I know you all are anxiously awaiting news (read: photos and/or video) of the “house” “project” Wayne and I have “undertaken” (I’ve explained to my parents that air quotes seem strangely appropriate in almost every aspect of life in Thailand), and it’s coming! I’m collecting footage for what will be my biggest video project to date, but that means it will probably take awhile (what with the “painting” of the house and “gathering” of furniture and “starting” a new job on Monday and “helping” of bewildered New Yorkers named Paul that were ushered into the office a second ago because I [of all people!] might be able to get him on a bus to Krabi) so be patient!
I will say that after much ado (A reinspection of the house with a more discerning eye for what needed to be taken care of started to turn my feet a bit cold; but as Yax was in the process of convincing me that the missing faucet and sink, the severely damaged door, the non-functioning lights, the dirt-crusted screens, the junk strewn throughout the house, et. al were really not that big of a deal; who show up but the cleaner [unannounced and asking 3 times what we were originally quoted] and the fix-it guy [unannounced and offering to do what we’re pretty sure Wayne can take care of], ready to go to town though Wayne and I were sure we needed to put a little more thought into the whole thing. If that incredibly long sentence isn’t evidence enough, I was a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing.) the house and garden are cleaned out and we’ve begun painting our room a lovely light blue-grey color. Wayne had to make an unexpected trip to Chumphon for business today (of course he did) but I should be able to tackle some of the painting solo. We’ve also purchased our first piece of furniture (an unnecessarily large bed that will eventually go in the guest bedroom, but will serve our needs for now until we can afford a nicer bedroom set for ourselves) and water heater/shower, so the place will be more-or-less livable in a matter of days!
i think i’ve let my newfound video-making love override my previous photo-taking love and for some stupid reason i don’t have any proper pictures of the house. but here’s a still-shot from a video i shot pre-clean-up. you can see the potential, yes?
Anyway, the post is titled National Parks, so I’d say it’s due time I show you some more trees and streams and things! A few Sundays ago our friend David called us up and said some Thai friends of his were going to a waterfall, if we’d like to come. Of course we did, so we and a South African couple we’ve also befriended headed to David’s. In proper Thai-style we all piled into the back of a pickup (or “bucky”, in Wayne-speak) and set off. At some point along the way, David informed us that he’d received word that we were actually going to a beach. We suppressed our initial inclination to have them turn the truck right around and decided to go with it.
Nearly two hours later (a long time to spend in the bed of a bucky) we arrived at neither a waterfall nor a beach, but a national park near Krabi with acclaimed Emerald and Blue Pools, which were beautifully and naturally colored.
The Emerald Pool was filled to the brim with Thais swimming and/or wading around (most of them fully clothed, as we’ve found to be the custom in Asia), so we decided to proceed to the Blue Pool to see if it was any less crowded. This required a 500 meter trek along precariously constructed wooden footpaths and through woods with otherwordly tree-trunks scattered throughout.
When we made it to the Blue Pool we found that it was indeed less crowded, but only because there was no swimming allowed. While disappointed to still be dry (not counting the sweat we’d emitted throughout the course of the journey), we knew the pool would have been far less lovely with the addition of swimmers, so we snapped some photos and settled for a nearby stream to cool off in.
Then the other day (Easter, as it happened), Yax suggested we take a shorter excursion to a waterfall in town that Wayne and I had been holding off going to until I had my work permit. Similar to the situations we encountered in India and Nepal, admission prices for foreigners tend to be much higher than those for locals (in this case 200 versus 20 Baht). But with a work permit, foreigners can enter for the same price as Thais! It’s called the Yong waterfall and was really a nice, peaceful area, complete with giant fish in the streams.
gabor and yax brought some durian and we decided to give it another go. the rumors are true: it really does grow on you! and as they’re officially in season now, it’s likely these were better quality than the ones we’ve tried before.
it’s still a bit of a struggle to get past the smell though… i think i forgot to mention that we were given one in malaysia and the hotel staff wouldn’t let us bring it into the room. and on the minibus from hat yai last week we saw a ‘prohibited’ sign that included the usual pets/smoking/loud music, but also had a picture of a durian. they really smell!
And because I don’t really foresee having a place to post these, here’s a random finale:
gif i made of lotus flowers in the koi pond outside yax and kung’s house that didn’t turn out nearly as well as i’d intended but such is life.