Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10-9-13 to 10-13-13 School's Out and Explosive Thai Traditions!

     I taught at juvie for a second day (Wednesday) and felt like I didn’t do as well as I did on the first day. However, my observer said I did pretty well; I sense discrepancies in the way I view myself and the way others view me. 

     On Thursday, I taught late high-school or early college students at the Phuket poly-tech college. They terrified me, but my observer that day said I looked calm and confident, which I thought was hilarious! The whole time, I was sweating like crazy and panicking as sweat ran down the sides of my face and my legs. That night, we went to the beach because some of my friends were going to set up fireworks on the beach.

Phuket Poly-tech College

Students waiting for us teachers during announcements

The bad student desk in the back of the classroom

     Unrelated...A friend took me to a lookout point, which was really pretty. :) I saw stars and the moon above the water.

On Friday, I taught again in the same poly-tech college. There was this student who had monster shoes! It was hilarious. :) That night, a giant group of us hung out again on the beach because we knew Saturday afternoon, we would all be leaving the hotel. 

Our poly-tech classroom with the very talkative guys

My friend Kiel teaching

A little Thai child who found me so he could practice
Mandarin with me, even though I know less than him!
He was soooo cute :)

     It was sad to see everyone go their separate ways... only when I hugged and finally talked to people I barely talked to throughout the 3 weeks, it felt heartbreaking. We had gone through so many of the same things together and grown so much through our experiences. :(

     My friends and I headed over to Phuket Town and we stayed in a hostel called Backpackers. Actually, originally, we were going to a place called O’Malley’s, which my friends had reserved. When we arrived there, though, someone told us it had been closed for 4 months! I hope my friends were able to get their deposits back.
     A man took us in his car (because he also had some hostels) and it was hilarious because there were so many people in a tiny car and so many giant pieces of luggage. It was like Tetris to the extreme :D. My other friend and I couldn’t stop laughing because one of my friends put her luggage in the driver’s seat, so we couldn’t help asking, “Where will the guy sit?” We all fit though, and it was amazing! Great team effort, haha.

Piled in. You can't really see it, but we're really squished
with all our luggage, even more so than my friend in the
front! (We each were carrying at least 2 items... and the 
trunk was full almost to explosion point!)

     Anyway, the hostel we decided to stay at was okay. I made the mistake of leaving the door open the first day and learned very quickly that that was not safe at all (from a friend who left her computer on the bed). Don’t worry; nothing happened to her computer. 
     We explored the food and tried to attend a firewalking ceremony. It was ridiculously claustrophobia-inducing and I had to watch it through someone’s iPad. People kept moving, so I saw none of it. :( 

The temple where the firewalking was taking place

Watching off of someone's iPad :(

People that dared take their firewalking-watching
to new heights (haha)

Walked away and had a dragonfruit smoothie

Green wonton-like food :) 
(but vegetarian/vegan)

     At night, it was hilarious because there was this heavy guy that walked around; whenever he did, the walls shook, the floor shook, and the windows beside my head shook. It was like a monster was stomping around all over the floor. Also, there was somebody who snored SO LOUDLY that you could hear it in all the rooms and especially in the hallway where I was sitting, trying to upload photos.

     We were supposed to wake up early to watch the piercings (the self-mutilation), but we missed it. :( Instead, we took a day to just walk back and forth on the street and shop in little shops. I think that’s something I really needed because as much as I love my friends, I needed some alone and stress-free day. I ended up buying 2 dresses, one of which I changed into almost immediately.
     At night, we saw the closing ceremony for the Vegetarian Festival, which we knew was going to be crazy because it was the last night. However, I had no idea that it would be as crazy as it really was! EVERYONE seemed to be throwing firecrackers at the gods as well as the people carrying them. I think it was the one night Thai people could really let loose and take out their anger on people. In reality, they were throwing firecrackers to scare away evil spirits, but little children all the way to old grandparents were involved. It was so loud that if I hadn’t had earplugs, my ears might have been ringing for hours afterward. 

We sat at a cafe near The Monkey King float/decoration

    Apparently, a man was hitting on me, but I never even noticed. This was not all of it, but he kept teasing me to get off my phone and teasing me that I couldn’t hear him with my earplugs. Then, during the firecracker ceremony, every time I turned around to look for my friends, he was watching me. Creepy! lol 

My friends getting ready to go all pyromania!

Chilling with my pineapple juice :)

GET AWAY after setting it off!

Thai people throwing firecrackers at their gods to
scare away evil spirits

Taking a selfie while Lindsay checks hers

Catching her taking a selfie in my own selfie LOL
(we were making fun of people taking selfies all the
time, so I couldn't stop laughing at these 2 photos)

Firecrackers EVERYWHERE, hitting even the 
people carrying the god statues!

      My friends and I then waited for the ceremony of spirits leaving people’s bodies, but because it took too long and we needed to leave the next day, PLUS we’d have to walk a few miles, we decided not to stay. :(
Lady with a spirit inside of her (who would later
expel the spirit from within)

     When we made it back to our hostel, actually, they kept throwing firecrackers until well past midnight! (Firecrackers for 3 hours or more total?!) I love this Thai tradition though. I think if I was brave enough with fire, I would’ve totally been the craziest. :)

     Anyway, heading out to Krabi soon!

Random notes:
-To drive with a motorbike in Phuket (where I was at first), when the traffic light is counting 5... 4... (people start driving)... 3... 2... 1... (then cars go)... Crazy! lol
-I also rode on a scooter thai-style, with 3 people! I was not the driver, just a passenger.

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