Saturday, January 08, 2005

Next Thailand Post

A couple of days ago, we were in the Chon Buri province (if I get the names and places wrong, it's because I can't read Thai). First stop was to see carved Buddha image of Khao Chee Chan (I'll post pictures of it and everything else soon on the fotopage). It's carved into the side of a mountain and measures 130 meters high by 70 meters wide and was built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of His Majesty the King ascending the throne.

Next stop was Wat Yanasangvararam Area Development Project. Where we went to the Anek Kusala Sala (Viharnre Sien), which means "abode of the gods" It's a museum that houses some of the great Thai-Chinese works of art. The main theme behind the museum is of the historical relationship between that is shared between the Thai and Chinese, how everything intertwined due to their shared belief in Buddhism. The Chinese Buddhist emigrants came to Thailand seeking a new life under royal protection to practice their religion freely. They brought all of their skills and culture with them and were absorbed as many others are, into the greater Thai whole. The ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China has donated 328 antiques and art objects to the Anack-Kusala Sala with the provision that they would be put on display for educational purposes. Some amazing things here that I had no clue even existed.

Before coming here I had no idea the amount of history the Thai and Chinese people shared or of what kind of relationship they had. It's interesting to see the view point from inside a country that gets along with China a majority of the time and what they can both accomplish together. The Thai's also have a good relationship with the United States and are a good example of what it's like to actually live the balancing act of being in the middle ground. Of what I can see they're doing it well.

My mom coming to Thailand is like a big vacation for the rest of the family, she's the rich sister from the states that pays for everything if you can put up with her being a bossy cow (all of my life I thought it was just me thinking that but her family has thought that since way before I was born, she's the oldest, I love her but it doesn't change the fact that she's an old school micromanager).

After we got back to the hotel, we went out with my uncle Dik, his wife, Ting, my other uncle Ut his wife Tuk, their two daughters Ew and Ew and son Fuk, my aunt Dang our driver Moo and my mom and step dad, Albert (yes I know their names sound like a bunch of cuss words but that's their real names). My mom bought everyone dinner at a Korean Bar-B-Q place, you pick up raw ingredients and cook them on these little grills they put on your table. It's all you can eat, the meal ended up costing something like 12 bucks altogether. This is where my mom and Albert dropped out of the picture because they were worn out from walking all day.

The rest of us went to a carnival that was passing though town. Damn short people! I could hardly fit in any of the rides! Ew and Ew are 9 and 13 (that's not their full name just the shortened version, they're way cute too) went on the rides with me that I could fit on. Had a ball. My uncle Ut only makes 6800 baht a month, which equals to about a hundred and forty five dollars! I started feeling catholic guilt and started passing out money to them all (and I'm not even catholic!) Just glad I'm in a position that I'm able to help, they're getting by but with 3 kids it's tough and hard to get anything extra, I've spent that much on a dinner before, let alone think about what I've spent on my laptop and camera. I'm actually satisfied with most of what I have, a killer camera, nice computer, many of the cool gadgets that go with both and a sexy girlfriend. Nothing much is really screaming for me to buy except for maybe a new car, that will come. I can afford to pass money their way.

After that we took the kids home and went out to Karaoke bar where I drank enough to sing on stage in front of a bunch of people that don't even speak English. Then it was back home around midnight.

Woke up at 1 AM with that mouth watering feeling that you're about loose your guts and proceeded to do so on the hour or so for the next twelve. Plus the other things that you can normally associate with that. It wasn't from drinking, something I ate didn't agree. Being the medical person that I am, didn't panic and waited it out till I could hold down water. Was back on my feet by that night, a little weaker but cleansed. A day of vacation ruined but at least I wasn't sick the entire time and my mom and Albert had the grace enough to just continue vacationing where we were at without laying on the pity too much. Still don't have my full appetite back and I'm trying to take it easy, not easy when there's a country wide conspiracy to fatten you up. So far that's been the worse part of my trip. Actually the worse I've probably felt in the last year (wanted to die a few moments of that time). Doing better now. Onward to more adventures tomorrow which I'm probably already done by the time you read this. Pictures up soon!

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