This post is a little late and happened a few weeks ago. A busy schedule at school has kept me from finishing this one on time. A couple of weeks back we were invited to spend the day at a co-workers house (who lives in walking distance of Taphae waterfall in Nakorn Si Thammarat). The chance to visit a new waterfall is always an exciting one and is hardly ever turned down.
This all happened, because for the last few weeks we’ve been teaching adult classes at the municipality. These adult classes came as a big shock to us, as they were not part of our contract and were never really discussed with us. At first we were told we would be teaching 60 adults, 5 times a week, from March until September. We were certainly not happy with that at all and made a little bit of a fuss. It then changed to three days a week, and eventually after some more negotiation from our side, we got it down to 2 days a week. This was perfect for us, as we take Thai lessons on Mondays and Wendesdays and could teach the adult class on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Friday being free time.
In the beginning we were really nervous about teaching adults, as it would be a first for both me and Angela, but the classes have turned out to be quite enjoyable and the students that seem to come every week (about 15 or so) are motivated and excited about learning English, which always makes our job a little easier. Over the past few weeks, we’ve become friendly with some of the Thai ladies that frequent the class and after an evening of coffee and roti (a type of pancake filled with egg and banana) at one of the popular road side stalls, the idea for all of us to visit Pee Sila (works at the municipality and is in charge of sorting out all our admin) at her home near the waterfall, came about. Everyone seemed interested, so plans were made and we were to meet at the municipality at 1pm the following day. From there we would be picked up and taken to the waterfall, which was about 45 minutes in a car. On the menu for the day was a late lunch, and then some fun time to explore and swim with our new friends.
After the feast was done, I could hardly move. Honestly, I was ready to explode. There was so much food. Thai’s seem to eat a lot of food, but over a long period of time. I have seen some slim Thai woman eat twice as much as I do. I still can’t figure it out. I think they must just take little bites every so often, unlike myself, stuffing my face full of everything in the first 10 minutes.
A thai meal is a little different than what we are used to. The food is mostly shared amongst everyone, with different dishes placed in the middle of the table for everyone to pick at. This happens at restaurants too, where a few different dishes are ordered and everyone shares whats on the table. I quite like this way of eating, firstly because you get to try a bunch of different dishes and aren’t stuck with a big plate of something you don’t like and secondly everyone seems more social and chatty, while they take small tasters of whats on offer.
After all the food, it was time to see the waterfall. We had actually been once before with ollie pup and Jack (we had found it trying to find a view point, which we didn’t end up finding that day. We did however find the waterfall, but bad weather didn’t allow us much time there, so we were pleased to make it back).
By the time we had reached the entrance most of the people had left and it seemed we had come at the perfect time. All you could hear was the pounding of falling water, rushing over the tired rocks, creating a rhythm so peaceful, your body couldn’t do anything but follow it’s beat. At this point there is only you and the waterfall. Nothing else matters. Meditation is happening, even though you are doing nothing. Your soul awakens and a feeling of calm encompasses your entire body. It’s quite an experience.
It’s been a busy two weeks with friends coming and going. We have not really had many visitors previously and this past month over a short period of time, Victor (our spanish friend from Ko Tao) came through, my sister spent two and a half weeks with us and most recently a good friend from China made contact. Our friend Luke (standing at 6ft 8in, a giant of man) recently surprised us by coming through to our hometown for a visit. We used to work in China together at English First in Jiaxing and haven’t seen each other in nearly a year. A great memory of mine is hiking Huangshan (aka, yellow mountain) with Angela, Gareth (my good friend from South Africa) and Luke. Luke seemed to be the man of reason and without him we might still have been stuck on that dam mountain. The hike was rather intense and bad weather didn’t help the nerves, but we made it to the highest point, without any major incident ( I did however, nearly get blown off the mountain, and I’m lucky to be alive). Maybe thats just me being a softy, I think I might have been crawling at some point, maybe even crying.
After unexpectedly receiving his email telling us he was traveling Thailand, we were more than happy for him to come through and offered him a bed in our spare room. With Luke only staying for three days, we had more than enough time to show him around our little town and on the top of the list was ‘Namtok Plew’. This would however only happen on his last day, the same day we were saying goodbye to a close friend of ours David (a hip hop artist from California, who taught with Angela at Satree Thung Song, and who was my first friend in Thung Song). He too loved exploring waterfalls, so when we mentioned a last visit to this majestic cascade, he was not going to say no. We didn’t have much time as David was leaving at 7pm and it was already 4pm. With two bikes we raced off into the hills, hoping we would have enough time to bathe in the ‘infinity pool’, experiencing that feeling of complete calm in our lives, and then if time allowed, get the adrenaline pumping with some cliff jumps at level one.