Friday, November 20, 2009

Roller skating in Virginia Beach


I don't have too much to say about this except I found these files on my phone. We were in Virginia Beach back in September and decided to go roller skating with Megan brother, greg, and his daughter Lili. Correctly speaking, that makes them my brother and niece.
video
Picture a room packed (over 100) with 13 year olds and then us. I started to feel the immense insecurity of being that age. Not a good feeling.
But roller skating was fun.

a 2 hour haircut


Normally, when it comes to cutting my hair, I view this as a necessary evil in my life and attempt to get it done as quickly as possible. In fact, I purposefully choose a barber shop in seattle, Magnolia Barber, where the women that cut hair don't really speak english so that I can get in and out of there without having to say much. It's nothing against the people who cut my hair, its just one of those things that I have never felt comfortable doing.

However, the haircutting experience in Thailand is a whole different thing. Here, getting your hair cut is only a small part of the experience. Yesterday, I went and got the detox and hair cut. The detox is essentially a 1 hour shampooing of my hair/ scalp. I lied there (still slightly jet lagged) for and hour as a woman massaged and rubbed my scalp and neck into pure bliss. These pictures are of my friends Josh and Cacci also getting the same treatment.

After that, they dry your hair, and rub down your shoulders for 15 minutes. Then, a guy comes and cuts my hair which takes around 1/2 hour, and then it is followed by a final shampooing (and massage). All this costs... 20 dollars. Worth the price of the flight. Why can't we get this kind of service in the states? I might actually look forward to a hair cut.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back in Thailand


You know you are back in Thailand when... there are ants climbing across your keyboard as you try to blog. In fact, I'm pretty sure there was an ant nest in my computer last time i was here.

But you also know you are back in Thailand when... you wake up in the morning, make the short trek (by riding three up on a motor scooter) to get Kao Man Gai with a friend you haven't seen in a year. Kao Man Gai is, literally translated, Rice with Chicken. And that really is all it is. You boil an entire chicken. Cook rice in the water used to boil the chicken. Cut up the chicken, put it on top of rice, pour a sauce of ginger, chili sauce, and vinegar over the top and sink into a blissful heaven. It sounds simple, but there is certainly an art to the way it is put together, and our favorite place, aptly nicknamed "smiling chicken with fork" does it like none other. the woman who runs the place always remembers us and I get to push the limits of my Thai as I explain what we have been up to for the last year and why we are in town. We laugh about how cold it is right now (lows of 60 at night) and how I come all the way over from the states to eat her food.

We arrived in Thailand for a 3 week trip. We have two couples that are getting married within 5 days of each other so we had to come over and visit. Amazingly, this place still feels like home. From the minute we stepped off the airplane, I feel like i belong here. The thai script which always keeps me entertained trying to decipher it. The obsession with food that thais have. The fantastic community of friends that we have here.
One friend is Dao. When Dao started dating our good friend Jeff a few years ago it was like instantly adding a best friend to my life. She is a unique person in her ability to mesh her culture (Northern Thai) with her curiosity about the rest of the world. She has the ability to see outside of her personal world perspective and be open to any all new ideas. If only we could all be so open in our lives, I'm sure that the world would be a better place.
So we are staying at Dao's place while we are here which is about 2 blocks away from where we used to live when we lived here. She has opened up her place to use so it quite feels like I can slip back into my old life here with a home in a great neighborhood.
The plan is to be in Chiang Mai for a couple of days, then hop on the motorcycle and drive about 3 hours north of here to Doi Ang Kang. This is where my post about caving takes place and a place we first discovered on the tour de rain a couple of years ago. Last year, when I showed to area to my good friend Josh, I think it got the wheels turning in his head about a place to get married, and sure enough this is where he is going to have his wedding. It is going to be a hell of time. Josh does nothing on the sly, so when him and Kat decided to get hitched in Doi Ang Kang, the befriended the head of the Royal Project National Park at Doi Ang Kang. Now, with the ultimate connection, they are throwing the ultimate wedding in one of the more lovely places in the world.
After that, we head to another wedding on a remote island in Southern Thailand (read tropical beach paradise) for our friends Kieran and Heather.
Then it is back to Chiang Mai for a couple weeks of caving.

I will try my darndest to post more as we start the indulgent adventures of bubbs and bubs phase two.

Marshall