*please do not use any photos without credit, if using photos is applicable 🙂 much appreciated!
Wanted to title the post: “Remembering FS, Post-FS’s Post”, but realized it’s quite a bad title… still, i think i need to ‘document’ my FS journey in one way or another, although i don’t have a lot of photos.. because my old digital camera’s lens has mould on it..
lesson learnt, don’t leave your camera lying around for too long and not use it.. also just bring a good camera anywhere you go, i wanted so much to protect my new camera but end up using my phone for photos which is less than ideal..
summing up, FS brought us from Southern Thailand to Northern Thailand and it really is a journey which must be experienced in order to understand how significant it is 🙂
for the first part we were at Songklah, that’s where we met our thai buddy from Thaksin University.. it has been a really pleasant and i learnt so much about Thai culture in a short span of one week..
introducing my Thai buddy: Mod. also during the trip i was grouped with Charlene, a really cute and pleasant girl from NUS Geography.. it’s really interesting when i look back at my first impression of her (without any interaction), and the actual impression i had.. i must say they are world’s apart!
goes to show that never judge anyone by their appearance, even if being judgemental is inevitable in human nature.. and don’t judge anyone without interacting with them first 🙂
visiting the Folklore Museum in Songklah, really impressive how they document the past lives of villagers in Southern Thailand. this is one pretty impressive view from the top of the museum ^^
Songklah’s like an orientation stop for us to interact and know each other, and for a day we had free time and roam around the streets and markets. our group kind of kept to ourselves and joined one other group, in a way it makes me feel that travelling and interacting in small group really provides quality time to know your friends.. not to mention, less chaotic~
waiting and catching the sunset at a Mermaid’s Beach, Songklah. i really like this shot, although we experimented with many other gestures and even did impressive jump shots.
after our Songklah stop, our Thai buddies accompanied us to Phattalung area for our first assignment and also homestay.
just a shot on a bridge in Phattalung area, we visited this lake and was told that the Water Buffalos can dive down to the fields when there is flooding.. a sight we didn’t manage to witness cos’ it was not flooding season when we were there.. but if you picture diving buffalos, i think it will be an interesting scene!
fast forward to Thale Noi, Phattalung; where i had my home stay with the local cook, Pa-Auan (left), and our assignment’s on Food Culture.
interesting fact: in Thailand, people might not use their registered birth name for daily use, instead another name that is suited to one’s character is being used.. Pa-Auan being the local cook is called Aunty Fat ^^
Mod’s name was given by her teacher when she was in kindergarten, which means ant (probably cos of her small size). of course we have our Thai names.. my Thai name is “Fa” which means sky and Charlene’s is “Fan” which means dream. pretty names which i really like!
over the four days with Pa-Auan and her family, i truly experienced the hospitality and kindness of Thai people. it is no wonder the country is called Land of Smiles~ we met our host family as strangers but they treated us like their daughters and it makes you want to give your best in terms of helping them and showing them your respect 🙂
Pa-Auan’s daughter, Pii-Lan also took great care of us.. i remember my favourite drink was Cha-Dam-Yen (iced black thai tea), which i didn’t even mention.. but they always see me drinking it.. so on our last day, Pii-Lan actually bought it specially for me, it’s these small and simple gestures that makes you appreciate people and also be touched by how genuine people can be.
just a side note, i think as Singaporeans we take efficiency and speed for granted that we forget the small things in life that are actually significant in making you a happier and better person..
one last mandatory photo with Mod before we bid each other good bye. thank you for being a great host, friend and not to forget a proficient translator! most importantly for teaching me to be a better person through your thoughtful and mature ways 🙂
just a short piece on our third stop at Khao Lak.. we stayed at a great guesthouse (probably most of our favourite?) and of course we had a second assignment there too.. my group did on Post-Tsunami Land Use planning.. we had orientation around the area as well..
being in Khao Lak is so different from Songklah and Phattalung.. it is so touristy that makes me feel like the place is pretty contrived.. that aside we visited the sea-people, Mokens’ villages and got to know about their way of life through a local museum. also learnt about how land use is really different pre and post-tsunami and how some people cope with land changes after the tsunami event..
one a side note, we visited one of the beaches where the tsunami actually hit back in 2004.. you have to be there to see the waves, although it’s normal wave but compared to the ones we see back home, they look pretty intimidating.. you hear the waves slapping on the shore and see them approaching, the height and size of these waves is quite a sight.
one can only imagine how scary the tsunami waves were when it is five metres or more.. visiting the site kind of puts things into perspective, when we always read about these events on the papers and from academic texts, but being there in person gives you a different feeling and sometimes it’s surreal too..
ending with a photo of the tsunami memorial park..
to add to how scary an actual tsunami can be, my group actually went out to the beach after our assignment one morning.. and we experienced an instant of strong waves sweeping onshore, where all our footwear and belongings were washed away.. we really screamed and scrambled to pick our stuff up, but the waves were too strong.. fortunately it died down very soon, but we had to go into other parts of the water to retrieve our belongings; one can only imagine how the actual tsunami hit..
PS: 2556 is the Buddhist year used in Thailand, equivalent to our Year 2013. some juniors actually thought the module changed name haha ^^