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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Patong Nightlife

Just before sunset the markets start setting up their booths and the bars beign filling up. We walked by this area in the morning on the way to the beach and they must be open 24hours a day because there were people already having a casual morning beer. At nighttime however the atmosphere gets crazier. There are so many people walking the streets and all the street vendors become your friend, or at least that's what they hope. Walking past a market, they yell "Hello my friend!" and they ask where you're from. I'd ask them where they thought i was from and a few people thought that I was Australian. Most of the bars in Patong are open like you see in the pictures. It's just a big area with all these bars and they are all selling the same thing, booze and women. Patong is really fun, but the atmosphere can get old really fast. Definitely the place to go if you are looking for a good time. Oh and I didn't expect the shopping to be what is was there. They have so many knock offs there and most of them looked really good, but I just wasn't interested in spending the money and there was too much to choose from, it was kind of overwhelming.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Phi Phi Island

These pictures were taking on and around Phi Phi Island. This island is truly paradise. The beaches, the weather and the atmosphere were everything that I was expecting island life to be. Phi Phi is much more calm than Phuket and I think that is why I enjoyed it more. Phi Phi has the buskers like Phuket but they are not as persistent. A normal day for us on Phi Phi was to wake up around 9 am, go for breakfast, then walk around the island for a while, spend from noon to sunset on the beach and then go for diner and wander around the streets at night and see if there were any parties (which there usually was) or just spend the rest of the night sitting on the beach with a drink and getting to know someone from Europe. For a while we were meeting someone from a different European country every night. First Sweden, then England, then Austria, and then Switzerland.

There is still a lot of visable evidence of the tsunami. One restaurant we ate at one night was basically a tent but it was some of the best food that I ate the whole trip. It's hard for me to say what the differences are because I am not sure how it was before the tsunami.

I'll post some more later about all our adventures, ie. swimming with sharks, Patong nightlife, scooters and what not.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ice Skating

On sunday I had my first experience of Japanese ice skating. I went to Toyohashi with friends from work for a get together with other teachers. Toyohashi is about 20min south east by train from Okazaki. I hadn't been skating since high school so I was expecting to be a bit rusty on the skates but I managed to stay on my feet the whole time. The rink was new and it was full of people. It was kind of funny and unnerving to watch the Japanese skate because I have never seen so many people fall on their butts at once. In one lap around the ice I would pass about 5-10 people who fell. When I first stepped back on the ice after a break there was a loud collision of two people who slammed into each other and the boards. It made quite a loud noise. The best part was that the people that fell down usually had a smile on their faces and let out a good laugh. At one point the other english native teachers and I decided to make a conga line and all hold onto each other as we skated around. I'm not sure if we got looks because we looked so different or because we managed to make about 5 kids lose their balance and fall down! oooops!

Anyways, I hope all of you in uni are getting through exam season ok. christmas will be here soon enough. I'm off to Phuket, Thailand in about 5 days, so I'll be sure to post some pictures when I get back and fill you all in.