March 1 2017

FINISHING THE UNFINISHED (Blog no. 1 / January 2017)- the beginning: Thailand, here I come again :)!

Thailand - The East

I am sitting at Abu Dhabi airport, waiting for my flight to Bangkok. I am returning once again to the lovely Thailand. But inspite that I feel weird. Don't know exactly how I feel. Tired. Overwhelmed. Restless.

I should be happy that I am finishing the things I didn't get to do last year. But I am nervous. I wonder if this trip will bring me what I need.  

Here's gonna be chaos. There's gonna get messy. Moving constantly around without a home. Working and learning a lot. But I feel like this is the thing I need to do. To finish the unfinished - the things I didn't get to complete last year!

I didn't quite leave all behind this time, I guess that's what's bothering me a bit. Not deciding yet if I will apply to the job where I worked for the past few months - a job that brought me money for another adventure and also a lot of nice experiences. Another personal thing is keeping me from totally disconnecting from home - although it is completely in the past, some emotions are still present.

Yeah leaving is easy and hard at the same time. Easy as it feels natural, hard because of all the fears that are still inside of me, some more others less hidden. Well, let's face them :)!!

This year my Thailand experience was mostly planned - about a week at the seaside and 3 weeks in Chiang Mai, repeating my Tai Chi course and learning more. 

It was quite funny because when I landed in Abu Dhabi from Belgrade, on the airplane was the name of a famous Serbian actor, with whom I share the surname. That felt very welcoming and the feeling that I am on the right path returned :)! After one night in Bankgok I bought a ticket to Chanthaburi. I really wanted to go to the South but there had been floods and extreme rain so I decided to try my luck in the East. In Chanthaburi I wanted to say hi to some friends and get another great massage, but all I got was a big fair and a sleepless night with a mosquito. I guess I was still jet lagged a bit!

Luckily on the van I meet a sweet girl Marlena and we decided to go together to Koh Kood the next day. Last year I really loved this place and returning there was nice. A bit of rain made an interesting experience- driving on the opened truck and searching for a bungalow was a bit more adventurous than usual. Luckily we found the last bungalow at the Ban Bao beach at Siam beach resort - 1.400 bht with a really nice buffet breakfast. Siam hut is cheaper (starts from 600 bht) but was full. Our bungalow was great, just at the beach with a great view. We were happy. But I still couldn't grasp it that we are at this lovely white sand beach. 

Coming to a beautiful place can have different effects - sometimes you feel present from the moment you get there, but sometimes you need more time to fully reallise how indredible lucky you are. And we both were having still some sleepless nights and being well rested is really an important thing. Always. In the middle of the night when we realised we both are awake again we laughed. But soon the nights passes more calmly. We rented a motorbike and drove around a bit, but Marlena was feeling bad and I wasn't also in my best shape. So mostly what we did for 3 days was just relax,had good food (curries at Sea&Sand are amazing:)),observed and talked to an ant, laughed a lot, swam in the beautiful see and had nice talks. I am happy that I met her as it felt nice to have a great company where everything feels so relaxed,natural,very sweet.

I was kind of sad when she left for Koh Chang, but I needed more time on this beautiful place, just relaxing and preparing for my next adventure. I moved to a bungalow right next to the sea, simple but nice, for 500 bht a night at Sea & Sand just a little furter down the beach. It was so interesting as there is a big difference -in low tide the beach which is usually under water uncovers and makes a totally different landscape. I got to do my Tai Chi on the sand and dance in the middle of the sea, it was great. Although I was a bit anxious about my next visit.

The North

I left Koh Kood at 9 in the morning to make sure I got to Bangkok on time. First a ferry, then a big bus and then a train from Bangkok airport - the bus was supposed to leave me in Khao San road but luckily I remembered the crazy Bangkok traffic and chose the quicker way to get downtown (train from the airport). I walked around a little to the river, got some food and boarded the train. The ride was quite nice - I heard that it is also very beautiful but as I spent most of the drive in the dark I can't really confirm that. In the evening the sits were transformed into the beds with fresh bedding. If the aircon wouldn't be so strong it would have been great, but anyway after wearing almost all of my clothes I slept quite good.

It is quite funny to go so far away from home but go to a city where you already know so much. My brother picked me up with his motorbike and I was so happy to see him and his girlfriend Tumi after 4 months. Also seeing some other familiar faces was nice. A few days I enjoyed Fruit Winter Festival and the activities we had were really great - doing acro yoga and playing authentic relating games at the lake, dancing or just hanging out with people. This year my main focus was Tai chi so I didn't participate much but it was still pretty sweet. A lot of friendly, open minded people. I was staying at Lanna guest house where I got a nice clean room for a about 280 bht a night. This year the ratio between eur and thb was very poor, almost 10% less than last year. But still Thailand is very inexpensive to travel through.

The day before mu Tai Chi couse started really nice - Žare and Tumi invited me for an amazing raw pizza - it was so good we ate so much .. a bit too much :). I tried to contact Keith, my Tai chi teacher, because I was supposed to stay at the Naisuan house, where the classes were. When I finally got him on the phone he was a bit confused and didn't have a room ready for me, he wasn't even expecting me yet. I felt so bad - so sad and forgotten. I was quite upset because I had been looking forward to this for a while and it was the main reason I returned to Thailand. It took me quite a while to calm down and then I went searching for a bed although I didn't have energy at all. But luckily I found quickly a nice cheap place and the next morning I started my Tai chi.

It was really great. Later I realised Keith had a cold and hadn't been feeling well so I guess that let to the misunderstandings. I wasn't upset anymore, he arranged the room and I was just totally happy to be able to take this course again. First I thought that I would be bored, taking the same class again, but actually because Keith gives so much information it is very good to hear it more times. I remembered well the sequence but needed to correct a lot. And the group was nice - Nicole was a woman who lives in Nepal and is going to Slovenia this summer - what a coincidence, we shared a lot of good information. We were 5 students and almost too big group,but very nice. After practice I got some great talks with a good friend there and also I got myself a mouth guard because I grinded my teeth a lot and a part of it chipped off. The class is very intense: every day 5 hours a day doing Tai chi and learning a lot of other stuff connected to the eastern philosophies. And also a lot of homework including reading more about Tai Chi, meditation and Chinese traditional medicine. I loved the book Das energi by Paul Williams! So much information and so intense that on the day I left I was pretty tired. I wanted to do more stuff, at least dance at the rooftop, but felt too tired. I rented a nice motorbike and if it weren't for the great lunch with Burmese tea leaf salad at Bodhi tree cafe with Žare and Tumi it wouldn't have felt like it was my birthday at all. I didn't want something special, but at the end was so tired that I didn't have much of a celebration.

For the finish of my Thailand 2017 adventure I wanted to spend some more time with Žare and Tumi, so we decided to go to Doi Ithanon, a nacional park about 100 km South of Chiang Mai. My motorbike was amazing but I still didn't feel the best, and driving about  3 hours on the motorbike with a huge altitude rise didn't help. I was so tired that when I finally arrived at the campsite all I wanted was to sleep. After seing one beautiful waterfall that was exactly what I did, even the fact that I got my tent bed only in the evening didn't keep me away from lying in my tent, with nothing to keep me comfortable. The dinner was nice - green curry was great but the next morning my stomach was quite upset. Despite that I drove my motorbike to the top of the biggest mointain in Thailand, 2.565 metres above sea level. I also visited the pagodas for the view and later just stopped and laid down because I was so tired and powerless. And because I simply could do that, why not then :). Despite my really not pleasant feellings I enjoyed it - the lovely nature, great waterfalls and chery tree blossom. Before I returned I needed to take a rest and luckily I felt a little better so the drive back was quite ok. I was so happy when I got back, it was so great as I could rent a room from my friend who was out of town and just went to bed. Exhausted, felling dizzy and a bit feverish, like sometimes after eating something bad.

The next day to freshen up I took a swim in the pool and then had an appointment. James is an amazing guy, he looks at you and tells you immediatelly about your body - mine was quite crooked, so he 'corrected' me a bit and I felt great. He showed me excercises to improve my posture and explained how it is important to be balanced in the foot and the hips. Oh and I also had a great two hour thai massage a few days before, the number is in the picture (Yang)! This was the only thai massage I got his year, I orefer one good over 5 mediocre :)!

After returning my motorbike, saying goodbye to my brother and Tumi for quite some time I was ready for my next adventure! But before that I still need to get some good food and a lovely view of the Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur, and then I was ready;)!!