It's been almost a month since this blog has seen action! This post is for those of you who have no idea what's been going on in our corner of the world.
So, Ian was in Bali, Shan was in Sweden and Finland, and I was in Japan.
I can't speak for the other two, but I will give you a rundown of my time in Japan, and the happenings up 'til this point.
I stayed in Japan after the others left. This put me in Japan for a month by me onesy. Well, not exactly. I stayed in a hostel in Utsunomiya for about two weeks, and then Joey and Ton offered a room at their place, where I stayed for another two weeks.
I taught English at Mike's school for the last two weeks. I think I finally understand why teachers always want students to ask questions. All of my favorite students constantly asked questions, and the worst classes were the ones where I had to do all the talking. So, I'd like to apologize to my teachers if I was ever too quiet.
Anyway, Ian rejoined me in Japan on the 27th of Nov (I think), and on the 1st of December, we met Shan at Narita Airport and shipped off to Bangkok, Thailand.
Bangkok is a dirty, noisy, busy and rude city. Quite a shock after Japan. I hadn't realized how polite and quiet and clean the Japanese are. Just as I was beginning to speak a bit of Japanese, and read one of their alphabets (Katakana) I was thrown back into the storm of culture shock. I can't understand a word of Thai, I can't read a letter of Thai, and 99% of the people who are friendly to me want my money.
Despite all this, it's actually a pretty nice place.
Being me, I had to go to Pantip Plaza, the biggets IT shopping center in Bangkok. It's filled with small stalls on several floors, vendors hawking everything from legitimate, overpriced laptops, to ridiculously cheap pirated DVDs and software. I bought a headphone splitter for 20B (about 80¢). I had left my camera charger in Japan, at Joey's house, so I had to get another one. I bargained for a bit, and managed to knock the charger down to 600B, from 790B. That was fun.
The first hostel we stayed in cost us 100B/night/person. That's $3/night/person. Wayyy cheap. Thailand is FAR cheaper than Japan. My hostel in Japan cost me $25/night.
The second hostel we stayed at cost us 150B/night/person. That's $4.50. That hostel also had a bar and a restaurant on site.
The second day we were in Bangkok, we met up with Don, the father of Ian's friend from Exeter. He took us to a really nice private Polo club, where we had a really nice dinner and talked about Thailand. Then his personal driver took us all to the Oriental Hotel, which is really fancy, and we pretended to be guests there so we could get a free ferry ride across the river to a really nice restaurant.
The next day, his personal driver drove us around Bangkok, and we saw the Grand Palace (almost too ornate to be tasteful), and the Teak Mansion, which is one of the residences of Thailand's royalty.
Huge thanks to Don for the tour.
Anyways, my battery is dying, but the followup post will cover from when we left Bangkok to our current location.