Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quickie

Hey Y'all. Sorry I have not been on the updating front. I have not been able to upload pictures yet and I haven't had time to write. But I am still alive and I have done a lot. I will update soon I promise.

Friday, June 19, 2009

India

Is fucking hot.

For realsies.

My last few days in Thailand were great. I got to know some people better and I started to pick up on some thai a little more. I think I wrote about that already but whatever. Bangkok was alright. I did go to the Urban Tree house and talk to Adisak for a few hours. I then walked all the way back to Kalsan Rd, took a shower, ate dinner and then went to bed. Lynd called me at about 11 and we talked for about an hour. Then she woke me up at 4am which was very nice of her. Went to the airport and now I'm here!

So, like I said it is hot. Justine met me at the airport (only just have flown in herself) and we proceeded to go to the Hotel. I saw some dudes with spears and monkeys on the way.

There are so many fucking people and I am having a bit of culture shock. Thankfully Justine is being patient and helping me a long. We have tried to go see some sights, but at around 2 we have to go back to the hotel to rest so we dont have heat stroke. Yesterday I was just tired, but today I was having a hard time breathing. You kinda have to wear long pant and I should be wearing a longsleeve shirt to cover my tattoos. I think maybe when I adjust (hopefully) I will be able to write a little more.

Also Justine's camera battery charger was lost during her flight, soooo there might not be pictures for a long time, unless we find a charger, oh yeah and a USB cord.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Not Doin Much in Khon Kaen

The last few days, or I guess week have been pretty nice. Though I haven't done a whole lot. The fist few days after Luke left I was sick. I'm nut sure what it was from, but I pretty much just laid in bed for two days drank water and took medicine. Then I had some stomach problems from all th spicy, though I didn't let that stop me. I went downtown one day by myself and walked forever in the heat. Then the teahouse was closed. I went downtown the next day with Mook and the next day with Lynd. Apparently they never go, they just stay on campus. Not that its an amazing downtown, but its nice to walk aound. I went in the temple next to the tea house with Lynd and we got a tour from three hilarious little kids. I guess one wanted be to marry her or something. I went dancing again. I think I am a terrible dancer. But whatever. I have started to understand more Thai, though I don't speak it as much as I probably should. I do get compliments when I speak the language. Last night a bunch of us went to the vegetarian place together. That was pretty cool, since they all eat meat. Tonight I am taking an overnight bus to Bangkok and then early Wednesday morning I fly to India and meet up with Justine. It will be weird to be in Bangkok by myself but whatever. I have the name of a cool teashop/handmade soap and medicine place to go to. Oddly enough it feels weird to be leaving Khon Kaen. I haven't figured out why yet. I've only been here for a little over ten days.

Sorry I don't have any pictures to share with you. I only have my film camera right now.

One thing that I really like about being here is how all the kids cook together almost every other night. Apparently none of them knew how to cook before they got to school, but the food they make is amazing. Well, the little that I could eat. Everyone shares everything and dinners last hours.

I also got to ride on the back of a motorbike a few times here. Its soooo much fun. Driving a motorbike here is like being a bike messenger. You can imagine why I liked it.

I think I will update once more before I am in India.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen is cool as shit. Not only because I've meet some really cool people here and hung out a bunch, but because the people here are nice in general. This area of Thailand (northeastern) is called Issan. It's old school Thailand. Primarily farming communities and shares more with Laos culturally, then the rest of Thailand. Though capitalism has reached its arms into the most distant of places. Consumer culture in Thailand is still pretty new and has the attention of almost everyone.

So we all (Luke, Saire, Jenny, Elizabeth and myself) took a really nice bus (AC, food, movies) up to Khon Kaen. Buses are really cheap; 6hrs and 340baht is about 10bucks US. We all went to bed when we got here. It was pretty late. The next day we (Luke, Saire, Jenny, Elizabeth, Saxophone and some other Thai girls that I don't remeber the names of and myself)went to a Wat (temple) and to a dammed lake. It was huuuuuge and warm and I swam in it. At the lake there are a ton of huts connected to together for eating. Soo cool. So we chilled and ate and talked and swam. Sarie and I tried to swim out to a pole in the water, but about 2/3s of the way there I got tired, so instead of drowning, we swam back. Oh yeah and at the wat there were HUGE milipedes and lizards and stick bugs. I caught the lizards and took them off the steps. There were some dead ones and I think that they get confused because the stairs are so long and then die from the heat, or starvation. Check out the pictures. A.R.!

That night Luke's old roomie, Piched and his friends made food for us all. There was a shit ton of food, I put on some Lil'Wayne and we drank normal whiskey and some crazy rice whiskey that is really intense. Then we all went to Baan Bar and hung out and had some beers. Saxophone (yes her name is saxophone and her brother and sister's names are trumpet and trombone) and I watched and tennis game where we notified each other when there was a slight view of panties. Hilarious. Then we went dancing. Yes WE went dancing. I danced and it was great and they told me I was good at it. Imagine that. It wasn't like part of the time, it was start to finish. And the funny part is that there was a band playing ska. I don't like ska (thought the thai kids love that shit). It was a good night.

The next day we went to a woman's cooperative were they made textile stuff. I think they grow own cotton too. I wanted to get another bag, because I brought my messenger bag and its dumb. But there was nothing that I liked. We also went to a market downtown and bought some stuff for dinner. Luke made dinner for us all. He always got to eat the food that the thai kids made for him so he wanted to return the favor now that he had time and was leaving soon. After that we went to karaoke. And again, I participated. I sang Akon and did a duet of Willie Nelson with Sam. So good.

Luke and I went to the mall the next day and quickly left and enjoyed some down time at an ex-instructor Adisak's new tea house. Which is free and nice and quiet. We had amazing tea and talked for about 3-4 hours about social movements and life. It was really nice. I'm going to go back soon.

Yesterday we went to one of Luke's homestays which happens to be in a landfill. These people were super friendly though I didn't really understand them. They live there because they don't have a choice and make money by scavenging through the trash to look for recyclables. They have 9-10 hour days and don't have weekends. When we got there Luke's Pah was sleeping because he had worked until 5am. The landfill is apparently growing exponentially and its pretty much full of plastic bags. Plastic is a big deal here. They always give you a straw and you can even get soda in a bag. I'll have to take a picture of it. There was also a small plant there to burn bio-hazardous waste from the hospital, but there was also just a huge pile of it next to the building. I'm still processing it all. Some of the kids in the program that Luke did tried to do a human rights report on it and never finished it because it was so complicated. There is a picture of a super cute puppy that they hand feed. It has a sweater too.

Luke's friends took us out last night because today Luke is leaving for Bangkok. It was fun. Luke leaving is not. But it should still be fun, the kids here are super excited that I am staying and want me to come back.

In other news, I hurt my neck very similar to the way I did last summer. Its not as bad this time, but it still really sucks. And my nose started to get stuffy, though I'm pretty sure that will go away soon. At least I hope so.

That's all for now. I miss everyone who isn't here. But I'll be back before its known.

Also keep an eye out for President Obama. Apparently he's been all over Thailand.

Khon Kaen Gallery

Bangkok

Ok. So the computers here won't let me upload pictures to my blog, in fact the only thing i could upload them too was my picaso account. Anyways I'm going to write about each place and then give you a link to a gallery because I don't feel like writing code for about 100 pictures. I am leaving comments on the pictures so you know whats up. So Bangkok is ok. The only cheap place worth staying is hippie central and where westerners come to experience their own culture in an exotic place. Luke and I tried staying in China Town but we ended up bailing because they were the sketchiest rooms I have ever seen. This is about where I left you all last time. We only stayed at Koh Mak for about a day because we didn't want to run out of money. No ATMs on the island. Luke's camera also ran out of batteries on the island so there is a small gap in the pictures. When we got back to Bangkok from Koh Mak, thats when we looked for rooms in China town. Not only did we find terrible rooms, but no one knew where they were and we spent about 2 hours trying to find them. Even the police, who were super friendly, didn't really know. After we found the second place we were so tired of walking that we were like fuck it. But as we were walking around, looking for food we got more and more bummed out. There was a sign in the office that said do not leave you valuables in your room. This turned out to be because there was only a screen above the door. The sheets were dirty, there was no window, super tiny, looked like a cell and the hallway was dark with sketchy silhouettes at the end. So we went back to hippie central, where it costs more, but its safe and the sheets are clean.

We stayed there for another night because a girl from Luke's program was having a birthday outing. So we took a vegan cooking class! Now I know how to make Thai food. Really really good VEGAN Thai food. One of the dishes is raw. Som Tom. Its pretty much the best thing ever. That took about 4-5 hours. Then nap time and then we meet up with friends. These kids were all really good kids. The first night I had really good conversations with Hannah, Luke
and Jenny. We talked about social interactions, social change and activism, and in a way that has been more satisfying and realistic than anything I have ever experienced in the "radical" community at home. There is some very interesting shit happening out here and in the US that I feel radical kids need to be aware of, be a part of and have faith in. I'm not sure that I want to get into that right now....it needs it's own entry.

Anyways drinking in Thailand is interesting. First of all there is a very limited selection of what you can drink. Beer and liquor alike. There is really only whiskey and cheap whiskey at that. Beers of choice are Chang and Leo. Pretty good I guess. The whiskys are ok. I would never drink it at home. But whatever. That night we drank and some of the kids danced and it was pretty fun.

The next day Luke, Sarie, Jenny, Elizebeth and I left for Khon Kaen.

Bangkok Gallery

Koh Mak Gallery