So I have offically been away for 4 weeks now and stupidly didn't bring any of my travel journals, I thought I would bung a whole lot of my months travels into this so that I can keep a track of how things have been going so far. This will probably be the longest entry I will do so bare with.
Setting off on my big adventure was by far the most exciting, nervous, exhausting thing I had done (that's what I thought at the time anyway!). It was the longest journey I had ever taken from home but somehow the easiest, we flew through the airport after the drama of getting a fake return ticket, and had the most luxurious flight ever, we felt so common on a plane like that. The best start to the journey was opening all of our farewell letters and cards from our friends - Katie's made us laugh so much that everyone was staring at us before we had even set off! The BKK airport on the other side wasn't as easy, the nervousness of them rejecting our visas, finding the right exit to be picked up from, meeting the new people from our internship when we looked like dog s***e haha. After the two hour journey to Ayutthia and a well deserved shower at the hotel though, we had a chance to have a chat to people and meet everyone, try our first thai food and of course go for a few drinks - like I said, well deserved.
The second day was so much better after a night's rest, we went to visit our first temple thingy, Wat Mahattat; and our first buddha and elephants, after a day of information and icebreakers, which are always so much fun... For tea, we went to a BBQ type place where you have a metal stove on the table and meat and veg and cook it yourself and crack eggs in the water around it to make soup - was so much better than it sounds. The best part of the day was our travel that evening, our first tuk tuks which are the tackiest most amazing little taxis with neon lights and crap music (until Mi Mi Mi, Elly's, HB's and my song from Rome came on, the people sharing our tuk tuk thought we were right weirdos!). I had never seen so much rain nd thunderstorms as that day, it was mad! Again we went for drinks, which led to more drinks, which led to tequila with our new housemate who we found out about that day (Dave), which inevitably ended up into a massive pool/hotel room party and everyone raiding their mini fridges and getting told off all night. Aaaaand shocker, HB rolled up at stupid o' clock in the morning havng lost her shoes, shes never done that before has she!
In our hungover states, we headed to the main town where all of our schools are based, Kanchanaburi, not one of my favourite coach journeys. We stayed at a riverside hotel on floating houses and best of all found out that we were on the second day of transfers which meant another night in the hotel, oh and that our school had WESTERN TOILETS, you don't understand how happy I was not to have a squat one ha! So we went to the main backpackers strip that night, one of our leaders Adam introduced us to his favourite bar Sugars which I love and plays my type of music. Good job we had the extra day in the hotel as me and HB spent most of the next day in bed recovering, until we decided to venture out to Tesco as I needed to buy a towel oops. The remaining people went to a resteraunt called Jolly Frog that evening which was nice when I eventually got my food. It is stupidly cheap for food over here, still cannot get over it. We had an early night as we had to go to school the next day, so just had a couple on the decking next to the river with everyone just having a laugh and getting to know eachother, but off to bed as I had to decide what I was going to wear for school in the morning!
Our school, albeit a little far out of the strip than we had liked, is the cutest, friendliest, fairly modern school out of the bunch and our accomodation was so much nicer than I was expecting, we even have a washing machine!!! The kids are adorable and went mad over the selfie stick, we spent the day mucking around with the little kiddies as our english teacher was no where to be seen. Our teacher next door neighbour took us to the supermarket for supplies though bless her. We went down to the nearby river for food, but again the rain was mental and our first little family outing (me, HB and Dave) consisted of us wearing raincoats and wandering aroud the village in the pitch black as the sun goes down in about 20 minutes around sixish here.
The day after, we met our main english teacher Yot, who is mental and annoying as hell sometimes and told us we weren't teaching that day but to completely clean the whole apartment as it had been left a bit icky. The day only got weirder as we were invited for tea with the locals who hardly spoke english and made loy krathongs with them for the following day's river festival. Bizzarer and funnier nights were yet to follow.
Our first proper day of teaching and I was feeling rather unwell, the most I could do was make more loy krathongs with the kindergarten class and walk to the river to let them float off - on of the kids fell in so to be fair it was rather entertaining! That night, feeling even worse for wear, the locals dressed us up in traditional thai clothes as we took part in the parade around the whole village, ending at a fair down by the river. It sounded like an amazing night but I had literally passed out by the river and one of the techers had to take me home early,
By friday, I was even worse and couldn't even get out of bed for assembly, our teacher Yot of course had to check on me and annoy me and give me medicine haha. Knowing that we were heading to Bangkok that afternoon though to meet the whole group, I was happy to try everything. Seeing everyone again after a week away from them did cheer me up however being ill meant I just wanted an early night and didn't even drink. Orange juices all round!
At least the following morning I wasn't feeling rough so was more than happy to explore Wat Aroon, the scariest temple I have been to where you have to climb up steep steps and basically forget you will have to walk back down, even the lads where s***ting themselves! We also saw the reclining buddha which is huge, but are yet to visit the grand temple. And I bought an elephant skirt/scarf! Another day not eating, and another night not drinking but still had an amazing time with everyone havind a laugh and a dance. Plus, I really do love the orange juice here. HB rocked up at 5, running in with no shoes, again! The tuk tuk driver held them as security as she had to run up for money, despite the hostel being four blocks away from the hostel. I just don't know how she does it!
The last day in BKK I headed to the massive market with some of the other interns whilst HB headed off to get a massage with our friends Megan, Claire and Adam. Really did have an amazing time in Bangkok even though I was still ill and developed the nickname Alan from the hangover hahaha. Thanks guys.
By the following Monday I finally started teaching, the kids are quite eager and more advanced than I had thought but I wasn't getting the experience I had expected as I am more of an assisstant to Yot than a teacher.. Ahh well. The week brightened up as we had a mid week Jolly Frog visit in the main centre with some of the other guys, and we got to see our favourite peronal taxi driver Mr Nikon.
The two english teachers, Yot and Gom who has the most adorable son in the world, showed us round the grounds of the school and around the temples and beautiful monk statues on our school, so so lucky to be here!
Before I knew it, another week had passed and it was weekend again yayyyy! This was a special Friday as I became an auntie again!! But this time I won't meet the litte cutie till she is at least 5 months old. Been FaceTiming Nat and little Annabelle all the time though. This weekend we we were staying on the main strip in Kanchan, we stayed at a place were I got absolutely covered in mosquito bites or bed bugs or something, had over 60 bites on my legs, I look like a frikkin dot to dot! We had a night out at Sugars which was eventful as ever, it was Adam's birthday and so they played games etc, long story short Adam and Megan ended up naked in front of everyone, but at least they won! We all got stupidly drunk and by the time morning came and we had planned to climb a seven tier waterfall called Erawan waterfalls, we were all hanging like a b****, especially after the mad taxi driver bounced us all over the place. Really wasn't feeling this walk but it was soooo worth climbing through a jungle bare foot through streams and climbing trees and sweating like a hog - had such an amazinf exausting day so really didn't feel like round two that night. We went for steak at his fave place as it was his birthday and then I snuck off home about 12, the hardcore people were out till 4, I don't know how? Come sunday, all we wanted was to chill by the pool, and have another steak.
Midweeks tend to be same same; school, market, movies, cards, sleep. But on the Monday Adam brought Megan and Claire up for tea, as it was our last night together as the Mehhhs before he went back to England, he was even wearing his Mehhhhh bracelet we got him. So sad :(
Wednesday: first fanta in a bag!
The day after was Yot's birthday and we were dreading going for a meal with all the teachers for it, me and HB made her a card but stupidly forgot it. We ended up at a pretty western looking place with Snow White on the wall and it turned out to be one of the funniest nights ever. She ended up ordering food for everyone, fish and mushroom dishes, so I sat there awkwardly until more food arrived. Just couldn't believe that she didn'd ask before ordering for everyone, and only ordered herself some rice and sat there munching! The funniest moment was the nicknames, I got told I should sit with the chubsters yet HB got the nickname Barbie - Dave's we couldnt make out at firrst but due to his beard they called him Bin Ladan!!!! Never cried so much with laughter - such a funny night! The only awkward (and innappropriate) moment was when a teacher bought us all roses and Yot suggested i gave him a kiss - erm no thanks!!! Rude!
After birthday cake last night we looked forward to more at lunch, following the best dinner so far at the school, Pad Thai; we looked at the green banana leaf cake in disgust. I could taste it whenever I burped for like 5 hours! Being rushed to get ready, Mr Nikon took us to the main strip for another weekend in Kanchan. This time our room was double the price and down on the river rafts, which we hated so cancelled our room for the following night. We went to the night market and spent too much money on stuff but at least WE TRIED A BUG. Rather tasty. We bought vodka so we could predribk with some of the girls on the raft which we had a riot at, playing all sorts of drinking games. We joined everyone else partying to sixties music, such a fun night - ladyboys are so freaky though, very odd to see. Another drunken night for HB who made me walk all the way back to get a toastie, those 7/11 toasties are pretty damn good. We passed Dave and Danny on the way home at about 4 in the morning and they were dancing like loons on the balcony, we went up for a bit but they were rather drunk and annoying. Best bit about the whole day though, skyping mum finally and meeting Babybell over Tango app. And cheescake, the cheesecake place was yumm.
Changing hotels was the best decision, such soft beds!!! Not used to that luxury aha. So after moving hotels and having breakfast we were ready for a shower but then a few others said they were off to the dragon temple Wat Bahn Tam, which I had been excited for all week so we went with them - its basically a dragon spining up the mountain and you walk up through the mouth into a cave! So cool! Never been so sweaty and smelly and knacked from those thousand million gazillion steps up the mountain! We then went to another amazing temple, the bikers followed our song tao acting all cool, Joe tried a little too hard and fell off, it was so scary but all HB said was 'did you get that?' referring too the pictures I had been taking haha. We decided to get the cable car half way up the next tempple as we couldn't be bothered with more steps. Wasn't as fun as the last and I bascically got stroked up the leg by a tramp, not fun. Still weirded out at some of the people here. We got back to th e hotel only to hear the best news, Adam and Megan and Claire had booked to come travelling with us afterwards!!! So so so so so so so happy!!! Going to be such a good Christmas and New Year now. After such an eventful day, we went to the Jolly for food, ate so much as we hadn't had lunch, that we just could't be bothered staying out so went home early for PJ's, cookies and milk. The small things eh?
Literally couldn't be bothered to do anything the following day so as many of the rest went on a 10km kayak, I opted for a day by the pool, which isn't normally my thing. Just needed a chill. And more cheesecake, we did that too.
Observation was this wednesday, Emma thank god noticed that Yot takes over the lessons too much but reacbridge hed the point of not caring anymore. Teacher Som took us to our best evening yet last night, the rehearsal showing for the River Kwai Festival, with the renaction of the bridge and the war and fireworks and lasers and a guy on fire, and music and steamtrains. Brilliant, cannot even describe how fun it was. And it was free, always a bonus.
A month gone already, can't believe it. So took us to Kanchan for tea and paid for us all for the second night running, what a sweetie. Pad Thai is always a winner.
Absolutly loving it here, couldn't ask to be in a better place with any better people.