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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

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