Well, just a few more days and I head back to Korea, with very mixed feelings. I love Thailand and Laos, so I hate having to go back, and I still don’t have another job lined up. I’ve heard from only one of the Korean universities to which I sent applications, Sangji, and they turned me down, and the SIT people in the States told me a few weeks ago to be patient a little while longer–I haven’t heard back from them either. To say I’m a bit worried is an understatement. I suppose things will work out, one way or another, even if I have to come back to teach in Thailand or Laos for peanuts, but there are always loads of good-paying jobs in Korea, though the conditions might be somewhat less than optimal.

Meanwhile, Patong Beach, THE big tourist area on the island and one that was nearly wiped out by the tsunami, is moderately busy. Now is the time to visit here, before the hordes of tourists return. Prices are relatively cheap–we got a great deal on a hotel room across the road from the long, beautiful beach. I’m paying about $24 a night for a room with a view of the ocean, a balcony, swimming pool, and free breakfast. I would guess the charge would be closer to $40 under normal conditions. There still seem to be quite a number of tourists, but remembering the conditions last year at this time, I think the place is running only about 50% of normal. The destruction of the tsunami is not all that evident, but if you look closely you can see areas of construction, especially behind temporary fences put up to block the view. Frankly, it doesn’t look much different than it did last summer, so the folks here have done a remarkable job getting the place back together.

Nai is having a great time, too, frolicking in the ocean and experiencing other new things. I took him bowling on Koh Samui, his first venture at the sport. He had a blast! The first ball he threw was, amazingly, a strike! He was hooked from then on, though he had trouble breaking 100 most of the time. We went to Phuket Fantasea a few nights ago, a show which I detailed in last year’s trip, so search through the archives for a description.

All in all, despite worrying about the job, it’s been a very enjoyable trip. We fly to Bangkok on Thursday, then on Saturday I go back to Korea and Nai flies back to Laos. All too soon the holiday is over. More later.