Waterfalls, Illness and Saying Goodbye to Thailand…

Just a quick post here as I don’t have a lot of time.  It’s our last full day in Thailand and we fly out to Seoul tomorrow night.  It’s an overnight flight and one I’m not particularly looking forward to, given our recent spat of illness but I’ll get to that in a minute.  First, those waterfall pics I wanted to show you from our trip to the island I mentioned in the last post.

ImageThe walk to the waterfall took about an hour.  We first walked down the same main road we took to get to the beach we had been going to every day.  Then we split off to a quieter road that was pretty much just jungle and rubber plantations…

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There was very rarely a car or motorcycle in sight….

After a while, the road ended and we walked on a trail through the jungle…it seemed as we were arriving, everyone else was leaving and a stream of Thais were coming out of the jungle…finally we reached and area of low flat rocks and a creek with huge boulders….

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After climbing over the boulders, we reached the waterfall, in the middle of nowhere and there were hardly any other people there.  Just a Thai family and their children and a couple of other foreigners….

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The Thai kids were crazy…they jumped off huge boulders and climbed the over hanging tree and jumped off that too….

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The swimming was great.  The water was not cold, but cooler than the ocean and there were a lot of fish attesting to the waters cleanliness.  It was too deep to touch the bottom, but you could swim across and stand under the waterfall.  It was great.

On to current events, once we came back from the island we spent a few days running errands in Bangkok and headed back to Kanchanaburi as my last post mentioned.  The night before we left I had a fever and my body was aching everywhere but I figured I was just run down.  M insisted that if I still had a fever the next morning that we’d postpone the trip to Kanchanaburi in order to be closer to better clinics.  When I got up in the morning, my fever was gone so we went to Kanchanaburi.  Once we got there though, I got more sick with a bad cough and fevers and M caught it too, pretty much by a few days later.  I thought I might be getting bronchitis so I went to the pharmacy and got some cough syrup and antibiotics in case it was a bacterial infection.  I slowly felt like I was getting a bit better, but I am still coughing quite a bit during the night. 

For M, it was a bit harder.  He hardly ever gets sick where I am pretty susceptible to bronchitis and pneumonia (I get one or the other every few years, pretty much my whole life).  Not used to having such strong fevers, for so long, and such a cough, he was really suffering.  The fever just didn’t seem to want to go away.  We pretty much spent our whole week in Kanchanaburi in bed.  I went to the pool every day and lay in the sun when I could, but M just felt too shitty and week for most of the time.  He was sleeping most of the day.  We started to get a bit worried about what he might have and why I was getting better and he wasn’t.  As our time was running out, we headed back to Bangkok.

Still coughing and with a fever that spiked usually at the night we went to the clinic.  By this time I was still coughing but I pretty much knew I had a lung infection and it would play itself out eventually.  The doctor seemed to be concerned about possible malaria and that maybe the cough and cold virus was separate to the fever problem so he sent M to the hospital for blood tests where we could get results the same day.  When we got there we saw another doctor who also advised a chest x-ray to see if there was any infection in the lungs.  At this point we were kind of freaking out a bit and M was sure he had malaria.  We started thinking about the possibility of having to postpone our ticket again and how much that was going to cost and the fact that we have no health care when we return to our country (we are non residents, having been away for more than six months so we have to wait at least three months to qualify for medical again when we return…its stupid). 

We had to wait about an hour and a half for the results but it felt like forever.  Luckily (it’s funny I say luckily), he didn’t have malaria, but he does have pneumonia which meant so did I, as I gave it to him.  It’s luckily, because it’s not malaria or dengue and he will get better now that he has stronger antibiotics.  It’s definitely put a damper on our last week in Thailand. I went back on antibiotics myself.

We fly out tomorrow night on an overnight flight to Seoul.  M’s birthday is in five days.  No booze for him 😦 Or me for that matter.  We’re trying to make the most of it with what energy we have right now.  It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to Thailand…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tropical Island Bliss…

Sorry about the lack of posting, my petals! You see, I’ve been on a tropical island with very minimal internet for the past 11 days or so and I just got back to Bangkok the day before yesterday.  Being that we are in the last month of our travels, we have been making the beach and relaxation a top priority! The only reason why we left the island as quickly as we did is because there is no ATM there, meaning we were limited in our stay by the amount of cash we had on hand.  Too bad.  But it was an amazing trip…

First let me share with you a few leftover photos I had from our trip to Chiang Mai…

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This one kills me…

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These are the ten baht coconuts I was enjoying every day.  I am vowing to get sick of them before I leave here.  Those and the mangoes which are now in season and the best I’ve ever had.  When you eat them, you have to eat them outside because the juice runs down your arm making a huge mess.  The best way is to eat them on the beach when you can jump in the water afterwards…

Now onto the island….

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The beach was practically empty every day, except during Songkran, or Thai New Year when there were many Thai families visiting.  During the day, Thai people do not go on the beach because they do not like to get tanned.  So the beach was usually all to ourselves…

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We were surprised at how undeveloped the island was.  There is only one main road going through the island that has been paved only within the last year or so.  Although we had a beach close to our guesthouse, we preferred to take a fifteen minute walk to the nicer beach you see in the above photo…

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Sometimes I could steal free wifi on the beach from the cliffside cafe you see here…but there was something a little ridiculous about sitting on the most amazing beach ever and checking my email…plus the connection wasn’t good so we usually didn’t bother…the cafe has a gorgeous view of the beach below…

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The water was crystal clear and the snorkelling from the beach was actually quite fantastic.  If you stayed close to the rocks you could easily see many different kinds of fish just below the shallow water.  Even for people who cannot swim (like many Thais), you only have to sit on the bottom of the sea and stick your head in and see a tonne of fish.  If you swam a bit deeper, you can see sea urchins and bigger fish and many sea cucumbers.  Our favourite are always the “long tom” or “needlefish” that make me slightly nervous with their sharp spiky teeth.  They swim up to you and stare at you.  

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Sometimes it rains and you can get excellent reflections of the coconut palms in the red mud puddles…

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Our guesthouse was rustic but great, with a hammock outside…a German man and Thai woman ran the place and they were always friendly and helpful…

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We had a great view of the mangrove jungle outside our window.  One night the power went out and I went to the window to see if it was just us that blew the breaker or if the main building was also out.  The property was silent except for a million crickets and pitch black except for the many fireflies that floated through and above the mangroves…

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One of the best things about the guesthouse were all the animals.  They had chickens and unfortunately a very confused rooster which crowed at all hours of the night.  They also had three sweet dogs.  She was our favourite.  Her name is Jenny.  She was so gentle and sweet.  We were told that in the peak season her head smells of coconut oil and perfume because she goes from table to table in the restaurant, visiting everyone for pets. 

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We got to have a really unique experience hanging out with Chok Dee.  Chok Dee means “lucky” or “good luck” in Thai and I guess that is the story of this little baby monkey.  Her mother was killed for food when Chok Dee was five days old by the Burmese farmers who work on the rubber plantations.  Chok Dee was rescued and is being brought up with people, bottle fed.  She is so remarkably human in so many ways and her facial expressions just kill me.  She is soft, with tiny fingers and she is also a trouble maker and gets into everything.  When she gets in trouble she rubs her eyes and hides her face and runs to her “mama”, the Thai guesthouse owner, to hide her face and hold onto her tightly.  Here she is five months old.  

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During Songkran, the island filled with many Thai people celebrating their New Year.  One night on the beach, we saw three Thai friends lighting a paper lantern to celebrate.  They asked if I could take a photo with their camera and I snapped a few of my own.  I didn’t have a tripod so they didn’t turn out very well…after they launched the lantern they lit sparklers and gave me a pack of sparklers as well…

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Next time I will show you some more photos from this beautiful island including our trip to the waterfall, which was also a very good day.  We are off to buy return plane tickets today-cha-ching! Man, our money is dwindling fast now! And then I think we will go back to Kanchanaburi for a week or so again before we head back “home” via Seoul again.  I hope you enjoy my photos! 

xo

Back in Kuala Lumpur? Seriously?

                                                                Source: trekearth.com via anna on Pinterest


Hey guys! Been a while since I’ve had a chance to post and I apologize for that.  It’s been a wild and stressful past week but it’s mellowing out now I think/hope.  I’m not sure where we left off so I’ll just give you all a little update on what we’ve been up to the past while:

  • Went back to Bangkok from Chiang Mai and picked up M’s new passport, no problemos.
  • The next day we headed out to Thai immigration to attempt to extend our Thai visa.  By this point it was probably March 27th or so and our visa expired on the 1st of April.  
  • Getting to immigration was an all day affair, pretty much.  We had been there before, but the directions we looked up didn’t look to familiar.  It was, however, around the same area as the Canadian embassy so we’d a vague idea, but it turned out it was about a thirty minute walk from the nearest Skytrain station in about 37c heat.
  • When we finally found immigration, after having to ask a few people for directions, we found out that they moved their offices, despite the information on their website.  The office we had previously visited on a past trip now only services Burmese, Cambodian and Laotian applicants.  We felt defeated and it was too late to go find the new office. The map we were given was all in Thai.
  • The next day, probably the 28th by now we set off to look for the new Immigration office.  For whatever reason, they decided to very inconveniently locate the building in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE in an industrial complex out by Don Mueng airport.  Inaccessible by public transit, we had the option to take the skytrain to the end of the line and then taxi it, or take a local mini van service that Thai’s use.  We opted for the mini van service.
  • Rode the mini van till the end of the line, having no idea where to get off, no one to ask and no communication with the driver.  Realized we were lost when everyone else got out and we were at the end of the road.  Tried to get our point across the driver.  He took us to his depot and walked us to the road where we got another mini van going the other direction (back the way we came).  We finally got to the industrial complex and from there it was about another 1.1km walk (according to a sign we passed).  We were seriously in the middle of nowhere.
  • Found the building, and by the time we got there, the office was closed for lunch.  Yahoo.
  • We used the lunch break to fill out forms, glue photos and get everything ready.
  • Office finally opened and we went through a series of desks while they checked our documents until we finally got a queue number to meet with an immigration officer.
  • Number got called.  We were quickly shut down and told that we had no visa to extend, that what we have is an entry stamp and not a visa and that we could either pay to have a 7 day extension, or leave the country and re-enter to get another 30 days.
  • I’ll point out now, again, that it was either the 28th or 29th and we had about 2 days to figure out what the heck we were going to do next.  Rookie mistake thinking we had a visa.  So stupid, considering we’ve actually had a formal Thai visa before, but regardless of what we thought we had, we still thought that you could get an extension.  Anyhoo.  No.  Defeated we took a cab back to the Skytrain station and headed back.
  • During all of this drama, we also formally decided to go back to Saskatchewan for another summer of working with M’s parents.  This meant that we had to cancel our return ticket which we did before we actually found out we couldn’t stay in Thailand.  While we could postpone our BKK-SEOUL portion of our ticket till May 5th no problem, there were currently no available seats in May to get us from SEOUL-YVR.  We had a few options.  Well, I should say, we currently have few options.  We are on two different waiting lists for different dates, or we can reroute our ticket to put us in LAX for a layover before going to YVR.  (Nightmare of an option-have you been to LAX? They’re scary…I can’t imagine what they’d do to us after being away in SEA for 6 months).  Anyway.  Changing our ticket date costs nothing as we had an open ticket.  But upgrading, rerouting and whatnot so that we can have a layover in SEOUL again costs quite a bit.  Not as much as buying a whole separate ticket from SEOUL to YVR which is also another option we are looking at.  So anyway, point being, we planned all of this out as best we could before we found out that we would have to leave Thailand in two days and fly elsewhere.  Cha-ching!  And we still don’t have a ticket home.
  • Surprisingly, despite the level of stress we were going through at this point, we kept fairly level-headed.  We just said aloud that this is the way it was, and there was nothing we could do about it, so we best just find a ticket somewhere.  And that’s where KL came in.
  • We thought about flying to Laos since it was one place we had planned on going on this trip and changed our mind. But we decided against it for reasons that are a whole other long-winded post.
  • KL was one of the cheapest return flights (for some reason flying return with Egypt Air was cheaper than flying with Air Asia-totally bizarre).  We booked the flight and now here we are back in familiar KL in our familiar guesthouse.  
I never thought we’d go back to KL on this trip.  We spent WAAAAAY too much time and money here earlier on in our trip, including Xmas and New Years.  But we’ve decided to quit our whingeing.  There are far worse things than having to spend a few days in KL.  It’s a nice break of modernity after travelling in rougher places.  Our guesthouse is nice and clean and has air conditioning and its cooler here than Bangkok right now and it’s been raining every day since we’ve been here.  I can’t believe I’ve missed the humidity and rain! Thailand feels quite dry and hot now and it’s at least 4 or 5c cooler here now.  Malaysian food is great.  I’ve had laksa twice so far, Indian food for dinner yesterday and super cheap.  Our room is definitely more expensive than Thailand or Vietnam but the food is cheap so maybe it balances out somewhere…at any rate, here is where we are now.  
As for going back “home” I have mixed feelings.  I am not a die-hard living in Canada fan as you probably all know by now if you read my blog at all.  I am very fortunate to have been born in the first world and I am very lucky to come from Canada in many ways.  But I do have my problems with it.  Right now our relationship is classified “complicated”.  Me and Canada. 
A part of us really wanted to go to Japan.  I feel sad that I’m missing my favourite time of year in Japan right now and that the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom.  (I’ve also been told that cherry blossoms are blooming in Vancouver right now and they are soo beautiful there as well, but there is something to be sad for public drinking parties under the arches of the blossoms while you sit in your T-shirt, while Vancouver is raining all the time and VERY strict against public…well public anything, pretty much).  But we have come to the conclusion that in order to accomplish our 1 year goals we have going on, going back to Canada is pretty much the best idea for us right now.  M has writing deadlines he wants to have time for and I have an online business to launch.  And Japan will still be there next year. 
My long-term goal has always been to have a cafe and a shop/art space.  Since we have no plans to “settle down” anywhere long enough to set up something like that I have been working on ideas that allow me to travel and do what I love, which is to make “things”.  I plan to set up a proper website in the coming year with e-shop (and continue my blog of course!), branching into local retail when and where I can.  This gives me the space to build up my long-term goal slowly, while also being able to purchase and source things on my travels.  Huuuuge learning curve for me.  I know nothing about web design.  At all.  I have to hire someone for this.  I have a lot of ideas for what I want it to look like, but conveying those to someone who can bring my ideas to fruition while not financially ruining me is going to be tricky! But definitely doable.  It’s exciting! So I’ll probably continue with my Etsy shop and add things as I go along, while working on this side project of the website, while also working with M’s parents, helping them out with their Kettle Korn business.  Then we have some loose plans to travel again in the fall (to Europe), return for Xmas and then maybe go to Japan or?? We’ve decided it’s too hard to plan too far ahead.  So right now we set smaller, manageable goals.  
Sorry for the long-winded, no photo post! Not sure how many of you kept up till the end there, but I appreciate all of my readers who have been following my journey.  I have gained so many Twitter followers lately too and I love all of you! (except the spammers!! Grr!!)
 
Oh! One last thing regarding the Sharon Salzberg/Tranquility du Jour book club and my 28 day meditation challenge.  I suppose being that it’s April, I’m “done”.  But the journey for this is just beginning.  I admittedly fell off the meditation wagon a little bit during that last week.  The time that I needed to calm down the most (see above chaos) and I barely had the time to sit still at all! But I’m back on the horse this week, sitting on my pillow, on the floor of my guesthouse room.  It feels good.  My brain is no more calm really.  But I know it’s doing me good, I can feel it during the day.  Unfortunately it didn’t really seem like the book club group took off for this book for some reason and I haven’t been able to post anything else on the comments for the club either, and no one else has either.  So I never knew if that was just because of the shitty Thai internet cafes or if there was some kind of problem with the site.  Really? No readers or commenters? It’s kind of weird! As well, there is no book club selection up for April, so I don’t know if the book club kinda petered out or what.  I hope not! 
Anyway, no idea what we are going to do in KL for the next few days but I plan on catching up on some writing and relaxing a bit after the last week.  Then, if they let us back into Thailand, we’re hoping to head to a beach ASAP.  If we’re going back home, we really ought to get as much beach time in as possible.  We actually spent most of this trip in big cities and hardly any of it on a beach so we’re really looking forward to it.  As well, Songkran is coming, which is Thailand’s New Year’s festival and it’s sure to be mental.  It involves water fights, everywhere, which means I probably won’t get too many photos of it as the camera will be secure in a plastic bag wherever we end up! 
Thanks for reading and thanks again for following me here and on Twitter! It really means a lot to me that I have this community of regular readers all over the world that I haven’t even met! I hope we get to meet someday! 
xoxoxox

Photo post! Bangkok and Chiang Mai…

Some photos of what we’ve been up to lately…

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I ate this in Ho Chi Minh actually.  Lovely matcha green tea mochi.  This one had a cream filling and was soooo good! 

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We walk around a lot and look at houses and whatnot.  I particularly like old wooden traditional Thai houses…

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We have drinks sometimes…IMG_2385

And listen to music at cool cafes…IMG_2384

Hang with celebs…IMG_2387

And take photos…IMG_2398

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Sharon Salzberg and the 28 day Meditation Challenge (getting your ass on the cushion!)

                                                                                                                                                Source: vi.sualize.us via Chandi on Pinterest

 
It’s now the weekend and we have no choice but to wait until Monday to work on M’s passport application which means we can’t go to Chiang Mai yet.  Further to that, we need M’s parents to send a scan of his birth certificate from the passport office back home and they won’t do that until there is a case number, which we can’t get until Monday!
We are definitely moving into Southeast Asia’s hot and dry season.  I can’t remember the last time it’s rained although I was woken up by thunder this morning.  It’s becoming quite difficult the past couple of days to just do our daily wandering around where we stay outside for the whole day.  Either that, or we’ve become slightly de-acclimitized from our time in Vietnam having air-con all the time.  Now we have fan only and no hot water in the most basic of rooms for 290B.  At night, there is a slight breeze so we must keep our curtain open till daylight or you can’t get any of it.  Since one must sleep completely ‘au naturel’, I only hope that while I’m asleep, someone doesn’t check in across the way, but I’m usually too hot to care: “Meh, they’ll be European-they’ve seen boobies before!”

                                                                                                                                                    Source: google.com via Christie on Pinterest

Anyway, ahem…a little over one week ago I responded to a Tweet by Kimberly Wilson of fabulous Tranquility du Jour fame, calling out for book club suggestions.  While travelling, I haven’t always been able to get my hands on her book club selections so I’m not always “present” but I love the idea of an online book club-great for people who travel and I love that it brings people from all over the world together for a common purpose!  Admittedly, I also like it because, believe it or not, I’m a bit of an introvert and public speaking (even if a book club circle) is nerve-wracking for me! (I’m aiming to conquer this within the next five years-Toastmasters or something…)  So I was thrilled when Kimberly Wilson chose my suggestion for Sharon Salzberg’s book “Real Happiness“, her 28-day meditation “training manual”.  A follower of Sharon Salzberg for a while, keeping tabs on her Twitter and website and whatnot, I have been travelling with this book on my Kindle for a while now and I have yet, despite several attempts, been able to get past the one week mark.  I thought that having this book as a club selection, I would be presented with a bit more accountability.  I began March 2nd and I am officially past the one week mark.  Yay me!
I don’t want to make it sound like meditation is a chore but I do believe it is definitely something you must practice to the point of habit in order to make it stick or see any results.  This book is not my first foray into meditation.  I’ve been interested in Buddhism since high school or so.  My early interest in alternative philosophies and religions at the age of 14 or 15 or so lead me to Wicca and occult type books (my mom had a Wiccan friend that lent me some books and my mom had a pretty wide library herself!)  It was from my Mom and Dad’s book collection that I then read Carlos Castenada and from there, because of my love of Beat literature, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, the Beatles, TM which finally lead me to seek out Buddhism.
By university, I was using most of my elective courses for philosophy and eastern religion, delving into Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam philosophy as well as a bit of art and architecture of Asia and the Middle East.  By this time I was also attending the odd day-long meditation retreat and lectures by prominent Buddhists (Tenzin Palmo!) and I then discovered Pema Chodron and devoured all her books.  So I have read a lot on the subject, but through the course of all of this, I have learned that it all amounts to nothing if your ass is not on that cushion! I have since had breakthrough moments on the cushion, usually in day long retreats where I’ve sat there long enough to finally ease the incessant chatter in my brain.  At home, before leaving for travel, I was, on occasion, getting up before work 30 minutes earlier for a pre-work sit.  But travelling has presented itself with a new list of challenges that has thus far, prevented me from getting a daily habit down. 

                                                                                                                                                     Source: kweeper.com via Mary on Pinterest

 
However, for me, I also realize that no excuse is good enough and it’s precisely these challenges that make a daily practice worthwhile and now a perfect time to really get into it! These excuses include such things as: not much alone time (M and I sharing one room in a hotel or guesthouse) so I’ve been meditating when he is sleeping in the morning or when he is having breakfast.  the heat (oooh! the HEAT! ) Such a lame excuse seeing as this whole thing started in Asia-land of oppressive heat, before the time of electric fans!, our ever-changing locale (all the better to overcome since peace comes from within, right?)
Anyway, so here goes nothing again! I will be doing my best to check in weekly to let you know all of my observations and any progress.  In the first week, my mind has been all over the place.  I probably got about four “sits” accomplished but my first couple were 15 minutes, not 20 as the book suggests.  After the first couple of times, I realized I needed at least 20 minutes to get those moments of stillness, so I upped it.  Such topics in my money mind this week have included:  my mom, friends, the plane journey I had to take that day, M, crafts, design ideas, my blog, breakfast, etc., etc., etc…
Practicality wise, I usually sit on the bed these days but I do find that a pillow just under my tailbone works best so my knees are lower than my spine.  Otherwise my back gets tired and I start to slouch.  Counting my breath has been extremely useful when I can’t otherwise  focus, as is labelling my thoughts as “thinking” when I need to pop the thought bubbles!
So I accept all of this as being totally normal progress and I look forward to more sitting this week with the hopes of even better results! I’m a work in progress! I would love to hear other ‘learning to meditate’ experiences with this book.  Head over to Kimberly Wilson’s website to check out her book club, there is always a great book recommended there each month, usually on the subject of yoga and well-being. 
Thanks for reading!

Back in HCMC…

Just a few more days left in Vietnam before we head back to Bangkok.  Hopefully they’ll let us in again! We got back into HCMC late yesterday afternoon after a very long 8 hour bus ride (including rest stops).  How can 300 km’s take 8 hours.  We alternated between going a snail’s pace and matting it down open stretches of divided highway.  Once we got to the city it was just painful how slow we had to go to manoeuver the traffic.  It’s pretty crazy here that way.

Looking forward to going back to Thailand in a few ways because of the food (sorry Vietnam, you’ve got nothing on Thailand there!), because we get to finally go to Chiang Mai, which I’ve been looking forward to for a while, and because I’m planning on going back to May Kaidee’s cooking school for an advanced lesson on tofu and soymilk making.

I’m actually really excited about that.  It’s more expensive than my original cooking class I took, but it’s a pretty unique opportunity to learn something like that, plus, I would never be able to learn tofu and soymilk making in my own country for that price.  Super pumped!

Not much left to do in HCMC except wander around and do some last-minute shopping, exchange money, do laundry etc. 

We’re also hoping Thailand will have cooled it a bit on the tourists since we’ve been there last a month ago.  It’s March now and that means it’s getting freaking hot.  Like, hotter than usual and winter is pretty much over in most countries where tourists are typically coming from. 

Speaking of March 1st, we’ve just crossed our fourth month of travelling now and what is scarier is that our return ticket takes us back to Canada via Seoul on April 1st, one month from today.  Hard to say what will happen in a month.  Will we change our ticket date and return to Canada but at a later date? Will we go to Japan and brave our uncertainties there in Tokyo or go to Japan but venture further south to Kyushu, thus putting us further away from that nuclear plant? Will we go back home, work for the summer again and then travel to Paris and THEN go to Japan? These are the questions that are driving me insane these past few days.  I really wish I was more relaxed about this thing.  I honestly think that most of the problem is that I berate myself for feeling like I do and not feeling more “go-with-the-flow” about the whole situation.  I stress out and then I get mad at myself for not paying attention to the here and now and stress out about that.  I am seriously ridiculous.  Is this going to come down to a coin toss?

I have been getting some good advice from a few friends actually, assuring me that I am not going mad and that we should just take the leap and go to Japan and stop trying to live our lives for other people. 

It really is a simple yes and no type decision and analyzing it down to minutiae is really pointless when the factors involved do not change.  Do this or do that.  I guess we’ll be figuring that out soon enough.  It makes me grumpy sometimes though.

 

Leaving Bangkok…

(journal excerpt) February 4, 2012, Bangkok

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Last couple of days in Bangkok on this leg of the trip and we are a bit pressed for things to do, particularly because it’s been raining most days lately and our guesthouse cuts the power every afternoon for an hour or so.  So back to previous discussion re: revelations and what to do next.  I felt like I mistakenly gave the impression that we have all things figured out and we’ve come to some penultimate conclusions about the meaning of life.  Not so.  More confused than ever but I think maybe we are learning how to relax with this chaos a bit more and I think we are also realizing that this chaos and uncertainly comes from within, not extraneous circumstances, like deciding where to move. 

Walking around the deserted wat yesterday (see previous photos), we discussed how important it is not to get too wrapped up in what’s happening next.  The stress of that, and the pressure has the tendency to make both of us edgy and bitchy and there are always some pretty cool things happening right in front of us.  The thing is-while I think goal setting and trying ti improve one’s situation is important, I do think that, speaking for myself, I do need to remind myself that *this* is living, not planning for future jobs that don’t exist yet, not the work itself, not worrying about next month or the one after or five years from now. 

Life is everything that happens in between all of that or as a famous Lennon once said, “…while you are making other plans”.  There is peace and beauty in this very moment, in the sweltering humidity of the rain, sitting here in this cafe, watching traffic and not planning anything…

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I just have to remember that when my mind tries to drive me insane…

Later: additional thoughts on the Pro Japan side-there may be a point when we feel an even stronger pull home in the future-one that cannot be ignored so easily.  At the moment our family is all relatively healthy and well-they do not require our care and aid but one day they will and we would oblige, of course, because we love them and they are our parents.  Perhaps, for now, it makes sense to embrace freedoms we may not have later on?

Also: nagging idea-when one is presented with a series of options, does it not make the most sense to choose the option that contains the most potential for adventure? Am I going crazy? Does life always have to be about the more responsible decision?