February 7th, 2003

Khun mike phassaa Thai, pai scuba, law kawn

Translation:
Mr Mike speak thai, go scuba, goodbye

After my last entry I did go back and sleep for 7 hours. Did me good. I woke up, grabbed a bite with a divorced german fisherman, then headed out for the bonfire. I had left the map back at the room, but figured that a beach bonfire is pretty hard to hide, so I found a local having a few drinks with friends outside a convenience store and had him give me a ride to the beach on his scooter. Traffic safety is non-existant here. Despite State Department Warnings its by far the most dangerous part of my trip.

Turns out the beach is laughably close, but curvy enough that it is possible to hide a fire, so the scooter was helpful. We eventually found it, but it was pretty late and pretty dead so I got hime to give me a ride back. We had already been pretty chatty (as best we could in broken english and thai), so after trying to sing Scorpions songs on the way back I figured maybe he wouldn't mind to much if I joined he and his friends for a drink. I grabbed some local coconut rum, and a liter of coke and sat down. We managed ok, but before too long I ran back to my room to grab my phrase books. 4 hours later we were still at it, and managing quite well thank you very much. Its the most practice I've had hearing and making the proper tones, so it did me quite a lot of good. Regardless it was just a lot of fun. So my thai is steadily improving and I've had my best chance to meet the locals yet.

As I said in my last entry, I've booked a 4 day 4 night liveaboard dive trip which leaves in 5 hours. Odds are very good that this will be my last entry until I get back on dry land.