Back in 2003, after teaching English in the regular program at AUA Rajdamri in Bangkok for almost three years, I applied for an interim manager position at AUA Surat Thani, just for a change of pace and something a bit more challenging. My contract was initially for six weeks, but I could extend it for another term or two.
During my time in Surat Thani (a Thai province), Kade and I got to soak up a bit of the culture. In the evenings we walked around the city's night market and ate at one of our favorite restaurants. We would buy fresh rambutans and mangosteens at the food markets. On weekends we would take relaxing boat tours, and on occasion we would ferry over to Samui and Tao islands, where we would snorkel, eat delicious seafood and walk on the beach. To give more perspective on how much enjoyment we had, I posted an e-mail I sent my brother in 2003. We had just gotten back from a marvelous river cruise.
my office desk, bottom right
Remember that tour of the bayou we took when we went on the NationsBank New Orleans trip? Well, Kade and I recently took a three-hour boat trip down the Tapi River to the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand. It was one of the most fascinating things we've done together.
We saw monitor lizards swimming in the water and running on land. We observed the peaceful fishing villages and the everyday lives people experience along the river. Young kids who are studying in the schools in the city rely on boats to take them back and forth. The postman delivers his mail by boat. Even the banks have a deposit and loan payment pick up service. Women wrapped in sarongs were out bathing right as it turned dark. Kids were swimming and waving at us as we went by.
The most beautiful part was the area leading out to the gulf. You could see big rock formations and islands like Samui. They seemed really close but were actually were very far away. Shrimp and fish boats were coming in for the night.
We just sat back, kind of down in the bottom of a handcrafted "canoe" that's powered by a long-tail motor. Our butts got sore, but the whole thing was worth it. I think people need to see that kind of scenery once a month just to regain some perspective. A far cry from the congested streets of Bangkok! Of course, living in a small area, you lose some things, too.
Finishing up this weekend and then heading to Koh Tao. Back in Bangkok a week from this Sunday.