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December 10th 2012
Published: December 11th 2012
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It's finals week, so writting a blog to avoid making a powerpoint or studying seems like a legitimate excuse.

In four days we'll make the 24-hour journey back to Seattle.

We're so happy to be heading home for Christmas! After the new year, we're off on new adventure – this time totally different than Bangkok. We'll be “studying abroad” at our school's campus in Leiden, in the Netherlands. It'll be quite the and culture and weather change from Bangkok, but we're looking forward exploring to a completely different place.

Getting to Leiden is a short train ride from Amsterdam, about 30 minutes. We're flying from Seattle to Amsterdam on Iceland Air, which conveniently offers a up-to-7-days layover in Iceland for free! No question we'll be taking advantage of that! So in the middle of January we'll spend four days in Iceland, where the sun will rise at 11am and set at 4pm. It sounds like a crazy time to visit, but I couldn't be more excited. Sounds like the perfect time to experience something weird and different!

Life in Bangkok has treated us well. One of the recent highlights was participating in the Grand Prix Rally with Trevor and Yui. The race went something like this:

Leave Bangkok at early o'clock. Drive Trevor's rented Civic to the starting line somewhere south of Bangkok. Put sponsor stickers all over entire car. Eat breakfast. Listen to the rules in Thai. Hope Yui was paying attention since I don't understand Thai that doesn't involve ordering food. Drive through the starting line. Turn the wrong direction to get out of the parking lot. Go through the starting line again to exit the correct way. Needless to say, we didn't win. But it was amazing fun. We spent the day on a winding course to Hua Hin, about 80km south of Bangkok.

Along the way we had challenges like looking for landmarks and numbering the order in which we saw them, various check-point activities like getting 10 extra points for being taller than the lady sitting at the check-point counter, and the hardest was looking for small spray-painted letters on trees along the side of the road. But we would never cheat by calling Yui's friends in the cars ahead of us. That would be dishonest.

That evening in Hua Hin we attended the awards banquet where Bob and Trevor both won four quarts of motor oil and Trevor took home the grand prize of four Bridgestone tires. Too bad none of us own a car here. Rope swings for everyone!

We managed to get in one more visitor here in Bangkok before we take off. Our friend from Western, Jennifer, came to Bangkok just in time for the fancy OK! Magazine Thailand awards. We also went on a large adventure in Bangkok to the pottery island of Koh Kret. It was her first full day in Bangkok and we spent all of it outside sweating in the Bangkok sun, but it was a great adventure and no one suffered from heat exhaustion.

After a taxi and three boats later, we made it to the shores of Koh Kret. The island is about 20km north of Bangkok along the Chao Phraya river. It's know for serving as a refuge for the Hmong tribe, preserving their ideas of Buddhism and their pottery, hence the common name of pottery island. We walked our way through the island stopping for snacks, checking out pottery and visiting a few temples.

Now in the last days in Bangkok we're attempting to juggle finals, final projects, final presentations, packing and everything that comes with moving countries - fun stuff like banking issues and getting security deposits back!

It's been a great 11 months here in Bangkok, and as always it will be hard to say goodbye. There's so much we're looking forward to, but so much we'll miss the minute we leave.


Additional photos below
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Waiting for the startWaiting for the start
Waiting for the start

The official race shirts say Oppa Grand Prix style!
Bob and TrevorBob and Trevor
Bob and Trevor

Burma in the background
HUGE gourds!HUGE gourds!
HUGE gourds!

I think they're gourds at least


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