Am in Pattani now. Bus ride was okay, hardly got any sleep for the whole 16 hours so am just slightly exhausted at the moment. They switched off the lights and the individual ones weren't working so I couldn't read or write.
There's no wireless here, and phones don't work - the sim cards have to be authorised first which we were told required a couple of hours. Turns out we have to personally go down to this place with our passports. My SingTel line won't work at all. By the time we found this out the place had closed, and tomorrow will be spent on the road again, so I'll be out of touch with the world tomorrow as well.
Had a iwantmymommy moment before dinner thinking my parents must be worrying about me because I said I'd be reachable earlier in the day. But I wasn't, and only found this internet place now. Felt extremely lost with no internet and phone, and no indication of either in the near future. I cried and all, because I just wanted to call home to tell them I hadn't been blown to pieces in a bomb blast, but there was no way I could and I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about it. They'd just laugh at this silly young girl. =(
It's really an experience here. The moment we entered Pattani grounds, two soldiers boarded the bus and searched it. They were armed with M16s. Scary stuff. We passed numerous other checkpoints, all with armed military men, on the way to the University where we're staying.
Checked into our rooms, they're simple and basic and just the kind I like. After a brief welcome address (that didn't seem so brief in my sleep-deprived state) we were brought to a 'shopping mall' that was really a grocery store with some restaurants. I planned to pick up some things but gave up after 10 minutes in a stagnant queue.
After dinner Koko (guy from Burma) and I snuck off on a secret venture with 2 of the local students who are also attending our course (the organisers know them, they're safe) and we went to a festival. Language barriers = still no idea what the festival was about but it was much fun. Parades and fireworks and some strange dancing.
I went to check out some snacks on sale only to realise they were an assortment of fried insects. I didn't like that.
We walked past some punks and Koko pointed and said, just like you. That I liked.
He kept calling me Ms Singapore and I'd call him Mr Burma. I could tell he liked, maybe because I didn't say Myanmar, which everyone else in the course says.
There was a snake show where the guy poured water onto a rattlesnake to provoke it. I really didn't like that.
One of the local students whose bike I was on kept teasing me. From trying to force me towards the fried bugs to saying, look at that beautiful girl; I looked where he was pointing only to see a mirror. Harmless flirting I like.
I was sent right to my doorstep and all, and rushed over to this internet place I'd just heard of.
Tomorrow am heading on a field trip and will be spending the night there. Back again on Friday.
Besides the pre-dinner blues, worrying about the folks worrying and armed soldiers parading around during a parade, today was good.