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Still on Ko Paghan

Enjoying peace and quiet..for now...

sunny 30 °C

Written on March 10…
Days and nights are pretty quiet these days… I only went to the first day of the yoga school and wasn’t hooked at all for several reasons. Although I believe in the concept of energy, and that through yoga and meditation one can channel this energy in ways that are almost unbelievable, this school and it’s “swami” (aka guru) didn’t attract me at all. The schedule was another very strong deterrent (every morning at 8:30am!!!). I’m like: Hey! I’m on vacation here, getting up early is soooo far off the plan it’s not even funny!!! And we can’t even eat before going to class (which I understand, eating before doing yoga isn’t good) but getting up at 7:30-8 and not being able to eat until 11am is totally against my religion. So it didn’t work out! Rafale would like me to give it a fair chance (it’s true that I’ve only been that 1st day) by going at least 3 days in a row. I might do that next Monday-Wed…we’ll see.
She is still pretty big into the whole thing (but she’s more advanced and has a different – better – schedule, yet she is at the school for different things most of the time) so my days consist of getting up whenever I want, hanging out in the hammock on the balcony and going to the beach and/or exploring this tiny island we’re on. Not too shabby indeed!
I haven’t taken any new pics yet, but will go tomorrow with Rafale on a little visit of the island (which she hasn’t had time to visit yet) and I’ll make sure to take some pics. My tan is getting pretty nice, although I’m careful not to go to the beach before 2pm and I put on 45 UV protection sunscreen.
My best purchase so far? Snorkeling mask and scuba!!!! It’s soooooo fun!! First of all, the water temperature is just sooo perfect! The water is quite shallow here, yet by swimming only a few feet away from the beach, we get to nice coral and a super abundance of all kinds of fish!! I’ve seen fish in all shapes, forms and colours, some completely white, others with vivid colours (bright blue/green that changes when the light changes), others striped, dotted, purple, orange, yellow, with a kind of mask, others that blend so well with the bottom that you see them at the last second. There are also many many sea cucumbers (I think that’s what they are) which kind of creep me out because they are sometimes up to 2 feet long and are quite big and, although hey seem completely passive, I don’t know if they can strike and bite me or something and I’m so close that they totally could! All of this life is in water no deeper than 3-4 feet. I often have to be careful not to kick coral.
On that note, I’ve seen many shapes of coral too, some that look like a brain, others that move with the water, other red one that are like a big rock formation. Fish hide in those quite a bit.
No pics of any of this as it’ll require a waterproof camera, which I’ll get only if I decide to take the scuba diving course (a lot of $$$, unbudgeted $$$, so I’m debating…)
So that’s that, not much else to report, as Rafale’s place is pretty far from everything, in “remote jungle” (ok, it’s only 10-20 minutes from anything on the motorbike – but still!) so I haven’t been going out and partying at all, and I probably won’t until I move on with my journey in approx 1 week).
Tomorrow we’ll visit a Chinese temple (as if I haven’t seen enough! Hehehe – but it’s the only one around) and an elephant “safari” place.
The story with elephants is as follow: For the past several hundred years, they were used here for work on many things (construction, farming, and I don’t know what else) but a law was passed a few years back that banned using elephants for work. Great for the environmentalists and “anti-cruelty” organizations, but all of a sudden, there were all these elephants and their handlers out of work (and I only assume, but I think elephants eat quite a bit! hehehe) and no way to make a living. At some point, people realized that, us foreigners were quite impressed with these big animals and that we would pay good money to go on rides and learn more about them. And thus came the business of elephant riding. Since it’s for a good cause (preventing elephants and their handlers from starving) I will do my part by going on a ride or two. The bulk of the industry is in the north of Thailand, but this island has a few elephants, so I might go on a ride tomorrow, if not at some point during my stay for sure! It’s a tough life, but gotta do my part! Hehehe
On that note, cheers!

Written on March 12…
Well, finally gotta a few pics from yesterday, and I went to the yoga class this morning. I was already kind of awake, so I figured “might as well!”. It was better today than on the first day (we actually did almost a full hour of yoga) but it’s still, and will always be very slow. It’s not exercise (not cardio at least, or even strength, it’s mostly flexibility and meditation). I paid for the day, so I’ll go back for the afternoon session and see, one day at the time…
Alright, pics time!
Let's start with a pic of Rafale and I. Now, to be honest, this pic of her is not so great. We took 2 pics back to back and in the 1st one she looked good, but I looked way too bad, so we took this second one where I at least look like myself (or the image I have of myself! hehehe), but she doesn't look as good as she does in real life... Fortunately for me, since this is my blog, I can post whichever I want! hehehe
And here's another quick one of myself - to please the family!
These wried pants I'm wearing are called fishermen's pants and are quite common here (on the islands and remote places, not in Bangkok at all!). They are a kind of "one size fits all" pant, and you simply flod the excess fabric in the front and tie the whole thing with stings that are attached to the pants.... Sounds weird, doesn't look particularly good, but quite comfy!
Here's a pic we took at the chinese temple...
Here's a pic of fish on display at a market here, I don't know if youc an see, byt there are severla black dots on teh fish, yes yes, these are flies just hanging out (or eating or I don't know what!) hmmm yummy! No need otmention that I've stayed away from meat since I started travelling. Veggies don't attract flies nearly as much!
To conclude for today, here are a couple of pics we took at the elephant safari place. They have 5-10 elephants on which we can go ride. Rafale wanted ot get more info on how they are treated here before paying for a ride, but yesterday I saw a poster for this place at her yoga place, so I asume that this will be good enough for. We might go on a ride at some point soon, we'll see. Elephant_2.jpg

So that's that for now. This morning I woke up to find the MOTHER OF ALL SPIDERS on the wall of the kitchen. I didn't kill yet and left asap, came back a couple of hours and it was still there, I still didn't kill it (I'm normally not scared of spiders, but this one is quite intimidating). Anyway, I took a pic and will load it on here next time. You'll see what I mean!!! I figured it'd also be a good occasion to discuss the animals and things I've seen around here so far. Next entry!

Written on March 13...
I just found out that I got accepted at Concordia for a BA in Management with a minor in Economic. No news from McGill yet (also for Management). I have to answer them by May 1st, but I also want to live in residence, so I'll have to make a decision fairly soon ot make sure I get into residence. I figured I can wait a couple of weeks to see what McGill says...In any case, I need to check, but many universities guarantee a place in residence to 1st year students, so I should be fine. Yeah, about that, they would only transfer 6 credits (of the 18 I've done over the past 2 years), of this 90 credits degree... bit of a bummer... Anyway, I have time to think this over.


Posted by Mistrale 00:41 Archived in Thailand

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