January 26, 2007

Meet The Conehead

Kimchi is not the man he used to be anymore. A couple weeks ago, our 7 month old Yorkshire Terrier underwent surgery to be neutered. The vet gave him the smallest cone which was still two times too big for him. For the first couple of days, he would not move but only sat on a soft pillow. As the week went on, Kimchi started to feel better and he got used to the cone. He was running around and jumping on the bed with a little less accuracy than before but at least he was moving and playing again.

January 21, 2007

The Unexpected Visitor

One late night as Maureen and I were walking on the beach we unexpectedly came across this huge sea turtle. Even in the complete darkness on the beach I could still see the magnificent beauty of this creature. Beth joined us soon after to marvel at its considerable size. We estimate that it was around six feet from head to tail. Just to put it into perspective this giant sea creature's head was about the size and shape of a large watermelon. It was an amazing experience to see it struggle onto the beach and battle the surf to dig a hole. I am assuming that it was there to lays its eggs. However I know relatively little about the topic and I have no idea if this is even the season for little turtles to begin their path to maturation. Nevertheless this was an amazing experience that I feel fortunate to have had.
Believe it on not Beth is only about a foot back from the turtles reach. The way that it was flailing its flippers we dared not come any closer.

New Year's

(Beth, a long-time friend from Camp Silversides, Ji Hyun, our first and closest Korean friend, myself and Maureen, a good friend and colleague from Poly)

So what does a New Year's Eve in Thailand with only four girls and no husband look like? Well, a lot like this... fresh flowers hung over our necks by an adorable, brown eyed, Thai who no one could refuse. Fresh fruit shakes, spicy Indian food, delectable sea food, and world-class calamari. Not to mention the live talent, the likes of which I have rarely heard, in the background picking and singing softly everything from Eric Clapton to Elton John.
What could be better after a wonderful dinner than a moon light stroll on a nearly abandoned beach to watch the fireworks explode from every direction and glimmer across the ocean waves. It was at this moment that we noticed that from somewhere beyond the mountains to the north glowing balls were raising into the sky and were slowing hovering across the sky. They were so high in the night sky that they looked similar to a very slow aircraft. We were all baffled as to what they might be until a small party of Scandinavians next to us lit a small flame under a paper lantern. As they held it there it slowly filled with hot air and ever so gently lifted out of their hands and snail-paced its way up into the dark sky to join the hundreds of paper lanterns making their way over the mountain ridges to the south. To land who knows where and burn up who knows what. (As an interesting side note that next night as I was walking down a street late at night I was almost hit in the head by one that was making a crash landing. Luckily, I think, it hit a power line first which deflected its path and it landed in the middle of the dark side street.) And where was Trevor? Sitting in an airplane on the Bangkok runway waiting for and anticipating both take-off and a terribly long flight to Beijing while listening to the captain do a count down on the P.A. system. Poor Trevor!
While Maureen and Ji Hyun took the liberty of an afternoon nap Beth and I walked around Karon Beach looking for the best fruit shakes in town. These banana yogurt ones defiantly did the trick.

January 20, 2007

Long-tail Boats

I found it surprising the lack of information there is out there on (a) the history of Thailand's marinas and (b) the history of these little boats which play such a huge role in the vitality of one of the world's up and coming tourist industries. Here is what I was able to put together from a myriad of sources.

These traditional Thailand Long-tail boats are one of the enduring symbols of the South Asian seas. As we quickly found in and around Phuket Island they are indisputably everywhere. Named 'Long-tail' after their long dragonfly tail propeller shaft, these little wooden boats are persuaded along at quite a stride. This multi-purpose icon is used for everything from sleeping in the sun while being gently rocked by the south Asian surf, to ferrying around both sightseeing and adventure-seeking tourists, to everyday chores and bringing home the fish for dinner. If you look closely at the pictures you can also see brightly colored scarves tied around the bow of the craft. These were tied on by the fisherman or his wife to appease the sea spirits. Whatever the case, we were both enchanted by their austere beauty.
During the tsunami many of these boat,which provide so many livelihoods, were carried off with the devastation. While the localized areas that were hit are recovering well there are still aid groups raising money to replace boats taken by the waves. There is still much to be done to return the beaches and families back to what they were.


January 17, 2007

Coral Island

On my last day in Thailand and Rachel's first day in Thailand, we managed to hook up at a secluded, picturesque island resort located on the virtually uninhabited Hae 'Coral' Island. Coral Island Resort is the only livelihood that operates on the island so while it's busy during the day with tourists coming over to relax and snorkel on their perfect white sand beaches and stroll through their coconut groves, at night it's just for the resort guests. It was almost like having your own private beach.
Late night strolls overlooking the crystal clear Andaman Sea were exactly what we needed after so many months of nose-to-the-grindstone work. We took a liking to strolling on the beach late that night and a cute furry island inhabitant took a liking to us. This cute dog, who was four times the size of Kimchi, was both entertainment and friendly companionship. As we walked in the surf he would lunge at the sand hoping for more than achieving his goal of a tasty sand crab as his late night snack.
Chalong Bay

Would You Like Fries With That?

I always knew that the Korean culture was different than what I was used to and these abnormalities were never worth mentioning until tonight. I can get over the chewing of gum like a cow or the vulgar clearing of throat phlegm but what I witnessed tonight was worth mentioning on the blog. On my break from work this evening, I decided to frequent my favorite burger joint, McDonald's, for a late night snack to get me through my last class. Nothing out of the ordinary happened while I waited in line and received my food but it was when I sat down that my eyebrows raised and my mouth dropped somewhat. I saw three boys getting their hair cut by three girls at the back of the restaurant and nobody seemed to mind. This high school group thought nothing of it to trim up the boys hair while people around them enjoyed their happy meals. I guess if the cut is free who cares where it takes place.

January 10, 2007


Here is a pictorial overview of both of our trips to Phuket, Thailand!

This breath taking tropical sunset was taken on my second night in Thailand and it reassured me that I was indeed spending my precious little holiday time wisely.

Some of Trevor's many adventures!

Coral Island was the perfect place to sit and relax and bask in the knowledge that there is nothing to do the next day but snorkel and swim.

Kata Beach - the perfect place to soak up the sun, run on the beach in a Speedo (Yuck! Those Europeans!), snorkel and catch glimpses of stingrays, octopuses and parrot fish.