15.11.2006 - 29.11.2006
Right, not too sure where Matt left off, and our last few days on Phuket are a bit of a blur so this may be a bit out of order..
Anyway, after the exam we had a couple of days to chill before receiving our spanking new TEFL certificates.. But they arrived safely from Bangkok Wednesday so we had a wee graduation do: got our certs, went to an open air restaurant perched on a cliff (well almost!) with an amazing panoramic view.. It was beautiful to watch the sun set over the sea while enjoying some delicious thai food, a drink or three and good company
After that we headed to Bangla Rd again (same place I had eaten the bugs.. by the way, the cricket was ok, just a little crunchy and the legs/antennae got stuck in my mouth! but the silk worm was GROSS.. not much taste but the texture is icky!). It was a lovely night just chilling with our TEFL friends and some Thais (mainly farang's girlfriends), played jenga (normal kind and a harder Thai version) and had a laugh..
After that we bummed around in Phuket until our accomodation ran out (Saturday 18th) and then headed to Bangkok, despite very almost staying as a friend offered us to stay at his until we got ourselves sorted.. but head off we did, and we are very glad we did
Bangkok is CRAZY.. big and polluted and both very developed and very undeveloped.. There is a skytrain and HUGE modern malls (better than any we see in Europe anyway) - Matt has fallen in love with one in particular, MBK, which is a giant cross between a market and a mall.. and then there are the soopa-doopa expensive ones (i.e. they have ferrari dealerships on the 4th floor etc!) and everything in between. But on the other hand, there are thousands of street food stalls, stray dogs and rickety old small buses that spew out noxious black fumes.. But I guess that's what makes the City of Angels so compelling, it's a wonderul jumble and there's always something interesting around the corner! Incidently Bangkok's name isn't actually Bangkok! It's 'real name' is actually 15 words long (and long words too!) but has been now officially truncated to Krung Thep which means City of Angels.. everyone calls it Bangkok because that's what traders used to call it after a village nearby!
Anyhow, we have been very busy here and have only managed to squeeze in a teeny bit of proper sight-seeing.. we went to see a temple (Wat) called Wat Po which houses the world's largest reclining Buddha.. it's 46m long!!! The Wat, like most Buddhist temples, is not just one building but the whole grounds which has several buildings and in this case lots of gold Buddha statues (this one even has a small school) and just wandering around the Wat is almost as impressive as the huge Buddha.. and after all that wandering we went for a thai massage at the famous Wat Po massage school (part of the temple, but slightly off the grounds) which was lovely. And here's another fact for you (hmm, i feel like an e-tourguide!): Thai massage doesn't necessrily aim to relax and feel pleasant. It was developed by monks who sit crossed legs for hours when meditating so Thai massage involves stretching, kneading, cracking and manipulating joints etc.. oh, and it uses pressure points too! Some of it was quite painful but we felt great afterwards!
On the more practical side of things we've both found jobs: Matt starts Friday and I started on Monday despite a very heavy cold and sore throat. I've almost lost my voice now too! But this has turned into a mammoth entry so I will keep you all in suspense about my job as I'm going on a fieldtrip tomorrow and may well take photos of some of the wee critters! That is, if I haven't died of this cold or of a paracetemol OD overnight!
Besos a todos
PS I wrote this a few days ago actually, but it's taken a while for us to upload the photos etc.. sorry!