Inaguration Day On A Thai Beach
We flew in to Krabi this afternoon from Chiang Mai and went straight to the beach where Allison and I spent the entire afternoon hanging out and reading our books until sunset.
Krabi is a Southern Coastal city. It’s a jumping-off point to the Western Islands of Thailand. Tomorrow afternoon we’re taking a ferry to one of those islands, Ko Pi Pi. Krabi and Ko Pi Pi are known for crystal clear waters and these amazing limestone rock formations, much like the landscape of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam (see earlier posts for photos) except that it’s really warm down here.
We sadly left Chiang Mai and all our amazing new trekking friends with whom we will keep in touch for sure! I’ve already recieved a blog comment and Facebook friend invitations, so I know this is not the last time we’ll all get together. It was really special the way our group bonded up in Chiang Mai. We’re really lucky it turned out that way.
After some early morning good-byes at the guest house breakfast, we boarded a flight to Krabi via Bangkok. Once we got here, we really didn’t do much of anything for once… except go straight to the beach, shower, and then go to dinner.
At the beach, Allison and I were talking a little bit about the Christmas tsunami of 2004 and I kept wondering how this town must’ve looked. I couldn’t help thinking what it must’ve been like that horrible day, on this beautiful beach. After the sunset I almost wasn’t thinking about it anymore, and then I saw this sign:
Before we head off to try Thai massages (only 200 BAT for an hour! That’s less than 6 bucks!) though to cap off the day, I wanted to write a little bit about inaguration day and how the people I’ve encountered view the USA during this change of administration.
First of all, Allison and I have been sort of paying attention to the date. While we’re not really looking at our watches or at calendars, every once in a while we’ll ask each other what the date is today, because we knew that on Jan. 20, everyone in the states will be talking about the inaguration and it’s on our minds.
There’s no way we can escape an event this big, even here, on the other side of the world. When I meet someone new, the first question anyone asks me is usually, “Where are you from?” When I reply, “USA” they usually say something about Obama. Some of the Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese people I’ve met might have a difficult time communicating with me in English but they certainly know the word “Obama!” Yesterday, at our cooking class, one of the students in the class with us was a British guy named Craig who was on vacation from his army job. He was telling us about his tour of Iraq and how very differenly he thinks the British soldiers are perceived there compared to the American soldiers (he says it’s not so good). Everyone’s aware of the inaguration and even here, people are talking about it. With so much attention to our political agenda, it’s clear to me what a Superpower America really is. After all, people from all over the world are aware of what happens in the United States because it really does have an impact on their lives.
There aren’t a lot of American travelers around this part of the world, at least not that I’ve encountered, and I think we get a bad rap. This one New Zealender I met the other day asked me about other travels I’d done and didn’t hide the surprise in his face when he found out I’d visited more than just the Caribbean and Canada.
At the internet cafe where I’m sitting right now, this one English traveler sitting behind me is pulling up inaguration photos and videos of Washington DC. Traveling during inaguration day is really driving the point home to me how many people are rooting for America’s next administration all around the world. I’m not sure I’ve seen such enthusiasm like this that I can remember from so many different nationalities before, during any of my other travels.
Anyway, I’m thinking of everyone at the news station where I work and how they’re all probably quite busy right now.
I miss the work and covering this big news event… but I don’t miss the weather in Philadelphia right now. I hear it’s very cold… and I’m so nice and warm, here!
The water here in the Andaman Sea is warm like bathwater…
Ok. I’m sitting next to a cafe where they’re having open mic night so I can’t really concentrate anymore.
I’m off to try my Thai massage and maybe dip my toes in the water again!
Happy Inaguration Day, everyone!
Just stopped into a beach convenience store for shampoo and snacks after the Thai massage. Thai CNN was on and Allison and I caught Biden’s swearing in. I just had to come back to the internet cafe (next door) and write what I’m experiencing right now in Thailand. As we were watching the inaguration coverage, a truck full of Thai locals drives by and we hear the locals scream, “OBAMA!!!!!” I turned to Allison and say, “Did you hear that?” She turns to me and says, “Where were you when the first black US president was sworn in?”
It’s so crazy right now, even in this little Thai beach town of Krabi. Of course it doesn’t compare to the crowds we’re seeing on TV in Washington DC and Times Square (not even close at all), but it’s obvious the inaguration is on the minds of people all over the world. People really do seem to have high hopes for America right now. High expectations, too.
One another note –
Just one last word about Thai massage before I head off to bed…
It’s interesting. I’ve heard Thai massage described as yoga being “done” to you. I thought of it as creative sports massage. My masseuse used her entire body to stretch and move mine. Feet, arms, knees and elbows. It wasn’t exactly “relaxing,” but I feel great right now. And there it was — my first Thai massage.
Okay, once again, Happy inaguration day from Thailand!