I am currently at Bashayer's house in the northeast. She lives on the border of Laos so when we drive along the Mekong River I get to see Laos. I like her area because it is small and quiet and she lives within bike riding distance of everything so we get to do things.
On my first day we just slept and laid around because I was tired from the long bus ride (I slept some but it wasn't a very great sleep). We talked for most of the morning which was fun. We also watched a few movies.
On my second day we rode the bikes to Tesco Lotus, their version of a Walmart, not the same but kind of close. It was a longer ride than I thought and I was very worn out by the end. I am really out of shape!
On Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays Bashayer has Tae Kwon Do. We skipped Saturday because we were too tired to go and because the other exchange student from Germany wasn't going to be there. We went on Sunday night. On the way we stopped at her school director's house but he wasn't there so his wife had to do the traditional Songkran blessing. We poured water from a special dish into her hand and then she put it over our head and back and wished us a Happy New Year. We were late for class but this is Thailand so it wasn't a huge deal. It was fun to watch her do the moves. She made me do the stretches with her and that was really depressing because I couldn't do anything! I have so much work to do when I get home.
On Monday we didn't really do much. Bashayer and I hung out and had some fun doing our own thing.
On Tuesday Bashayer's sister: P'Oui, took us to buy Songkran shirts and pants. Songkran started on Tuesday but we didn't celebrate that day because her host family didn't want to.
Maybe now would be a good time to describe what Songkran is. Songkran is the Thai New Year. It last three days, from April 12th to April 15th. You buy waterguns and you wear special shirts (you don't have to but it's fun) and you sit in the back of a pick-up and you spray everyone you go by. Some people fill big barrels with water and throw it at people. The boys also take baby powder and rub it on the girls faces. I'm telling you now that baby powder BURNS! Anyway, you can't really step outside without getting wet. They do it during the hottest part of the year and you actual stay very cool. It is fun for one day but I couldn't imagine doing it all 3 days.
On Tuesday we went with the German girl, Anna. It was fun except that we stood out and so were attacked way more than the norm. The baby powder burned and you could never get it off without someone coming and putting more on you. The water would get in your eyes and mouth and sometimes it would be colored so it would make your hair and face colored. After about an hour in the car we got out and stood on the side of the road with some people Anna knew. They had 3 barrels so we always had water. There were some children so Bashayer and I had a water war with them. We were located right next to a beer stand so there were lots of drunk guys which made me nervous because they kept coming up to me and wouldn't leave me alone. The women who were there were really nice and protected us pretty well. After we finished playing water we walked to Anna's house. we took some pictures there because we couldn't take any on the street. After we got home we crashed. We were cold and wet (it was one of the only times I've been cold since coming here and it was 43 Celsius out) but something about the day just wore us out!
On Thursday I woke up sick so we didn't do a lot. That morning we had to wake up early and go to a Laos market about an hour or so away. It was gross. They had dead rodents they were selling and some other weird things. At first I thought it was cool until I realized what everything was. We didn't take any pictures of the weird stuff, we actually tried not to look at it at all. We laid around and slept for the majority of the day. At one point we asked her sister to take us out to get pictures. We drove around for an hour or so and took pictures of everything. I didn't feel well all night so we just stayed home after that and watched movies.
Friday her sister took us to a temple. It was very pretty. After the temple we went to a mountain. In order to go up the mountain we had to stop to pick her one of P'Oui's friends to drive because she was scared to drive up herself. The mountain had a beautiful view and some cool statues of the different Buddha's for each day of the week. We had dinner with her friend and then drove home. It was a long day but it was nice to get out.
Yesterday Bashayer had Tae Kwon Do and she had her yellow belt test. She passed so I was so happy for her. She will get the yellow belt in about two weeks, right before Anna leaves because she passed too.
Today we were supposed to go to the grandma's house about 5 hours away for some celebration but when we woke up this morning to get ready they told us that we weren't going. It was about 7 at that time so we went back to sleep. When we woke up no one was home so we don't know where they went. Bashayer has Tae Kwon Do tonight but other than that no plans. I don't know what we are doing this week or when I'm leaving or anything so I'll let you know when I know.
I'll put on some pics next time I'm on.