Saturday, December 15, 2007

Does life get any better than eating spicy curry at 8:00 a.m.???

I am in Thailand! Having spent my first week in Koh Tao I am just now finally seeing every ones usual first stop, Bangkok. To say that Thailand is nothing like I expected it to be would be a very gross understatement. I was certainly not expecting such an industrialized nation, and the fact that there is a 7-11 on every corner is still freaking me out! On the plus side food is super cheap now that I am off Koh Tao and I am walking around stuffing myself on noodles and curry every chance I get, which comes to approximately 8 chances a day so far. At this rate I will be back up to 195 in no time, though I don't think it will be an attractive 195!

Arriving in Thailand just over a week ago I flew immediately to Koh Samui on the very luxurious Bangkok Airways. From Koh Samui it is a mere 1.5 hour ferry ride to Koh Tao. Unfortunately, it was 10:00 p.m. by the time I arrived in Koh Samui, therefore necessitating waiting until morning to catch the ferry. After a ridiculously expensive cab ride (I was still figuring out how developed Thailand really is) and a desperate search for a hotel that was still open at 11:00, I finally found a little cabana and crashed for the night. The next day I left for Koh Tao excited to reach what the LP had called a "hidden jewel among Thailand's ever popular islands". Unfortunately for me this "hidden jewel" seemed to have been discovered by hoards of invading divers. The beaches, which I was told were either uncrowded or deserted, were crowded and loud. Hammocks? Forget about it. I searched, and searched, and searched and only found a hammock towards the end of my week. So did I hate Koh Tao? Surprisingly, the answer is a resounding NO! I swam in beautiful crystal clear turquoise water, rented a motor bike and cruised the island, and, of course, stuffed myself on delicious Thai food!! It was a pretty great week. Throw in some diving, beers, and books and you get the picture!

Now I have returned to the real world (if that's what you can really call this). As I was eating my curry this morning (mmmmmm...sorry I am going to have to come back and finish this in a bit, I need some more curry.) OK, I'm back, though I was just sending a few emails and, like before, am now feeling another curry craving coming on. Where was I? Oh yes, I'm in Bangkok now staying just a few blocks from the very famous Khoa San road. This is truly a crazy place. There is a Starbucks (yes I did indulge), McDonalds, Burger King, and last but not least a CRAAAAZZZYY number of tourists. This is unreal. Not backpackers. Tourists. The streets are lined with people selling knockoff clothing and DVD's. There is sex a plenty (which sadly draws a large number of tourists. It is pretty weird watching old creepy white guys walking down the street with their arms around young Thai girls) as lady boys strut their "stuff" and at night you can't walk ten feet without being invited to a ping pong show (If you don't know what those are I am going to let you do your own research on the topic).

The whole atmosphere is a bit much for me so I am headed north to view some of the ruins of northern Thailand before heading to Chang Mai to begin a meditation retreat. I have always wanted to practice meditation and am relishing the opportunity to finally seriously practice meditation. With that said I am also quite nervous as I will be spending a minimum of ten days in almost complete solitude, sleeping only a couple hours a night, eating very little, and spending all my time focusing my energy inward. I am scared to face August like this, though I have been waiting for this moment for a while now and it seems that the time has finally come. I will try to post another blog before I head into the monastery but if do not get around to it please send me lots of positive feelings over these next few weeks. I have a feeling I am going to need them.

paz y amor

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