Friday, October 27, 2006

Coming home

It is our last day in Thailand. Sob. Koh Samui has turned out better than expected. We did a day trip to the famous Ang Thong Marine Park, a vast archipelago of extremely picturesque islands where we snorkelled, kayaked and I accidentally left my sunglasses at the top of Koh Mae Ko overlooking the inspiration for The Beach (allegedly, everything's connected to The Beach here, apparently.

We saw Thai dancing and Muay Thai, and when all the men were too wussy to take on the rather hardcore looking champion boxer I said I would have a go and nearly kicked him in the head. He was rather surprised I could get my foot that high (he was taller than me) but I can do the splits after all.

Today we went up a waterfall and I got just a bit whingy because it was so steep going up I was convinced we were going to die on the way down. We didn't, cos we followed a wiley Thai man who led us to the most amazing unexpected view. I think he wanted paying, but as he spoke no English and my Thai is very limited, all he actually got was thankyou.

I've filled up five films worth of pictures which will be posted very soon and I may have potentially got an e-mail with the best news I've had...possibly ever. But no counting chickens, so I won't detail it here until I know what the deal is.

Thailand is an amazing place, full of startling contrasts, beautiful beaches, smiley people and extremely stinky drains. It was more and less than what I expected in so many ways. And I only got the runs once and it was only one brief toilet visit. Yay me!

More on that story later.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bruised, bitten, burnt and burgled

You would never have thought it was such a dangerous undertaking, all this holidaying. And yet I somehow have found wounds on almost every part of my body. Despite incessant insect repellant application, I have bites on everywhere from both sides of my kneecap, to the knuckle of my little finger. I even seem to have one on my face.

Bastard mossies.

Thanks to a series of rather exciting and arduous treks across various islands (jungly and very hilly), I fell over twice and have scratches on my hands and one helluva lump on my shin which has gone a fetching shade of purple. To be fair, one of those happened when me and HF decided it would be a really good idea to go down the waterfall (trust me, it was).

We have now left Koh Tao, where some exceptionally good snorkelling left us both burnt on our backs and bums so we look like classic brits abroad, and Ko Phangan, where we had a lovely, isolated time until someone sneakily broke into our bungalow (right on the beach, ace views, poor lighting) without damaging a thing and removed all my money - 4000 baht or about 60 pounds (still haven't worked out these keyboards properly). And 15 pounds in english money that HF had. I actually cried - it was this morning and we had to catch the boat so I was walking along the beach, beladen with a rucksack almost twice my size, weeping. I told the men. They seemed shocked, but were not particularly helpful. It was probably one of them, the toerags.

Anyway, now we're in Ko Samui, our last island and have landed ourselves a rather nice room - not that I'm going to leave anything of value there now. So far, it looks a bit pants, but we'll see, things can change quite quickly. The beach is long but full of chavs from all nationalities. The best thing so far is these really cool silk throws these random men are touting on the beach. I might have to buy one to make me feel better.

More on that story later.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Island Paradise

Ha ha ha you're all at work and I'm lying in the sun sipping cold beer by the beach.

Now I've got that little immature bit out of the way, I can report that Thailand is ACE. Wicked cool, in fact.

I am currently swaying slightly from side to side, not because I am drunk (not yet) but because I spent all day on a boat looking at little (and larger) fishes. It's a bit disconcerting, actually. Anyway, we've left Bangkok - I would say three days is the most you would want to spend there - and taken a mammoth night train journey to Chumphon, then a three-hour boat trip to Koh Tao, where we have been since Tuesday morning. It looks like the island from Lost, but with more bungalows and, disappointingly enough, no Sawyer lookalikes. Shame. We have snorkelled lots and after despairing of looking even slightly like we were on holiday in the smog of Bangkok, are picking up a bit of colour quite nicely. Don't worry, lots of sunscreen, hats and water are being consumed. If that makes sense.

We have wildly underestimated how long it would take us to walk everywhere, but done it anyway - seen a family of five riding a motorbike together - got nipped by a crab - seen a shark (small reef shark, not very threatening) and dined sumptuously for under two pounds. We sniffed our noses up at some place selling dinner for about four pounds a plate - disgracefully overpriced.

Anyway, I had better go as the swaying thing is getting really quite distracting - maybe if I drink some beer (chang, at 6.4 % will completely floor you) it will make me sway the other way and I will feel steady...

More on that story later.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wizardly affairs

I'm in (not so) sunny Bangkok and this is the second attempt I have made to post, the first inexplicably being lost to the gods of cyberspace, so I'll make it quick.

We made all of our connections, including the 40 minutes between flights at Doha and miraculously our luggage arrived intact too. I recommend Qatar Airways, they feed you constantly and give you all sorts of nice things.

So my first impressions of Bangkok are that it's not quite as horribly polluted or psychotic and frenzied as I expected - but then it's only 9.30pm... It is impossible to sit down and read a map without someone trying to sell you something...thai massage is painful but fun, if not slightly embarrassing and reminiscent of having a small, wiry monkey climbing all over you and pulling and pushing your various bits...the emerald buddha is VERY SMALL and far away...the reclining buddha is way better, if big, golden deities are your thing...

No runs yet;-) but then I've only eaten three things since we got here...

It's extremely moist and I am sweating constantly. So no big change there.

Anyway, I'm on a meter and am planning to do a bit of rooftop swimming (in a pool, not a puddle) and then plan my visit to the biggest market in the world tomorrow.

I may post again later, soon or not until I get back.

More on that story later.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

We're off to see the wizard!

My dad used to sing this when we were off on holiday. Or, occasionally, going into the garden or upstairs.

In this occasion the wizard in question is probably some smiley Thai person who provides you with a surprisingly innocuous dish which turns out to be liquid fire.

Yes indeed, Friday 13th is drawing near so naturally me and HF are getting on one of those big shiny things that flies. And going to Thailand. Yay! Where there has just been a severe weather warning due to an excessively heavy monsoon season. So a bit damp then.

I think I've packed everything - apart from my phone, which is currently charging in readiness, and my contact lenses which are gently resting in my eyes. The best place for them, if you ask me. Oh, and my alarm clock which is going to be slightly necessary in the morning.

HF is being characteristically grumpy about the slight risk of coup action, being washed away, having drugs stowed mysteriously and surprisingly up his bottom. Me, I think it's going to be fab.

Yay again!

I might blog, as there are internet cafes every five yards in Thailand, but then again, I might be too busy drinking cocktails and eating curries while showing off my newly wee tum in a fetching camouflage bikini (it's really a lot nicer than it sounds).

More on that story later.

Oh, and yay!

Monday, October 09, 2006

From Norfolk to Thailand

Sort of.

HF has just asked me if he needs a woolly hat. For Thailand. Where we are going on Friday.


I think I may have got him slightly over-excited. We have just returned from a weekend in Norfolk where there were disappointingly few crabs but large quantities of land falling into the sea and have been plunged straight into planning for our big proper holiday.

The land of smiles.


I'm a bit disjointed tonight. I have this list of things I have to do before I go and I don't seem to have done many of them. One of them was to call Qatar Airways to reconfirm our flights. This proved surprisingly difficult as they seem to have about 18,000 different phone numbers on the website, none of which actually seems to be the one I wanted. And when I did get through, the answer-machine shouted at me in arabic and I got scared and hung up. Oh well, they're open again tomorrow.

Then we wrote down all the train and boat times and pondered whether it would be okay to spend three hours in the wee hours in a town in the middle of nowhere waiting for a boat.

Then HF got up and said: "Right, I'm going to pack."
He went off, muttering "sandals". I think he might need slightly more than that, but come on, it's still only Monday.

He has now told me he's not actually packing but I can't see what he is doing and it sounds suspiciously like packing. He doesn't even have a list yet. You should never pack without a list.

I expect I'll have to write it though.

The list is in fact one of the things I still have to do. I also have on my list get haircut and consider having a bikini wax (I've never had one before and I'm a bit scared but also a bit hairy).

*HF just muttered in the background "I thought I had more pants than that. I've only got three pairs". Frankly, quite worrying.*

I suspect I may have left it late to do either now.

*He's just called out four. And then five. But that's still not enough for a clean person.*

This constant muttering about pants in the background is a trifle distracting. I hope I have enough pants. We're gone for 16 days (I think it's 16 but a lot of those nights are spent travelling in some fashion) and 16 pants is a lot of knickers.

I think people should now suggest to me all the things I am likely to forget. Then I'll forget other things instead. I am deeply paranoid about the fact that I'm not allowed to take contact lens solution on the flight. What if they lose my baggage? I can't wash my lenses in mangy Thai water. It would also be a big hassle to have to buy 16 new pairs of knickers, especially as they would all be designed for tiny Thai people with no bottoms.

This is probably enough waffle for now. Ooh, what I would do for a belgian waffle right now...

Okay. That's it, I'm going. Now.

Not to Thailand, just to the bedroom to write that list. If HF stops asking me silly questions.

More on that story later.


Monday, October 02, 2006


I was doing a bit of shopping on Saturday, what with HF away visiting his lovely mother and it being less than two weeks before we leave for Thailand (yay!).

I bought all the important stuff - anti-diarrhoea tablets, rehydration sachets (yes, I am indeed expecting at least one major case of the shits), "jungle fever" insect repellant, sun cream, ear plugs (for attempting to sleep on the Khao San Road - err, that is on a hotel on the strip rather than actually in the middle of the road) and I was vaguely thinking I might get some more nice, loose-fitting pretty clothes.

My eyes kept being drawn to a burgundy and silver kaftan in the window of a charity shop. It was only £3.50 so I thought I would try it on.

I tried it on - it was quite nice, although a bit baggy in places. I figured it was symptomatic of my shrinking form, and decided it was worth £3.50 (although I bargained it down to £2.25 as that was all I had in my wallet).

When I went home, and hung it up, I glanced at the label.

It was a maternity top.

I'm still gonna wear it though.

More on that story later.