Saturday, September 29, 2007


back in bangkok!

after a harrowing few days, i might add....

on thursday, jamie woke up feeling like his joints were aching. so we rested. then by the afternoon, he had a fever of 102. so we went to the doctor on koh chang. they gave him an IV (his 1st!) and some rehydration saline. then they did a CBC and found that he was negative for malaria and dengue fever. phew! THAT was good news. the docotr said he had some sort of bacterial infection and gave him some intravenous antibiotics. we went back to the hotel and rested. it was a little bit scary after that as well, when jamie had a really bad incessant headache, scaring me thinking about him having japanese encephalitis! one third of people with that die, one third are brain damaged, and i do not know what happens to the last 3rd. and there is no cure! so finally after much worrying and pain for jamie, we went to sleep.

he feels better now, but still has some bad tummy aching and what goes along with that. we plan on visiting with the US doctor upon our return to make sure there is no secondary infection.

well, after all that, we got on the ferry from koh chang to the mainland, and got on our bus to bangkok. it all was a little funny and we both had some suspicions about what was going on. everyone at the bus station but us got on these other buses, and we were held back to wait for this bus that showed up later and only had about 10 people on it. we got on anyway.

it was the WORST bus ride i have ever had. not only did the bus driver GET LOST and nearly take us to Cambodia, but he drove SO SLOW and he was in the process of learning to drive! he couldn't down shift! After realizing we had been lost we started looking at the map. we watched them take a 2nd wrong turn, so i went to show them the map and ealized they could not read a map at all, and now i am skeptical as to whether they could read period. so, it took us 10 hours to get to bangkok instead of 4-5 hours. the worst part of it was that this guy was going about 35-40 mph in traffic, instead of 80 like everyone else! it was like he had a knife in our chests and was slowly turning it. everyone on the bus was furious, when we got to bangkok, the bus wouldn't let us off where we all wanted and everyone started screaming at the drivers! AWFUL.

but today we went to the big weekend market, after first being dropped off at the mall by some dumb ass taxi driver. god, it can be very frustrating here! but the market was very cool and we had fun poking around and buying some presents and looking at stuff.

tomorrow we might go back, tonight we are not sure what is happening, probably just some relaxing and watching of the tv.

how do you guys like bush's plan to save the environment? i love the idea of replacing oil with coal, don't you? he's so smart!

well, we are outta here tomorrow night. it will be sad to go, but we are ready to be home esp with jamie feeling ill. looking forward to seeing trudy and sadie and steve!

jo and jamie

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

wednesday sept 26


we are back from lovely koh mak. it was excellent! worth waiting for! very peaceful, blue waters, snorkeling right out the front door....lovelt people working there to talk to, including a woman who was starting a dive shop on the island frm belgium who answered a bunch of questions we had...then we met 2 gay men who were the only other people at our small resort. they were from france and were really funny and interesting and we all had a great time talking about our lives and countries and thailand together.

we had to leave because the boat only came today and we have to leave koh chang on friday to head on back to bangkok. there, we will hve the big weekend market, where we will shop for gifts and such. then sunday night we head off to the airport for arrival in the US on monday.

maybe more tomorow, we'll see.

glad to hear all is well over there! we are lookinf forward to fall and the upcoming seasons! yes!
joa and jamie

Saturday, September 22, 2007

white sands


it stopped raining sometime yesterday and we have been busy laying in the sun by the pool all day today! we have moved to a new beach. called white sand beach. it is the most populated beach on the island, but it has the most sand and our hotel, cookie's hotel, is very nice.

we have been seeing many interesting old men with hot young thai wives. so many, in fact, that we coined a term for them: "farthai". this is a mix of the thai word for white ourists, "farang" , and of course the word "thai". it is a little weird. some very unattractive older men with some YOUNG thai women. mail order brides? women trying to get some security? if anyone can shed light on this we would appreciate it.

our last hotel, Siam Beach resort, turned out to be a real crap hole. in general it was really run down and there was lots of trash around. and ants in our room. and then in the middle of the night we awoke to a crashing which i thought was a plastic chair falling into the bathroom. we kind of ignored it, but i made jamie get up and check the bathroom in case somehow someone was there. but there was nothing. then in the morning we were trying to leave our room and something was blocking the door...the sheetrock from the ceiling outside! it had gotten wet and the screws just went righ on through and there it was, hanging from the light and soem live wires! we tried to tell the staff, but we don't think they understood what we were saying. we left with the whole mess there untouched.

when we got here to the cokki hotel, i went out to the porch and adjusted the chairs and promptly got stung 2ce by soem wasps. i ran into the room and jamie got someone to help us change rooms. then later on i got bit by a red ant. exciting!

tomorrow, we HOPE we will finally get to koh Mak. the weather is so much better and hopefully the sea is calmer.

now we are off to find a snack.

jo and jamie

Thursday, September 20, 2007


well, we have three words for you. rain rain rain

it has been pouring rain almost non-stop now for FOUR days. we are tired of it. we both kind of have the feeling of laying in bed for too long when you are sick. we've been trying to do what activites we can under the circumstances, but it is becoming difficult. this afternoon we gave up and just went and got in the pool at our new hotel anyway. we are now staying at Lonely Beach, at the Siam Beach Resort. interesting place, not my favorite of the trip so far, but fine.

the boat to koh mak got canceled AGAIN. it only leaves every other day, so now we have waited for 4 days to go. we will try again on sat if it is not raining then. we think we are on the outskirts of a typhoon that hit china so hopefully the rain will end tomorrow. or tonight... as soon as it can will be ok with us.

last night at bang bao in our sea hut, the wind was blowing so hard it scared me! jamie said he was not scared, but we could feel our hut moving in the wind and i started thinking all kinds of thoughts. i think knowing that a tsunami occurred a couple of years ago puts the fear of big storms in my head, esp while not at home! you lose a certain sense of safety while traveling, which is part of the rush of being away from home and in such a different place. but then again, it is nice to feel safe.

we are sleeping very well. jamie says in the past few nights he has slept better than he has in years! this is very good news. i think we are at a place now where we are no longer jet lagged, and we are relaxed and just getting into being where we are and taking the day as it comes.

the most lovely part of the past few days has been sitting in our litle hut with the doors open, having some gin and tonics, and chatting the evening away as the boats come in and out of the harbor. very fun times hanging out together.

bang bao was really my favorite place so far. people were not pushing us to buy things or take their boat trip. it truly was a small village. this morning as we were having a delightful omelet and toast breakfast, the guy from the boat company just came in to tell us the boat was cancelled. he knew where we were eating, the place is so small. it was nice and made us feel like we were in a village with some genuine people. speaking of breakfast, i have to complain about the lack of decent milk here. i do not know why but the milk sucks! and the coffee is so black that i need me some half and half, but they give us this kind of watered-down soy milk. it is yellowish which is why i think it is soy...definitely not cream! i miss the delights of chai in the morning (and afternoon and evening) while in india.

last night we tried some seaweed flavored potato chips. they were fine, couldn't taste any seaweed though. jamie tried some puffed edamame flavored snacks too, but he ate them too early in the morning for me to stomach them. i had green curry again for lunch today but it made me feel like i drank a cup of acid. so maybe i need to cut back on that a little. jamie had fried noodles with chicken. yesterday we tried some scallops. they said they were fried, but so far fried has been pan fried in butter for us. well, i ordered fried scallops in yellow curry and jamir got sweet and sour. they came out deep fried in batter, and they had sauteed my deep fried scallops in addition and the fried batter came off the scallops and made a clumpy nasty mess. it was gross. who fries scallops? they were tough and chewy and not the delight we thought they would be. it was yucky and made us feel that dinner was just an unappetizing prospect, so we skipped it.

so, we are not sure what tomorrow will bring, we might move to another beach, we might do something else, we just don't know yet.

hugs to you guys, love all the comments!
jo and jamie

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

bang bao

well, our speed boat to koh mak got delayed due to rain and rough waters in the ocean.

so, here we are two day slater at bang bao, the little fishing viallge i previously mentioned. it is lovely and quiet. we have a delightful sea hut, which is a hut that stands on some cement piers right in the water. our view is unblevable and the room is cozy! jamie LOVES the mosquito net "nest" as he calls it! (the net goes all around the bed and tucks in under the mattress, kind of like a see-through tent.) but we have these french doors that open up so we can sit inside and have the fresh ocean breeze even if it is pouring down rain.

we woke up last night to some roaring wind, the thatch roof does not meet all the way to the walls, and it was loud! we woke up, commented on the storm, and were fast asleep right again!

we just got some thai massage with lots and lots fo coconut oil. the women were very funny, laughing at my tattoo, and laughing at jamie when he was tickled. it was very nice. no happy ending, however!!

tomorrow weather permitting we hope to be on our way to koh mak. wish u sluck, as we are getting a bit bored here at bang nao. i've finished my book, and am starting on one i've already read. argh. jamie is reading "the perfect storm" and is enjoying it.

not much else to repot.

love to all
jo and jamie

Monday, September 17, 2007

legs wide open

well, we spent mouch of the day yesterday with our legs wide open! you are probably not surprised since we are on our honeymoon, but that is not what i meant, dirty minds!

we went for an elephant ride! we went up into the jungle, then walked down a river. then we chenged clothes and went swiiming with the elephant, and we had to hold on tight! bareback elepahnt riding is strenuous! but it was very fun and our elephant and our guide were both very gracious. it was really nice when we were up in the jungle and the guide from the lephant behind us sang us a song in thai. lovely!

then we hopped on the scooter and drove around the island, up and down some very steep hills, with amazing views of the ocean and trees. we went to the southern tip of the island to a small fishing village called ban bangbao. the have a long walkway made of concrete and all these3 stores and restaraunts are on stilts above the water. very cool. we had a yummy lunch of shrimp salad and fries with a tiger beer and we made reservations for a speedboat to our next destination.

which is an island to the souht west of us, very small, called koh mak. so tomorrow morning we will be picked up in our hotel lobby by taxi which will take us to the pier at bangbao. then we will have a 40 minute speedboat ride to koh mak, and a hotel called the monkey shack! we are hoping it is aptly named. (we did see some monkeys yesterday, which was very exciting!) apparently, since it is off-season here, there might only be "two" other people on koh mak. i think there will be a few more than that, but since our hotel has been overrun by a tour group of very loud and busy thais, we are ready for some serious peace and quiet.

let's see, for lunch today i had some fried pork with onions and garlic, it was ok, but nothing i'll go out of my way to find again. jamie had a hamburger and fries. last night i had some seafood curry, panang curry which i think means peanuts and cocnut milk mix. i'm not a huge fan of the peanut curry to be honest, it's a bit heavy. jamie had a wide noodle chicken dish, and he really liked the noodles that way. the other night, i had "square enclosure" noodle with pork soup. any guesses? dumpling soup! i loved that description! the place we've been eating is right on the beach. no floor, just right on the sand. there are several children that belong to the family that owns the place, and they put on a baton twirling fire show every night. i'd say it is very intersting and amazing to watch a 3 yr old twirl a fire stick! you may think i am exaggerating, but i am not. he does it with his brothers/cousins, the eldest is probably around 14-15. fun to watch! they have a different amount of responsibilty than children that age in the US.

there was an awesome lightening and thundestorm last night which woke us up. really cool, the rain was pounding down all night. still raining today so no lying the sun but we have been reading and enjoying the sound of the rain.

not sure what is going to happen with the internet in koh mak. hopefully, we'll be in touch soon. oh, and forgive me for the multiple emails, the computers here are a bit off.

love to all, keep us posted of anything important and newsworthy!
love jo and jamie

Saturday, September 15, 2007

koh chang

we are here at te island of koh chang. no tsunami on the horizon, so those of you with an inkling of worry need to let it go!

we have been very busy tourists.

can anyone say"Pussy Pingpong"??? we'll tell ya about that later, in real life!

it is hot right here where i am typing so this is going to be short.

the clouds here are super cool. never seen such a mix of louds in my life! love it! and the storm will come in fast, sometimes rain, sometimes just threaten rain. it has been overcast, whihc has kept things cool.

i am very happy with the trees and fruting plants. coconut, rubber trees (very interesting, that), papaya, mangoe, cactus "trees", pineapple plants, a tree that will heal and eel sting....i have to admit that i never thought baout how pineapples grow and was shocked to see them coming out of a thistle, but then it all made sense. a lady told us about the rubber trees, that the rubber juice is collected in coconuts halves, then rolled into sheets by hand, then sold to rubber companies to make tires and stuff. wow.

jamie was thrilled last night to fin a beach side restaraunt with fresh fish on ice right there! this is the hut kind of place, and he loved the king prawns! he had king prawns with coconut and lmongrass soup and i had squid in red curry. today was some pad thai for jamie and some fish bal green curry for me. interesting texture and delicious noodles!

he beach sight is gorgeous. not too many peple, very relaxing. there are swings that o out over the water which is really cool. mosquiters not too bad, but present.

our hotel is quite fancy which ta first had me in a tizzy cuz i am not used to such fanciness. now i feel good about it, but it took me awhile to get over my thriftiness. (i will never get over that, but i can let it go a little for now...) nice bungalow on the beach.

i must say that koh chang in high season seems to be a freaking nightmare of parties and farang (westerners). we are super super glad we are here in the off season or it woul dbe like one big ole bele cher.

monday we are off to a smller island to the south called koh mak. we'll see what it is like and if we like it we will stay and if not we will come back here.

internet is pain to get to here, so don't worry if you don't hear form us or awhile. i do not even know if we have it on koh mak at all. don't fret, it is totally easy to be here and we are havin a great time.


ps. jamie just reminded me that today we got to go pet the elephants! three of them had babies! they were rolling around like puppies, it was AWESOME! we fed them some sugarcane and that was cool, their trunks are very strong. tomorrow we will go on a ride and we get to bathe with them in the river! jamie also rented a scooter today and we drove around a bit on that and it was very fun to see some things on the island and smell the wonderful smells! he was a very good and safe driver, and we both wore helmets, even though we are the only ones on the island wearing them. better safe then sorry as they say!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday Sept 13 2007

Hi! first of all, we felt no shudders from the earthquake last night. much to jamie's sadness! i prefer to not wish for more earthquakes, as we are headed off to the beach tomorrow. but jamie cannot help but wish for some earthly natural disaster excitement! ;)

we are having a great time. it gets really hot and humid and we get tired, but thankfully our delightful hotel has a rooftop pool which we can escape to when we are hot and tired. check it out at

the food so far is great. we have had a couple of super hot dishes, a green curry yesterday which i loved, but jamie didn't. he doesn't like the too hot food. then of course some pad thai and some eggrolls from a street vendor. also i was much delighted today to find some mangosteens at a market, my favorite fruit ever in the world. our hotel has free breakfast bar with both scrambled eggs (a little watery for my taste) and bacon to thai food. i had a chicken curry this morning that was delightful. yesterday they had some rolls that looked like they should have fruit inside, but there was and odd piece of a spam-like meat strip inside. i had the samosa thing instead. the coffee here is fabulous, very strong. also i have been taste testing the fruit juice boxes. this morning i had a kiwi grape apple combo which was lovely.

we have seen several very large golden buddas. lovely! amazing! the temples are cool, of course it is a delight to hear the monks chanting in the background. i like seeing the young monks walking around in their little orange outfits. so sweet. we also saw the emerald budda today, which was only discovered in the 1970's. apparently, they had covered it up in a tar like substance some years ago to keep it from being plundered. then a monk saw some of the black stuff chipping off, and he discovered the "emerald" budda underneath. it is really chinese jade, but the monk mistakenly thought it was emerald, hence the name.

we took a long-tail boat ride yesterday as well, through many back water streets of bangkok. this was very cool to see all the little houses on stilts. some very very nice and mansion like, others were falling into the water! we were on this huge boat all ourselves, and the engines was very loud with a very extra long rudder. interesting. jamie was afraid of getting sea sick but no such thing happened. some of the water was very rocky though!

on the street where we are staying there are many vendors and street sellers. the sticker guy had a very interesting sticker which proclaimed "Long live Bin Laden!" and had his picture. we were really surprised. then on the news we saw that in pakistan, bin Laden has a higher approval rating than Musaref. i frankly had no idea about this. apparently the news in america does not reveal all. maybe in this case that is a good thing or GW might have all the support he needs to stick his nose into Pakistan even more!

we have driven around town in the tuk-tuks and had fun looking at how everything operates here. as jamie put it, "there ain't no home depot here!" the wood is sold out of tiny shops on the side of the road. we also saw some guy hand carving theses kick ass doors.

today we finally made it to the royal palace. holy shit, it was amazing. the artfulness, the mirror work, the handmade chinese tiles were all over the top. i have never seen anything so crazy beautiful! we walked around taking pictures of everything, just like good tourists! wow! so colorful and so thai, like with the dragons and the scary faces on the guys and stuff.

we DID fall for the standard con, and we were a little ashamed of ourselves, but we also saw why it is easy to fall for these scams! you will be o your way somewhere and a guy will come up to you. he says, oh no, today is a special holiday and the palace is closed. plus, you can't go there wearing that! you have to have a long skirt and pants and those sleeves are NOT long enough! so of course we believe him. and he has an official tourist badge on, saying he is a government rep. (we conveniently forgot they can make any kind of fake document you want right out in front of our hotel! including driver's licenses!) so he suggests a different buddha to go see. he tells us it is the WHITE license plates that we should trust, not the YELLOW that the guy yesterday told us to trust. then he sends us on our way in a tuk tuk to go see the buddha. we see the buddha, start getting a funny feeling about the whole deal, and suddenly realize, we are on our way to a shop where the driver and the tourist guy will both get a cut of anything we buy. so we tell him no, take us back, take us back. he balked, so i said we were sick in the stomach. we learned a BIG lesson. don't trust anyone. ha! we laughed at ourselves for falling for this! but we did get to see some of the city and we saw some cool buddhas, too. and we still even made it to the palace, where they have clothes for you to wear if you are not wearing the right thing. and it is open EVERYDAY no matter what.


the exhaust in the city is overwhelming and gross. we are looking forward to going to the beach for some quiet and some clean air. the beach we are going to is called koh chang. it is an island on the gulf of thailand. we have a beach side hut reserved for us, and it seems incredibly nice! we will be staying on the northeast side of the island at 1st, but we have to go see the sunset on the west over the ocean so we will be moving around a little.

love to all, write us please,
jo and jamie

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

we're here

hey ya'll

we are here safe and sound and excited!

long flight, but everything was smooth.

i am a bit overhwlmed looking at this keyboard with all the thai characters. also the hwole blog thing is in thai as well, so i am not going to write much now.

but we are good and we have an awesome hotel room and ate some intersting, VERY HOT food tonight. and drank some beers, thoug hwe are quite tired int he weirdest way!
love to all
jo and jamie

Sunday, September 9, 2007


we're off!

i've resigned in and will do a little blogging for you folks. so check in every now and then to hear how it is going in thailand!

thanks everyone for a fantastic weekend. we so appreciate all the support and love you guys shared with us!

jo and jamie