Through My Eyes

Timing was everything.

with one comment

Very excited that Nate, one of my closest friends in SF, is landing in Bangkok tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to being in good company, as I know Nate is going to be just that. Willing to try new things, having an open mind, and providing an endless source of entertainment – it’s hard for me to think of a better wing man. I think he is going to get a lot out of his experience here in southeast Asia.

Until Nate arrives, I’m going to continue enjoying my time here. Walked over to Island Muay Thai and took a personal training session yesterday and absolutely loved it. What a workout. I felt so much more exhilarated after that 1.5 hr session than I have in weeks! The training was done entirely outdoors in 85+ degree heat with high humidity. My trainer’s name was Bang, and just from observation, I think he is in his early 30s. I could tell that there were times when he wanted to laugh at me, but was trying to be polite and hold back. My punches and side kicks seemed decent, but the front kicks were tricky. I was so afraid that my foot would slip and accidentally kick him in the crotch, which it did a few times. We’ll be working on that tonight when I go in for round 2. Tonight’s lesson will include the side face and elbow hits, uppercuts, and knee kicks. Can’t wait.

I was out eating dinner the other night and came up with this list. If you have more to add, please feel free to post. I’m sure there’s a lot I left out, but these seem to help me…

The Official Guide to Combating Loneliness When Traveling Solo:

1) Go to the most popular bar and sip on a strong drink while you watch the sunset.
2) Be friendly to your bartender.
3) Be thankful that you can walk, run, and breathe. You’re alive!
4) Go somewhere where the music is good.
5) Try to do something new every day.
6) See how many activities you can participate in without having to pay a dime.
7) Write. Even if it’s to yourself.
8) Laugh out loud when you run into a problem.
9) Smile at the person sitting next to you.
10) Be grateful that you aren’t dealing with a partner you are fighting or arguing with. (Surprisingly, I’ve seen way too many of those here on Koh Tao.)
11) Enjoy the silence.
12) Bring along a book you won’t want to put down.
13) Go outside and look at the stars.
14) Find out where you can dance.
15) Try to count how many different countries are being represented by fellow diners.
16) Make a beeline for the door if it’s all couples.
17) Play nice with others.
18) Ask other travelers where they recommend you go next.

Also, I did end up volunteering at the nursery school for a few days this past week. Had to call Aaron because I completely forgot the rules to Heads Up 7-Up and was trying to teach a group of 40 three-year olds who speak Thai, Burmese, and Lao. Needless to say, it was a failed mission, and the kids just looked up at me very confused. As an alternative, Ms. Lei made me stand in the middle of a circle and sing Old McDonald, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and The Wheels on the Bus. (Dad, you would have been so proud – I tried to teach them the song from The Sound of Music ~ “Doe, a deer, a female deer. Ray, a drop of golden sun. Me, a name I call myself. Far, a long long way to run. Sew, a needle pulling thread….” It’s too bad that they weren’t familiar with the movie at all. I thought The Sound of Music was an international hit, no?) Anyway, what I did learn was Chevron’s probable motive for donating so much money to the primary school. Apparently, the company made a public presentation of the results of their initial environmental impact study for oil exploration about 65 km. off the coast of Koh Tao. The project is referred to as G4/50 and calls for 12 sites to be explored for existence of hydrocarbon. Most of the local audience they presented to were vehemently opposed to Chevron’s plans.

This reminded me of my four years in Santa Barbara, where oil rigs filled the horizon off the coast where we lived. I remember walking along the beach below the street of DP and having to scratch the black tar off of my feet every time we got out of the water. What should have been a pleasant stroll became a reminder of the sacrifices we make to keep up with globalisation and its endless demands. I hope that Koh Tao can retain most of it’s natural beauty and small town charm for much longer, although looking at the way the other islands (Koh Samui, Ko Phi Phi, etc.) have further developed into commercial money-makers, it might be just a couple of years before it becomes just like one of the others.

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Written by winniewongsf

November 14, 2009 at 7:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Talk to taxi drivers and police, they are love meeting people and generally know the best eating spotsRead the local English papers and talk to acquaintances about their politicsGo to places where community meals are provided (churches/temples/etc)VolunteerGo to see non-western movies

    Jeffrey

    November 20, 2009 at 8:00 am


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