Yes, winter seems imminent. The temps here have dropped into the mid-twenties overnight, still not bad by Montana standards. No snow yet, but flurries are in the forecast today. The leaves, of course, have disappeared from the trees, so Korea, too, now has that gaunt, stark look about it. Can you tell that I’m not a fan of winter?

Our semester ends very shortly: just 1 1/2 weeks of regular teaching left, then final exam week, then a week of entering grades, then . . . THAILAND! I will leave the Land of Morning Calm and fly to the Land of Smiles, arriving in Bangkok on Dec. 23. I haven’t really set an itinerary yet, but I’m going to spend the first 4 days in Bangkok at the {{link http://www.suk11.com/about_us.html Suk 11 Hostel}}, a nice-looking place in the heart of the city. I checked it out when I was there last summer and it seems ok. After that, I might go to northern Thailand, to Chiang Mai. I might also go to Chiang Rai and then to the Laos border, there to take a speed boat down the Mekong River to {{link http://www.visit-laos.com/where/luangprabang/ Luang Prabang}}, Laos, a {{link http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31 UNESCO World Heritage}} city. Then, eventually, I’ll go down to Southern Thailand for a stay at one or two of the beaches. I’m sure I’ll spend some time at {{link http://andaman-island-hopping.com/islands/sukhon.htm Ko Sukorn Island}}, my paradise of this past summer. I’m sure its isolated, “desert island” ambience will have changed, since it will be the peak of the tourist season. After the beach stay, I’m going back to Bangkok to spend an extended period there of, say, a week or so. Then, I return to Korea on Jan. 23. A full month of fun in the sun! I can’t wait.

Other than that, there is not much else going on here at the moment. I think that I’ve FINALLY posted all of the Mask Dance photos, so you can check those out at the main site. I’ll probably haul the big digital camera to Thailand, but the problem with that is storage of the photos I take. Since I like to shoot in RAW mode (basically, a digital negative that allows for much more adjustment than JPG files, but also takes up much more storage space), I’ll have room for only 58 photos on each of my 512 MB flash cards. I’ll probably end up shooting partially in RAW and partially in high-res JPG. I think I can get them burned to CD in Thailand, but I don’t want to be hauling those fragile things around, too.