T H A I L A N D – This eight letters word pronounced out loud, has the power to make you dream… dream about a beautiful, exotic place…. dream about distinctive flavor, spices and aromas… dream about massage, yoga and meditation retreats… dream about riding on magnificent elephants… dream…
Thailand has always been one of my dream destination…
But sometimes, dreams can be really deceiving when fantasy and reality lie too far apart. Other times, reality kicks in and it’s even better than fiction!
I loved (“Reality was better than fiction”):
– Noi, the cutest 29-year old female elephant!
– Learning some new cooking skills… maybe I am not a total lost case in the cooking department after all…
– Boxing! Until then, I never really understood “the need” to fight, but now I do respect this sport.
– Thai Pomelo Prawn Salad is just amazingly good! Don’t judge/dismiss it before trying it! Simple and yet so refreshing!
– The weather, tropical and humid! Exactly MY kind of weather!
– The Chang beeeeeeer! Not as good as Belgian beers (of course!) but not too bad either!
– Funny weighing scales (playing music) and finding out that I had lost a couple kilo’s on the road… always good news 😉
– Night markets frenzy and strange ambience!
– My 2011 Valentine’s day: cooking class & ice hockey game! Perr-fect!!
– My new hair cut!!
I “hated” (“when fantasy and reality lie way too far apart”):
– All the negative sides that popular tourist destination brings out! Being constantly asked in the streets if I want to buy something or give money, if I want a massage, a taxi, … “Cheap, cheap for you! Good price!”… Feeling like a walking wallet…
– Sex tourism that is so present in the streets, in the bars, on the beaches… Just disgusting! No wonder why some Thais locals can barely stand us Westerners…
– Obviously, Phuket and Krabi’s beaches… I think I have made that point pretty clear in my last post 😉
– The slow, boring and sinking bamboo raft ride! I clearly didn’t quite grab what was the utility of it, what was the point of this bamboo raft ?!?
– My stupid Chinese lock! One night, I couldn’t open it anymore. The # combination had mysteriously changed by itself! Ugh! So, I had to ask for someone to come to the hostel to break the lock (all my valuables were inside this hostel’s locker). But instead of breaking my lock, this tiny Thai guy just cracked it open!! He found the combination within minutes… very impressive… but also quite scary that he could open it so easily!!
– My 2011 Christmas… Christmas has always been my favorite holiday of the year mostly because of the feeling, the atmosphere around it. I love listening to Christmas music all day long, looking at Christmas tree’s lights & decorations, curling up on the sofa and drinking hot chocolate/tea. But in Thailand, it didn’t feel quite right… even though I spent it with great, funny people I had met, it didn’t feel like Christmas at all. Because without the people you love most, your family, you can’t help but feel all alone in the world! I realized that no matter how old we get, we always need a place to call home, and Christmas is THE time of the year where I need to be home!