Corporatism is interesting. How it's pretty much impossible not to participate. Especially when traveling. I found myself, in China, frequenting Starbucks, opposed to other local coffee shops, mostly because they had soy milk and other places didn't. Chains offer familiarity. I know how it works so I feel more comfortable. But I guess the entire point of travel is to make yourself uncomfortable, at least the way I try to do it. It also conflicts with my general "support local, F big business" attitude. What does it mean to say that you've been somewhere? Once you find the familiar away from the recognizable. Once you've had that aha, cosmic unity, omg we're all connected moment. Like meeting people that have the same personality as someone you know that lives across the world and speak a different language, or finding people who like the same music as you, or watching kids in the street make games out of nothing and play with sticks.
So, it took me the better part of two years in Asia to finally make it to Thailand.
I met Kat over the summer while in Richmond. She is chill af and is doing six months teaching in Thailand. We linked up once I got to Bangkok. We went out, rode tuk tuks, listened to disco and had a blast. She told me about a punk fest in the city the weekend after I got there. It was mostly hardcore (windmill) but it was still fun.
I was advised to get out of Bangkok on my visit to Thailand. Kat suggested the island of Koh Chang.
This Dave, I met him at the punk show in Bangkok, he agreed to join me on my island trip, didn't take much convincing. After spending the night in the bus station, we missed the last bus, we managed to get a 5am start to Koh Chang.
We woke up in the bus station and made it to one of the most beautiful places I've been, so far, in time for my 28th birthday.
We decided to walk around the island, which isn't possible fyi. But once we figured that out we found this really cool deserted beach. It looks like the area was once an old resourt but no one had been there for years. Pretty sure if we'd stayed after dark we'd've found dinosaurs. (They're cold blooded and it's too hot on Koh Chang during the day)
We found a place that in exchange for some volunteer work put us up for three nights. Here are some pictures of us working.
Very stressful job.
Left us with no nights to ourselves.
All in all a great experience. Felt great every morning.
I thought that two weeks in Thailand would be enough, boy was I wrong. I needed the escape and the heat, I am currently still escaping in a colder place. And the foood so good. Tones of stuff came with fish sauce but with help from Dave's phrase book, it wasn't too hard to ask for food without it. Koh Chang is full of foreigners as well so many of the locals had a working knowledge of English. Yeah I felt like a dick speaking English in a foreign country but would I have been more of a dick if I just horribly mispronounce their language when they spoke mine perfectly? I dunno, English isn't just my language it's a pretty universal one like its a lingua franca... aw jeez no matter what at this point I sound like an ass.
Travel more, see things, meet people, eat plants.