Saturday, October 11, 2008

She sees sea shells by the sea shore.

TAG - Code Mango

Nothing particularly interesting happened today - but it's always a good day when I get to go to the beach. A few more pictures... because I'm evil and I know it's probably getting cold & rainy in the PacNW. ;)I've learned that this beach is called The Pines, because well... there are big ol' pine trees on either side of the road next to the beach. I didn't think pines could grow in the tropics, but clearly they do. Not sure what kind, but it's odd for me to see the long skinny needles in the sand.

The waves were unbelievably calm today. I think I must have come at low tide.
In part because the waves are so gentle, and probably for a lot of other geological reasons I don't totally get - there are TONS of shells on this beach. And a good many of them are whole. There's a part of me that just wants to collect a whole mess of them as souvenirs, but I keep hearing that quote in my head about "Take only pictures, leave only footprints." and I'm trying to stick to that. I did take one shell though...just one, unremarkable but that it was from the first day I visited the beach.

More shells... the variety is just amazing. All different colors and sizes of clam/muscle shells, and also a couple nautalis type shells and flakes of abalone shells. It's all so beautiful reflecting the sun. Oh, and the sound. I wish I could capture the sound for you. When the waves wash up on the shore all the shells knock together, and it's kind of a soft crunchy sound. Ok - sound descriptions are not my strong suit. At the souvenir shops they sell sea shell wind chimes, and they sound like that, only muffled by the water.

Ok - my new favorite post-swim tradition - eating chicken on a stick.
There are all these food vendors with modified motorcycles - the side car is a food cart. So they'll drive up and down the street stopping wherever there are people, ringing their bell to let you know they're there. I really don't know what it is, but it tastes soooo good, and you just can't beat the ambiance.

Across the street from the beach there's a nature park & aroboretum. On my last trip I noticed a sign for the bathroom... but wasn't feeling particularly adventurous - or any real need to check out the facilities. This time however, I had to stop. I really contemplated waiting until I got home - it's only a 30 min ride, but this time I was feeling adventurous... plus the sign had a picture of a shower, and I thought it would be nice to clean up a bit. I thought "how bad can it be?" When traveling abroad - that's always a dangerous question. In actuality, it wasn't that bad. There were squat toilets again, oh... and I had to pay for the privilage. There was no running water at the sinks. =/ And here are the 'showers':

I don't know if that's clean water or rainwater or what. But it's just what it looks like, a big ol' concrete tub of water and a couple bowls - and half a bamboo wall for privacy. I think I mentioned before that Thai people go swimming in their clothes. Well, not necessarily their street clothes, but both men and women wear swimming trunks and t-shirts in the water. I saw a guy walking out of the men's room sopping wet, so I guess they just splash themselves with the fresh water to get rid of the salt & dry off when they dry off. Today I was still pretty committed to wearing a swimsuit (although, will probably pick up some swim trunks soon) and at least attempted to keep my clothes dry. Epic failthough ... as I tried to wash off my arms & legs without getting undressed and proceeded to get almost as wet as if I'd just dunked myself. Then rode back in the Songthaew looking like a half-drowned rat.

What can I say? Living the dream. =)


Bezzie said...

I've seen pine needles on the beach--but the COLD beach! Hee hee!

Look at how flat it is past that water. Amazing..

T is said...

All the shells are amazing. It does not even look real, or like someone could have actually taken the picture on a "real" beach.

Doug Anderson said...

When you get your first paycheques, you do not want to be wandering around with lots of baht in your pocket. You need to open a local bank account, if you haven't already. I found that only Bangkok Bank would allow it; the rest just said it wasn't possible. Since you have a work permit and I didn't, you might find it easier with the other banks than I did.

Bangkok Bank allowed me to open a savings account, using my passport as ID. I got a bank book and an ATM card, which turned out to be highly useful. Not only did I use it at ATMs to withdraw money, I also used it as ID at national parks and zoos, where farangs are charged as much as 10 times as much as Thais. I just showed my Bangkok Bank ATM card and said (in Thai) "yoo teenee tee kroong tep kap" (I live here in Bangkok"). This magically got me the Thai rate.

You would say "yoo teenee tee rayong kah".

Bangkok Bank seems to like farangs, except for Internet banking (not possible for me, but with your work permit, might be for you). They were friendly, their automatic bankbook updating machines were wonderful, and the ATMs always had money.

Rebel said...

Bezzie - yeah, it's a weird juxtaposition - warm water and what I think of as cold-weather trees

t- I know... there are so many, and so beautiful.

Doug - I opened a local account already. Thanks.