Written to my family following TEFL graduation, a visa run to Laos, and tubing the Nam Song in Vang Vieng (for the second time) on Christmas day; December 30th, 2011.
“Christmas was great. We spent Christmas day on the river with my friends Bryn and Drew (the married couple from Texas) and Amber (from Bath, England) and made some new friends as well. All in all we were in Laos for 5 nights, staying in a really nice guesthouse for $6 a night. We picked up our visas in Vientiane on our way back to Thailand and so now have until Feb 25th ’til we need to leave the country again…it’s nice to be able to relax about that for awhile. And once I do find work, I am hoping someone will be able to provide me with a work permit so [visa runs] won’t be an issue at all.
“This morning Addy and I are off to Pai, a small hippie town about three hours to the northwest of Chiang Mai, to celebrate NYE with a group of our CM friends. Pai is supposed to be absolutely beautiful…Addy has been already, she spent a few days there near the end of my TEFL course, and she loved it. It’s nestled in the mountains and there are all kinds of waterfalls and hot springs nearby. We may not stay long enough to do that this time around, but if it’s warm enough we would like to since that would be our first crack* at driving motorbikes (a much better place to practice [than Chiang Mai] since there is a lot less traffic).
“Still not sure where we are going to stay for the month of January. We are in a hostel at the moment, and are leaving our bags here while we go to Pai, but our friend Marlies actually has a roommate who’s gone for the month and told us a few weeks back that we could rent her room for really cheap ($90 total for the month) but we still haven’t gotten more details about that since she is at home in Virginia. Hopefully when she gets back we can stay there while I find a more permanent place to live. Addy is probably going down south in a week or so to try and find work promoting for a bar or dive shop** since she’s not too keen on teaching.”
*British-Englishisms stick to me like velcro to wool.
**Addy went a little further than just promoting for a bar…and became a dive instructor! She is still working on Koh Tao as I write this, nearly three years later.