

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

OK I fibbed a little....

Well I said I was not going to blog again until after I left Thailand but I fibbed a little. I just wanted to write a short blog and thank Noong and all my friends from back in my little beach town for a great six months once more. I really have enjoyed my time here and certainly will be back because I would miss Thailand way too much to stay away forever! There is so many things I love about this country, the people,the food,the lifestyle,the cost of living. I could go on and on. Of course it is not prefect there is many things that frustrates me too! But, overall I have had a really good time!

My good mate Maurice  from Australia surprised me on my last day and came up to Bangkok to see me off. We saw a movie (John Carter) it was ok not horrible, not great. I also saw Hunger Games (ditto on the rating) and got all my shopping done. I have managed to pack my bags TOTALLY full but I made it underweight somehow lol. You know I think the taxi drivers here in Bangkok must have had some kind of crackdown on seat belt wearing because many taxis don't even have seat belts much less make you wear them (a scary thing sometimes with their driving!) but recently they have always reminded us to wear our selt belts.

I got my favourite meals before I left Thailand Radd Naa,Steam duck and baby clams, and Sticky rice with bbq pork. I even had spaghetti with basil leaves and mussels. It was all great! I love the food culture here and will really miss it. I will miss the freedom of driving my motorbike too :(  I write this at the airport with sadness in my heart that I am leaving Thailand but with happiness to know that I have my next adventure soon!

Goodbye (for now) to all my friends in Thailand, thanks a lot! Hello soon to all my American family and friends! :) I am so gonna eat and eat and eat food back home that does not have any rice or noodles lol.

Tyler over and out. Next time I write you I will be back on American soil for the first time in a while and this time around I am actually happy to be going home for a bit :).

Monday, March 26, 2012

The end is near....

 After an uneventful bus ride I made it to Bangkok for my final days here in Thailand. I can't believe I have been here for so long already! I really will miss Noong and my room and I miss driving my motorbike and my hammock and the beach life and my kids at school and my little beach town, life was good there. You know my last memory of my little beach town as getting stopped by the police! I was stopped at a road side sobriety check. I was on my motorbike and it was late at night. I could see evidence that they had a Breathalyzer but it was fine by me because I hadn't had a drop of alcohol to drink anyway. They asked me "Where you from" I replied Texas in America. Then they asked me how long I have been in Thailand. Finally they asked me if I had anything to drink. I said no and they let me go. That was that... I didn't have to pay them or anything. They were nice guys. Luckily, so far I have had nothing but good experiences with the Police here.  I have been to Bangkok many many times now and spent quite a lot of time here cumulatively but I always seem to find new things to do (and eat) amazingly.  For the first time in my life I have tried Durian Fruit. Some of you may have heard of it before (if you watch bizarre foods lol) anyway, its a big fruit with spikes on the outside, bigger than a pineapple or coconut. Once it is cracked open it looks very similar to pineapple or mango actually. It tastes very sweet and juicy.

The hard part about eating it is how it smells though. Right when you crack it open the smell hits you like a punch in the face! To be it smells like dirty sweaty nasty socks that you have not changed in a long time haha. It doesn't taste so terrible really but it smells horrible! It was hard for me to eat purely for that reason. They actually ban you from bringing it indoors in many places and eating it inside. I had some Thai locals laughing at me because at the time I saw the Durian Fruit I also had a beer (no open container law in Thailand!) and I impulsively bought the Durian while I was drinking my beer. Apparently that is a big no no. Well I guess when you think about beer and pretty much any fruit don't mix well haha.  I won't be eating it again but I am happy to say I can take it off my bucket list!

Last night in addition to eating that Durian I got my usual "Fish Spa" as they call it here. Basically you stick your feet in a fish tank and they have little sucker fish that have no teeth but they suck off the dead skin cells on the bottom of your feet. The first time I ever did this it was extremely weird but now I really like it a lot. Many people are too afraid to even try, but it makes your feet feel great!  I also had a great night culinary wise. I had both of my favourite Thai dishes in one day :) I had caw ni aw moo yang (sticky rice with grilled bbq pork and spicy chili sauce) and Radd Naa (This is a soup that has fried flat egg noodles and veggies and meat all put together in a sauce/broth that looks like snot and has the consistency of snot, it is an acquired taste LOL but SO good! ) I also had a good chat with the restaurant owner. He had a proper restaurant actually, not just a stall outside ( I did sit outside though) he was a really nice guy from China and he assured me that he made his Radd Naa Chinese Style, he told me the dish comes from China which I did not know. He said he made the best in the whole of Bangkok. Or his chef did anyway lol. The guy was nice but I didn't put much stake in his "best of Bangkok" claim. Well once I ate I realised he was most likely right. It was really good! He was also excited because I ordered it in Thai instead of English lol.

I also went to my favourite bar (the Happy Bar!) I really hope to get you pictures of this place it is pretty amazing :) and I saw a REALLY good street musician dressed in all white with an all white mask (think V for Vendetta). He was extremely good on the guitar but totally silent other than his playing. He earned my respect and my money so I gave him some. Last night (the 25th) was all in all a really good night for me!

Today, was altogether a different story :( very frustrating day for me! My mission today was to find the Colombian Embassy to ask them so visa questions. Well the phone number I found online didn't work so I decided to go there in person. I took a taxi to the said address and when I got there the current tenants told me the Embassy had moved. They directed me to yet another address so I took another taxi there. Well I got there and there was no embassy there at all! :( At this point I was extremely frustrated so I decided to go ask the US Embassy (pretty cool building in Bangkok by the way) where the Colombian Embassy was. (I was close to where that crazy guy blew his legs off with those grenades a month or two ago) Well they directed me to a third building! I started to sprinkle a little bit but I don't mind light rain much. Well I could not find a taxi to take me there because it was rush hour. (the taxis here refuse to go "on meter" during rush hour because unlike most taxis in the world in Thailand the meter doesn't click up price wise if you are sitting still) its extremely frustrating to get anywhere during rush hour because no driver wants to waste their time sitting in traffic even if you have somewhere to go!

Well I finally found a motorbike taxi who would take me. Rush hour traffic was not a problem for us because he drove IN BETWEEN the lanes of traffic lol. Riding a motor bike taxi in Bangkok is a wild experience! Well about that time it started to rain. Hard. :( I thought my day could not get any worse until I was soaking wet. Also, my driver did not know the address :( To his credit he didn't give up! He asked about 10 different people where the Colombian Embassy was (including the Japanese Embassy lol) no one seemed to know where it was! I was literally on his motorbike with him for about an hour in the rain! Well we FINALLY found the building where it was supposed to be and they told me that the Colombian Embassy moved to Malaysia! I wanted to scream! And cry! :(

I was so frustrated I just went back to my guest house (After spending about 30 USD in all my taxi fares!) Which for Thailand is insanely expensive and I didn't get anything out of it either. On the way home on my 4th taxi ride of the day the driver found out I was a teacher and did ask me to help him practise English so that was nice. He taught me a bit more of Thai too. Of course he wouldn't turn his meter on either (still rush hour) so I had to overpay him too (no discount for my amazing mini English lesson lol!  What a frustrating day for me! The only saving grace for me today has been that once the rain stopped and it heated up again I went out to eat and I was alone but I ended up chatting to a guy from the UK for more than an hour about our lives,jobs etc. I can't remember his name of course but he said he really admired me for what I was doing and said he is thinking about a life change as well (he has been at the same job for 17 years!) I gave him my life story in a nutshell and told him that he has the power to change his life he just has to take that first step! You know, I didn't really realise this until very recently but I guess I really DO inspire people. I don't think I am doing anything all that special but I am honoured none the less :) While waiting at the US Embassy I met a really cool guy who is in the military (didn't get his name) but we had a good chat while waiting. I love randomly meeting people! You never know who you will meet!

Tomorrow I will most likely get a haircut/shave and go see a movie with some friends. I am also going to eat my FAVOURITE meal of steamed duck and baby clams at that food stall that is SO amazing! mmmm I can't wait! I have all my things packed and ready to go! I will do laundry one last time before I leave though. Somehow ( I have no idea how lol) I managed to fit ALL my crap into my two bags! One of my bags is SO full that I couldn't even close it properly haha. I had to use a bungee cord to get it to close! But,amazingly when I weighed everything it all comes in underweight for the plane ride thank God! I come home on Thursday so just a few days left here. I love Thailand and will most certainly be back again though. I have had a great experience living and working here. You know when I came here there was huge flooding in Bangkok and much of it was underwater and really bad and people displaced etc. Governments around the world were saying don't even go. Well now you can't even tell there was ever a flood! They clean up fast around here! I will enjoy my last days here for a while I am sure. I can't believe I will be home soon! Texas here I come.... I am excited to see my family and friends again back home and eat Texas food and my mom's cooking and Dr Pepper and Whataburger and the list goes on.... lol

I know I wrote a lot but I may not blog again before I leave so I wanted to fit it all in. Thanks for sticking with me :) -Ty

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Like sands through the hourglass....

Well I leave Thailand exactly a week from today. I will be headed back to Bangkok tomorrow night. I am leaving sooner than I originally planned but plans are made to be broken right? I have had a great time here in Thailand and still love this country,culture and people very much! It has not been all roses though. I have had some difficulties with the working visa and the major language barrier. So, making this move to Colombia (with a month long stop over at home) I feel is the right decision. I am excited for new opportunities and know that I can learn Spanish much easier than I have been able to pick up Thai.

Teaching in Thailand has been a great practical on the job experience for me though. I walked into this teaching thing with zero classroom experience and the only training I had was a 150 hour online course I took. Well my school here did not offer me any training at all. They just said "Teach" so everyday at first was a new experience for me! I am glad it worked out this way though. I had a good school with (mostly) good kids haha. Good co-workers and I had the freedom to teach as I pleased,whatever I felt like they needed to learn. You would NEVER find this style of teaching back in North America but it really works here. I learned what works for me and what does not. I am able to function on my own as a teacher now with little to no supervision. I am by no means saying I am the most experienced,qualified,best teacher in the world. I still have very much to learn but, I have a leg up on the process now I think and I look forward to my next teaching assignment in Bogota Colombia!

I really need to single out my house mate Noong. She has been so good to me over the past months that I have lived here. She has cooked for me and picked me up at the train station at all hours of the day and night. She has gotten me gifts just out of the kindness of her heart. She has put up with all my crap :P and been a friend to me. She has helped me get settled into life here and I will always be grateful. She likes to joke that she is the only mother I have got in Thailand and I guess in a way its true. She is not that much older than me really but she has very much played the motherly role and I guess I am like the son she never had lol. I won't forget her!She is an amazing cook (who had her own restaurant) and I have ALWAYS been well fed.

Just tonight in fact we had some very interesting meat that I have never had before. It looked exactly like raw backstrap from a deer and it tasted quite salty (Noong's friend brought it over) so I can only assume it was raw meat that was flash cooked or just salt cured. It was really good though and reminded me a lot of venison. I have been so lucky to live with a super nice lady who has a nice house right on the beach and has kept me well fed all these months with all this great food! Lucky for me she can cook both Thai food and Western food. I will miss her cooking almost as much as I miss my own mom's cooking.

You know when I last left Colombia 10 months ago (and ended my streak of 19 months of nonstop working/traveling) by going back to Texas, I had no desire to go home at all. None. I was not ready and was terrified of going home. Of how things would be like, how I would feel, how things and people will have changed.  Too an extent my fears were justified. Some things had changed a whole lot and I just was not ready. Other things hadn't changed at all. The only reason I even came home is because I was dead broke and out of a job lol. Well after four months at home and a failed relationship with a girl who I thought would be something serious I knew it was time for a new change again. So off I went here to Thailand to teach!

Well the difference now is, I am going home on my own terms for a little break. I am not dead broke and I am excited to go home for a month. I know what to expect and not expect. I won't be hating life there because I will be happy to be with my family and friends again. A change in perspective makes a huge difference! Come April 26th I will be starting my new adventure in Colombia but I still have plenty of time to do everything I want with family and friends at home. I am looking forward to it!

Well I have a big to do list of things to get done in Bangkok before I leave so I may not write again until I am home but until next time let the journey roll on,Tyler

Friday, March 16, 2012

My last day of work!

Today was the last official day of work for me. I have an end of the year meeting to go too on Monday but as far as teaching I am done and done! I graded all my kids finals today and that was a lot of work. You see I had assumed that the Thai teachers would be doing all the end of the year testing since I have never had to give an official test at any point throughout the year. None of the school teachers or administration told me anything so I was just doing my thing ya know?

Wrong! 24 hours before they wanted the tests done they came to me and told me I had to make a 35 question final for my 6,7 year olds, my 8,9 year olds and my 10-12 year olds! So I was in a mad scramble to get all these tests ready for the kids. Then they took them all and I had to sit down and grade each test. They also had an "official English test" from the school so I had to grade that as well. Considering this was my first ever test that I had ever given I think I did fairly good job writing it up and the kids for the most part did well on it.

Then came the grading. I had to grade "my" exam that I made up plus the one the school gave out so it was a lot of grading! But I finally got it all knocked out. I found some surprising results actually, some kids who I thought would do amazing did not. Others who I was sure wouldn't do so well actually did pretty good. But overall I was proud of my kids and happy for them. My coworkers (the few I got to know) were really great and the school administration was great with everything except training,school supplies and communication haha. Nice people though.

As much as they drove me nuts sometimes (especially the little ones!) I really will miss my kids. For being a first year teacher with zero classroom experience, when I started (and zero training assistance) I think I did pretty good. I could tell that my kids were learning and that made me feel proud. I remember how nervous I was my first days teaching in a foreign country with a huge language barrier and zero training or experience but I have come a long way since then! I still have so much to learn but I am getting there....

I am excited for my next teaching adventure in Colombia starting in June. So until then I am going to enjoy my summer! :) yall take care,Tyler

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ten things I am thankful for in 2012

There is so much negativity in the world and I think last year at some point I wrote a list of things I was thankful for so I wanted to do it again this year (in no particular order they are:

1. I am thankful I live on a planet where you can see things like this. I haven't yet seen the Northern Lights in person but it is on my bucket list. There is so much beauty in this world if you only stop to look for it. I am thankful for the little things. I am thankful when I can put toilet paper in the toilet,when I have hot water and consistent power and air conditioning. Have you ever noticed how when a baby laughs you start to smile? It doesn't matter the sex,age or race of the baby it just makes even the most cold hearted people smile. I don't take these things for granted because I have lived without them quite a lot.

2. I am thankful for having such support family and friends for all of my globe trotting adventures. Even though I may be gone from home a lot in body I am always there in spirit and will be forever proud to be Texan (and American) even if I am not there much. Even if my family and friends don't understand my passion for travel and miss me when I am gone they still support me and it means a lot to me!

3. I am thankful to be employed at a job I enjoy. Many people sadly cannot say the same thing. I  am also thankful for new oppertunities. As yall know by now I have the chance to go teach English in Colombia and I am jumping at that new experience to have some new adventures.

4. I am thankful that while I have many interests in life, I have found my one true PASSION even before I am 30! Traveling and seeing the world is the one thing that fulfills me more than anything else in the world. It is the thing that motivates me to go on to bigger and better things. In all likelihood I will never be a millionaire, I will never have a lot of material things, I may never even have a proper "career" or seem like a "normal,typical adult" but I know that as long as I continue to follow my heart and defy conventional thinking I will be really truly happy!

5. I am thankful to even be here. When I was born three months premature the doctors did not give me much hope for a life back in 1984 let alone a "normal" life. While I still do have a few issues medically I am walking,talking,breathing,functional human being! I don't take life for granted and am thankful for every minute because  I am lucky to even be alive!

6. I am thankful for crushed dreams and hopes. When I was younger all I ever wanted to do/be was in the military. I could think of nothing better than being able to serve my country and rise up in the ranks of the military. When I found out I was medically disqualified I was crushed. I was lost, I had no idea what to do with myself. Well now here I am all these years later and I have a new path and a new passion. Had I been in the military this may not have happened!

7. I am thankful for having the ability to take risks. When I first started traveling alone I was filled with doubt and uncertainty. I was scared because I was stepping into the unknown and out of the "normal,typical American box". But, the more I did it the more I realised how much happier I was with my life! I could have stayed home and not traveled or done anything because I was scared. Many people do that and it is most certainly an understandable reaction. But, those are the people that get to the end of their life and have to think "What if " if only I had done ___________ . I never have to say that.

8. I am thankful for randomness. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have met people on trains,buses,planes,on the street, anywhere and everywhere! Just by saying "hi" you have to have a certain kind of personality to do this but luckily it is one of my strong suits I have had so many great new friendships this way and some I know like Ben for example will be life long friends.

9. I am thankful for old friends,new friends and new experiences. I love trying new things in life. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don't. I just love the fact that I have the ability to try. I have seen and done so many great things over the years and met so many great people simply by saying "yes" to something new and exciting.

10. I am thankful for the freedom of speech. I can bitch and moan in this blog if I want. I can criticize whatever I want within reason. I have the freedom to express my opinions even if you don't agree with them. I  love being from a country like America that yes certainly does have its fair share of problems but on the basic level still gives me rights and respects my human freedoms that some countries do not.

I wanted this to be a top ten list so I am making this a post script haha. I am thankful that I have learned how to LIVE and not only just how to simply exist.

Well that's it folks. Happy 2012 and I hope you like my list, think about your own list! take care,Tyler

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Big Announcement (No I am not pregnant) :P

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX 6:00 AM
Fort Lauderdale, FL / Miami AREA9:35 AM

Fort Lauderdale, FL / Miami AREA10:35 AM
Bogota, Colombia1:11 PM

So now yall can see my big announcement! I have decided after a lot of thought I have decided to leave Thailand after six months here and return for a short visit back home to Texas for a month. I fly out of Thailand March 29th and will be in Texas until April 26th! I have had a great time in Thailand and it has been such a good learning experience to teach here. I have made a lot of great friends and I am really grateful to my housemate Noong and all my friends who have come to visit me. I will always love Asia in general and most certainly will return. Now it is just time for a change! Which is why I am moving to Bogota Colombia to teach English/learn Spanish and enjoy life in another new culture closer to home and with less of a complicated language barrier.

Thats's it really. -Tyler

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Brad Pitt and Bob Marley

My friend Daniel from Sweden (or DS as I call him) has been staying here with me for almost a week now here in my sleepy little beach town. His father is from Africa and his mother from Sweden, he has dread locks and he looks very much like Bob Marley. The Thais love it haha. They have never seen anyone like him around these parts. Since I look like "Brad Pitt Superstar" we are quite the duo when we are cruising around on my motorbike haha. We met in New Zealand over a year ago and this is the first time I have gotten to see him since then so it has been really good! There is not a ton to do around here but I know for him especially, it is nice to relax and get off the "tourist trail". I am really glad I can show him "real" Thailand before he leaves.

Thus far I have taken him to school with me to meet the kids ( I was teaching the little ones so they loved having a visitor!) we have gone to the weekly market and I have been able to show him all the good (and some not so good lol) Thai food delicacies. We had planned to go to two different waterfalls but both times we failed! Once because we got totally lost and the second time due to weather so that was really a shame. They are quite neat actually! You can swim there too but the water is freezing! At least there is no jellyfish in the water there because DS and I were swimming in the ocean and I got my first ever jelly fish sting! It really hurt quite a bit. No fun at all :( I didn't have to pee so I couldn't pee on it and had no vinegar. Luckily Noong was with us and she knew some crazy home remedy where she got some green weed/leaf thing and crushed it up on my leg. It looked really gross but it really worked! Took the sting right out. Amazing huh?

I have also taken DS on some road trips to some nearby towns called Ban Krut (great beaches there) and another little town that doesn't have much except a temple and a few other things but we just wanted to go for the hell of it. Noong invited us to go to the temple in town here because they were having a celebration for Big Buddha Day ( I also didn't have to work, this country has so many public holidays haha) anyway they had a Buddhist ceremony that we got to take part in that was pretty cool. We just walked around the temple with lit candles but it was still cool. Then there was a carnival/festival thing just like you would have back at home. We played a shooting game with toy guns and I won six prizes! Being from Texas you have to know how to shoot lol.

We have had a good time so far and taken a lot of pictures that I will be putting on Facebook. He has a few days left so that is good. We still have time to watch a more movies (we just finished the whole Matrix Trilogy!) I hope all of you are healthy and happy ( I myself have a little head cold) those kids at school are germ factories! But I will live.... Still having fun :) The school semester is almost over now. We are in the home stretch now! The older kids are in testing now. All is well here though. Stay tuned in the next few days I have a big announcement coming...... yall take care,Tyler

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Thai Weddings and Border Hippies

I was invited to attend my first Thai wedding ever. It was a lot different than our weddings at home and a lot of fun! This wedding was big even by American standards but by Thai standards it was almost unheard of. I went with Noong and I had no idea who the bride and groom were but they seemed like a good couple. They gave us monogrammed glasses with their names on it. The groom was in a sparkling white tux ( I haven't seen anyone wear a white tux in a while!),the bride was in a white dress of course.

There was 300-400 people there or more there! They had rented out the school grounds (the largest area available here) and had tables everywhere and a live band. They gave each table a free bottle of whiskey (and coke to go with it) We had a six course meal!Appetizers (squid and crab with shrimp) Two soups,a whole roasted chicken,whole fish,and dessert. I was not to keen on the dessert nor the shrimp but everything else was amazing! My only problem was trying to eat most of my meal with only the chop sticks they provided lol.

Here is where it gets a little wild. The entertainment that was provided on the big concert stage was six belly dancers. At first they started out classy enough, it was entertaining and nice to see. But then it started to get a little wild! While they always kept all their clothes on, the six girls kept changing clothing into smaller and smaller outfits and dancing more and more erotically lol. It was really quite amusing to see 400 people watching this. Men,Women and Children. Obviously with the guys (me in included haha) being throughly entertained.

It was one of the craziest weddings I have ever been too and I made a joke to Noong that I wanted those dancing girls at my wedding haha. I can almost guarantee though that if I get married whoever I marry she will not let me have those girls at our wedding lol. I didn't get to see the actual wedding vows/ceremony, this was only the after party but I wouldn't have understood any of it anyway so I guess it was ok haha. This was a really flash/fancy wedding and I am glad I dressed nice (didn't want a repeat of my Temple mistake) and the couple who were getting married must have wealthy families! The next day (Saturday) I had to head off to the Burmese Border for my stamp.

 I left my house at 6:30am to catch the 7am mini bus to the Thai/Burmese border. Well as usual here in Thailand the mini bus didn't leave until 8:30am but, even though it was an hour and a half late to leave and I was on a strict time deadline I didn't stress out. Do you know why? Because it wouldn't have made a single bit of difference! My stress level would not have made that driver wash his van any faster nor made him get going any sooner. So while I was later than I planned I still made it to the border on time.  Mostly because our driver seemed to think we were in some kind of death race and he sped like he was going to be killed if he didn't get us there super quickly! He went to pass a slow truck and veered into oncoming traffic and we almost got hit!

That scared everyone pretty bad including him I think because after that he slowed down a little. I don't know why all these drivers feel like they have to drive so fast! You are trusting them with your safety and when a 10 seater van is loaded up with 17 people as mine was there is nothing you can do but pray lol. I mean I had to get down to the border and I had no other choice! But don't worry I am fine and alive. Third world transportation is always an adventure though.

I argued with the boat drivers on a price to take me across to Burma and back and of course they overcharged me because im White but I really had no choice. Well Burma needs 10 USD as a fee for doing this border crossing and last time I did this I didn't know I needed 10 USD so the Thais charged me 16 USD (and kept their 6 dollar commission just to give me 10 bucks!) well this time I thought I would outsmart them and I dug way into my bag and found 10 USD I have left over from home. All good right? Wrong! Apparently my money was too old to be used (BS!) and they charged me 16 dollars again :(

So after all of this haggling and me getting angry but realising there is nothing I can do I get a boat ride over to Burma (the water crossing is disgusting) They throw trash/litter/chemicals in the water all the time and I keep my mouth firmly shut! I wouldn't get in that water if you paid me! In all seriousness I wouldn't drink a glass of that water for anything less than 10,000 dollars that is how bad it is :( So I get over to the other side and get my stamp in literally two minutes or less. It has taken me 7 hours at this point to get here and a lot of money just for two minutes to get this stamp!

Well my boat driver who took me over (and I paid to take me back) disappeared! Of course just my luck! I had to wait one hour for him to come back but he finally did come back. I get back over to the Thai border get checked back into Thailand. Before I leave though, I see this sign: I was at the Thai border yesterday waiting to cross over into Burma for my stamp and I noticed they put up a new sign it said "Reasons for no permission to hippies to enter the Kingdom of Thailand" : If you have long hair.  if you have shorts with no undergarments. if you are dirty or have offensive smell. "The Immigration officier in charge will allow or deny you to see if you are hippie or not". That is exactly what it said LOL, I wish I had a camera on my crappy phone because I wanted to take a picture of that sign so bad haha. All of the mistranslations make it even better :P

 So I get on a mini bus from the border headed back home and that was uneventful but, I had to take the train part of the way back. I book my train ticket (I bought second class instead of third class) and I was told it came at 8:30pm. So the designated time rolls around and I see a train pull up. I had been talking with a German guy I met on the platform and we board the train. Well about twenty minutes or so down the line the conductor comes by to punch our tickets (we are having a beer in the dining car) and he tells me in broken English that I am on the wrong train! Well that is JUST what I needed to cap off my day lol. Great! So we come to find out that the 7:30pm train was an hour late and it pulled up at 8:30pm which I thought was my train (they don't do announcements in English) so I ended up getting on the wrong train!

Well luckily this train was still going to my town and they let me stay in the dining car. So, while I paid for a seat that I didn't get to use it was only a 2.50 USD ticket and I got to share some beers and have a good chat with that German dude. Helped pass the time. So I finally made it home after a grueling 15 hour round trip journey for one stamp in my passport! Thank God I won't have to do that again for a while!

You know that game, Patong I told you about? Well today there is tournament at our local bar here and Noong is really super good so I hope she wins! Wish her luck :) I am new to the game and still pretty terrible haha. One last bit I forgot to mention, well you know how I told you they throw all kinds of trash and rubbish and chemicals into that river well they also throw lots and lots of cigarette butts. I even saw a child smoking right in front of his mother and she didn't say a thing :(  See in the Western world and in developed countries smoking has been on the decline for years. I wouldn't say smokers are really completely ostracized but, everyone knows how bad it is for you and in many countries it is just too expensive to smoke! Not so in the third world :( People here can get cigarettes for less than a dollar a pack and many many people smoke. If they do know how bd it is for you they don't seem to care. Tobacco companies make money here and elsewhere in Asia and South America hand over fist and can freely advertise everywhere, not giving a crap about people's health only their profits :(   Well that is all I have for now. Yall take care,Ty