Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Glimpses of Thailand

So, I was tempted to write off trying anymore adventures after yesterday and sitting on the beach and doing nothing. But if all I wanted was a beach I could have gone to Okinawa for a lot less with probably better beaches. I wanted to explore another country, another culture. I wanted to visit a nearby national park. So I walked up the hill to a taxi business and got them to agree to 5 hours of service for 1000 baht. Not exactly a steal at $30, but reasonable. And unlike the Tuk-tuks, the taxi was air conditioned. So we headed for the park. First on my agenda was visiting the gibbon rehabilitation center. It’s a fairly good rehabilitation center trying to do an impossible job. They are trying to reintroduce these animals after they were hunted to extinction on the island. The monkeys still surviving on the island at my hotel are macaques. But it wasn’t much to look at. The other thing I wanted to do was hike to the waterfall. So I headed up the path after visiting the gibbons. It took maybe 25 minutes to walk there. And it was hot. And as it is the end of the dry season it wasn’t exactly Niagara Falls. But there are pools underneath and I was able to wade in one of the shallower ones and cool off a little. When I reached the falls there was already some Thai teenage males talking on there cellphones already there and a young male westerner as well. I thought he was French. But the Thais left and the young man offered to take my picture in front of the falls. We struck up a conversation, he’s actually from Israel where he is a dive instructor at a resort on the Red Sea. He was sooooo cute. And I felt sooooo old. After we exhausted our conversation resources I headed back down to wake up my taxi driver and asked him to take me to a temple I had read about. He said it’s very, very far. I said, no it’s not. So he took me. I thought the temple was really beautiful and very real. There were people praying, and monks lounging and some sort of event for children. I only stayed for about half and hour, but it was a really nice half hour. I feel like I saw a tiny glimpse of the real Thailand, and not just the “let’s take the tourists for all they got,” capitalism-at-its-fullest Thailand I have seen. I let him take me to another jewelry and souvenir emporium. I bought a pittance and came back to the hotel for another nap. Went down to the beach for another massage. Unfortunately I think I'm becoming immune to their charms. But afterwards everyone was looking at some large bird in the sky flying over the ocean. The waitress told me it wasn't a bird it was a giant fruit bat. And I mean giant. He was larger than a hawk. And swooping and flying around. It was amazing. Later I walked up the hill to a little restaurant with a lovely view of the cape and had some vegetable concoction that I never did get the name of. It was nice. I was tired and walked back and went to bed early.


At 10:38 PM, Blogger Mark Base said...

Quite an adventure you're on there. Nice to read about it from cold & wet Helsingborg, Sweden. Not.

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