Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sawasdee (hello)

It's very strange to see christmas decorations here - everywhere! Christmas songs (non-religious) are playing on the streets, in stores, etc.  This is a Buddhist country so there are few christians.  I thought at first it was for the tourists and expats here, but now I think the Thais just like to celebrate anything - non-religious xmas of course. The stores are packed with christmas gifts and decorations.

Monks are very highly regarded here. I noticed on the train in Bangkok that the priority seating for elderly and disabled also said 'monks'.

We can greet and thank people in Thai.  But that is our limit.  This is the Thai Alphabet.

There must be a million motorbikes on this island. Okay, a bit of exaggeration.  But they are everywhere. They usually stick to the hard shoulder which makes it a bit dicey for pedestrians. They ignore the rules and pass on the right side the left side, go the wrong way down a one way street, and generally drive like they are the only vehicle on the road.  If it wasn't for the motorbikes, driving here would be a piece of cake.  So I've only driven a few times and make Danny do the driving. Looks like the majority of the tourists here drive motorbikes.  Motorbikes get preferential parking on the streets, so it's hard to find a space for the car.

There are many, many Thai massage businesses here. I'm sure some do more than that, but most are for massage only.  I find a Thai massage too rough, so I'm still looking for a business that does other types.

We love the food here!  For dinner we might have red curry, green curry, veggie fried rice, glass noodle soup, and ingredients might be tofu, seafood, prawns chicken, bacon, chilis, every kind of vegetable including many not found at home, pineapple and cucumbers are also common ingredients. Rice is always included whether fried or steamed, unless your are having a noddle dish.

Cooking sauces in supermarket - soy, oyster, fish, etc.

A couple of tofu dishes at our favourite restaurant

Embroidered handbags I found at a local shop.

We pass by this Wat on the way to the Tesco Mall many times a week and is almost next door to our favourite bakery where we go for bread.  But we hadn't stopped in until yesterday.  It is also the cultural hall where weddings and funerals are performed.  It's called Wat Lamai and Cultural Hall.

Before we came, some friends asked us what we'd do with our time while here, as though there wouldn't be enough to do.  Well, this is what we do:
I go to a fitness centre 3 mornings a week
Facebook, a forum, emails, keep up this blog, take photos, share photos, upload photos.
Drive to the Tesco Mall to shop and go to our favourite coffee bar - Black Canyon.  Stop at the French Bakery for bread.
Wander around the street markets.  Sometimes buy.
Go for walks.
Swim in the pool or the sea.
Visit Buddhist Wats (temples), pagodas and other Buddhist and Hindu sites.
Go for a drive and explore.
Eat dinner out every night, rotating favourite restaurants.
Spend 2 weeks with sister-in-law and brother-in-law who are staying in a house close by.
Spend 10 days with friends of ours from home who are staying a couple of miles away.
Drink beer and cocktails.  Chill out.
Get a massage.
Watch DVD's or tv in the evening.

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