Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reunited and it feels so good!

We had to crouch so we wouldn't be showing Buddha our bums
When we got back to Ayutthaya, we checked into our room and met up with Alexis and Shannon. We'd been talking about meeting up with them for months and we were finally able to do it - even with our last minute change of plans. Luckily, Ayutthaya isn't very far from where they live/teach so it was a short trip for them.

We chatted about our different situations and it was great to hear how they were doing and the different experiences they were having. After we caught up for a bit, we rented two motorbikes to get around town for the weekend. I didn't tell Shannon, who rode on the back of mine, but I was very nervous! I handled that thing like a boss though... didn't hit a single person or vehicle! :] Anyway, after we got some food we went out to one of the more famous temples in Ayutthaya that has a giant reclining Buddha and went to one of the ruins to watch the sunset (the same one we'd been to on the boat tour, but Shannon and Alexis hadn't been there yet so we gladly went again). We missed the sunset, but it was still really pretty. After sunset the ruins are lit up with orange lights and it looks really cool. We would have stayed longer, but the mosquitoes were outrageous so we headed out to find a market for dinner. It ended up being in unconventional but delicious meal including guava, chicken on a stick, sticky rice, a waffle with raisins, and ice cream. It was a very random mix of foods, but it was cheap and when it's cheap, we'll take what we can get! We got some drinks from 7-eleven on the way back and spent the rest of the night chatting about living in Thailand and where we planned to go when teaching was over.
The next day we motorbiked around to more temples and ruins and got real sweaty - well I got really sweaty. For lunch we ate at one of the guesthouses that had a restaurant. I had a delicious bacon cheeseburger and french fries to satisfy my American food craving and Ethan had a club sandwich. We really miss American food if you couldn't tell. After lunch was more temples and attempting to find our way around the confusing streets of Ayutthaya. At one point Ethan took us over a tiny bridge that was about 3 feet wide because we were on a one way street with a canal in the middle and had to turn around. Shannon and I made it over, although in a considerably less graceful manner than Ethan and Alexis. Then he took us down a dead end ally, where Shannon and I were chased by a dog. Then on the way to take the motorbikes back Ethan took us the long way, which meant crossing over 4 lanes of traffic twice. I could have killed him. But it made for some really good motorbiking practice and I feel much more confident driving one. And most importantly no one got hurt!
At the Chedi for Queen Suriyothai
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha
After we dropped the motorbikes off we went to DQ for some much needed dessert. The girls caught a bus back to Bangkok a little while later, but we waited 'til 7 to get a ride to the bus station. Our bus left at 8:30 and got to Thawangpha at 6:30am. Another night spent sleeping in extremely awkward positions didn't make for good sleep, but we both have a long break on Mondays so we got to take a nap. Overall, it was a really great mini-vacation and we're really glad we asked for it off. We're even more glad that Alexis and Shannon could join us and we hope to meet up with them again after school is done. :]
Playing some footie with locals at a temple
As of now, our plans after school include Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, & southern Thailand - in that order. We are still working out the details, but are very excited to begin this adventure through south east Asia. Shannon and Alexis will be our travel buddies through Bali and Singapore for sure (flights are booked), Vietnam and Cambodia most likely and possibly Laos as well!

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