To catch you up in the most efficient manner possible, we went diving, got Thai massages, took a cooking course, went sailing, and then got so very sunburned that we're completely out of commission. Serves us right, but we've been having FUN.
This entry is slower than usual because I keep reaching back to unstick my shirt from my tender back area, but I can muddle through. The weather has turned for the better, it looks like we caught the last couple of rainshowers yesterday but for the most part it's been spectacular. We went diving in the midst of the rough weather and though it was fun, it was hard to see much of anything. There is something relaxing about being below the water, and the scenery around the dive site was beyond description. So was the dive boat - an old Thai fishing boat painted red and turquoise and rolled around in the water like a gigantic... um... large red and blue floating sea creature. As far as dive boats go, it was worth a double take.
The massages we got were out of this world, though the road to get to the spa basically necessitated some chiropractic attention. We were in 4 wheel drive most of the time, and I closed my eyes a few times out of fear. The spa/restaurant has the making of a movie set, and the entire experience was utterly relaxing. HIGHLY recommended the next time you're in Koh Tao.
Cooking class was one of our favorite activities. Aey (aieee!) taught us four of our favorite dishes over four hours in the kitchen, and we made everything from the beginning. Our own green curry paste, pad khee mao (drunken noodles), sum-tom (raw papaya salad w/ crab), and tom-kha (coconut soup). Out of this world good. Leave a comment if you want to come over for Thai food some time, you just need to bring your own galangal because we don't know where to get it yet.
Yesterday was sailing. It was fun and unorthodox. The wind kept changing direction, we got caught in a squall, the engine died on our way into shore - let's just say we got some really great sailing experience! Sascha and Danny were great company as they took us around the north end of the island. It was an inspiring and sobering experience to see how beautiful tropical sailing can be and what can actually go wrong while out on a boat. It pushed back our plans to circumnavigate the globe by just a few months, but made us all the more certain of going.
So now for the grand finale - we got roasted on the boat. We've got that funny grimacing awkward sunburned walk thing going on as we scuttle from shady tree to shady tree around the island. Serves us right, we were having way too much fun.
Now we're laying low, recovering for our next dive trip. Then we'll head on to the southern coast of Thailand in the Andaman sea for some more exploring. One more highlight to share - on our 20 minute walk home the other night, we were serenaded by bullfrogs that sound like a broken out-of-tune accordion and crossed paths with a giant fist-sized snail lumbering across the way.
We've also been wrestling a little bit with the extravagance of a trip like this. How do we enjoy it in such a way as to make it worthwhile? How can we live it up right next door to Burma/Myanmar where such horrific things are happening? The conclusion we're coming to is hopefully not a justification but an explanation, about balancing the desire to control the outcome of your actions with the delicious uncertainty of not being in control of how things play out. I think we're supposed to learn how to be more gracious with ourselves as part of this trip. We'll see.