18 Oct 2010

.Out.Koh Tao.Koh Phangan.

Once again, when normal people get time to prepare their paper for the final evaluation, they work on a paper. Ona, on the other hand, rushes with the paper and then runs away from Bangkok, so she could at least take a glance at some islands on the east coast of Thailand, which already started having the rain season. I just couldn’t help myself. Knowing that it’s the case of `now or never` [since I have no idea when is the next time I come to Thailand, if I ever come back], I decided it’s the right thing to do. To escape.

My trip started In Bangkok, trying to get a bus, going to the Southern [why the hell it’s called Southern when it’s clearly on the West, don’t ask me] bus terminal. And once again, of course, only in Bangkok, the city, known as one of the worst traffics ever, buses, that goes to West, has to be taken on the direction to the East. So after waiting in one bus stop and finding no buses, moving to another one, getting to the wrong bus [that’s also part of fun in Bangkok public transportation – you should never believe it – buses almost goes whenever and wherever they want], I finally got into the right one. And after `just` two hours of struggling in the busy busy traffic of Bangkok I arrive safely to the bus terminal I needed. Buying a ticket is a piece of cake, since there are plenty of buses going to the same direction at the same time, so I bought a ticket, waited for my bus and after a little while jumped in it and started moving. My sleep was not good at all, so I maybe managed to sleep for two hours max when I was waken up hearing `Miss. This is Chumphon and had to get off in the middle of nowhere [once again, I may say, bus stations in small cities are not stations. Just middle of the street], caught a bike taxi [scooter who takes you to where you want], which I thought will take me to the port, but no, he just took me to the train station. In the station I found a guy from the company, bought a ticket to the boat [with transportation to the port included, so I figured it’s a good deal] and had to wait [oh yes] three hours in the train station. I probably don’t have to say that it is a lot of fun staying there, just like anywhere else in the train station. But I did meet three nice Australians, heading also to Koh Tao, so at least we spend time talking and not falling asleep while waiting for someone to rob me [maybe that would have never happened, but I wasn’t ready to risk]. It was still dark when transportation came and took as to the port. In the `port`, which was a small thing with a big smell of fish, we had to wait for almost an hour, so there was nothing much else better to do but to make pictures, read book and wait for the boat to arrive.

Boat trip was a little exciting. I haven’t been on a boat for a long time now and I like it. Wind, islands around, water behind brought some memories and smile to my face. It was nice. But since I was a bit afraid of falling asleep, I mostly kept on reading my `The painted house`. Good book, by the way, if you are looking for something to read.

We arrived to Koh Tao with the sun and a lot of heat. We were all met by many [way too many, if you ask me] people who are offering housing, diving courses and anything else, you might consider be needed. Just so you know, if you ever come here, you might consider taking their offers, they have a huge variety of prices and accommodations, so you might get what you wanted. Since I was alone, and usually taking a room means taking a double room which also means paying double price, I went for the dorm style hostel, have them a call, arranged my stay and went for breakfast. No matter that sun came with us and the boat and I am a fast eater, during my breakfast the sun ran away [just like I ran away from Bangkok] and the storm began. I waited a bit for it to calm and moved to my hostel. It was only two kilometers, my back was light, so I figured I can just go, saving money and nerves on taxi [you always have to bargain and that’s tiring]. I found the place with no big problem, which was almost on the shore of the most popular and most busy beaches in the island.

The place I have been staying is `The backpackers hostel`. Well, what can I say – not recommended. Rooms are very much ok, eight beds in one room, but if you only plan on sleeping in there and not hanging out, it’s all fine and good, but the showers were not good. No hot water for starters, poor and water was weak. I mean I am not very demanding in the places like this, but if I get tired by trying to wash salt from my hair – well, that’s just not good at all. Good thing I was only staying there two days, if more, I would just gone crazy.

Since the rain stopped, I went to the beach, but it was too windy and a bit too cold to go swimming, so I was just walking playing with sand and water, reading my book and watching people going on little boats or going diving. Just a little tip – if you want to get license for diving – Koh Tao is a place to do it. Every second place is offering diving courses and it’s cheaper when anywhere else, at least in Thailand. I had no time, unfortunately. But most people are coming mainly for that, and who can blame them. So I was walking around and after some time I got tired of walking in the beach, I decided to walk in surroundings. I took one path which said `view point` and decided to follow. How far can it be right? I can make it in my flip-flops, right? Boy, was I ever more wrong. I just didn’t know it yet.

So I went on, up the steep hills all the time. It wasn’t so easy to go on a slippery road in those `not shoes`, but the more I went, the less I wanted to turn around. Besides, I always had a feeling that it’s just around the corner. There were plenty of corners, I may add and none of them were hiding that view point. After a while my road separated into two and I had no idea where to go. I saw a couple going the opposite direction on a bike, so I asked them are they coming back from the point view. They said yes and added that’s it’s far away. `I can make it` I said and they looked at me and my almost bare feet but let me go. And I kept on walking. I was tired, hot, my feet were killing me, the hills were never going to disappear, but I was so angry, that my principles just did not let me turn around and go back. I decided that I will reach that spot no matter what.

After maybe and hour and a bit of walking I came to it. So I sat there for a really long time, since such a long walk deserved a long break. The view was nice, you can judge if it was worth it in the pictures on a facebook. While I was there, I met an American and English girls who were travelling for a year. After their left German guy Swen joined me on the spot. It’s just that all of them came there by bikes. Not so mane stupid ones are coming there on foot. We were sitting there, talking with Swen, when some locals came from the forest and offered us some sort of strange fruit, which we tried and judged that it’s probably a jackfruit [do you know it? Tastes strange, not bad though] and left telling that they are building a bungalow up there and we come there next summer. After a while and Indian girl with a father came along. I finally met someone, who was wearing similar shoes and coming up on foot. That felt nice. So we were talking to them for a while and decided to finally go down. We let Swen and here father to go on their bikes and moved down on foot again. Although going down seemed like a piece of cake after going all that way up. At some point we met a girl, also almost barefoot and after a little talk she decided to turn around and go there another day [she, just like us, was sure that it’s just around the corner].

So just before going to different directions we exchanged phone numbers and decided to meet later on. I went for a swim [first time in Thailand for me!], shower, dinner and a beer. While sitting and enjoying my beer in the bar I got a short message from one of the waiter’s saying: “I think you are very very beautiful :)” which honestly, made me smile very much. But so I left, since I wanted to walk along the beach while waiting for the guys to meet for later.

I was caught in the middle of my walk by and English guy, who said they saw me couple of times already walking here and there and they just wondered if I was ok. Of course I was ok, I was in the middle of the paradise, but he offered to join him and his friend for a beer and, since I had nothing else better to do, I joined them. We had some beers in the bar just on the beach, watching some fire show around us, talking about this and that, it was fun. I was planning on making that a short night and go to sleep [since last night was spent in the bus and almost sleepless], but we ended up walking along the beach after the bar closed and just siting on the wet sand and looking for some stars to show up in the cloudy sky. For the first time in my life, once again, I saw the sea floods very clearly. The sea was so much far away now, at night, when it was during the day time.

I got a little bit of sleep that night and next morning, since it was showering a little bit from the sky, I decided instead of going to the beach, to go and look for some more point views of something. I found a `OK view point`, which wasn’t good at all, so finally ended up getting a map of the island and decided to go the east side of the island [I was located in the West], but since I had to go through the hills up and down again, I decided to put on some decent shoes and call Swen, if he wanted to join me. He wanted to, so we met and moved to the East. Of course, in the middle of our walk, the pouring rain caught us, got us completely soaked, but we decided not to give up and move on. It was worth it, big times. An extremely silent nice beach we found. It wasn’t sandy at all and you cannot go swimming there, but the rocks and stones around made it very nice. Also, dark blue sky and very green trees around after the rain just made it even more perfect. We enjoyed the view for a bit and finally started heading back [meeting darkness in the middle of nowhere is not the best deal you could get, for sure]. On our way back we turned to a little road, passed through the bottle house [where house has millions of bottles in the walls, and, according to the owner, brings light from outside during the day time and light from inside when it’s dark outside. We talked to the owner and he seems to have a very interesting life story. We also talked about business in the Koh Tao, lands, prices and laws and it’s all so complicated, that if you want to have a business in there one day – you have to be careful and study it all.

We went on because it was supposed to be a viewpoint `really close`. It was really close it’s just that at some point we took a wrong turn and end up nowhere. Even there we managed to find a little view point and since it was also becoming dark, we moved down. On our way back, we, of course, found the right view point, which was nice, I have to agree, unfortunately not much was visible due to the dark period of the day already. We cam back to the city and it was already completely dark, but we decided to meet up later. So I went back to the wonderful showers in my place, had some dinner later on and met the guys for something that is was better known as `my last night in Koh Tao`. I have decided before going out that it is going to be a short night for sure, since I had to wake up early for the boat to Koh Phangan and I was already tired. Do I need to mention, that once again, I was so wrong about my expectations?

We made a completely international group, sitting in the bar on the beach, even during the little rain [which felt nice and I loved it]: Indian, German, English, American and me. After a little while a Dutch guy joined us and people started moving around. Some of them went home, some went for dancing or something and it was only me and Rick left there [the Dutch guy]. We were spending time very nicely there, having a nice conversation, watching people around having fun. After a while the bar closed, but we did not want to go anywhere, so we stayed there at the beach, talking about almost everything. I knew I had to go home and get some sleep, but somehow I just wanted to stay there and enjoy the conversation. It’s not everyday you meet such people, that you know you might never see again, so you try to postpone the separation as long as possible. We were there till all of the people were gone, security checked the place and shut down the lights and finally we decided to go somewhere. We found some sort of a bar [more like a tent than a bar] and decided to continue there. At some point Swen showed up from somewhere and we were still there. Almost just before the dawn, that `bar` closed and I finally decided to go to sleep. It was way too little for me of the sleep, but I needed at least that little.

I probably once again, don’t have to say that I overslept in the morning and almost made it to be boat. But I did it and not enough, in the boat I met Tom and his friend. We shared a boat and then after a short while I left in Koh Phangan, while the guys moved forward.

I came to the island with the sun, which, after a bit hid under the clouds. I phoned the place I was planning to stay – The smile beach resort. Well, what can I say – highly highly definitely recommended. It was fantastic place. Although going to it was a bit complicated, since it was the low season. I managed to bargain bike taxi and got a ride to the most beautiful [at least claimed as such] and very silent beach. My resort turned out to give me a wonderful bungalow with a king size bed and a fan for only 250 Baht [~7 EUR] and the shower was perfect [even more than perfect], the staff was helpful and amazing and only 10-20 meters to the beach. I also had hammock just outside my place which just made it even more perfect.

After such a long days and nights in Koh Tao, I very much enjoyed Koh Phangan and it’s silent and beautiful beach with almost no tourists around, just walking around, making pictures, reading a book, and so on. I had it all. I had my own butterflies around, frogs to listen in the evening, even an evening refreshing rain and even swings just on the beach, which made it completely perfect, I just couldn’t believe. In the beginning I tried to get some trips around, snorkeling or something, but due to the low season it was impossible, so I made my best to just enjoy if full time.

I was mainly just swimming and reading a book and being with myself, contemplating and trying to make order in the chaos, better known as my mind. I’m not sure if I managed that, but at least a had a rest my body was begging for.

I finished my book just before leaving and kind staff let me exchange my book with the ones that they had on the shelves, so I almost shrieked when I saw a book I wanted. Lisbeth Salander was with me again. I started reading immediately. My `taxi`, which turned out to be a pretty fancy car of the resort with a manager driving, came to pick me up just before my boat left and so I left the second paradise, don’t know why, but almost crying. Even though I left no one there, it was still sad that my trip is almost over.

To my surprise, the boat was going back to Koh Tao [how was that possible, especially with the price I paid for the ticket, I still don’t get] and my oh my, can there be more of coincidences, Rick was on the same boat. We met just outside the boat, so we exchanged some last sentences, wished each other nice time in wherever we went [he headed to South, I was going back to Bangkok], he left and I stayed waiting for my bus.

.Back in Bangkok.

Bus ride was ok, even though the bus was pretty old, but at least it took me to my city. We got off the bus at around 3 a.m. and after a little waiting for the bus to go home, which never came, I just took a cab and got back to my dormitory. I managed to get a little bit of sleep, prepared myself and went to the school. Here we go again.

My lecture was a little odd, I may say. I have never had this experience when there is no clear start of the lecture. Teacher just starts writing things on the whiteboard with no words expressed. I was writing everything down and watching the time. So after 57 minutes of the lecture she said her first words in the lecture. Well, that will be something interesting in this course, I made a guess. And somehow I get the feeling, I was right about this one.

All the rest is again, business as usual. Same sun, same heat, same cloudiness and pollution cap, nothing is changing. I feel like I’m at home again.

8 Oct 2010


Usually, when they give you several days off from lectures, so you can catch up on the readings and prepare yourself for the exam properly, normal people tend to do this. Me, on the other hand, have never been an ordinary normal person, so instead of reading, we have decided to go to the north of Thailand. People told us that it’s very nice, and we had to check it out by ourselves, of course.

Planning the trip here in Thailand, where you have a lot of tourists, is pretty easy. For the starters, we needed a train ticket to Chiang Mai. I was pleasantly surprised by the services in Bangkok train station. The guy, just outside the station asked us where and when we are going and what kind of tickets we want to get [you know, with/out AC, fan, sleepers or 3rd class seats], then took us to the ticket office and helped us to buy the tickets. Piece of cake – highly recommended for everyone, very easy.

Although the train itself was not keen to pleasant surprises, it was delayed. So instead of leaving Bangkok around 22.00, we have stayed in the station while waiting and got into the train only at around midnight. Well, what can you do, right, at least you are in the train and it takes you to the desired destination. Train journey reminded a bit of travelling through Siberia. Similar TV through the window, although plants and buildings and people look completely different. It’s like the same television, just different channel. Since it’s the end of the rainy season here in Thailand, everything was extremely green and very exciting.

We arrived to Chiang Mai way later than we expected, but decided not to stick to this place, but move out to Chiang Rai the next day already. While having not so much time, we went straight to the guest house to check in for the night. Believe it or not, but the place was pretty nice, room pretty ok, and with shared shower, but pretty clean. So basically no complaints about the place at all and it cost 70 Baht [around 2 EUR] each. Besides, the place is offering huge variety of services – train/bus/plane tickets, trips around, basically everything you might be needing. The place is called Julies guest house – if you ever consider where to stay in Chiang Rai, I definitely recommend this place – clean, cheap, close to the city center and all in one. They even have a fridge and some tables, so you can relax and have some beers in the evening, for which you pay almost the same amount as you would in the shop. Very nice, really.

So after we checked in, it was time to go for a walk around the city and some dinner. We stopped at some place, cannot remember the name now, but definitely can show it on the map, if necessary, and I have to say, I don’t know if I ever ate better made curry. Oh my, that was a delicious piece of that thing. Well, maybe it can compete with Kelvin’s curry on some level, but it was definitely very very good.

So after the dinner it was dark already [it’s getting dark here very soon, keep in mind], so we past through couple of the temples, walked through the city center, went to the night market, where people were pretty pushy, but still nothing to compare to Chinese markets. And, what a discovery (!), used books shop. I bought some sort of novel [since Salander with a dragon tattoo was already almost finished], my friend bought touristic guide for the places around. I just so much loved the idea that you can buy used books much cheaper than in the ordinary book store, since I’m now very big on reading.

We had an easy night that day, since we knew we have to get up pretty early and still catch a bus to Chiang Rai. So in the morning after check-out and breakfast we decided it was time for the first Thai massage. We took a turn and chose not particularly ordinary place, that is a women jail, where women in it are doing massages and most of the money are going to them, when they leave the jail, so the idea is very promising. I probably don’t have to say that is was my first decent massage ever, Thai massage – even more. And I have to say it – I just loved it. It was amazing how they are working and how good, fresh and light you feel after it. And ok, you might know this already, but for me it was a bit surprising, that it’s not just some back massaging, but also some stretching and everything. Well, in short – you definitely have to try real Thai massage in Thailand so appreciate it accordingly.

After the massage we took a very fancy [but oh my how fancy] bus to Chiang Rai, which took exactly 3 hours to get there. While we were passing through the places around, I was amazed by how beautiful nature there is around and what small nice little villages people live in. We got to the place, took some sort of pick up to the guest house we were staying and arrived successfully in one piece. Once again, the place we stayed in was just awesome! Small, but very nice. The name I cannot recall again, but something to do with `Buan Baa`. Anyways, I can always google it and tell for you exact name, since once again – highly recommended. The room was just big enough, with own shower and we paid ~4EUR each for the night. The staff was very nice and booked us a guided tour for two days of trekking in the surroundings and since it was already pretty late, we went for the walk – just so we could experience some of Chiang Rai.

We liked Chiang Rai much more than Chiang Mai, to be honest. The city was much smaller, but so much nicer and people around were very nice, not pushy at all in the night market even. At 9 p.m. we went to see the attraction of the city – some sort of big clock and light show. So we sat there, waiting for the light show to appear when some Thai people, who were sitting next to us, offered us something. Some sort of a fruit, that I have no idea how it’s called [forgot even a Thai name for it] that looks a bit like a small potato from the very beginning. Turns out, it is an extremely tasty thing, but I was delaying the purchase of it, so now, since I tried it and liked it, I think I’m gonna buy some for myself here, in Bangkok.

We also called it an easy night, since the next day we had to wake up pretty early and be fresh for the two days trekking in the jungles. In the morning we some people from travelling agency [who made some pictures of us for the new advertising of the tours], then an unbelievably nice guide of our trekking – Vin and went for it.

Our trip started with a small pick-up to the river. Then we took around one-hour length tour with the boat and made way too many pictures from the surroundings, but it’s just so nice there everywhere, that you cannot really help yourself. After that one hour we stopped at the elephant camp, where I touched (!) elephant for the first time in my life and took an elephant ride around the small village. It was interesting, very uncomfortable although. Just try it and you will understand what I mean by that. Our elephant driver was unbelievable. He took the camera from my friend, jump off the elephant, left only the two of us on it [I was a bit scared he will run where he wants – the elephant I mean – but he was very nice and listened to the driver], took some pictures of us on it. We stayed there a little more, watching how elephants are posing in front of camera and kissing [or fighting, could never get which one is true] and went for a lunch. After lunch, our trekking trip started.

We were walking up and down, usually under the sun [and oh my god, that’s damn hot], mostly through some rice fields and local villages. Vin, our guide, was very nice guy – he was 43, a grandfather already, and he kept on telling us stories about the places, rice, villages and what people are doing in there. As the guide – he was more or less perfect. While doing some stops and listening to some local stories about opium, after a while we reached the village and the place where we were supposed to spend the night in. just before taking a rest, we went to the waterfall. And yes, I know, it was far from The Niagara Falls, but it was still the first waterfall I swam at, so it was pretty damn amazing for me. We spend an evening in that small little village in the middle of the jungles in the middle of nowhere. It was nice really. We even got a small room with almost pink mosquito net, then we had some very nice dinner prepared for us, watched some completely crazy local Thai TV series [that I cannot even explain to you, you just had to be there and check it out by yourself, because we were just laughing almost to tears].

For the first time in Thailand, I finally managed to get out at night outside, look up and see a million stars. I missed the sky full of stars, since in Bangkok, if you see three of them – you are a lucky person, so it was a nice reminder, that there is still such a magical thing like stars. Even in Thailand.

The next morning we woke up, had some breakfast, bought some souvenirs. And of course, just as always, when ordinary and normal females are buying some jewelry or purses or something similar, I had to buy a long, sharp and very much useful in the jungles knife [cannot remember how it’s called right now, but you know what I am talking about right?]. Just couldn’t resist, seriously. I just hope I will manage to get it back home safely, since it’s basically a gun. We also got cups for the reminder as a souvenir from bamboo. And this one was one big and much appreciated souvenir, since it’s hand made and from bamboo and will always remind me about this trekking.

A bit off topic, but bamboo seems to be a crucial thing here in Thailand. They do everything from it. Houses are built from bamboo, talking sticks are made from bamboo, even cups and who knows what more can be done out of it. Vin even made us a small shooting toy out of it. You have it, you put a small berry in it and you shoot – it sounds just like a real gun. Amazing thing. I was just wondering, if they had no bamboo around, how would they live?

So our second day was even hotter and walking under the sun was very difficult. We passed through some villages, some tea plantation, tried to make some pictures of the butterflies. I managed it couple of times, but it was so difficult, since they seem to be very quick and not in a mood of having their picture taken. But one of them landed on my hand, which was very nice feeling.

We ended up our tour with Vin and his brother listening to the stories about drugs in the Golden Triangle [area around]. Seems that there are at least 60 000 people involved with drug trafficking in Chiang Rai [and it’s a small village, so it’s really a lot] and it’s around 800-900 million Baht [would be around 300 000 EUR] trafficking of drugs everyday from/to Myanmar [ex Birma].

So in the evening we arrived back to Chiang Rai, walked a little bit around, tried to get to some temples, that we were kind of kicked out [nicely, though], because it was already closed, went to the market once again had a little snack. I ate some shrimps and they were sooo delicious, definitely highly recommended if you get here one day. The day before I tried some sort of bug, not sure how it’s called, but looked a little bit like a grass-hopper. What can I say, nothing compared to the scorpion, which was the most exotic thing I tried before, because this one did not taste good at all. It’s a good thing I bought only two of them and not the whole plate.

Later that night we went to some pub for a beer and met some back-packers there. There was a girl from Sweden, a very nice guy from California, who gave us some very useful tips about going to Cambodia, also one Dutch guy, who apparently saw our picture in the travelling agency, where we booked our trekking trip. So we had some nice conversations and went to bed, since the last day in the north was not a booked tour, so it’s a bit more difficult to travel. But we very much wanted to see the Golden Triangle, where two rivers and three countries meet in one point. We took a bus that went to Chiang Saen, local one, with a lot of local people. We were stopped at some check point for drugs [I was very scared, since they were checking passports and I left mine in Bangkok. And yes, I know, very stupid of me, no need to remind me that], but they did not check me, so we arrived safely. In Chiang Saen we took a pick-up kind of small bus and went to Sap Ruak, the place where they have an Opium museum and we went inside. Very small but pretty informative museum, which tells you the story about opium in that area [Golden Triangle]. After that we just saw some big nice stairs and decided to follow them, since the arrow up was showing `very beautiful spot` and we decided to check it out. And the amazing thing it – that was that exact Golden Triangle spot with two rivers and three countries meeting point. None of the touristic books were telling that so we were very happy to find it by ourselves. So we walked around, took some pictures, had lunch, caught a pick-up car, got back to Chiang Saen and headed back to Chiang Rai, since we still wanted to see a white temple just before we left.

We took a but to the white temple, got there and saw this temple, which from a bit far away looks like a glacial castle, just like from the old cartoon about ice queen and a brother, kidnapped by her and a sister, who went on looking for him. On our way back we took a pick-up, which took us to some sort of camp, took a lot of local kids and drove us back to the city. In the city we had a very tasty dinner [cost around 0.8 EUR) and headed for some internet.

You would probably ask why the hell we need internet in the place like that, but it’s of course, my `luck` struck again. It was the day, we could have drop/add courses for the school and I asked one of my class mates to do it for me [since I wasn’t sure if I can catch some internet in there] and she called me informing, that I have no registry data at all [which I had to have]. So we checked, tried to register me once again, which ended up as an unsuccessful thing, because the system told me I have to pay some money [which I didn’t really under normal circumstances]. So I left Chiang Rai wondering what went wrong and if I manage to clear the air out once I’m back in Bangkok.

So once we got back home, I took a shower, checked once again my registry failure and headed to the international affairs office to check what went wrong. I spend more than two hours here and there, because international office did not know what went wrong, so we went to the registry office [and I am very thankful for the guy from international office, because he went with me because dealing with people in registry office when they speak no English and I speak no Thai would have been a challenge], waited for some more time, they even called in a head of the registry office, since my case was extraordinary. So after some more waiting and looking for some documentation they realized that they did not registered me as an exchange student there. But in the very end they changed something in the system, so everything turned out to be ok, I am registered, I don’t need to pay anything anyone anymore and it seems to be in order. Once again, I realized that I should never relax, in any case, because something will go wrong earlier or sooner. But at least now it’s done.

Back from the North.

Since we got back, the business is as usual. We went to school made some presentations, studied a bit [cannot really lie, really not a lot], took the exam today and presented our outlines for the paper that we need to write and hand in next week.

Coming back to Bangkok reminded us about the heat and sun and about insanely big pollution, which is almost not felt in the North.

But, somehow, feeling like at home, it’s good to be back to Bangkok. At least for a while. Before the next escape.

.Studies in general.

Studying in Thailand is a bit different from the Europe. As I mentioned at some point before, they have one thing at a time only, having lectures pretty intensively every or almost every day, then taking an exam and with almost no break until the next subject, moving forward.

Since I so far only had one subject, it’s hard to compare with other, maybe this one is an exception, but the reading list was enormous. Three books [well ok, not completely full, but still] and about 40 articles for one subject, I am sorry, but it’s way too much. So if I was shocked about how much we need to read in Denmark, it was just a little piece of what we have to read in here.

The good thing, though, that exam was pretty easy. 50 true/false questions, most of which were from the preparation list of the questions, we received couple of days ago. So it’s manageable, especially if you have a good head, some logic in your thinking, even without careful reading of that pile of papers we received on the first day of school.


One of the `must` here in Thailand is definitely food. It’s amazing really, with no doubts. It’s in comparison pretty cheap, very tasty and variety is pretty big. All of the street kitchens and local cuisines are offering mostly similar meals, but even if you eat the same name having meal in different places – they taste different as well. Still not sure why, probably different spices gives you different taste, not sure, haven’t learned that yet.

Fruit shakes are extremely good in here. Very refreshing and very tasty and variety is also very big. Just like fruits – they have so many fruits we don’t really have in Europe and all of them [so far with no exceptions] are very tasty. Most of those I don’t even know the names, so I will skip this part, but I even cannot normally explain the taste. Seriously, you just need to try it on your own. Even the fruits that you can find in Europe, taste different in here. Take, for example bananas. Not enough they have a lot of different kinds of bananas here [even baby bananas and oh my they look so cute], but they have so much more taste, that you can hardly compare them to the ones we can buy in Europe. Or melon, or papaya, or water-melon. Even pears have much better taste in here.


A friendly reminder [mostly to myself, though] – when you are travelling, never, but like NEVER leave your passport behind. Let it be your best friend and carry it all around with yourself. I am still questioning myself how I managed to do it, but then again, it’s me, I always manage the impossible. And even if you manage to get away without a passport in the guest houses [for the registration], travelling to the very border of the country with no passport, well, let’s face it, it’s not only stupid and crazy, but dangerous as well. Especially when you are on the Thailand/Myanmar/Laos border, where, do I need to tell, they have extremely bad relations in between?

Well, I can say I was lucky, I did not really need my passport so urgently in there, but still it was the lesson for the rest of my life. Because those check-points for drugs stopped our bus for at least 5 times in total, and couple of times they asked for my passport as well. It’s a good thing it was enough to say `oh but I don’t have my passport..`, but my luck can be not that lucky next time.

So no matter where you go – never ever make my mistake, always take your passport with you! I learned that the hard way, but you can learn it from my stupid experience.


It’s still surprises me a little bit here in Thailand, but in most of the places you go into [inside I mean], you have to take off your shoes. Not only in the temples [which is kind of common at least in Muslim countries], but like everywhere. If you go to internet place – take your shoes off. If you are going to the restaurant [ok, not every, but pretty a lot] – take your shoes off. If you visit a toilet [let’s say in the station] – take your shoes off and put on some slippers, hanging there.

So one more thing you should learn, while you are here – check twice if your socks have no holes in them, before you go out. It might be not very pleasant when you have to take your shoes off in front of other people. It’s not my lesson I learned the hard way, because in a heat like this I don’t wear snickers or socks for that matter, but it’s useful to know, don’t you think?

.Used books stores.

This was a very nice discovery. You can also give them your book and get some money and buy some books cheaper for reading it might not be a very useful lesson for you, if you are not a reading fanatic, as am I, but still useful to know I guess. And yes, ok, you might not get the newest books in there, but you still can pick up some very interesting reading. I think I will look for the stores as such in Bangkok as well, since, especially while travelling, the book is a must, at least for me.


One more thing to learn before you come to Thailand. There is absolutely no need to bring any drugs and medications with you. They have pretty goof pharmacies and quiet a lot of them around. They have all the necessary medications here, most of them cheaper than in Europe and they are much less strict with the doctor’s prescriptions. So if you get sick, you can find everything here.


So, as I already learned – they have no Christmas in here. No snow and no Christmas and lectures during the Christmas days will be something new for me for sure. Well, even though I am not getting any Christmas this year, my Christmas song arrived very early this year, just couple of days ago. Still cannot stop listening to it, it’s like a friendly reminder, that some things are still magical. No matter where you are.


I guess I just had/have to admit that I am obsessed. Sleepless nights, nightmares or just dreams are not making it easier. Of course, the funny thing is, when I admitted my obsession to myself, it stopped, which is a relief, of course. But it’s still there, decreasing in little steps but still next to me, just like a reminder, that it’s still not over.

The good part is – I am using my obsession as a support or some sort of kick-in-the-ass tool for `do one thing that scares you everyday` part. So now I am scaring myself with my travelling plans. And I know it’s crazy, and I know I’m psycho, but when I think about it, I only get this answer `who if not You, when if not now?`. And I can’t argue with that, I need to do this. For myself, for old memories and for, for the opportunity that shows up, but never repeats itself.

Don’t ask about it, since I don’t want to say that out loud before it’s certain, but just answer me, please – yes or no? Should I or shouldn’t? And, if you are worried, so no, it’s nothing illegal, nothing that could hurt anyone. Just a little crazy and a bit psycho. So?