Monkey Mountain and thunderstorms

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Apr 14, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, May 23, 2010

This weekend was a good one because I got to know the other foreign teachers and my town a little better. On Friday night, I was hanging out with Susanna (another American) trying to figure out where to eat when Katalina (a teacher from Singapore) called me up and said she'd come pick us up in 15 minutes and take us around to see the town.  We met her and another of her teacher friends and they drove us down along the coast out of the town of Chon buri. 

The first thing they did was take us to (what the foreigners call) Monkey Mountain.  We were worried that the monkeys might be asleep and not out since it was getting dark, but we were in luck.  Lining the road as you drive up the mountain are monkeys of all sizes.  We slowed down to take some pictures (Susanna has them all, so I will get some up as soon as I can get them from her) from inside the car.  Katalina warned us not to stick the camera out of the car, because the monkeys would come and grab it, hoping it was food.  We went farther up the hill and saw a huge group of monkeys sitting on a lookout point, so we got out and bought some bird eggs to feed to them.  I was too scared to actually feed them, but I stood there and watched the madness.  There were babies riding on their mama's backs and big old monkeys.  Katalina and Susanna wanted to feed the babies, but the big ones kept snatching the food first.  They literally took the food right out of your hand…a little too aggressive/comfortable around the humans for my comfort.  One even came up behind me and tapped me on the leg in hopes of getting some food.  It was about then that I got back in the car.

After we drove down to the seaside to take some pictures of the sun setting, and were once again surrounded by monkeys.  One climbed on the roof of the car and wouldn't get down, even when we hurriedly got back in.  When we started the car, the monkey freaked out and started jumping up and down on the roof so hard that the roof was denting in and out under the pressure.  He finally jumped off when we started to move.  I think I’ll try and avoid the monkeys from here on out-I’m not trying to get a rabies shot in Thailand.

Speaking of, we all had to get a blood test as part of our work permit.  Of all things, they test for syphilis.  Don’t worry, I’m negative.  I’m also really hoping I never have to go to the hospital here again.  Don’t get me wrong, the nurses are very nice (one held my hand to walk me to all the exam rooms I had to visit since she couldn’t speak English and I clearly didn’t understand).  I had heard that Thai hospitals were really great, and I guess for the way a lot of things are in Thailand, they are, but I’m really not comfortable with someone drawing my blood without gloves on…come on ladies, its for your safety as much as mine.  What if I did have the syph?

On Saturday, Susanna and I crashed a Thai wedding.  Well, we didn’t exactly crash, we were invited, but we pretty much just went and ate and drank, and we didn’t know anyone, so it felt a lot like crashing.  My school coordinator’s daughter was getting married, so she invited all the foreign teachers to the wedding.  Thai weddings are quite the event, and take place over a very long time.  The actual wedding ceremony was over a month ago, we just went to the reception.  But the bride was gorgeous, the food delicious (I had some of the best sushi of my life), and we had a surprisingly good time.

I woke up this morning to the most terrifying thunderstorm of my life.  I seriously thought that the building was being struck by lightning, there was no delay between thunder and lightning.  We actually just had another really intense storm that rattled my balcony door for a good 20 minutes.  If this is the start of monsoon season, I’m not looking forward to the next 4 months.  Its hard enough to sleep comfortably in this heat, I really don’t need thunder and lightning added into the mix.

Today we spent 8 hours (no exaggeration) shopping.  We went to two different malls and a night market hoping to find yellow, pink, and purple shirts for school with no luck.  Its really frustrating finding cute clothes that are in no way large enough for someone as tall as me (and poor Susanna is 6’2" so she’s really out of luck).  Shirts are easier than skirts/pants, but still difficult.  What’s really frustrating is that yellow is the king’s color, so everyone has it and wears it all the time because they love the king so much, but we can’t find it anywhere.  Not even in small sizes.  Is there some secret stock of yellow shirts that we’re unaware of?  I guess I’ll be wearing the same shirt every Monday for 10 months, since I’m lucky enough to have found one.

School continues to go well.  Tomorrow I may end up with an entirely new schedule because one of the teacher’s quit, but we’ll see.  I hope to get some pictures of school soon!
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Sal on

What is with you and the animals? First the racoon, now monkeys.... I'm surpised the elephant didn't do more than just spray you with water from it's trunk...

caiter on

I guess I just look like I carry food around for all creatures in the animal kingdom. And the elephants want bananas as treats, so maybe he just knew better than to look for a banana from me.

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