i'm gonna get into some samet stories but first i have to tell you what just happened to me.
at 12:40, the bell rang for 6th period. here they just have one bell to both end one period and start the next, so there's no passing period. this means class starts around 10 minutes after the bell rings, depending on the class (they're grouped by intelligence here, so the smarter classes generally like to start earlier, but the less smart/generally more naughty classes are still filing in 12 minutes after the bell). so it's five minutes after the bell, and i have no students in the classroom. ten minutes after the bell and still not a one. i start to get a little worried, but not too bad--it is the period just after lunch, so i'll give you some time to clean up lunch and pee and whatever.
but then it's 12:55 and not a SINGLE student out of a 40-person class has shown up. a similar thing was happening to tahsh, so we went back into the office and joked with the thai teachers about how late the kids were, but eventually her kids showed up. and mine never did. so i went back into the office to actually find out if anybody knew where these kids were. after some fussing and shuffling through lists, i heard the signature "ahhhhh" sounds out of two of the thai teachers.
"they cook last night. no come today." ohhhh. there's this big week-long festival (don chedi) and every night, some students go to the festival to cook/sell food to raise money for the school. they stay until midnight. this late night apparently warrants an entire day off of school. so i'm not teaching this period.
i know i'm not supposed to say this, but i think samet's been my favorite island so far. it's just what i've been wanting in a thai island--porcelain white sand beaches, glistening blue water, just enough waves to make that signature ocean sound, perfect temperature water (the water's a really big deal to me, apparently). phi phi had plenty of things that were nice and were legitimately beautiful, but samet...ohhh, samet. it's a smaller island and, if you're up to it, seems completely walkable (though we took song taus a lot cuz the walk from our hostel was quite far from the main beaches on the east side). lexa, ally, maddy, ian, sam, and i shacked up at baan puu paan on the north side of the island on ao noi na, and it was just great. our rooms were right on the ocean, so we woke up to the little waves breaking on the shore and a lovely view of the gulf of thailand.
ohhhh and we could actually see stars! we hardly ever see stars in suphan (i have no idea why because we don't have clouds either...maybe something about humidity? i don't know, science is hard). it was no shocker that both friday and saturday night ended on the pier staring at the sky.
it rained on friday and a little bit on sunday, but lucky for us, saturday was completely clear and stunningly beautiful all day. we walked down to tubtim resort's beach on the east side and parked it for hours. we swam out to a floating dock, took about a thousand pictures with maddy's underwater digital camera (his name is toby and i think he's becoming one of my best friends), had some delicious food/drink, and had essentially the quintessential beach day.
you know how i know it was a classic beach day? i got this intense sunburn. it's not a smooth one all over my body; it's all blotchy and weird and only on certain spots of my back. yes, i put on sunscreen. yes, i reapplied my sunscreen. (stuff white people like: pointing out other white people's sunburns.) my newest theory, after looking at a picture of myself from the back, is that i sweated off my sunscreen, which is highly possible because i sat and read my book in the sun for about 45 minutes and perspired the whole entire time.
anyway, lots of us got our fair share of sun, but nbd. we went to the west side of the island to watch the sun go down (see fbook for about a million pictures of this), then went back to the hostel to shower up and regroup before the night.
and oh, boy, did we need some regrouping before this night. we didn't know it at the time, but we did.
we went to naga bar on lizzy's recommendation. lizzy is the owner of baan puu paan, and she's scottish and absolutely wild. she's loud and loves to shout anything to you, appropriate or otherwise. when we saw her around 7 pm on saturday night at the hostel, she was already wasted and repeating herself.
you can imagine what state she was in when we saw her at the bar three hours later. she had a bottle of vodka and all the guys at the bar--including george, who had to be at least 90 years old--were loving her. professionalism is not wholly required in thailand. did i say i love this country?
the next day went pretty smoothly and after a quick speed boat trip from samet to ban phe (OH MY GOD i love boating), a long van ride to bangkok, and an unsafely fast van ride to suphan, we were home in our apartments by 9:30 pm. i'm ready to do it again.
p.s. a french guy ended up tagging along with us, and hearing him speak french made me miss the language. it's so much prettier than thai.