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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

So many Ideas, So little time, even on Thai Time

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Gonna lose me ranking at this rate.

So much travelling around this past week, not seen the desk or the 43 posts I have almost ready to publish.  Looking back on them, I thought I  had it in the bag for the next few months.  Not to be.

Have been to Bangkok twice, Pattaya, and back and only one stop at my favorite stop. Khunsarai!  The stop last night was abysmal and most of us stayed on the bus looking out the window and the dingy piles of boxed cakes, dried fruits, dirty fridges and un-smiling staff.  Prachuab Khir Khan was the city closest to it and I am praying it is shut down before my next trip.  Only smile raised was seeing Wicked Divings signs on the walls there.  Staff obviously used the time wisely, realising that most westerners would skip the food, wander round and eventually see their signs.

Ideas have never been a problem, time is the thing.  Time is whats needed to inject humour... hours sitting at the bar drinking chang, chatting and thinking.  Even on Thai time there arn't enough hours in the day, I try grabbing a Thai 5 minutes (between one and 2 hours) and thats not enough.

Most of the memoirs I noticed are totally out of order and I may just have to lump them into 4 groups and let them go.  Please, more pics from France, Biking days, Thai life and HBC and thanks for the support.

So Thai time.  Worked out a rough formula at the weekend when Peter said he would be along shortly!

5 mins on Thai Time is about 1 - 2 hours normally.  As in I will be there in 5 minutes.

10 mins, 2 - 4 hours

Shortly - if I have time much later on.

Later.  No way Jose

Thursday, February 2, 2012

First night in Bangkok and the worlds gone mad.

Only my first ever night in Bangkok stuck in the memory.  It was election USA night 2000, but other than something of that magnitude taking place I would never even have remembered the month and maybe not the year.   I just remember the captain saying that by the time we arrived in Bangkok we would know who the next President would be!!!!

 France had been my home for the previous 7 months, but much as I loved it, the work was seasonal, and had dried up 3 weeks earlier. Most of my friends and workmates had headed back to the UK leaving me alone on a campsite in Biot near Antibes, it flooded badly and this drove me to the local travel agent in Antibes.

I entered the shop with the intention of asking for a ticket to Grenoble so I could look for work in the Ski Stations there in the winter.  As I waited my turn though, I noticed a 90 day return ticket to Thailand that was about 450 quid back then... cheap.  I then asked when the flight left and the woman told me in two days time and said she would hold it for me for an hour if I wanted to think about it.

I did think.  I walked outside into the rain, thought and made the decision that changed the direction of my life even more.  I was outside less than one minute, went back in, asked about visa on arrival etc, bought it and I was off.  Totally into the unknown.

And so it was, three days later I landed in the hot mid afternoon heat of Bangkok.  Lonely planet in hand I left the Arrivals lounge of Don Muang Airport and set off for my first battle with the taxis of Bangkok... all of which I have subsequently lost.  Got one for a few hundred baht.... a bargain I thought after 7 months in France.  The driver could not find the place I was staying at which was a fairly well hidden Youth Hostel, but  luckily I had the Royal Household and Rama 5 Statue on my small map, caught sight of it and got out.  The Hostel was on Phitsanulok about 1km walk away... much easier than directing a taxi driver in that madness.

My first steps in Bangkok were taken here.


I stayed at the Hostel as never fancied the scene on Khao San Road.  I went there a few times to meet a friend who had also made her way here, didn't like it and the only other time I went there was in later years when a mate wanted  a burger from the newly opened Burger King.  If ever there was an enclave of non-Thainess in Thailand, this had to be it.   But, each to their own and many seemed happy, adorning themselves with henna and real tatoos.  Must also be the hair extension capital of the Asia by the look of it... maybe I was old even back then.

My abiding memory of that first night though was my first shower.  It wasn't the introduction to thai plumbing, though that was also quite something when confronted for the first time with electrical installations being mounted next to running showers.  It was the speed of the sunset that surprised me.

I went in to the shower and it was broad daylight in the bedroom, came out and it was pitch black night.  It was like the sun had been switched off and I was even wondering if I had miss remembered what I had done in there.  Had I grouted a wall, re-washered all the leaking taps, cleaned up after the previous resident.  Nope, thats how quick it gets dark in these parts.

The rest of the first night was just normal stuff, 100's of mosquito bites, beer chang and sangsong hangovers and the food.  Great as it was I just fancied something Western that first night so ordered a beef salad!!!  It was impossible to taste if there was any salad in it... the chillies burned away at least half my taste buds.  Beef ... who knows, perhaps those pieces of leather were the beef, I never got past the first mouthful.  Wimping our of this I then had the all day breakfast of rubber egg, bouncy ball sausage, brittle bacon with sweet bread bun.  Tea was nice enough though and it soothed some of the burning sensation.

I have enjoyed exploring the food here down the years as much as I enjoyed the places and people... which is a lot.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thai wife 100baht to the good. Khee Niao falang licks wounds.

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Despite having 43 part finished posts in the draft bank I have no time to edit and post a proper one under the terms of my bet back in england... So have lost out today to the missus who is now 100 baht to the good and hoping to double it at the card school.

8 years she has had me for and we still get along and are best of friends.  Pity we fight like cat and dog when we are working.  She learnt all her english from me and can put Gordon Ramsey to shame when she is bollocking me in the kitchen.  F*&king Idiot Falang is her term of endearment of the moment for me!  Lucky she stops at this really with all them knives about.

For all the complaining I hear about thai wifes and girlfriends being money mad, I have never seen this in Duang and when I met her I was sleeping rough on the floor of the diveshop as I was too tight to part with money for a room and living in the shop gave us chance to pick up more customers for the boats.

Yorkshire folk are "careful" with their money and she realises this and has always earnt her own.  Tony is now growing up in a good environment.... we keep the Gordon Ramseyism confined to his school times and it's all smiles and pies when he comes home in the afternoon.

Pitty I am busy today as I have just had tons of ideas for a post.  C'est La Vie the 100's gone and now so am I.

Happy days,.... still.