Thailand, Hong Kong and diving!
I did not know so much could happen in two months! So we have finally found out that Geoff is not going to have his contract renewed. A lot of you are asking why… Well, he was on a 2 year contract covering for someone who has decided to return. We were hoping a vacancy might have come up but no such luck. We need to move, again! Don’t know where yet, but we do know when, June! Watch this space. Shame as was starting to acclimatise to our new life and really enjoying my new job.
On another note, we have been busy exploring as usual. Since the summer holidays, we have been out and about, here and there. The most exciting thing has been to finish our PADI and to go sea diving for the first time. It was bloody scary at first. I experienced an under water panic attack which was rather unpleasant but I also found that there is a whole new whole down there and it is magical. We had the nicest of instructors, patient, caring, gentle and thorough; could not have asked for more. Need to get a few dives in before we leave this diving paradise!
I have had a couple of exciting weekends! The previous one I went to Hong Kong which is a place I never really thought to visit. Fortunately, there was a conference I wanted to attend so it was the perfect excuse for a little escape. I really liked Hong Kong (and the conference!). It is an environmental nightmare but it is pretty and lots of lights always look impressive. Beautiful views, good place to stroll and eat and lots of boats to take from one island to another. What more could I want? I met a kindred soul at the conference, what a lovely woman! We got completely lost with a map and Google maps and ended up getting into a cab and asking the driver to take us to where we already were! He was amused and drove us around until we realised we were in the wrong area after all. So cool to meet someone who is as useless as me with maps!
We had Loy Krathong in November when people gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing beautiful lotus shaped rafts, decorated with candles, incense and flowers onto the water. Every year, Loy Krathong falls on the night of the twelfth lunar month (usually in November), at the end of the rainy season when the full-moon lights up the sky. This festival is celebrated for many reasons. The main rice harvest season has ended and it’s time to thank the Water Goddess for a year’s worth of her abundant supply, as well as an apology for polluting the waters. Some believe that this is the time to symbolically ‘float away’ all the anger and grudges you have been holding onto, and including a fingernail or a lock of hair is seen as a way of letting go of the dark side of yourself, to start anew free of negative feelings. If your candle stays alight until your Krathong disappears out of sight, it means a year of good luck.
To finish off, some photos of life around here. We love going to Kho Kret and walking around the island. It is peaceful, very close by and there it always looks different depending on the season. We went recently and found that most of the island was underwater. Sad for the people who live there, it is not an uncommon occurrence as the rain swells the river which then overflows over the whole island. People continue to live there and we walked past someone’s living room with the family sitting on chairs with water up to their knees watching television! A rather strange sight but then again, Thailand is not like other places…