Feb 6 – Location: Somewhere over Northern Burma
Hey world – missed you. Sorry it has been so long but as I have fallen back on before, I was busy out living life!
New Years Eve was quite a treat – completed a 5 day live aboard Scuba trip thru the Similan Islands in the far west of Thailand. It was a great trip full of 14 dives that afforded me swims with sharks and a large Manta Ray which I called Nessie because it freaking looked like the Loch Ness monster it was so big!
At midnight on Dec 31, I was surrounded by kind strangers on the roof of a 5 story yacht with crazy Thai kids setting off fireworks. Surrounding our boat was a handful of other boats on the water which we could see become illuminated when they set off their fireworks. I smiled at the stars as was very thankful to be here another year. I woke early and hung-over and did a 7 am scuba dive.
After a week or so back in Khanom, my friend Brian and I left the beaches behind for the hills of northern Hokkaido, Japan. Niseko ski resort to be exact. This was a work assignment and the tourism board of Japan was very good to us. Brian and stayed in a very nice ski/ski out wooden chalet with great heat and comfy beds. It was walking distance to all kinds of fun Japanese sushi, bars, and Tanukis. A good time was had by all. Oh yeah, and it dumped 4 meters of snow in 5 days. Broke some kind of powder record for the last 5 years in Niseko. We were up to our necks, literally, in pow pow. To boot, I was being guided by a powder guide who found all the juiciest spots on the mountain for me. I remember skiing down one run and saying: “Evan. You need to close your mouth right now because the snow is getting so deep around your chest that it could easily pour into your mouth.” It was by far the deepest snow I have ever been in and after 500+ days searching for the pow, that is not a light statement. On the way home from Niseko, Brian and I had a planned layover in Osaka where we soaked up more Jap culture. And ate more sushi! We found a place that had a California style and did some sushi fusion which is what I was really craving. We walked around Osaka in a lot of awe. Awe from things like vending machine restaurants where you order from a picture machine and never see a serving staff. Awed from “Love Hotels” where Japs pay $100 an hour to have kinky secret sex away from prying eyes. Awed at the prices – a beer at a bar was about $10! Awed by their style – I gotta give it to the Japanese women – they are so fine and they have no clue that cute now equals HOT!
On the way back to Thailand a funny thing happened. I had heard about a random law making you tell Thailand immigration when you would leave Thailand before you even got there but all the websites I read said that this was never enforced and it was not when I first arrived. But before I even left JAPAN immigration made me prove that I would be leaving Thailand before 30 days. Luckily I had already booked my ticket for India in the next month, but the hassle of having to go to a business center and print it up for them was trying. And Brian pointed out, what if you are leaving by bus? Or you are going to walk out of Thailand? It’s a dumb law.
Being back in Khanom was great. I was loving the humid days and I saw plenty of dolphins from the deck. I did a whole bunch of nothing for a few days with a side of swimming, and then my college classes started up again. This term I am studying US Lit from 1965-present and Analyzing Fiction. Our first book was Angels in America and I really enjoyed it. It was one of those movies I always wanted to see and now want to even more.
On Feb 2, I started the trek back to Bangkok for the big trip to India. The weather forecast has me very excited. In the last 24 hours it has snowed 32 cm with more to come. I hope it dumps and dumps and then stops the second I get there. And then starts all over again. The Asian snow gods have been really good to me and for that I am thankful.
Well, I am off to India – next transmission will be from a much higher elevation! Happy life all!