Josh and Mom at Wat Phra Maharat

This is, apparently, Su’s favorite picture from the trip, so who am I to argue?

We officially started the day at Su’s house today. The plan was that we were all going to head over and help clean up. We figured the least we could do was help fix the mess we created by coming over to Thailand in the first place. The problem was, when we got there no one was letting Mom or I do anything to help! (As an aside, I really wish I could pull this off with all of my responsibilities back home. Just sayin’…)

Those who know me know that I can’t sit around the house all day and do nothing – unless watching football is involved – so we literally begged Su to find something for us to do to help out. It took a while and some convincing, and I’m sure there was some “you’re a guest, can’t you just chill?” floating out there in the æther somewhere, but eventually Su’s mom handed me a broom and let me sweep up the mess in front of the house. It only took about 45 minutes, but it was 45 minutes I didn’t have to spend uncomfortably, sitting around wondering if people think this is what happens back home.

Mom and I did have a fear of sitting around all day doing nothing while everyone else worked, but thankfully we were rescued when it was suggested that we go to Nakhon si Thammarat, which is where Yim needed to go to get to the airport for her trip home. We jumped at the chance. Doing so, however, meant back of the pickup truck for me again, and that also meant the inevitable major downpour (naturally). The first half of the trip to NST was spent getting thoroughly drenched (as did Yim and Su’s aunt, uncle, and younger cousin); the second half of the trip there was spent drying off. Had I known this was going to happen I would have worn all of my dirty clothes and brought some detergent with me. About an hour later we were there, and dry.

(As a side note, this trip down also had the most significant Muslim population I have seen so far. I knew that the farther south in Thailand you got – towards Malaysia – the more “Muslim” it got, and I have now seen it first-hand. Just an observation.)

Nakhon si Thammarat is a big city, relatively speaking. It’s not nearly as slick and polished as Bangkok, but we did drive by a Pizza Hut so all things considered it’s a cool place in my book. I do very much want to spend an entire day there on our next trip if possible, and not just because of the Pizza Hut.

The main attraction in NST for farang certainly has to be Wat Pra Maharat, an extremely old and very cool temple. In a word, it was awesome!

Wat Phra Maharat

Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat

Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat

Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat

Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat Wat Phra Maharat

We spent about an hour at the temple and then had to take Yim to the airport, so we all piled back into the pickup again. I’m pretty sure I had a stare-down contest with two child pickpockets; they were either thieves or just very interested in being near my mom. Always erring on the cautious, “better safe than sorry” side, I made sure to physically place myself between them and her just to give them something more to think about aside from what my mom’s purse might have inside it, should that be their motivation. Anyway…

NST airport is about as big as an Olympic swimming pool. I think they have four gates in total. We said our goodbyes to Yim and dropped her off for her trip back to BKK. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as we dropped her off and started heading back to Khanom it started raining again! Some of us just can’t catch a break. Someone inside the cab of the pickup truck took mercy on our less-than-arid condition and pulled into a Tesco/Lotus supermarket so we could both dry off and bit and pick up some supplies for the beach house.

Tesco/Lotus is like a mini Wal-Mart. It’s much more than a supermarket, selling everything from food to clothing to washing machines to sports equipment. There is also a bank, book store, Dunkin’ Donuts, food court, and karaoke arcade inside! We did our shopping and I walked around a little bit to get the flavor of the store. I checked out the clothing department to see if they had anything cheap in my size to change into and be a little bit drier than I was, but nothing was in my size. Oh well…

With Yim gone we modified the seating arrangements in the truck. Su’s uncle and I stayed in the back while everyone else piled into the cab. More rain just to make sure that every part of our bodies were wet. But, we did make it home, wet and happy, so another great day for the history books.