Well, I’m back in Bangkok, trying to avoid getting soaked by participants in the Songkran Festival. I went to one such water throwing ceremony in Vientiane at the home of Suwon, one of Nai’s friends. Everybody there got drenched by small pails of water being tossed around and got either a face blackened by soot from one of the cooking pots or got “lipsticked” with colorful patterns. Most of us opted for the lipstick, since the soot looked very difficult to remove. Quite a lot of fun, really. Yesterday, though, I went back to Nongkhai with the intention of staying dry. The only clean clothes I had were the ones I was wearing, plus I had my baggage, including my digitial camera bag. Unfortunately, and somewhat to my anger, we got doused quite heavily by the mostly well-meaning Thais. I think some people carry this ceremony to the extreme and there have been calls for moderation. I’ve read, and Nai has told me, that quite a number of accidents happen, and deaths occur, when motorbike riders get whapped with waves of water coming at them. It’s all in good fun, but, unfortunately, many people get carried away. Hence, I’m avoiding the water in Bangkok by riding the subway, skytrain or taxi, instead of taking a motorbike.
My flight back to Africa leaves on the morning of the 16th, but I don’t land in Casablanca until the morning of the 17th. I’ve got a 13-hour layover in Doha, something I’m not looking forward to. Knowing beforehand that I’d have this long wait, I brought along some texts with me to work on a few lesson plans for the classes I have in the week of my return. Amazingly, it seems, I’ll have two weeks of lessons when I get back, then the students go into the schools for 2 weeks, then come back for the final two weeks of lessons with me, if my memory of the schedule is correct. I’ll be finished in Morocco about the middle of June. I’ll be plenty busy looking for a new job, and if I get one in Korea (very possible), I’m going to try to get my return flight back to the States changed to go back to Thailand instead, spending time on the beach, which I didn’t do this time around. Hopefully, if I can get it changed, it might mean a free flight to Thailand and then a short and fairly cheap journey on to Korea, if that’s what pans out. But, everything is subject to change, so I don’t really know where I’ll be in a few months.
Meanwhile, after I return, I’ll write a more extensive journal of my travels recently, including photos. More later.
P.S. I wrote earlier that my webhost service was going to shut down my photo gallery until I could get it updated, but I just noticed that I can still access it, so perhaps I won’t have to upgrade after all, at least not right away.