Thursday, October 30, 2008

Phuket to Krabi

The beach of Phuket abuts onto a forest which is similar to the forests we are used to with evergreen trees.

Outside our hotel there were many little restaurants and bars where you could eat right on the sand. We thought this sign was funny, as it was definately true! "Broken English Spoken here!" and semmingly everywhere we went!!

Despite being sort of cloudy, you can tell that the beach is beautiful. Fresh fish is caught here every day - evidenced by the fishing boats. Jurgen hated the smell, but I thought it just smelled yummy!

This was the little pizza place we ate at the last night. They had a kiln for the pizza (woodfire) which Jurgen said was quite good. I had veal funghi (although they didn't actually have veal, so I had pork) and a glass of wine. Altogether it was 600Baht, which was only $20!!

Now we are in Krabi. After taking a taxi which picked us up at our hotel and dropped us off at the next, we arrived at the Sheraton 2 hours later. A full hour earlier than if we were to have taken a bus, and so much easier. This hotel is VERY lovely, but much more expensive. We will take a tour of the islands one of these days, if it stops raining that is.....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pictures of Chiang Mai and Phuket

This is our resort in Phuket. As much as the room was cheap, the food is pricey and we are far from the towns of Phuket and Patong. Well, live and learn I guess. Still lovely and very relaxed.

These are the ladies from Canada. They were quite a bit older than us, but we still had lots of fun with them swapping stories!

This was the traditional Thai market. Here I am in front of a giagantic display of fireworks! Jurgen really wanted some for next Canada Day, but decided against it.

There are MANY dogs in Thailand. Most just roaming around. These two were hanging out just outside one of the temples - such a hard life. Jurgen said that he wanted to come back as a dog, and the guide thought this was a bad idea. She says you should want to go UP the ladder, not down!

One of the temples in Chiang Mai ( I am not sure which one, they all started to run together).

Chiang Mai to Phuket

I will try to upload some photos soon.... However, in the meantime, I thought I would share some experiences. Our last two days in Chiang Mai was filled with temples (or Wats). We drove up the mountain to Doi Sutep, which they consider the jewel on the mountain. Then went to three different temples and saw a day market. This was a more traditional market where Thai people went to buy everything from food to cosmetics to clothes and jewelery. We enjoyed the Chiang Mai night market and managed to buy a lot of items (man! Jurgen loves to shop here). We met some lovely Canadian ladies who were on all our tours and then on our flight to Phuket. They have been EVERYWHERE! We were enthralled with some of their tales of places they have been.
The Phuket airport was crazy. It seemed much more chaotic and sketchy than in Bangkok. When we finally got a cab, the driver didn't know where our hotel was (although it is quite big and there are not many in the area we are in!), and drove around aimlessly until we found it. Once here, we were greeted with a cool towel smelling of Jasmine and a cool iced tea even before check-in. This is a posh hotel with ultramodern decor in the theme of the old tin mining that used to occur in Phuket. The room was not a bad price (for the luxury!), but the food is still quite expensive. I think this is because it is low season. We asked for a DVD to be put in our room and finally took the chance to see if any of the 50 or so DVDs that we bought for super cheap would actually work. They did!! We watched part of the Mummy 3. I was craving popcorn, but it is no where to be found. Maybe when we go into town...
We are planning to either visit Phuket or Patong city tonight to see the night life and see if we can find cheaper food (and maybe popcorn).

I will post more pics when I find more computers that will allow me to do that....

Having fun, melting in the heat, and wishing you all were here.......

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bangkok and Chiang Mai

There are many monks in Thailand. These were visiting one of the temples, just like we were!
In Chiang Mai, we went on a tour where we saw the elephant camps. We ended the day with a raft ride. The guy let Jurgen drive for a bit - he was surprised how difficult it actually was.

This is us on our elephant. She is an 18 year old ornery elephant who was more concerned with getting more bananas than keeping her eyes on the road! No deaths of tourists today, though!

Before leaving Bangkok, we hired a taxi for the day to take us to Ayuttaya. This is a city with may ruins including this one with a buddha head in a tree!

The ruins were beautiful! So much history and culture here!
Stay tuned.... same bat channel.... same bat time....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Days 1-3

The flight getting to Bangkok was long, over 36 hours to get there. Jurgen took a nap in Minneapolis.
This was the plane to Tokyo. Probably 400 people.

Our first day we went to the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. We hired a tour guide who was very cute!
The next day we went to the weekend market. It was crazy! Jurgen kept saying, "I am not sure what I am looking for, but I am sure it is here somewhere!" I bought less then he did, if you can believe it!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Amazing Race

I am watching Amazing Race 13 (Can you believe there has been 13??). I love that show. The biggest reason is that I love travelling and I can do some of it vicariously through the show. There are places that I never even dreamed of visiting before that now I might, simply because of the Amazing race.
So, now Jurgen and I are about to embark on our own Amazing Race! We leave for Thailand on Thursday. I have never been any where as exotic as that before! We will be travelling all around the country for a total of 3 weeks! I am excited, but also a bit apprehensive. There ar ea lot of things that could happen in a country like that, and I am just a Saskatchewan bumpkin! Good thing I am taking my worldly husband with me!
I just started packing today, realizing that I often repack a couple of times before I am truely ready (yeah, I know that is silly). I have been thinking about what to pack for weeks now. Afterall, it is hot, but it is also a conservative country. I can't just wander around in short shorts and a tank top. No, that would be frowned upon. So, I packed for that.
Well, if you happen to read this, or just tuned in, and you want to see what we are up to on our amazing race, keep looking here. I will be posting pictures and stories from our adventure in Thailand!
Next time on Joelle and Jurgen's Amazing Race.... Bangkok.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"vacation job" and kids

Lately, I often think to myself, "I can't believe they pay me for this!" For the most part, I really am enjoying my job. I was on call at the Pasqua Hospital last night, and had a great night. I worked with a great group of nurses, and the surgeons we worked with were also great. I have enojoyed being at a different hospital for a little while, just to see the differences. There aren't many. It is still good.
I realize just how lucky I am. I know there are lots of people who hate their jobs, or don't even have one. I am, however, a firm believer that a job is merely a means to an end. Sure, I enjoy my work, but I am not in love with it. Would I prefer to be on vacation, or even hanging out in my pyjamas in my house for the day? Of course. Most people are that way. But, I go to work so that I can go to Thailand (6 sleeps, by the way), or other such places. I am very fortunate that not only is my job a means to an end, but I also get some sort of fulfillment from it. I realize how rare that is. The problem with most people my age group is that someone told all of us that you should love your job, that going to work should be like a vacation, and that is just not reality. Again, I am just lucky.
Now, if the market would just get better, maybe I could convince my husband that we should start a family. I think I have reached that decision. He hasn't. He keeps using the market as an excuse. We can't afford kids because of the market. Ridiculous! But, I can't force him to do anything he doesn't want to do. There is something that is underlying this fear, and I don't know just what it is yet, but now is not the time to rush things. So, we will wait. We will go to Thailand, enjoy our vacation, and come back renewed and ready to face what the world throws at us. Hopefully, by then the market will be a bit better, and I will finally be able to convince him, that he too wants kids. I guess we will just have to wait and see...

Friday, October 3, 2008

insurance and dying

I thought I was dying. Not a very pleasant thought. See, I had applied for disability insurance and had a physical exam. This was over two months ago, so I finally called the place through which I was applying. They had a look at my file and said, "Oh, you're not approved, didn't you get the letter?". No, I didn't get any letter. Why would I be phoning if I did? Apparently they sent it to the wrong address. So, she sends me the letter.

Meanwhile, I am freaking out. I MUST be dying. Why else would a healthy person like me be denied insurance? I just ran a half marathon not two weeks ago! What could it be? Well, I thought it must be something that I don't know about, something in the blood they took. Didn't they have to tell me if they find something? But then, the letter went to the wrong place, so maybe they tried to. Anesthesiologists are high risk, afterall for lots of blood-borne infections, the scariest of which is HIV and HCV. Sure, my last needle poke all my blood work, and the patient's was negative, and it was over a year ago, but you never know.

I started thinking that these are DEADLY viruses with no cure. I was worried. Worried I was going to die and that I wasn't ready yet. I want to have kids (thinking I was going to die, solidified that one). I want to see the world. I want to enjoy life a little more. Besides, I just moved to the same city as my hubby. I am just starting to enjoy life again! This couldn't be the end! I was sobbing, thinking all of these things. Thank God for good friends who can talk some sense into you!

Well, I am not dying. The minute I found out I jumped into bed with my hubby and kissed him! It turns out that I wasn't approved because of my Celiac's disease. As much as that really sucks, I was relieved. I know it isn't a big deal regardless of what some stupid insurance company says. I asked them about the blood work, and they said that there was nothing abnormal, and if there was they would have sent it to my doctor's office. I have been told that I just need to go to a different insurance company. One of them will insure me. There are people who are a lot sicker than I am who still get insurance.

It is surprising what it takes to shake your tree. Some things make you think about what is important, what you want out of life. A little sad that it took a real scare to make me think.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Canadian Debates

I am watching the Canadian debate right now. The first question was issued by a Calgary man regarding the economy. The first person to answer was actually the Green Party Leader. She answered the question directly, and was very well spoken. I was surprised. Then the Liberal leader. Ok, so he can't speak English (disappointing), and didn't answer the question at all. Then, the Conservative leader, our current Prime Minister. Again, terrible. All he did was comment on what Mr. Dion had just said. Again, not answering the question. And the Bloc leader? Why the heck is he even allowed to be in the debate? He wants a separate country, not Canada! So, how could he possibly LEAD the country?!
So far, I want to vote for the Green Party! How is that even possible? Sure, I care about the environment, but let's be honest, I don't even recycle very much. But, she is the most well spoken of all the party leaders.
Poor Steven Harper. This whole debate is just going to be everyone attacking him. It is hard to be the encumbent.
Yes, I could be watching the American debate. But the question I pose is, Why? Sure, it might be entertaining to watch Palin make a fool of herself. But in the end, I live in Canada. We should care about what happens HERE. The US does impact us, but this impacts us more.
Who will I vote for? I am not sure yet. Green? Conservative? Liberal? NDP? We'll see......