บัว is a lot easier than เอลิซาเบธ

บัว is a lot easier than เอลิซาเบธ

Most Thai people all have a short nickname because their real names are often long. For some Thai people who have been exposed to western culture my name is easy, and for others it’s very difficult. In Thai language there are a lot of sounds that aren’t in English, but one English sound that doesn’t exist in Thai is th. In Thai th sounds like t (hence Thailand doesn’t sound like Thigh-land). My name here is written เอลิซาเบธ which is pronounced aeh-li-saa-baet. No th sound, only t. Nevertheless, people everywhere like to shorten my name.

Thai nicknames mean something that is usually a characteristic of the person, and some are really hilarious. I have been asked what my Thai nickname was. I have had people call me E, because it’s easier, and others call me be my title of teacher – ajarn or kru.

A woman who was showing me houses gave me the Thai name Faa, which means sky. I liked that a bit, but thought it wasn’t quite right. While drinking a Sambuca at Coconut Bar on Ko Bulon with Chi (he told me Chi means brother of Che Guevara 🙂 and Rain (not Fon -Thai for rain – but Rain), they asked me my nickname. I said I’d been called Faa, but wasn’t sold on that name. I asked them what they thought might suit me better. We went through a variety of disagreements until we reached a consensus. A few names were immediately nixed. They suggested Manao, and I do like the way it sounds, but it means lemon or lime. I thought with Manao, people would squish up their face like they’d just bitten into something sour when they’d say my name, um, no. Finally, we all agreed on Bua. Bua or บัว means lotus flower. I am quite happy with this. I would like to be a blossoming lotus.

Whoa, there is a huge crowd of Thai tourists that just arrived for a New Year’s party on the beach. I’m glad I have my bungalow, but it will certainly be loud. Oh well, it’s New Year’s Eve and it’s not like a have anything to do tomorrow.

New Year’s resolutions: Be more creative and take classes – some ideas: art, pottery, painting, weaving, writing, improv even. Learn Thai. Continue doing yoga and go to more classes. Meditate. Create the atmosphere so my soul mate comes. It’s time. 2012 is the year, or Sabaii dii pii mai 2555 (Buddhist time). In Thai 2 is pronounced song, and 5 is pronounced ha. Now it’s year song ha ha ha – I guess it’s going to be a good year for music and laughing.

With my new nickname บัว (Bua), I welcome 2555, its resolutions and pleasant surprises from the Land of Smiles.

บัว

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Ko Bulone

Ko Bulone

It’s been cool up in Chiang Mai, so for the winter holidays I headed south to an island to spend some time on the beach. I wanted to go somewhere smaller and less resort oriented. I decided on Ko Bulone Leh.

Ivan and Mardi on the bumpy boat ride to Ko Bulone Leh

Unsurprisingly I met some very interesting people there – Mardi and Ivan – they live in Nepal. He is a teacher and she is ‘a woman of leisure’ in her own words. They live a very simple lifestyle and travel in Asia a lot.

the sun is breaking through the overcast day

I went to the beach and was out in the sun for a while, and then it got a bit overcast. The water was clear and beautifully turquoise. I met up with Mardi and Ivan and we walked around and ended up having chocolate cake for lunch. Not really the plan, but it was delicious. Ivan and I played frisbee. The salt water really helped clear my sinuses. Oh no, Hotel California is playing. Thankfully, I think this could be the first time I’m hearing this. It’s kind of unbelievable.

big storm rolling in

I’ve been invited to dinner by Marti and Ivan. They are vegetarians and have traveled with all their own cooking supplies. I will supply some beer. I’m hungry so I’m off.

Cooking dinner with Mardi and Ivan at School Bungalow

These mushrooms are called erringi (pronounced almost like orangey) and they are delicious.

I stayed at 3 different places while I was there on 3 different beaches on the tiny island. None of them were great and some were really overpriced for what they were, but it was still nice to be at the beach. I’ve just moved to the third bungalow and I feel so much better about where and what my room is. I’m sitting at an Italian restaurant. I have ordered a cappuccino and I’m right on the water. There is a beautiful orange and turquoise longtail boat bobbing up and down in the water near me. An Italian man just said ciao to me. Two little kids are at a table behind me. It’s slightly windy. I’m going to go get some sun, swim and reserve a snorkel for tomorrow. There are a few restaurants and a bar here. I think I’m  in the right place on this island for me.

longtail boats on an overcast day

The short, but steep climb from my bungalow to over the hill to the better beach.

I was invited to share a delicious fish lunch with the Coconut Bar guys. Aroy!

Setting off a komloy on New Year's Eve

Rainy rainy New Years Day, learning Thai, journaling, and drinking tea with the beach view from my bungalow balcony.

A monitor lizard on the beach trying to camouflage himself away from me.

My little breakfast and coffee spot on Ko Bulon Leh

longtail boat and palm tree

Some pictures will not upload, so they are here in this gallery. It can be viewed as a slideshow to flip through.

goodbye Ko Bulon