tha sala

continuing to backpost:

these are from september, 2010.

the view from the restaurant

Tha Sala is a small town in Nakhon Sri Thammarat Province with really good seafood.

tom yam ta-leh

last September, Ajarn Suppawon, my advisor, took me, Eva, and Maren to eat in Tha Sala on a day when there wasn’t school the next day.

not only was the food amazing, there were adorable kittens to play with, too (kittens in a restaurant? that’s a thai thing. dogs and cats are everywhere).

we ate and we ate and we ate
chowing down

and took some pictures:

me, ajarn suppawon, and rom
maren and eva

and then took some more pictures on our way to the beach:

we were all pretty excited that we had gotten to leave school early and we decided that the three of us girls would stay at the extremely quiet beach for a night.

this bungalow runs about $10 for two people

our advisor checked and double-checked that we’d be fine taking a minivan back to thungsong the next day, said goodbye, and drove home.

maren, eva, and i quickly changed into our bathing suits and swam out into the calm waters.

the water was murky, not the crystal blue you sometimes see in pictures, and the bottom was squishy between our toes, but we didn’t mind. it was quiet. we all marveled at our fortune to be on a beach with hardly anyone else around.

maren swam ahead of eva and me. there was group of rocks ahead that we wanted to explore, and she was a little faster than us, even at our leisurely pace.

maren is in her 30s. she’s from canada and she’s a rockclimber.  she’s extremely fit, and she’s tough. she’s the last person who i ever expected to get hurt that day.

so imagine our confusion when we start to hear her scream, over and over again.  first it sounded like the squishiness of the water surprised her, but her screams got louder and more desperate.  eva and i looked at each other but had no idea what was actually happening until she struggled back toward where we were standing, sobbing and barely able to walk.

her skin was covered in giant, swollen red ribbons, and in some places, the tentacles of a jellyfish still clung to her skin. together we helped pull her out of the ocean, and she laid down in the sand, telling us her entire body felt like it was on fire.

in these moments i think you’re supposed to do something heroic, but i couldn’t remember what that thing was.  now i look back and think, duh, of course: urine is supposed to help relieve the pain of a jellyfish sting.

part of me wished i had found out whether it’s true or not; the other part of me is glad i didn’t try, because what if it didn’t work and then my co-worker would have the double-embarrassment of having a jellyfish sting and then having someone she knew pee on her.

to make a long story short, the thai people at the place helped rush maren to a local hospital, and then shortly after she transferred a closer one in thungsong.

i distinctly remember her saying that she wouldn’t wish this pain on her worst enemy, it felt that bad.  she also worried that the scars wouldn’t go away (but they did).  it took over a week for her to feel better.

we agreed, later, that we’d probably look back at these pictures and laugh. i’m not sure if she still feels that way, but it definitely was a memorable turn of events.

trying to cheer her up, not gleeful that she got stung

the end.


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