Sunday, April 29, 2007

And then reality hits...

Well, not really. But kind of.

I have arrived in London safely after an old sckool plane trip. Honestly, I thought planes with communal screens were sooooo early 2000's. But no, not the one I was on for 11.5 hours with a sore bum, and then a sore neck from trying to watch the on board movies. It wasn't too bad though.

The rest of our time in Thailand went so quickly. The dawn service was good. Not as moving as I would have liked. I was actually expecting to report back tears (ok, maybe not), but still, I thought some kind of emotional choking would be in order. There might have been if people weren't turning their freakin digital cameras and video cameras on and off every five seconds. It totally disturbed the potentially beautiful ceremony which was set in a clearing in the middle of the jungle. When the trumpets and bagpipes played and the sun started peaking through the trees I felt proud to be an Australian. Then someone started taking photos during the 2 minutes of silence and I wanted to go and smack it out of their hands. Ok, this may be a little wrong, but we stuffed ourselves at the morning tea. There were ANZAC biscuits, no surprise there, BUT there was a Thai breakfast too with these deep fried donut things with condensed milk drizzled on top.....mmmm, sweet milk from a can. Then on the ride home we got a packed breakfast with an egg, lychees, an unidentifiable fruit and a sandwich. It was great!

Oh, we also went to go to a ping pong show in Bangkok. Our two and a half days in Bangkok were starting to wear us a little thin. Were were getting pissed off with the scamming, but decided on our last night some Bangkok's best was in order. This dude came up to us and showed us a laminated list of everything that was on offer. Now, I won't repeat the list cause mum reads this, but there was stuff that included needles, ballons and crayons. So we thought, great. He promised us the show would only cost us 100 baht. WRONG. We got in there and were immediately approached by two girls who wanted us to buy them drinks. Why the hell would we want to buy them drinks?! Needless to say, we both declined and then the madam of the place came and demanded we pay for our drink that second (the deal was we paid 100 baht for a drink as our entry free). We gave her 100 baht and she said we needed to pay 300 and proceeded to show us an alternate laminated list (this time it had pictures). So as a result of all the scamming that had been involved throughout our whole time in Bangkok I got really fiesty anad we ended up leaving and not paying. So, in the end, the only ping pong action we got was from the girl who wanted me to buy her a coke (I'm shuddering as I write this cause I shook her hand) who got on stage and popped a few out. No needles, no crayons, no balloons. Nothing.

Now I am far, far away from fruit shakes, massages and ping pongs. I've been waiting for reality to sink in that I have actually moved over here to sink in, but it hasn't. It feels totally normal that I am here. I am going through waves of feeling like 'yea it's going to be all gooooood' to 'shit, what the hell am I doing?' (this is more in reference to finding a job). I feel like I have come from hickville and everything I did in Adelaide means nothing. This is totally based on nothing mind you, as I haven't even met with anyone yet! Anna, Skinner and I are trying really hard to find somewhere to live asap, but even that is highly competitive. Places are snapped up as soon as they go on the net and it's taking us a long time to look cause we have no idea where most of them are. But it will be fine. I am meeting with some recuitment places tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what they say. Then I have a interview at an agency on Tuesday so that will be even more interesting!! But, it's going to be awesome. I came here for an adventure and that, I think, it is definitely going to be!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's almost time to go (again)

I can't believe it, but it's almost time to leave for London. Tomorrow is our last full day here and we are spending it by getting up at 3am to get a bus to Hell Fire pass on the River Kwai. We saw the bagpipers practice in the cemetary here in Kanachunburi today and that alone was moving. I can't imagine what it's going to be like at the dawn service...

Today we went to the tiger temples and patted tigers. It was crazy! The workers at the temple hold your hand and walk you around the tigers who are lounging on the ground. I reckon there was about 8 of them. Then you sit next to them and have your picture taken. Yes, it's touristy, but hey, when else are you going to be able to pat a tiger?

Ummm, I was going to talk about poo but then decided against it. Do you guys need to know about my pooing stories? Mmmm maybe I'll leave it. Ok, I'll go eat some dessert instead. Ta ta.

Ohhh. I am going to try and get upgraded on the flight to London on account of my bum still being mega sore. I am honestly dreading the thought of sitting on it for 11 hours. Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

You buuuuy? You liiiiiiike?

Ah, the capital of western dudes with Thai girlies (boyies) hanging off their arms. Of course, it may be true love....until they wake up either married or with their money gone. God, I'm a cynical bitch aren't I?

While I'm still having separation anxiety being away from Koh Phangnan, Bangkok is proving to be fun. Actually, rewind. I need to tell you of my eating adventures in Surat Thani.

Surat Thani is not known for much other than being a port to the islands and for it's night market. And what a night market it is. We STUFFED our faces there for about 40 baht each. I'm not good with conversions but I think that's maybe $2? We weren't sure what we were eating but we kept on going back to this still that was selling the most beautiful unidentifiable foods. Then we ate by one of the roadside stalls and had a mind blowing pad thai. It was cooked by this little old lady with a wok that was just about the size of her!

Ok back to Bangkok. We arrived today and decided to go to the weekend markets which are the biggest outdoor markets in Thailand. Maybe even the world. I may be exaggerating but it would sound more impressive. Actually, I should have just claimed it and waited for someone to correct me. I really didn't need to type those last 3 sentences. Anyway, we decided to catch the local bus which was a lot of fun. We didn't know where to get off and no one on the bus spoke English so when we did actually work out what we were doing we were let off in the middle of this 3 lane freeway. I think I may have been really girlie and squealed a little.

I'm going to have a real shock in a couple of days when it won't be normal to have a daily massage and consume at least 3 fruit shakes each day. I think I may have mentioned this in my last post. Obviously I am having a real problem with the thought of not being on holiday anymore.

I think that's it.

Oh, and I'd just like to say that I know at least a few people are reading my blog, so how bout leaving a comment on there every so often?? C'mon - gimme some love!! 2 dolla, you liiiiiike?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Goodbye to beach, massages and fruit shakes

Today is our last day in Koh Phagnan and I feel depressed. I am seriously thinking that all I need in life is my bathers, a beach hut and maybe some sunscreen. Oh, and a fan. Who needs a proper toilet anyway? Sitting, flushing and toilet paper is seriously overrated.

We've had a great last couple of days. I think the highlight was when Anna and I were sitting as this beachside cafe taking photos of our feet when this American dude asked if we wanted him to take a picture of us. From there, picture taking turned into this chat with him and his brother who turned out to be a Sharman in Peru. This guy had lived in the Amazon for 6 years healing people with ancient herbal medicines. I managed to keep a straight face until he said that the spirits who had led him to Peru after college had guided him to a newspaper to find some land to set up with retreat thing. Honestly, those spirits are pretty cluey, imagine looking in a newspaper to find some land to lease. It was at that point I had to bite the inside of my mouth. Guess what the other guy did for a living? He was a lawyer?! Ha.

Umm, what else? Did yoga for 2 hours the other day in between stints at the beach. Let's just say I don't recommend doing yoga when it hurts to bend down, walk, sit of lie down. So basically I sat next to the fan and watched everyone else realign their chakras or whatever it is that you do in yoga. Oh, I liked the bit at the end when she came around while we lay on the floor and gave us a little head massage.

Yesterday we went on a tour around the island which was fun but left me rocking for the rest of the night. We walked through the jungle and went swimming in a waterfall (don't get jealous - it was freakin hot and there wasn't much water and what water was there was a really weird colour). We also went swimming and snorkeling and we met some people from London so it will be nice to have some locals show us around when we get there. We ended our last night here with a massively sweaty boogie on the beach until closing time and today we will have one final fruit shake and massage before we get on the ferry.

As I said before I feel depressed to leave here. The thought of London and big city life is almost unimaginable at this point in time where everyone operates at their own pace, watches aren't needed and the hardest decision you have to make is what kind of massage you want or what flavour fruit shake (we are obsessed with these things!) you feel like. I know, I know, it's not reality, but dammit, why can't it be?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More fun times

Black Moon party was cool. It was a bit doof doof for me, but hey, I can still jump around with my neon glowsticks with the best of them (ok, so there weren't any glowsticks but someone found a pair of glowing glasses on the ground which did the trick). Buckets were drunk, sand lounge chairs were dug, a UV 7-Eleven sign was painted on my chest and the night was finished with a cab* ride back to Hat Rin at 7am. Yea, it was slightly fun.

Yesterday was a nothing day, although we did manage to lie on the beach in the afternoon, drink fruit shakes while watching 4 episodes of Friends (late 90's with the 'Rachel' hairdo), get a foot and head massage and then hang out at night with the Brissie people and a Thai dude called Santina at his chilled out bar on the hill at the beach.

Today Anna and I did a Thai cooking class. We are soooooo domesticated. Look out Jamie Oliver. For some of you who know my stringent cooking procedures when it comes to washing vegetables you would have been very proud. I ignored the flies buzzing all around our food, the fact that nothing was washed and I reckon everything had been lying out in the sun all day. So, our first course was spring rolls. I think our cooking helper thought I was culinary challenged as he kept on chopping my things up for me. Anyway, they were awesome. Even if I do say so myself. Of course I went too hard too fast and ended up stuffing my face first course and feeling sick for the next three to come. Next up was Tom Yum soup - there was even chili in it. I think I may be getting less wussier when it comes to chili. Yeah - hardcore chili eater! Then there was Pad Thai. Yes, I am very very clever for cooking this. It even tasted good! Dessert was bananas in a coconut soup, it was surprisingly good. By the end of it Anna and I bolted back to our room cause we both needed to lie down.

Tonight we are going to get another massage and hang by the beach and watch the fire throwers. Tomorrow we may hire some scooters and do some exploring, oooh, and we are going to try a yoga class.

Soooo, everyone, how's work going? HA!!!


*Cab ride in Thailand = nail biting ride in back of truck thing

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ko Phangnan

After travelling for the best part of 12 hours with my massively sore arse, we arrived in Ko Phangan. Honestly, trying to prop yourself up on your elbows for 3 hours on a bus is not what I would call fun times. It took 4 buses, 5 hours of waiting around, a ferry which had fire coming out of the top engine and a nail biting open bus ride to get here - but we made it and it was fun!

Hat Rin, where we are staying, is CRAZY! I finally saw the famous buckets which everyone talks about. For 150baht (like 8 bucks) you get this bucket with a lot of straws, a spirit bottle and a mixer and then drink away. You're surrounded by flame throwers and then they light up this rope for people who have had one too many buckets to try and jump rope in. Then they also light up this ring of fire for people to do somersaults through.

Also, I think there will also be a lot of guys going home from holiday leaving the part out about how they hooked up with a hot Thai 'chick' on the beach. From what I saw from last night there would have been a few who were either left out of pocket or got a nasty surprise when they reached into the girls pocket - haha. Seriously, it's so hard to tell. I can't tell the difference so no wonder the guys can't. Although maybe stubble would be a good indicator?

Tonight we are off to the black moon party with a group of Aussies from Brisbane that we met on the trip over from Krabi. It's either in the jungle or on the beach. There seems to be a bit of confusion but I'm sure we'll find it and I'm sure it will be fun.

I've totally missed travelling. I love the adventure, the unexpected and the random people you meet along the way.

Speaking of unexpected, we found out about the ANZAC dawn service on the River Kwai so Anna and I are going to skip staying in Bangkok for too long (nothing missed there) and go up north for it. I can't wait to go, the guys who told us about it said it was the most moving experience.

Ok, gotta go organise the River Kwai thing and maybe eat something. Ah, life is hard!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Conect Four, water fights and elephants

Well, here I am in Thailand and I am having an awesome time so far. I am in Ao Nang at the moment which is in the southern provence of Thailand. It's a pretty small place and it's surrounded by the most beautiful cliffs. Thailand so far has been everything I expected it to be.

Ok, I know it's only the 2nd paragraph in, but I HAVE to talk about the food. On our first night we had the best honey pandan chicken I've ever tasted. Ok, so I've never had pandan chicken before, but hey, I'm sure it would be the best anyway. Ohhhhh, and the shakes. There are loads of vendors at the side of the road that make the most beautiful fruit shakes. I am addicted to the mango ones. I think I may branch out tomorrow but it will be hard. Lastly I will talk about the pineapple. They sell it cut in long bits and it's so sweet and tasty I can't begin to describe how good it is.

Ok, what else? Well, the first night here we went to a bar and what do they have for you to play?? Connect four!! I really think they should think about introducing that in Australia. The first proper day we were here we went on a 4 island hopper tour in one of the longtail boats. Of course I managed to slam my cox(ix?) bone into the metal step so let's just say sitting, walking and basically any type of movement is extremely painful. As is sitting in the back of the boat with the vibrating motor. I had a very maternal moment while I was snorkelling at one of the islands. There were 3 tiny fish that became very attached to me. It didn't matter how far I'd swim, they'd still follow. Ok, so it was a little unmaternal when I thought about how I'd like to eat fish for dinner and if they were a bit bigger they might taste nice, but still, they liked me, or my bathers. Who knows.

When we got back from the island tour we were greeted by the locals and tourists alike with water being chucked at us from their cars and on the street. It was crazy, I can't even begin to describe it. Imagine gridlocked traffic with Thai locals either hanging out of their cars or piled in the back of their trucks with massive containers of water which they throw at eachother and people on the street. I was on the street throwing water at people for about 3 hours and it never got old. Then there were also people walking up and down the street putting white powder on your face to celebrate the new year. The only trouble was that the white powder stung. Lucky there was A LOT of water to wash it off with. It was hard to think of the water restrictions at home with this happening.

This morning we did the good ole tourist thing and went on an elephant trek. For the most part of it I was in extreme pain as transportation by elephant isn't the smoothest ride. The whole experience was ok, but I wouldn't do it again. After the ride we got to feed them which was cool and then one of the guys took us on a tour of the park and we got to try some of the vegetables they were growing.

Anyway, I better go. I hope this entry made sense because there is a girl next to me who has been talking to herself the whole time I have been typing.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The official goodbye post

So, since my last post I've shared a ride in a truck with 2 sweaty dudes (one had a wandering eye with a weird growth on it - hot), worn the same trackies and top (actually, I did change my top once) since Thursday and had lots of sleepovers since moving out of my house. I've come last at Trouble, won Simpson's Cludo, learnt how to play poker (note to self I shouldn't ever gamble with real money), lost twice at Pictionary (sooooo not my fault as everyone who has seen my drawing abilities would know) and eaten my way through more goodbyes.

Now it's really time to go, and after much anticipation, it still doesn't feel real. Since coming back from Sydney time has flown, actually, this year has flown. Tomorrow will fly by and I'll be on the plane in no time.

The first stop is Thailand, well, the Krabi region first. Boota and I don't know where exactly we're staying/how long for. We're just going to get there and see what happens. Then we're heading over to Ko Phagn something (really must learn how to spell these places) and then to Ko Samui before heading back to Bangkok for a couple of days. Hopefully we can head up north for a day. Then on the 26th we're flying to London and getting there that night. After that, official faffing time will be over as poor/unemployed/Aussie $'s should not be used in the same sentance that contains the word 'London'.

So anyway peoples, goodbye and keep checking for posts. Here's to not getting bitten by any weird itching animals or any animals at all for that matter, not getting food poisioning and not getting ping ponged in the eye.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

1 week to go

When you're sitting in the empty shell that was once your bedroom with boxes that say stuff like 'fragile' (damn, now that I've typed it I've realised I spelt fragile wrong on some of my boxes!) and 'keep off the ground', it gives you time to reflect. Apart from realising I can't freakin' spell, it's kind of hitting home that I'm moving. Well, more like packing up my life and moving to the other side of the world.

Then other things pop into my head. And wait for it, they're pretty deep. For example, I know that instead of packing the final bits and pieces before the removalists come I am just going to throw them out cause I can't be arsed finding somewhere to put them. Then I start thinking 'why didn't I just throw all of my clothes out - is stuff with sequins on it still going to be fashionably acceptable in 20..?' Or 'when I come back will I really be glad that I kept 50 000 coathangers and my tiny bins that don't hold jack?' See? Told you - deep.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Bite me

As I sit down to write this post I am rubbing frozen bread* on my legs. Some of you may ask why? Is it the latest thing to do on a Sunday afternoon? Is it what the cool people do? Hell no. I'll tell you why. Because animals take great joy in biting me. Let me recap the biggest bites of my life:

1. A donkey
2. 70 mozzie bites in Spain (I am not exaggerating!)
3. A dog

Now, I would like someone to explain this last one to me. How can something so small induce such puffiness and itchiness in a person? I have the puffiest hand, ankle, calf and bottom of my foot in the world. Ok, not like elephantitis puffy, but still, puffy. And this is from a normal black ant. Honestly, I'm going to get malaria or something in Thailand, aren't I?

(*not only do you get frozenness but texture to itch as well)