It's been over 5 years and I am done. Time to head back to the US and see if there is anything left there for me. Don't ask me my plans, they're all top secret.
I've been saying goodbye to my students over the last few weeks. It has really reinforced how bad I am at goodbyes.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
As part of my trip to Vietnam my BFFL Jon and I planned a trip to Thailand. First a few days on a small island, Koh Samet, then a few in Bangkok.
|fruit stand on the island|
Jon and I arrived in Bangkok in the afternoon. Right now it's a Buddhist holiday where a lot of Thai people go vegetarian, so we stopped for food in the airport cafeteria and got a big plate of spicy stuff. Only a few bucks and a welcome change from Japan where everything is expensive and filled with meat and fish.
We caught a bus and I made Jon do all the work because he's been to Bangkok and Koh Samet before. We took a 2 hour shuttle to this little bus stop on a highway. From there we would catch another bus in an hour or so. We thought we might miss the last ferry to the island so we tried to hail a taxi with no luck. Two Australian ladies we waiting with us and we all became best friends. Jon did, anyway. They kept calling it a "wasted day" because of travel, which I thought was funny. I guess when you have a tiring job back home you stress out about relaxing.
While waiting we saw a dog get hit by a car. He was OK. There are a bunch of wild dogs around Thailand. I'm surprised I'm not scared of them. I'm scared of my mom's dog. I don't know what my deal is on this trip with not having panic attacks. Cars, airports, boats and dogs are my biggest anxiety inducers (oh and manatees, but they don't grow here I don't think). Maybe I used up all my panic before I left Japan. Maybe I don't care anymore.
We caught another bus and it was great. There was a cute kid in front of me doing cute stuff. There was a crazy toilet with a bucket of water sloshing around that you're supposed to use to wipe or flush or both. The Australian ladies had to use it. One did successfully, one reported that she failed.
Once we arrived at the pier it was already dark. We bought a ferry ticket but were told we had to wait for 20 people for it to leave. There were 10 of us and no one around. We waited for about an hour and when no one else showed up I told Jon and the Australians I'll buy the last 10 tickets (about $16). I made Jon go tell the guy that (don't make me talk to people!) and he said he'd ask everyone to pay about $1.50 more if we wanted to leave now. Everyone was willing and relieved. I wouldn't stop talking about how great I was on the whole ride to the island.
At Koh Samet Jon and I stayed in a little beachside bungalow. For this trip I told Jon I want to just go somewhere cheap, on the beach, and with fruity drinks. He delivered. It was nice and seemed like more of a place where Thai people go on vacation than somewhere where whiteys fill the streets with their fanny packs.
|breakfast on the beach|
We stayed two nights and ate lots of foods, drank lots of drinks, swam on a deserted beach, and got crazy Thai massages. The whole thing cost me less than $200. You can be jealous, I don't mind.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The paper crane is a symbol of peace in this city. People fold strings of cranes and add them to the Children's bomb memorial and other statues.
Here's a blog post from one of my friends about the experience: Today, I got a tattoo.
Friday, July 20, 2012
I can't believe I lived in Japan almost five years before someone let me know about the magical place that is Rabbit Island. I hate almost everything, but one thing in this world I really like is bunnies. I google pictures of baby bunnies before bed. I'm a crazy lady.
My mom is also a crazy bunny lady. So when she came to visit this summer I knew we'd have to take a trip to Okunoshima. It's only a two hour local train ride from Hiroshima.
How To Get There
From Mihara station (a Shinkansen stop) take the Kure line to Tadanoumi. Tadanoumi is a tiny station in a tiny town, no restaurants or 7-11s nearby. After you arrive you make your way to the ferry port on the opposite side of the station exit. At this point no signs are in English but if you figure that a ferry needs to be in the water I think you can figure it out.
At the ferry port a nice lady pointed to the ¥600 roundtrip button to buy a ticket from a vending machine. The ferry stops at two places and you want to get out at the first stop, 大久野島, a 12 minute ride.
|Chillin' on the beach|
|He made a little house.|
One The Island
Once we arrived we could already see bunnies hopping around the trees and welcome center. There was a bus waiting and everything in it was written in kanji. I could only make out the kanji for free 「無料」 and I convinced my mom to get on. The island isn't that big so how lost could we get?
The bus took us to the main hotel and onsen. Inside was a coffee and gift shop. Outside was tons of cute bunnies that run up to you and pyon pyon pyon all over the place.
Luckily my mom brought some veggies so we could feed them.
Why Are They There?
Oh, you know. Horrible WWII poison gas factory reasons. But they're all normal. Mom and I skipped the museum because we had already been to the A-Bomb one a few days before and why spoil the magic?
|Feeding some buns.|