These entries are from the blog I kept while travelling in Asia in 2010 (susantravelsasia.blogspot.com).
SUNDAY, AUGUST 29, 2010
The first day, we took a private car ride to Agra, which was three hours away. It was also my birthday, and was the most surreal, incredible way to spend it. We arrived at the Taj Mahal at 6 am, just as the doors opened, to see the sunrise. I’ve seen pictures of it before, but nothing prepared me for the extreme whiteness, the size, and the feeling of awe that comes with seeing it in person. It was built as a tomb for the wife of one of the kings, several hundred years ago. The stone work was beautiful, and it is no wonder it is such a famous landmark in the world. We hired a tour guide to take us around the city. He showed us other things in Agra such as the stone masons who work on the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort, and a delicious breakfast place. Just half a day in Agra seemed to be enough, and we headed home after that. On the night of my birthday, we went out to a bollywood movie. Unfortunately the movie was entirely in hindi, but we got the jist of it. We ditched out at intermission, however, because it was approaching 9 pm, and Val and I were a little skittish about Delhi after dark.
We caught a flight the next day to Bagdogra, where we hoped to catch a ride to Darjeeling, which is 2 hours away. When we arrived in Bagdogra, however, we discovered that Darjeeling was holding a strike for the following three days, and if we were to travel there, we would have trouble finding hotel rooms, food, and even water. We decided to head to Sikkim instead, a province that would be our launching point for ou Himalayan trek. It was still a race against the protesters, however, as the city we landed in was to have a strike the following day. WE were literally running around the city (catching rides on cyclos) to find permits to enter sikkim, photo copy machines for our visas, and a taxi ride that would take us into Sikkim. We caught the last taxi out, which happened to involve us squeezing into the backseat of a tiny jeep, holding our bags on our lap. We were off on the 6 hour journey on bumpy, unimproved mountain roads, towards the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok. We arrived late at night, and luckily found a room just before the quiet town literally locks all of its doors at 8 pm. We realized after this hectic day, that India is not like SE Asia… you cant just go with the flow. There are too many people, and too many different regulations and limitations to do everything last minute.
We woke up the next day to find ourselves in the beauty of the Himalayas, with incredible views in the midst of this quiet mountain town. I love the province of Sikkim. THe people are unasuming and incredible helpful, and the strict regulations make it seem very much unlike India. It is far less crowded, and things had much more order and cleaniness. We found an agency that would let us join the 8-day trek we had in mind, up to the mountain of Kanchanjunga. We were to join a group of 12 other tourists, leaving from an even SMALLER mountain town.
My entire trip had been filled with ridiculous car ride experiences. Four people on a motorcycle, weaving through the streets of Phnom Penh…. Long bus rides filled with Cambodian tourists with no airconditioning… A sleeper bus in Thailand where an elderly American man slept on my shoulder and I was trapped by the window… Seven hours on a broken down bus… private taxis that were rented with a driver for 20 bucks a day…. tuktuks… cyclos… the list goes on. But nothing compares with that 6 hour journey to Yuksum. Our driver was either drunk or crazy, or maybe both, and he took every hairpin mountain tourn at 100 km/hour. One time a bus was headed straight for us and I literally saw my life flash before my eyes as we narrowly avoided falling off the cliff. We stopped at least 9 times for bathroom breaks, to buy snacks off the side of the road, to yell at school girls walking home, to send messages to their friends, to stretch our legs, to switch drivers. It was a sitcom. But we made it to Yuksum, met with our group, and left the next day on our 8 day trek.
The trek did not begin well for me. I felt fine until lunch time, where I came down quite suddenly with a fever, and some major stomach issues. I had the chance to turn around, but I really did not want to miss out, and kept hiking the tourturous 12 miles to our first hut. There were several times where I thought I would collapse, and I think I was so out of it that I can barely remember most of the journey. I spent the entire 8 days of the trek in that disastrous state, and only upon returning back to America and visiting the doctor, did I discover that I had Giardia. It was the most pain I had ever been in, second only to my broken ankle.
The Himalayas are unlike any mountain range I had ever seen. Steeper, bigger, and more difficult terrain. They are constantly in a cloud, and you are lucky if you get the chance to see the highest peaks. We hiked to a viewpoint where we saw Kanchanjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. Even suffering from Giardia, I could definitely appreciate the miracle of the moment.
After our trek, we went to Darjeeling, where we luckily found a place to stay. Turns out that just a few days before we arrived there, a local politician had been murdered in front of everyone. In fact, one employee at a restuarant we visited, showed me the grousome photo of his neck that had been hacked into by a machete. THe town was protesting it while we were there. Although people kept telling us to be careful, I felt far less danger there than in Delhi, or Mumbai, and it was actually an interesting experience to see the police and protestors occasionally marching through the street.
We spent our three days in Darjeeling reading books, drinking tea, and walking around in the cooler mountain air. It was nice to kind of do nothing while we were there, and just enjoy our last few days in India before we started the trip home.
It took me more than 48 hours of travel to make it back to Denver. We left Darjeeling at 7 am on Friday. We took a 2 hour bus ride to the airport in bagdogra. We had a 2 hour plane ride back to Delhi, followed by a 7 hour layover in the Delhi airport. Val and I split ways for the first time in 4 months, and I flew 10 hours to Frankfurt. I had a 7 hour layover in the Frankfurt airport, where i was shocked by modern bathrooms, internet, newspapers and more. I felt like I had emerged from the twilight zone and was reentering the world again. From Frankfurt I had a 7 hour flight back to Denver, which turned into 10 hours when we made an emergency landing in Montreal. I made it back to Denver finally at 8 pm on Saturday night, and slept more soundly in my family’s westernized bedroom than I had in the last 5 months.
Looking back on it all now, it seemed like a world apart. To relive the every day through my journals and pictures, I am amazed at everything I saw, experienced, and felt. That part of the world is so different from my own. I never stopped being nervous, scared, excited, or confused… And the adjustment back to my life in Estes was a lot harder than I couldve imagined.
Of course I experienced culture shock, but it was more than that. I felt suddenly alone without Val around me all the time… sharing my food, my room, and my life with me. I also felt very startled at the sudden change in lifestyle. Having a car again, seeing my friends and family again, having real life responsibilities again. THe first week I returned, I had to deal with issues like Giardia, a stolen credit card, the purchase of new tires, a $2,000 debt to my parents, finding an apartment,and finding a job. I was overwhelmed by life here as much as life abroad.
There is so much I learned from my experience over there, that I can just now understand. It is more than a compare and contrast between the East and the West, and the contrast between lifestyles, outlooks, personalities, etc. I am no expert, and I feel like I just dipped my toes into the massive lake that is the world, but I have a little understanding of the themes. I now have an idea what poverty is like. I know what overpopulation looks like, and I know what problems can arise (like lack of water and diseases like Giardia). I have seen the negative consequences of mass genocide, and the beautiful personalities of a whole country such as Cambodia. I have seen the positive and negative effects of tourism, the intense contrast between the rich and the poor, and what the difference between a corrupted government and an absent government. THere is so much to learn from other cultures, and while the experience might be incredibly hard, it is priceless. I’m happy now in Estes Park, in my comfortable apartment, my profitable jobs, and my wonderful friends… and I truly get how lucky I am to have this. But the world is still out there, and there is so much more to see and do and learn.
SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2010
Our last few days in Cambodia were a little sad, busy, and a lot fun. We had a ton of last minute things to accomplish like visas, job stuff, last minute souvenirs and tailored clothes, as well as some goodbye parties. WE tried to soak up everything we love about Cambodia. Some of my students showed up the night before we left and we had a really fun dinner filled with dancing. Cambodians are definitely the best thing about that country… they are so warm, friendly, open and genuine… I will miss that atmosphere a lot. We said goodbye to all of our Western friends we made. In particular, it was hard to say good bye to Shiloh, our roommate for the previous three months. It was a hectic end, and Val characterized it correctly when she said, “We have to hurry up and have fun”We took a flight to Malaysia where we had a quick taste of Kuala Lampur. We took a bus into the city, had a nice dinner with a random traveler from Poland we met, had a quick sleep, and were back at the airport. Val and I were already talking about all the things in the “real world” we had missed while we were in South East Asia. Such as… Trashcans, water fountains, sidewalks, western chain foods (OK we ate breakfast at Dunkin Doughnuts), air conditioning, and more. Kuala Lampur is a very modern city.
We had a nice 5 hour flight from KL to Mumbai. We got a killer deal for this flight (like less than 100$) because it was the inagural flight of this route for the airline. THe owner of the airline was on the flight, and he went and shook every ones hand. A lot of people posed in a picture with him, which Val and I found odd. When it was our turn to shake his hand, he actually took a picture of me because I was sitting backwards on the airplane instead of forward. Look for me on the next Air Asia advertisement.
Mumbai… holy cow. I have spent the last months living in poverty stricken cambodia, and surviving, so I thought I could take anything. Mumbai is the biggest city in the world with somewhere between 15 and 20 millino people living on this tiny island. That is the theme of the city… overcrowdedness. People bustling everywhere. Its a wonderful sight though and anytime we drive anywhere I cant pull my eyes away from the people. They are so colorful, with even the poorest wearing sequenced saris and hindi dots on the forehead. Theres also quite a sizeable muslim population. THe typically wear all white and you see a lot of women covered from head to foot, with only their eyes showing. I’ve been taking many pictures, but it seems that Indians are just as curious about us, as we are about them. People stare at us wherever we go (especially men) and a lot take ouir picture. Some even come up and ask to pose for a picture with us. We’re lucky because we are staying with a friend of our from college, so we have the ability to see many parts of the city that typical tourists don’t get to visit. WE’ve had the culinary tour of our life.. Each night a new 5 star restaurant serving a different variety of indian food. Taha, our friend we are staying with, does all the ordering so most of the time I have no idea what it is I’m eating… I know theres Chutney, a lot of Naan and other “bread” things, lots of things with lentils… and some other stuff. I will post some pictures as soon as I can and maybe some of you guys can help me identify.
Everything is wonderful. Our next step will take us to Delhi and Agra to see the Taj Mahal. After that, we are headed to the Himalayas. We’re no longer going to Nepal because of the Maoist protests occuring there. Instead we’re going to Darjeeling for hopefully a similar experience.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 2010
#1 – Boat. How amazing!! Freedom to walk around, fresh air, an unspoilt look at fields and houses along the river. It was so incredibly relaxing, and everything seemed effortless.
Our boat took us to a couple of River towns — Chau Doc and Can Tho. We were on a tour and it was laughably touristy, but we got to see interesting things like fish farms, weavers, a floating market, rice factories, and the inside of a REAL VIETNAMESE HOUSE (just kidding… kinda strange they took us there). I didn’t mind the tour so much because I got to see a lot of the culture and didn’t have to think for an entire three days about transportation, housing, or activities. Priceless, really.
We finally arrived in Saigon, where we spent a whirlwind 24 hours. My favorite experience was a visit to a water puppet show, which is a typical vietnamese experience and very entertaining. Shiloh and I spent our day touring around the city with our friend Eileen, who also did the languagecorps program. We saw her apartment, and she showed us a little of her life there — what she eats at the market, where she finds good homemade beer, and she even took us for a spin on her moto. We spent the afternoon visiting the Vietnam War Museum (the Vietnamese call it “The American War”), which was mostly depressing. They really held nothing back, and I was pretty revolted at the pictures of napalm bombings, decapitated bodies, and dead babies. I guess they got their point across. It was also propaganda at it’s best… which I expected from Communist Vietnam, but the anti-American sentiment was overwhelming. It was odd because aside from the war museum, barely anyone mentions the war and there is absolutely no hard feelings towards Americans. Pretty strange that 25 years later, your children can be tourists in a country that was your enemy. Can you imagine if in 25 years my children go as a tourist to Iraq?? I hope they do.
We escaped the heat of Saigon to the beautiful mountains of Dalat. This was a major French outpost during Vietnam’s colonial period, and most of the architecture and lifestyle still represents that time. There’s even a miniature Eiffel tower. The best thing about this city, however, was the WEATHER! Beautiful, marvelous, cold weather, where I actually had to buy a sweater. Dalat is also surrounded by mountains, so the first day we took a short trip to a nearby “mountain,” known to anyone in Colorado as a hill. It took us about 4 hours to scramble to the steep summit, and was about 8 miles total. The view was beautiful and my favorite part was the smell of the pine trees that covered the hillside. I was in heaven–cold weather, mountains, and pine trees. To top it off, Dalat is known for it’s wine. It was no French wine, but definitely the best I’ve had in South East Asia.
On our second day in Dalat we rented motorbikes with an American tourist who was motorbiking through the country. He served as our guide as we whizzed around the mountains on rented motobikes.
My 2nd favorite form of transportation — MOTORBIKES! They are so fun, especially on the winding roads of a mountainside. The views were incredible, and the motorbikes gave us the freedom to explore a lake we spotted, and a beautiful temple set into the hillside. We went as far as a viewpoint that stretched to the Pacific Ocean. Great day, although Shiloh and I got rather nasty and unattractive looking sunburns on our thighs and hands.
I was reluctant to leave the amazing Dalat weather, but we took a bus down to Moi Ne, a coastal vacation town in southern Vietnam. Untouched beaches, cheap resort pool, and good company made it an easy day of relaxing on the beach, writing post cards, and reading. Finally it was time to head back to Phnom Penh, and Christine and I jumped on a bus early Saturday morning, expecting to reach our homes that night. When we arrived in Saigon to catch a connecting bus, we discovered every bus was sold out for the rest of the day, and we had to wait until tomorrow where we scored the last two seats on a bus leaving for Phnom Penh. We were surprised because every moment of our trip in Vietnam had been so effortless thus far– we had found the exact transportation with the perfect schedule, we found cheap places to stay with no trouble… everything had been ideal. Christine and I bunkered down for the night in a hotel room and made the best of our extra night in Saigon.
This brings me to by #3 and all time least favorite EVER form of transportation…. bus rides. The bus ride began OK… we crossed the border with no problems, and we even had good air conditioning and a bathroom on board. We thought we were lucky. Our problems arose when we came to the ferry that crosses the Mekong to reach the city of Phnom Penh. Because it was the end of the biggest Cambodian holiday, everyone was coming back to the city and there was a line of cars waiting to board the ferry that was SEVERAL kilometers long. We didn’t think it was that big of a deal, until we noticed that in the first 2 hours, we barely moved 100 feet. SEVEN HOURS LATER…. we finally made it onto the ferry. Seven hours, in busy traffic, a now-smelly bathroom, in the heat of the hottest month in Cambodia… torturous.
In the end, it was a wonderful trip and I would recommend a vacation in Vietnam for anyone. It’s a beautiful country, and perhaps my favorite in South East Asia so far.
We’re on the last week of our time in Cambodia now, with only 6 days left before we begin our 5 week long journey back to America.
My itinerary: Phnom Penh–Kuala Lampur–Mumbai–Delhi–Kathmandu–Mt. Everest–Delhi–London–Washington DC/Lancaster–ESTES PARK!
We’re excited for our adventures to come and also excited to see everyone at home seemingly soon. I’m craving mountains, and am looking forward to that most of all. Miss you all!!!
TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2010
TUESDAY, APRIL 6, 2010
THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2010
MONDAY, MARCH 8, 2010
We arrived to our hotel, and moved into our room which we shared with 2 other teachers. They spoke good english, but we still had to speak slowly and carefully with them. They were very nice, always sharing food and asking us questions about where we came from. It was a learning experience to sleep so closely with them, and we discovered many differences in culture. We received several confused looks when we didnt eat a full breakfast of rice and pork every morning, or when we didn’t shower 4 times a day, as they did. Our roommates seemed to be very concerned about us waking up in the morning. We were required to meet on the bus at 7 am, after having eaten breakfast, so Val and I set our alarm for 6:15. Our roommates woke up at 5:30, and asked us every 10 minutes whether we were going to wake up, yet. Our frustration continued when we were ready to go by 7 am, but due to the many pictures being photographed and excursions to breakfast, we didn’t end up leaving until 8 am. Val and I had no idea what the itinerary or schedule was for the weekend, so we relied on several of the teachers to shuffle us around. Everyone was always concerned about our well-being: “Have you eaten breakfast?” “Did you sleep well?” “Did you have a bath?” “Don’t miss the bus!” and “Are you happy??”
Eating meals was a stressful experience, but we relied on a few other teachers who kind of took us under their wing. They spoke great english, and I learned many interesting things about cambodian culture and history through long conversations with them. For meals, these four teachers always sat with us, ordered for us, and told us exactly how much to pay. Even after they helped us, we survived only by eating rice, bread, bananas and pringles. The alternatives were not pretty. By the end of the weekend, we had eaten (or more correctly, nibbled at): boar meat, boar skin (thick and chewy….), deer meat, questionable beef, chicken with its head and claws still attached, cow liver (we also had the option here of eating cow lung, stomach, and intestines, but we refused), a giant spider (tarantula-sized), fried bugs, sticky rice in a bamboo shoot, sugar cane, and few other treats that our friends offered to us. It was a culinary adventure, and I’m sure you won’t blame us for the fact that as soon as we got back home, we ordered pizza immediately.
The province was beautiful. We visited a few waterfalls that were spectacular even now, in the dry season. We drove to the top of a “mountain”, which was really more of a hill but offered a beautiful view of the countryside. I learned that Cambodia used to be over 75% forest, but now due to de-forestation it is reduced to under 40%. They’ve lost their native species of rhino, and they’re close to losing most of their tigers. This area was impacted hard from the Vietnam War, and the Cambodian civil war where it was a major strong-hold for the Khmer Rouge. We also got some upclose looks at the native people here, who still travel between villages by elephants. They look extremely poor, and their houses are both picturesque and shockingly simple. To get to all of these remote and desolate destinations, we took the huge passenger bus. It was a little comical, driving along a dusty and bumpy road through the wilderness, over tiny bridges and through villages made of straw houses, in our huge 18-wheel buses. There was a thick red dust on everything (literally, you could wipe it off of the clothes and the seats in front of you), and Val and I even put on the surgical masks that Cambodians often wear, to avoid swollowing massive amounts of the red dirt. I still have a coat on my feet that will take a few more scrubings to get rid of. I’m sure we looked dirty, sweaty and very unkempt, but it seemed that everyone wanted a picture with us. We were constantly being pulled around to be in a photograph, and were asked by total strangers whether they could take a picture with us. There were times where we would just unload the buses to take photos next to a non-descript tree or building. After this weekend, I think Val and I could appear in as many as 30 different family albums, where they will be shown to friends and family, accompanied with the saying “These were those weird foriegners who came to the province with us.”
Sunday night there was a party, and Val and I joined in the fun of drinking and dancing. The dancing was all in khmer, and we learned how to do the traditional dance of moving your wrists, as you shuffle in a circle with the group around the dance floor. Just so you know, it’s not about your wrists, it’s about your feet. Val and I were exhausted after a full day of intense tourism, and we both fell asleep at the table waiting for the party to be over.
The experience was definitely unique and interesting, and although at times I wanted to shout, “What is going on!??!?” I really enjoyed having a closer look at Cambodian culture.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2010
The Bad: My bike is already broken… That’s Cambodia for you. The first day I got it, I rode it out to see Shiloh and her school (about a 30 minute trip), and on the way back the seat broke off. Well, more like bent. It appears the seat is made out of springs… very weak springs. Luckily the kindness of Khmer people showed itself, and a few old guys working in a car parts shop came out and fixed it for me free of charge. Well, not exactly fixed it, but made it possible to ride home. It’s still not fixed, and actually is quite uncomfortable to ride, so hopefully tomorrow I’ll get that taken care of.
More bad… our house has been invaded by ants. No matter what we do, they return. We even put all of our food in the fride, take our trash our every night, and they find a way. We like to joke that our hygene standards have been significantly lowered since moving to Cambodia.
The Ugly: I got sick this weekend. Utterly and horribly ill… the worst type of sickness you could imagine. On saturday I could barely open my eyes, and today (monday) I still feel quite fatigued. That 3rd world food isn’t so wonderful sometimes. Luckily, I brought plenty of antibiotics with me, and 5 day dosage should make me new.
The Interesting: Friday night, Val, Shiloh and I spent the night on the town, and met some friends at a bar around the corner from our house. The occasion? A drag show. The most elaborate costumes i’ve ever seen on a man (or a woman). Glitzy dresses, fancy makeup, big wigs. They danced on the bar and sang songs like whitney houston and mariah carey. There were solos, duets, role plays… needless to say, it was quite an experience.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2010
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2010
Kanchanaburi also has quite a selection of ecotourist excursions. I signed up for one, and left on a day trip with a small group made up of swiss, german, french, and british travelers… It was a good group and I made some new friends. We spent the morning at a waterfall called Erawan waterfall. I’ve been to a few waterfalls in my traveling, and this is by far the best. At times I thought it was fake. I hiked to the top, which took about an hour, then on the way down I stopped to swim in a few of the pools. The waterfalls had some natural rock slides, so we had some fun climbing up and sliding down. There are fish in the pools, both big and small, that swarm to you when you swim, and eat your dead skin off. It feels like theyre nibbling at your skin, and while it only just tickles, the occasional big fish takes a bite that stings.
After lunch, we went to an elephant camp, where I rode on the back of an elephant named, boombay. I got to sit on her head, while the tourguide walked ahead. At first it was a little frightening, but she walked so slow and had such a sturdy step that I wasn’t worried about falling off any longer. I think elephants are fascinating, and it was fun to see them up close.
We had a few other stops on the tour, including a bamboo raft, and a train ride on the “death railway” (the one built by POWs during WW2).
Back in town, I met up with Molly, and the Thai “mother” she lives with, Peoria. They took me out to dinner, and showed me some new thai dishes that are delicious (som dtam plaad grobe, moo yan, ptom yon goon….. translated this is spicy papaya salad with crispy fish, fried pork slices with sticky rice, and a mushroom and shrimp soup). It’s nice to have people around who know what to order… and for cheap too! After dinner we met up with some other teachers that work with Molly. A guy from scotland, a guy from Turkey, and a girl from Germany. They were all interesting and had positive teaching experiences to share with me.
I’ve spent some time exploring the city here too… My first day I rented a bicycle and cruised around town. It was nice to be out of the crowded cities of Pattaya and Bangkok, and see the rural countryside of Thailand. Today, Molly and I rented motobikes and cruised up through the mountains and on some backroads. It was a lot of fun to see the people working in the rice fields, driving goats across the road, rural temples that are being overgrown with plants, roosters strutting around. Everything was picturesque. And then there’s the motobike… Extremely fun and a bit frightening all at the same time. We rented the bikes for 3$ each… they weren’t difficult to drive, but it was still interesting to navigate the roads. Driving on the left, passing others and being passed, trying to read signs written in thai. It was tons of fun. Molly and I stopped at a small restaurant on the side of the road for dinner… There was no one else around, we sat on the side of the road under grass canopies, and watched the sun go down behind the river. Unreal.
Tomorrow I’m taking a minibus to Bangkok, an overnight train to Surat Thani, a bus to Krabi, and a ferry to Koh Phi Phi (an island in southern thailand). It will be almost 24 hours of traveling… yikes. Wish me luck!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2010
Bangkok is also crowded. So ridiculously crowded. Stand still traffic at all times of the day. Sidewalks so full of people that you have to walk on the road. Not at all pleasant.It’s not all bad news, though… you get the feeling that Bangkok has a lot of interesting places, surprises around each corner, interesting people to look at, and other unique findings. We spent a lot of time just looking around at everything. It was overly stimulating.
Friday night we met up with my friend Molly who is living in Kanchanaburi teaching english. We went to Kao San Road, which is a famous tourist road filled with many bars, and people… plus little shops and carts selling cool looking souvenirs and clothes. Val and I bought a few things and practiced our bargaining skills, which I’m not so great at. We met up with a few other American English teachers living in bangkok, and it was fun to hear their stories and get some more info about life in bangkok.
Saturday morning we did the tourist thing… We visited the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha. Very beautiful architecture and detail. After, we took a water taxi up to a different neighborhood in Bangkok, where we visited the biggest market in Thailand. It was sensory overload as well, and who knew there was so much “stuff” for sale. Anything you could imagine… clothes, trinkets, toys, paintings, dishware, food… all laid out in stalls, some surprisingly close together. It was fun to explore, and we definitely got lost in the maze of things and were lucky to find our way out.
Saturday night we went out again. I’m not even sure what neighborhood we were in… but it had bright lights, many bars, and stuff for sale. Which describes many many streets in bangkok. Molly was great at showing us new things we could eat… chicken on a stick, sticky rice, papaya salad (my favorite), fried spicy fish (we think it was fish….), roasted nuts, and more… I want to try more street food because its cheap and delicious, but there aren’t menus, i don’t speak thai, and sometimes I’m not quite sure what it is that is for sale.
For the future… Val and I have decided to return to Cambodia to teach English. While thailand is interesting, the timing and job market in Phnom Penh is much much better. Also, some of our friends from the languagecorps program stayed there and it is a good community of people. Val left today to finish her student teaching there. I will finish my student teaching in Pattaya, travel for ten days in Thailand, and then go back to Cambodia too. For anyone that was dying to visit me in Thailand, you should reconsider Cambodia! It’s cheap, and its more rustic… its like Thailand 20 years ago.
That’s all for now… I’d love to hear from everyone else, so send me an email when you have time!!