Our year (and this web site) is coming to a close very soon and and Christmas is extra special this year. From the road we imagined building a fire and cuddling up with our dog for our version of family time on Christmas morning. With the hum of the vacuum cleaner in the background, Amos in his bed and pre-game football on TV, it's not exactly what we imagined, but it sure is home and it sure feels good.
Our Christmas wish for you is a little bit of encouragement. We hope that you will start planning your next big adventure. Maybe it's travel, starting a family, a new job or writing a book. Whatever the adventure, the best day to start planning is today. Write it down, set a date and ignore that voice in the back of your head that says you can't do it. You can do it and reminding yourself of this fact is the first big step.
Merry Christmas everyone!
We hope you have a great one, even though this is a tad bit late. We miss you! Love, Lee and Sachi.
Our friend Tanya Mau, who has spent a lot of time in Thailand, contacted us recently in email and said this "YOU MUST TRY AND VISIT THE SONGKRAN FESTIVAL (water festival for the Thai New Year) this week." So we were sure to heed her advice.
So, we struck out on the scooter yesterday not knowing what to expect. Within about 2 minutes of leaving the resort, we were both completely soaked, head to toe, including the scooter.
Songkran Day is the Thai New Years celebration that has roots in using water as a symbol of cleansing for the new year. From our prespective, Songkran is the National Water Fight Day. All along every road, there are people waiting with huge tubs of water, ready to drench anyone who comes by. This makes the normal 40kph road a wet, splashing and noisy parking lot that is more like a party than a road.
It makes for an incredibly fun day and a chance to interact with the locals who love nothing more than to drench a Farang (white foreigner). Some approaching vehicles would see us and rally the troops to cries of "FARANG! FARANG! FARANG!" We were targets, willingly. Everyone, young, old, male, female, got into the action and no one was spared. All in good clean fun.
Of course, we had our own defense...
And I sprang to action when the time came...
But found that we were slightly over-powered...
I've got to hand it to some of the Songkran innovators, who get giant blocks of ice and put them into the water barrels, making ice cold water that is a startling surprise. We're both thankful to have been a part of the celebration- and that we have a Pentax Option WP- a waterproof camera- without which these pictures would not be possible.
I think we're both pretty jet lagged, which seems to be giving us headaches. I'm not sure that we'll be partying too much tonight, and I'm not sure we'll even make it to midnight. Midnight will be 5am in the time zone we're used to, though we're committed to getting on schedule.
To help, Sachi's mom is putting together some homemade sushi and some jook, which is a chinese chicken and rice gruel (comfort food). Some where along the way, I started calling it "gak", which is now a family joke.
I'm sure it's no suprise, but in Hawaii, New Years is all about firecrackers. We've already heard a bunch of people lighting the traditional 10,000 firecrackers, which welcomes the good luck for the year. You have to have a permit to have 5000 firecrackers that costs $25 and does not include the firecrackers.
I was amazed by this story today. A hawaiian guy got in the water with a 17 ft. great white shark. That buggah is big. Here is one of the photos:
Photo by Juan Oliphant
I'm a little more knowledgeable about the islands as of today. We went to the Bishop Museum, which is all about Hawaiian and Polynesian history, along with a Science Adventure Center. The museum was in need of a little maintenance, but was well done. I wasn't impressed with the Adventure Center, which is new and more for kids.
Fake Eruption Real Shark Tooth Sword
Happy New Years! See you in 2006