flooding at the yard
So, once again, I sanded this week! Actually, on friday or saturday I got to chisel paint off a stainless steel strip on the side of the charthouse... and then I sanded it. But having my new CD player definitely helps pass the time and it's quite enjoyable to have my music all day. One of the mornings we arrived at work it was high tide to the most we've seen it yet. Every now and then we arrive and there is still some river water around the yard entrance, but friday (?) it was at least a foot and a half deep. Half our group waded through it (the taxis refuse to drive through) but my group managed to hop in the back of a pickup truck that was going that direction. I felt so bad for the office ladies who were climbing on the backs of scooters in their nice suits, hoping to make it through without getting too wet or falling in.
Jason and Boomer in the storeroom
Friday night was Mike's last night here, so most of us went out to dinner and some went out and about afterwards and had a bit of a slower morning on saturday! Saturday night was pretty fun and I'm glad the group recovered from friday night to be able to go out again! A bunch of us went to Kao San Rd. (sp?), aka "the backpacker street." It's a long road of hostels, restaurants, bars, outdoor shopping, etc. catering for travelers. It was definitely the most Westerners I've seen yet. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant then went to a few places to have some drinks. Even pretty late at night there were hundreds of people out on the street and was definitely mayhem at times. One side street we were walking on had a bar that was sweeping broken glass out onto the street, right next to the woman that was washing a hundred or so dishes on the sidewalk, closely followed by a tattoo parlor, and then the bug cart that has a selection of disgusting critters to taste.
our storeroom set up for rigging
Some of our group and the others we were hanging out with ended up eating scorpions! Anyone who knows me knows my issues with scorpions, and lets just say I stayed well clear of everyone while this was going on. That was of course after someone shoved a scorpion under my nose while I was sitting there. Twice. Not cool! I didn't end up getting to bed until 4, which wouldn't have been that bad normally, but I had made plans for sunday that involved getting up at 6! John had a 30 day tourist visa that expired today, so he booked a "visa run" tour with one of many companies that cater to this problem. I decided to go along, not because I needed a new visa, but how could I turn down a day trip that got me to another country? We don't get many traveling opportunities right now, so I figured I would go while I could.
Kao San Road
So we arrived to the bus area at 6:30, handed over our passports to the company (yikes!), and they pretty much handled it from there! I was actually really impressed with the system. There is a pretty big market for this, as most travelers can only get 30 day visas. The bus was a really nice, double decker, air conditioned one with a huge flat screen tv at the front and magazines and newspapers to read. There were only about 12 other people on the bus so we all pretty much had two seats to ourselves. I slept most of the way to Cambodia (about 4 hours). When we got there we got our passports back (all the paperwork had already been filled out for us) and all we had to do was get in the immigrations line.
Jay and Winston wearing each other's new hats
After a few stamps (and handing over our passports to the company again) we were ushered across the border and into a hotel/casino, where a huge buffet lunch was waiting for us. John and I ate with two other American girls that have been here for a couple months already. I took some pictures on the walk back across the border, got my passport back complete with a Cambodian visa, got stamped again on entry back to Thailand, and we were off! The whole thing took about 45 minutes. I stayed awake for most of the drive back and watched some movies and looked out the window as the Thai countryside passed. It was more arid (?) than I expected. A lot of dirt and shrubs, with a few palm trees here and there and every now and then a sort of large hill covered in trees.
I did see a cool rock formation though, of course with a statue of Buddha praying next to it. We got back around five, which was pretty good considering Bangkok traffic. It was a pretty relaxing day, and I got a taste of life outside of the city which was cool. Tonight I went to one of my favorite Japanese restaurants with Winston and Tom, so now I am full with my favorite food and almost ready for bed!