So I had my first round of bad luck, or change of plans, however you want to look at it. First the train was full, I guess I should have bought a ticket the day before, but I actually didn't think I could because before they wouldn't let me buy a ticket until 10 minutes before the train arrived. Next I got a bus down, it left a bit later but I was able to get to Suan Mok near Chaiya by about 5:30 so the sun was still up so I thought it would all work out. A motorbike picked me up and drove me to the meditation center. On the way another guy was also arriving on a motorbike. There were large groups of people that I guess were getting the orientation and the other guy that arrived was talking to someone. When I walked up I found out that it was full. Several people told me "don't worry, if you get there anytime the last day of the month and there will be a room open", but it was full. The person was saying that there was a dormatory about 2 Km away that we could stay at and then walk to the meditation thing at 4 am to participate (he said I couldn't put my tent up). He also said that people usually leave after a couple days so we could try to participate and then hope that someone left in the next couple days.
On the walk to the dormatory, which was near the freeway, me and the other guy were talking about what we were going to do with this bad news. He dicided to try and participate because he was just that determined. I went the other way. It seemed like a sign that right now I'm not supposed to be silent and meditate, just not in my cards. I went to the bus station that was right there at the freeway and got a bus right back up to Phetchaburi. I had to wait for a couple hours and some nice Thai guys flagged the bus down for me, I thought one of them was also going to get on the bus but he diddn't. They were just being really nice like every Thai person I've met. I figured that I had made a good friend in Phetchaburi, and if she was inviting me to China to stay with her she would be ok with me crashing in her room when I arrived at the middle of the night.
It seems like I made the right decision because when I arrived luck was on my side. I arrived at 3 am in Phetchaburi and walked straight to the Guest House (Rabieng Rinmum Guest House, a nice teak house next to the river thats pretty cheap). There is a gate that is supposed to be locked, but it was not. Then when I was knocking on the French girls (Sandrine) room I didn't want to knock too loud, and I knew she wears ear plugs at night (the street is really loud at 6 am), so I tried the door and it was open. She was really nice and actually had a double bed, so like I said luck was on my side, I got to Phetchaburi and was even sleeping in a bed! We talked and laughed about the whole situation for a while before finally going to sleep.
Today I'm a bit out of it and tired but happy about the decision I made. I'm going to hang out here in Phetchaburi for the day, then go to Bangkok tomorrow. Now I have more time to see the northwestern part of Thailand, inludding more hot springs, and can spend some time in Bangkok, and central Thailand without feeling rushed to see everything I want to before friends are arriving in late February. I think in Bangkok I'm going to send some stuff home and get a Thai phone, I've met a few travelers with phones and it seems like the easy way to meet up with people.
So, no 10 day silent meditation, just not meant to be I guess. Maybe I'll try again in June or July if I feel like it but I'm not to worried because when traveling like this I just need to roll with the punches, and what I'm going to do instead is fine with me. Hot spring are a spiritual experience for me anyway and now I can spend more time at them. Another side note is that I've noticed the Thai food is not that different than good Thai food in the states. The green curry is similar, Panang curry is similar, phad seiw, phad thai, and Tom Kha soup are also similar (except all the phad thai is really good, no katchup). I thought it would be really different but its not, just its all good, instead of needing to find a "good" thai food resturant in the states. Well, thats all for now, and everyone can look forward to more posts instead of 10 days of nothing.