Mum and Dad,
I’m in Thailand. Let’s see….. Where to start? It’s so wonderful to see Tanya and be with her and just to be able to talk about everything and anything. It’s so good. I love her so much and am so blessed to have her as my friend. Grin. To try to answer some of your questions. You both seem interested in waxing – I went into a little place in Gandhi Nagar (a neighborhood in Katpadi where I usually do email). Anyway, a woman heats up wax, then powders my leg. She then wipes the wax onto my leg, pats a piece of some sort of waxy paper on it, which sticks to the wax and then she just tears it off. It does sting, but not too badly. And it does feel really nice to have shaved legs, and I’ve bought myself a skirt here in Bangkok so I even get to show my legs off. Smile.
And then coming to Thailand. I caught the morning train from Katpadi to Chennai on Friday and then figured out how to get an auto from the train station to a mall (Spencer Plaza), where I spent the afternoon wandering and drinking coffee and reading. I just finished a good book that I would recommend to you both. It’s called “The Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai and it takes place in Kalimpong in the 80s during the Gorkhaland movement. I enjoyed it and especially enjoyed the descriptions of Kalimpong, so yeah, that’s a recommendation.
Anyway, from Spencer Plaza I walked to the bus station and caught a public bus (for rs5) to the airport. It would probably have cost several hundred rupees in a taxi, so I’m quite chuffed that I figured out how to do it by bus. Grin. I had a LONG wait in the airport, but no problems. One of my SPW volunteer friends, Elly, left me with some New Yorkers, which I usually don’t read because they’re too wordy, well, I was engrossed in the one she had given me, so that passed my time.
The flight from Chennai to Bangkok was short and easy. I got through customs no problem (I just had one carry on bag, so that made it easier), and after getting some money, I phoned Tanya who was at the airport waiting for me. I have a big grin on my face thinking about how wonderful it was to see her!!!!!!!!! Grin. Then we caught a cab to the hotel where we stayed for the night. We were going to stay in a YMCA Hostel, but for a bunch of different reasons Tanya forgot her passport at her house here in Rayong, and they won’t let you check in without a passport, so she had to find another hotel. Anyway, her dad found a deal where instead of paying $40 for a mediocre hotel, we payed $50 for a really nice one. And when Tanya got there, they didn’t have any more small rooms (like the one she had reserved), so for the same price, we got this incredible suite with two HUGE bedrooms with kingsized beds and a living room and two HUGE bathrooms WITH bath tubs. Yes, mum, I did take a bubble bath and think of you. I have to say, I didn’t stay in that long because the water very rapidly became a lovely gray color. I guess I was a little dirty when I got in. Smile.
Anyway, the hotel was lovely!!!!! After a walk, a bath and some rest, Tanya and I headed to the weekend market, where I knew I wanted to get a skirt. It was on my wish list. The market was pretty incredible with amazing fresh fruit stands and then all sorts of beautiful clothing and jewelry and beautiful pottery and wooden stuff for homes. So many beautiful things. I found a lovely forest green skirt that’s flowy and I think it’s long enough for me to wear in India, and it zips up the side. So I just went ahead and got it. It’ll be especially nice during the summer at Pannai when it’s just so HOT. I’m wearing it today, and it’s super comfy.
We also went out to a fancy restaurant that one of her good friends recommended to her. I’ve put a hold on the no-seafood part of my diet and have eaten AMAZING food. Mum you would be green with jealousy – sweet and sour soup with all sorts of sea food, incredible prawns, soft-shell crabs in yellow curry sauce, crab legs, fresh fried sea bass, yum!!!!!!!! (that wasn’t just one meal, wry smile) Anyway, the restaurant was my treat to Tanya and it was beautiful. It’s set up with a network of ponds and pools with goldfish in it, and the tables are glass and set above a hole in the wooden platform over the pools, so you can look through the table at the water and fish below. Then there are candles and plants everywhere, and it was just magical. It was a splurge, but I figure it’s worth it. I don’t see Tanya very often, and I don’t spend a ton of money, so it was a gift to myself and her. Smile.
Then we went to the night market and walked around. Again, very fun. On Sunday, we headed to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kow (or something like that). It’s so beautiful, and I took a bunch of photos, and I’ll be sure to send you some and I’ll put some up online, and you can look at them on my facebook profile.
yesterday (sunday) we caught to Rayong, which is southeast from Bangkok and on the ocean. It’s lovely to be here and be in Tanya’s space adn talk wtih her about life in general. She’s thinking about the future, where she wants to be and what she wants to do. I think norhteastern India is where she’s thinking. And she says she’ll come to visit me at Pannai, which is really exciting. Smile. Anyway, this is really newsy and not terribly descriptive, but I promise to write more.
The possibilities of your future sound good. I know that you’ll both be happy whereever you are next. That’s something the four of us tend to do pretty well, figuring out how to be happy and then being happy. Smile. Thanks for teaching me that.
I love you both so much and am thinking of you.