19 Feb 2011

.Back to Europe.

So the fun started once I got to Riga. There were only 4 or 5 passengers who did not go to transfer and even if we were so little, they lost my luggage. It’s not really the first time, so I am kind of used to that, but it still sucks. So I went for the lost and found, filled in the form and left, hoping that they will bring my backpack the same day in the evening. I went out and Gerda was already there, so we met and went for a bus to get to the city. We were waiting for the bus when I got a call. It was from the airport, apparently they found my bag and asked if they should still send it to Kaunas. I said I will come to pick it up. So I got my bag, we went to the bus station and the bus arrived after a minute or so and we went to the city.

It was a very nice sunny, not cold winter day and we started with some pancakes for breakfast and endless conversations, trying to catch up on all of the last time. It was amazing, truly, meeting each other after such a long time. After breakfast we got me a ticket to Kaunas and went for a walk along the river. It was really great. She walked me to the station, we said goodbyes promising to meet at some point soon and so I left.

My trip was warm, fast and comfortable and I got back to the city in the early evening. My sister picked me up and just in front of my mom’s house some drunken tramp started shouting at us, cursing and threatening to beat us up or kill us. `Welcome back to Lithuania` I thought and immediately got this need to run away again soon. The next two days I spent dealing with my stuff I had to do, shopping and other things and finally on Tuesday I left for Vilnius, where I had to start working the next day.

I was in the train, 4 minutes before I had to get off and I got a phone call from Ieva. Of course, Čiundra [her car] decided she did not want to pick me up and just stopped working in the middle of the road. So I walked towards her, we moved her car to the side of the road, got a ride back to her place [I’m crashing her sofa], called Kristutė [a friend that we are joking I downloaded from the internet] and had a great girls night with a lot of catching up conversations. It was nice coming back, but we had to go to sleep pretty fast, since all of us had to work the next morning.

Coming back to the old work as kind of new employee is a little bit weird, but nice as well. I started feeling as a very important person, since once we got to the office and I said to one of the girls at the reception my name there it started: `Oh so you are Ona? Ok, so then you should...` and at the same time other two girls at the reception talked to the phones and kept on repeating my name as well. It was a bit strange, but anyways, we handled that well. I talked to my boss, signed my contract and got back to my department to work. Most of people were new, so I did not even knew them before, but some other ones were pretty surprised seeing me there.

And so I spent my whole week just like that – meeting with my friends, catching up on old times, talking and joking up until the stomach aches, working during the days and so on and so on and so on. It‘s like a rollercoaster, that you do non-stop.

I have to say, coming back wasn‘t that bad after all. Meeting all of my friends is pretty damn amazing. Same faces, same jokes, same people that we know and same gossip parties where you learn all about the people we all know. Just yesterday I was sitting at my table in the office when I saw someone standing on the other side of the glass wall for a little too long, I look up and I see this guy, we almost did the sky diving together [long story]. He was looking at me with a surprise, like saying `what the hell are you doing back here??`, so we exchanged some waves and strange looks and he left. But it‘s kind of nice to come back and surprise people like that.

Also yesterday I checked on one apartment and today decided to take it. So I will have a place for myself, finally, so I won‘t need to crash Ieva‘s sofa anymore. Although my life will most likely become much more boring and there will be much less of the updates in my blog. Not that anyone cares about that anyways.

Off Topic

I‘ve changed. Again. It‘s all different now. And it‘s strange. Still not sure if that‘s a good thing or a bad thing, but we will learn that eventually, now won‘t we?

Could any of you explain to me – what does it mean `walking on sunhine`? Oh, and would any of you accompany me on the walk on the rainbow?

By the way – I made it. I made it to the winter. Did not think it‘s possible, but then again, once you want something so much, you manage to get it. Does it mean I will get that too? My wish in the `wish tree`. Will it come true? I want is very much. So I guess it will. I just hope, for everyone‘s sake, I will not f*** it all up, this time.

We‘ll see.

.Out. Very Chinese Hong Kong. Part III.

The next day was the last day for Rick in the Hong Kong so we took it easy. We have already seen it all in Hong Kong, or more or less all, so we decided just to take metro and go somewhere. We ended up in a very non special living area, so we walked around, checked the maps again and moved to some park, which is supposed to be very nice. It was nice, although it also had plenty of restrictions. There was no dogs, smoking, making fire and etc [kind of ordinary `no`], but next to those you were also not supposed to eat or drink in there. In general, in Hong Kong, country of restrictions, that was really a restricted area.

But the park was pretty small, so we saw it all pretty fast and we still had plenty time to kill.

So we got back to my hostel and watched `The IT crowd` and laughed our lungs out. It’s definitely one of the top sitcoms. after several episodes we went to Mei Sun, had some beers and great food [yes, that place does not only provide excellent services, but also great food], talked, joked, talked with the same guy who was serving us last night and then went to the city to see the fireworks for the New Years. We watched those, they were pretty impressing and spectacular, but Rick had to pick up his bags and leave for the airport, so we left quite early. We got back to the hostel, said goodbye to each other and Rick left for the airport.

I got back to my room all alone and for the kind of first time realized really seriously – I am leaving Asia in 26 hours. And it seemed as if I heard my heart crack a little. I was confused and I didn’t want to leave. I wished I could have gone back to Bangkok, as is Hong Kong was only aside trip, but that was not going to happen.

The next day I took even more easy. I checked out, I left my backpack in the hostel, went for the last walk around the city, sat in the park

read some of my book, walked again in those streets with giant towers for the last time and went back to Mei Sun Restaurant. Just needed something common for the last kind of meal. So I went in, staff recognized me immediately, I ordered some food, some beer and ate, all by myself. After my dinner it was already time to go back, pick my stuff and leave for the airport. I went to the bus station, waited for A21 and went for the airport.

.Getting out of Asia. Official end.

In the airport I faced no troubles at all. I checked in with no problems, went through customs and sat down to wait for my plane. That was the time I checked my mails for the last time and so I found Gerda commenting on something, so I send her a message telling that I will be in Riga the next morning and that we can meet up if she is willing. I was sure it is not going to happen, since I warned her way too late, but trying does not hurt, now does it?

Flying with Aeroflot was a bit strange. Stewardess kept on talking to me in Russian, even though I was always responding in English. They also gave us some earphones, so we could listen to the music and mine did not work. There were no movies provided, not even some bad bad sad and pathetic movie. So all I did was eating, reading and sleeping. And then once again the same.

We landed in Moscow very early in the morning and there it was – some airport staff told us to go one way, while signs were telling opposite direction. So talking to people, wondering around, we ended up going to one of the directions. It was the right direction, thanks to whoever, and we came to the transfer kind of part. That was fun. I got a `temporary` boarding pass, then some rude Russian instructions what to do that I just didn’t understand. But luckily I found my gates on time and in one piece and waited for someone to show up, so I could get my boarding pass.

It all worked out, I got my ticket, I waited for my flight, although I almost missed it, since they changed the gates and advanced the time, but did not informed anyone. So at the end I’ve heard my name spelled awfully and sentence like `please come to the gates immediately`. So I came, I was the very last person on the plane, but I did not really care much about it, since I got a message from Gerda and was pretty excited about meeting her again. It’s been ages.

.Out. Very Chinese Hong Kong. Part II.

The next day Rick was meeting his friend, so I went out to explore Hong Kong on my own. I went to Hong Kong island where I headed to Victoria park [if I recall the name correctly that is]

to the harbor

some more places around and went for lunch. It was a very nice city, even though I couldn’t really appreciate it normally, since my heart was still in Thailand. But I enjoyed it. I ended my day going to the Hong Kong Park and it was really very nice.

This small green spot in the concrete jungles just looked right, peaceful and nice.

I have been walking around it for a long time, but before it got dark, I decided I need to go back. Once I was back we met with Rick, went for a dinner and a beer [but of course] and called it a night. Not sure if it was the cold or the air in Hong Kong, but we both were still tired.

The next day we decided to take the cable car and to get to some sort of old city or something, with a big Buddha on the hill. We started with taking a metro, which took around half an hour. It’s amazing how big actually that small country of Hong Kong is. Then we got into the cable car and that one took us to the place, that was our destination.

Very touristy, but nice still. I found a `wish tree` and of course, I wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t write a wish and left it, secretly hoping, even if not believing, this one eventually come true. We walked around a bit, got into the temple, made some pictures, climbed up to the big Buddha hill, walked around, went down, walked a bit towards the `wisdom path`

where apparently we got wiser and headed back to the touristy part. We got some lunch and headed back to the cable cars, then metro and then the hostels. After a little bit we went to the harbor to see Hong Kong at night

and laser show, which to me at least, look, well, pathetic a bit. We walked around the city, trying to find a place for dinner but we did not get any lucky. Finally we found a pub that had a beer sign outside, so we went in and got a beer named `Blue girl`. Where do they get those crazy names?

We got lucky, since after the pub we took a right turn and found ourselves in Temple street, better known as the night market street, which meant that there are plenty of street kitchen places happening. We chose the big and busy one, since if there are other people in it, it must be good. We ordered some food and some beers, ate, talked, joked around, had some fun and at the end headed back to the hostels. Hong Kong is really tiring city, I am still not sure why, though.

We have already seen most of the city, the worth seeing parts anyways, so the next day we went to this shopping mall that I don’t remember a name again with a steep kind of little train, better known as a funicular, since it had a great view of Hong Kong on the roof.

It was nice, but you cannot possibly stay there for a long period of time, before you get bored, so we were wondering what to do later and decided to watch some of `The IT crowd` in the hostel. As usual, since it’s hilarious sitcom, we ended up watching more episodes than planned and went out. We found some almost fastfood kind of place to eat, where I took some Indian food, ate, took some beers and headed for the New Years Carnival. We stayed there for around two hours before it became boring and decided to head back to the Temple street for some beers for the night.

Wasn’t as easy as we could have expected. In the first place we ordered beers, got those and when we said we were not going to eat, we got kicked out of the place. Interesting way of serving, right? So we went looking for other place, sat down and then the girl told us that they don’t have beers for sale, even though a guy at the next table was drinking one. Well, maybe we just didn’t like us and was not in the mood to serve us. We were wondering around and finally found a place.

So now, recommendation – go to that place. It’s amazing. It’s close to temple street, check the map, find the corner of Parkes and Bowring streets and then, right the on the corner there is Mei Sun Restaurant. So we got there, decided to take an outside table, so some locals, sitting at the table next to us went in and informed owners that some people came in. So a woman with a menu started walking towards us, but once she realized that we were westerns she returned back. So then a very nice and good English speaking guy came to us, we asked if it’s ok that we will only take some beers and after we got a positive answer, we ordered two beers. It went all very well, we were sitting and talking and the guy was always coming to us asking if he could fill our glasses or if we need anything. It was great service and we decided to come back the next night.

After a while one local guy joined us from another table. He was drunk and weirdo, but nice. He kept on talking to us in Chinese and, well at least I was only nodding or telling abstract phrases. He noticed that I had two rings on my hands and asked if he could take a better look at those. So I gave him my rings and he was looking through loupe for at least 5 minutes and finally returned it to me saying `good. Very good`. After several beers is became a little uncomfortable to try to talk to him, once we spoke English and he only spoke mostly Chinese and more drunk he was getting, less English we heard from him, so we headed home. The day and night was over.

.Out. Very Chinese Hong Kong. Part I.

I was very pleasantly greeted in Hong Kong. Tourist information lady stopped me, gave me a map and told me where to stay and where to stand during the Chinese New Years carnival and fireworks. She even told me which bus to take and how much it costs and all the rest of necessary information. I got to the city and got to the place, where I was hoping to get a room. Well, that did not work as I was expecting, do I even need to mention that?

It all started promising – I got off the bus in the right place. I had around 35 kilos on my back and millions of Chinese looking small tiny people around who were staring at me as if I was some white bear, escaped from the Zoo. I even went to the right direction, but I missed the hostel I was looking for. So I headed back and still no luck. After wondering around and getting hungry and tired I went to some internet shop, and checked the address again. I was in the right place and still somehow I missed it. So I headed back. Then it became clear why I missed it – there is no sign of the hostel at all. It was a big building with a lot of phone shops. Feeling desperate and tired and already angry on all of the situation I went in and asked one of the guys in the shop where the hell I should go. He told me to used side doors, go in, take the elevator and find the hostel. Turns out, he was right, although it is absolutely impossible to find it on your own. The hostel was full [but of course], but the good part was – there were at least 10 other hostels in the same building [well, that’s Hong Kong, you have to see it before you believe it]. So I went to another one and there was a woman at the desk. I started to explain what I need and she was only repeating `sorry I don’t speak English`. I tried to explain in simpler words and slower, she kept on saying her only known English phrase and then called somebody and handed me the receiver. I talked to the guy on the phone and he gave me `good` news – I can get a place to sleep for two night and then – who knows. Fun, I thought, I will just sleep under the bridge, since it’s Chinese new years and everything is full. But at that moment I did not care about it at all, so I just took the room for two nights and went in.

I put my stuff in the room and went to find something to eat. I was walking around for maybe 20 minutes when it became clear to me that I was checking out. I got a little scared and really didn’t want to faint in the middle of the street, so I headed straight to 7/11, bought some food and some water and went back to my room, since my head was spinning harder and harder. I tried to stay stable in my bed and probably starting to feel a bit better after some food. At some point I got a message from Rick that he landed already and he is heading to the hostel [which happened to be in the same building]. I told him that I was completely useless at the moment and that we maybe can meet later for dinner. We agreed, I put on a movie and fall asleep after maybe 2 minutes of watching it.

I have been sleeping like a baby for maybe 4-5 hours, but I really needed that and woke up just after I got Rick’s message. We met and went out. I felt much better, at least my head wasn’t spinning and I instantly felt some cold. It wasn’t really very cold, but comparing to Thailand, it was a definite winter here in Hong Kong. So we went for a meal and some beers, talked mostly about traveling and stuff and finally headed back to our rooms. I was still tired and he was tired too.

.From Out to In. Back to Bangkok. Very last time.

The way back was just as always – coming with the pick-up to the pier, waiting for the boat that was late [so unexpected], getting on the boat, staying there for almost three hours watching those little fishes flying along the water, getting a very strong rain once we got back on the mainland, waiting some more for the bus and grabbing some dinner/lunch+beer [of course, how would we do that without a beer] getting to the bus and leaving, when those little voices in at least my head were screaming unbelievably loud that `this is the end` and made me sad and miserable. We got back to Bangkok just as always – around 4 a.m. and started the game `let’s try to find a place to sleep for the night` which was not too easy, since most of the places were full. But luckily reception is working there 24/7 so we got the place after a little wondering around and if that wasn’t enough tiring already, we still went for a `goodnight beer`.

When we got back to the room we heard roosters crowing and Sascha, since he has no sympathy for roosters whatsoever, commented `oh no, you have got to be kidding me`, but we still managed to get some sleep, maybe the roosters shut up or maybe we just were too tired to hear anything from the outside.

The next day was a little simple and easy, even though my head started the countdown and leaving it all just seemed all wrong and gave me some serious heartache. We made some plans so meet with Kathi for the very last time before I leave and before she leaves for Vietnam, but before that we went for some dinner and then to meet Kathi with her brother and another German girl for one beer. I say one beer since I had to wake up very early, leave for airport at 4 a.m. and get to Hong Kong. As always, one beer turned into four or five and before I knew it, I was back in the room after 1 a.m. Mutually Steffany and me agreed that sleeping right now might be worse, so I stayed up. My head was still counting my last minutes and I spent those mostly talking with Sascha.

Soon enough my alarm clock started shouting and I knew I have to go. So I packed my stuff for the very last time in the country that smiles, went down, caught a taxi, who wanted to rip me off with the much higher price than normally. Soon enough he realized that I was actually living in the city and I know the prices, so we at the end agreed on a descent price, we said our goodbyes with Sascha and so I left.

It was pretty bad at the airport. I was tired, I was sad, I was confused and I was leaving my best half a year in my life. I didn’t even know how to feel, but I was one big mess, that’s for sure. I checked in, waited for my plane, got in and fell asleep instantly. I slept the whole trip on the plane, not feeling anything. A girl who was sitting next to me woke me up when we had to get off. I was walking in Hong Kong airport and it all suddenly felt so wrong. I felt like I made a mistake leaving Thailand so fast and that I should have made a different choice. At the same point I knew I did it for better options and in the long run it was paying off. At least I was hoping that, anyways.

.Out. Koh Tao – second time. Getting older. but not wiser.

The next morning we both woke up obscenely early, which can be known as `last dives day`, `getting the certificate day` and `the official day of Steffany and me getting older`, got ready and went to the boat. It was a new frightening thing for me, since we the day before we dived to 12 meters and this time we went down to 18 meters and in the place, where the depth was 30 meters and there are currents that are giving you not too much stability on surface. Also, we had Cat, who was making video of us, so Steffany was freaking out with all of `how my hair looks like` and `My make up will be washed away` stuff.

If all of that wasn’t enough, Dave decided that it would be fun to jump into water not normally [even if I never managed to do it correctly], but in the `dead Mexican` way, or on your back. It was a bit frightening again, but we managed. We all managed and went down all 18 meters with not much of the troubles. It was great, millions of fish, a lot of things to see and to explore. I was secretly hoping that we will be also lucky enough to see that whale shark, since that was the spot where Sascha saw it the day before, but my luck did not strike so much. But, even without the shark, it was still a great dive. We got back on the boat and moved to another spot for the last dive. For now at least anyways.

The last dive was 12 meters, very easy, with some last exercises under water. We did it all with almost or no troubles at all, had some fun, made a race under water and trust me, it’s not easy to run under water, I got my `Happy birthday` underwater greetings and we had to get back to the boat. My diving experience in my new found paradise was over.

We got back, packed our stuff, since my diving school was no longer paying for our accommodation, went for a celebration that I am now a diver beer and went to some place that Sascha found for us to stay in on the last night in the island. It was a great, really great villa type accommodation with a spectacular view to the sea, which apparently was a birthday present for me. It was a great present, I may add. We went for lunch, when got back to the villa, had a fast nap and headed back to the diving school, finally to fill in the last forms, get certificate, watch our underwater experience DVD movie and just enjoy joining the diving community.

DVD turned out to be really great, we had fun watching it and laughing at ourselves, then stayed in for a little bit and went for dinner with the Swedish couple and Chelsey, my diving buddy, who I knew already, I am going to miss. After the dinner and some beers, we went to the beach, met some more people, then lost those some more people, went to one place, then to another place. We were wondering here and there, then we saw a woman selling those things, I have no idea how it’s called now, but the one where you light up the bottom and then let it fly up into the sky. I was watching it, going away, getting smaller and smaller and finally disappearing in the dark and realized that this is exactly what is happening to my wonderful time in Thailand, in Southeast Asia and in Koh Tao. It was coming to the end and I could almost smell the very end of it. It made me kind of sad, but I knew I have to enjoy my last moments in the paradise, because those memories will not erase from my memory for, well, probably I can say, forever.

We headed back to the villa after all of the beach party pretty late and went to sleep. We still had the next day, well, half of the day in the island. So the next morning, since none of us had any 6 a.m. dives, we allowed ourselves to sleep a little longer, went to the city, bought tickets to get back to Bangkok and enjoyed the rest of the time in the beach, swimming and on the swings. It was a great day, definitely.

.Out. Koh Tao – second time. Diving.

Dave took us to the pool just next to the sea with all of our equipment and here I got my first news – we actually have to pass a swimming test in order to proceed with the diving. I probably don’t have to tell you all, that I am not a great swimmer whatsoever. But I managed. Well, the test was fairly easy. We had to swim forwards and backwards the pool 10 times and then float for 10 more minutes. I am very good in swimming `hammer` style, but this much even I managed.

And then the course started. It was strange, really strange from the very beginning to breath under water and being not able to breath through the nose. But I managed. I didn’t freak out, I didn’t get a panic attack. It went all well. We spent maybe two or three hours in that pool, doing some exercises, taking off the mask and putting it back on again and all the rest of the things you have to do before you can actually dive in an open water.

After the pool we had to go back, have one more lecture, one more DVD movie and some homework questions, since the next day we had our theory exam. I, once again, got back to my room pretty late, but Sascha was nice enough to wait for me, so we can go for dinner together. Once again, the scenario was almost the same – we went to one place for some meal, then some bar where divers had a big party. We stayed there for a bit, where Chelsey and Alex [not sure how his name is spelled though] and had some nice time with some nice conversations. At the very end Chelsey and Alex decided to go home and Alex gave kisses to both of Sascha and me and told me `you should know that you are totally adorable`. Me and Sascha stayed a little longer. It was very nice time. I enjoyed being with him a lot. We had plenty of interesting conversations, sharing points of view and discussing different matters. We ended up going to sleep pretty late again, since the talking did not finish once we got back to the room, even though he had a 6 a.m. dives again.

The next day for me started with a lecture, then exam and a little too little time for lunch, so I just grabbed something from 7/11 and went for my first real dive in the sea. Sascha was already back from his dives and very excited, since he was lucky enough to see a whale shark, which is rare, really rare. Like he said `oh it was just a baby whale shark, maybe 3 meters long only`, which to me does not sound like a baby at all. Diving was a little scary at the beginning, since we had to jump out of the boat and not to forget to breathe under the water. But it is really a great experience – I can hardly explain it in words though, you definitely have to try it out in order to understand the feeling. It’s like floating in the space, except that you see all those fish all around, colorful and swimming around you, Christmas worms that are so cute, since they hide once you come too close and then get out after they think it’s safe. All of that underwater world is so amazing that if I can advise - I would say it is a definite must to try and experience. We also had to do some exercises once we were under water and on the surface, which made at least me laugh so hard. It’s not really that easy to take your west off or your weight belt off and put those back on again. But it’s really is fun. We dived for about 45 minutes and then got back on a boat and moved to another location for the second dive. It was again – very interesting with a lot of fish around and some more exercises. And then, 45 minutes after we got back on a boat, took all of the equipment off us and went back to finish out exam.

I was very much proud of myself, since I only made one mistake [out of 50] and so I passed the theory part and I only had two more dives the next day. Happy and satisfied with myself I got back to the room, shared my new gained experience with Sascha and we went for dinner. During the dinner we decided to have an easy night, since the next day we both were doing the 6 a.m. dives and at least I was pretty exhausted from all of the impressions and feeling, got from the dives. So we got back into the room, watched `The social network`, since that one was one of the exceptional movies in my pc that was actually in English.

.Out. Koh Tao – second time. Part I.

We took the government bus, pretty comfortable with no other western looking people in it and moved towards the place, that I will now proudly with no competition be calling `My Paradise`. It wasn’t my first time in that island, but the time, spent there this time was magnificent. Anyways, our bus came earlier than expected, so we waited for the pickup for maybe an hour, then got to the train station, got to another pickup and waited for some more. Then got to the pier, waited for the morning to come, got to the boat and finally came to the island. My promised pickup wasn’t there [turned out our boat was late, so they didn’t wait for so long for me], so we took another pickup and got to the diving school `New Way Diving`, since I wanted to get my Open Water Certificate right there.

I met there this guy, who had British accent, I have a thing for, named Jimbo. Jimbo was a very sweet instructor, he gave me all practical information and very promising sounding schedule and I promised to get back in the afternoon for some DVDs review and the official start of my Open Water Certificate. This meant that we had the afternoon free, so we went for late breakfast, got our room, took showers and went for the beach. Koh Tao seems to be a rain-friendly island, so it greeted us with some clouds and light rain, while we were in the beach. But water was so clean, clear and even warm, that most of the time we spent in. After the beach time and some beer/coke we headed back, where I left Sascha to sleep/write/read/whatever and went for my first lectures. Here we met Dave, or Big Dave, who was our instructor, also Chelsey, my diving buddy and a sweet young Swedish couple, who were taking the course with us. Dave left us with DVDs and told us we should not fast forward it, but watch it all and answer all the questions at the end of every chapter. So we did. It was a bit boring from time to time, but all of the information provided was useful to know so you don’t end up dying under water.

All this lecture took longer than expected and I got back into the room and found Sascha asleep. He waited for me so we could go for dinner together, so I woke him up and we headed out. He was half asleep, so I was in charge of picking the spot. I was, of course, lucky enough to find a place that was almost closing, but we still managed to get some Indian looking food and a beer. It was the closing day, that day. First we were asked to leave the restaurant we ate, since guys wanted to close, then we chose quieter beach bar for later beers and stayed there till closing. Although at least in that place guys were nice enough [I think it’s always Sascha’s half-japanese factor, that helps] so they took our last order for beer and let us stay after closing.

It was a very nice evening. We talked a lot, touching sensitive topics, opened up to each other, watched the stars, where I even saw one falling star [and missed those nights with my girls, when we used to watch them during the summer]. We got back to the room pretty late and we still kept on talking and getting to know each other better and better. It wasn’t easy, but finally we went to sleep, since Sascha only had, if I recall correctly, two hours of sleep before he had to get up and go to do some dives.

He went out early in the morning [dives start 6 a.m], left me sleeping, since my lectures were supposed to start a bit later. I woke up, went to my lectures, where Jimbo explained us most of the stuff that we have seen on DVDs, but in much easier to remember way than those movies provided. After the lecture we had some time for lunch, so we grabbed a quick meal and then I once again left Sascha for beach time/sleeping/writing/reading and went for my first under-water experience in the pool.

.In. Last time of ordinary life in Bangkok. Part II.

Some rest, some movies and some something I did in my room when I got a call, made some more calls and here we were – me and Kathi were heading to the Khao San Road to celebrate `The last exam thing`+`Sascha’s Birthday`. We got to the `party` a little too late, I would guess, since everyone already ate and had drinks, but we were only invited that late. There were some friends he met in his trip or from back home, so me and Kathi took some beers and kind of started the party.

We had beers and conversations, while birthday boy made some friends from the other table and got all sort of stuff to eat: scorpion, cockroach, worms and some more. After some time some people left, so we headed for another place. `Very strong cocktails and we don’t check ID cards` place was there and then and we went for it. Some last drinks in there and it was time to go home. Unfortunately birthday boy was not in his very best shape, so I ended up taking him to my place. Which would not sound too bad, if only I had no guards, who greeted us with `you friend cannot come`. It’s been something like 30-45 minutes of dealing and talking, and phone calls and all sort of stuff before they somehow changed their mind and said `ok, ok, go`, so we did. The night was finally over. And I was happy about it.

The next day we took it easy. In the morning, when I went to the shop, I was reminded once again that I am not allowed to have visitors in my room by the guard and that my friend should leave as soon as possible. So we spent half of the day just resting or sleeping and the other part of the day going to the Lumpini park, where we just walked around, watched people and talked. At the end we took the wrong bus, got off it, took another but, the right one this one and headed to the old city. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do really, since for the first time of my stay in Bangkok the bus actually took a different route and then forced all of the western looking people to get off telling `Khao San Road there` and pointing one direction. Well, when you are being kicked out, you usually leave from the place, right? So we did.

Soon after we realized what was the reason – there was a big red shirt demonstration just next to the democracy monument and this is why the road was blocked and we could not get to the place with the bus.

So we took our not too easy way through the sea of people and sat down for a beer and a break. At the end of the break Sascha got a call, made a deal for dinner, I called Kathi and so we all met for later dinner. It was a Mexican restaurant with nice food and we had fun. Although everyone was tired, so we called it a night pretty early and moved to the different directions, according to the where each of us was staying.

The next day there was nothing much happening. We went to the Vietnamese embassy, since Sascha felt a need to get back to that country, I went to pack my stuff and we took the long but not tiring journey to the Southern Bus Terminal, where we could get a bus+boat and arrive safely to Koh Tao, better known as a turtle island or even better known as a diving paradise for beginners and experts.

.In. Last time of ordinary life in Bangkok. Part I.

Living in Bangkok for the last days made me a little uncomfortable. I know, I’ve been telling to everyone that the best thing you can do in Bangkok is to escape it, but it still was my home and I loved it in my strange kind of way. I have been catching myself wondering in the streets and thinking that it is last times I see things I was already used to see every single day. Strange feeling. I don’t like it.

My school things were going more or less in order. We have been preparing paper and presentation with my group for the class, reading some stuff from time to time for the exam, trying to make things work back in Europe, buying the last `must have after leave Thailand` things. I have been walking the same streets I was walking for the last half a year and started realizing that I’m going to miss it all: that smiley guy with a pony tale, who is doing sewing in the street and smiles at me every time I pass him, amazingly cute tiny guy, who sells fruits on my way to school and smiles with an adorable smile all the time, guards of the hotel, who always stop the cars so I could cross the street, and all the rest of the details. Every corner of each street, every smile, every smell and every look have been painted in my head, so I would never forget it. It did feel like a heart breaking thing.

Our paper went very well, presentation went with no troubles at all and there is was, my last moments to prepare myself for the last exam. Last exam in Southeast Asia, last exam in my Masters program and hopefully my last exam in my life. And I tried, I really tried to do my best and learn something. That was up until the point where I got an e-mail from Sascha, telling me that he is in Bangkok and willing to meet tonight. The day after I was having my exam, but I couldn’t possibly miss a chance of meeting up with him and catching on all the ragging and joking parts that I’ve decided I can do it all – make the meeting happening and pass my exam.

So we met. One quick beer turned into several with a non-stop conversation, which just made it clearer that I actually missed traveling with this guy. We spent the evening together up until the last or almost last BTS and went opposite directions. The next day he was supposed to have some shopping and I had to go to my exam.

I woke up the next morning just as promised to myself – early, so I could go through the notes and get to the exam on time. Turns out – we were tricked. Just two days before the exam, our professor told us that it starts at 9 a.m. so I believed. I shouldn’t have done this though, since exam started at 1 p.m. Too bad I learned it when it was too late already, I was in school, feeling a bit of lack of sleep and with no motivation to learn a lot anyways. So me and Kathi, we exchanged some nice conversations, did some studying and passed time until the exam came.

Exam wasn’t too good or too bad, although it was really hard to concentrate, for me at least, so I left it before the official end. Headed to the shops and then home. I needed a new watch and a present for Sascha, since that kid that day officially got older. I went to the same place I bought my last watch and surprise surprise – it’s not there anymore. This is something I don’t like in Thailand and I ain’t going to miss it – they always change locations of my favorite places. So sad and unhappy about being watchless still, I went for the birthday shopping. I bought a very cute teddy-bear shaped card [which he threw away the day after, but it was so cute that even if I knew he will do that, I could not resist taking it], a tiny little one-bite kind of cake with some candles and a little gift and went home.