Friday, December 23, 2005

Home sweet home!

home sweet home
Originally uploaded by jaanus83.
Hi all! Yes, it has been a while since I got back, and I have been a bit slack, so here is the 'back at home' entry.

Firstly, I have finally updated all the photos from London, Edinburgh and Thailand, so when you get time, theres something over a hundred to browse throgh. But don't feel pressured to do it...

So yes, the flight home was nothing interesting. I still hate flying, and the flight home didn't do anything to make it better. Not that it was a bad flight, just didn't do anything good for me. However, it was kinda exciting because as we flew over Alice Springs there was a huge thunderstorm next to us, so we got some nice viewing pleasure at 2 am. Arrived in Sydney at 8 am or something, with more thunderstorms all around us, and had to wait around for a few hours before the flight to Adelaide. The anticipation was starting to build...

Finally got on the plane, and lucky its only a 2 hour flight so it wasn't long before I could see the Adelaide Hills and knew I was home. I got off the plane, saw mum and Dana, they had a nice laugh at my beard, got my luggage, and headed home.

Mitzu (my dog) is still kicking, despite being over 100 years old, and displayed about 2 mins of excitement when seeing me. That's all I could ask for. Went to my room, started to unpack a little, then decided I had done enough, so I ate some food and before I knew it it was time to go into town to the Eggs to see some people with Alley.

Even though it was only Holly and Maestro, it was so good to be out with friends again. I also forgot what it's like to walk down the street and see so many people you know. Man I missed that! So had a nice time at the Eggs, then headed off to FAD, where it was more seeing people and shocking them with my biker look.

Since then, I haven't done alot really. I haven't started working yet, which is fine, but it means that I feel like I'm just kinda wandering through life again. But I'm not complaining... I'll prob start work soon enough then I'll be bitching about how I want to not work again. So we won't pay attention to that. But the weather has been soo nice, mid 30's and sunshine. Can't ask for anymore than that. I've already given the pool a try out, and it was fiine!

Last night went to the Grace and saw yet more people, and got to see The Audreys perform. Man are they good. And go them - they got a 3 record deal with ABC music, so that's just totally awesome.

And there's of course all the Christmas shopping I've been doing the last 2 days. Stupid last minute shopping... but funny story. Town is so dead (well, by normal Christmas standards anyway) and I think the reason is because everyone's going to the other malls (Marion, Tea Tree etc) so they didn't have to go to town. I thought it was amusing anyway... Shut up!

Health - well, since I wasn't doing alot in Thailand, it's not surprising that I'm not that crash hot. However, I've started another dose of Cipro (cheers for that Janka!) and am doing alot more treatment, which has made a great improvement already. So in a couple of weeks I should be as right as rain.

Phew, that was long and long overdue, but it's done now. I don't really know how updated I'll keep this now, but I'll try my hardest to let you all know what's going on in my life. I can guarantee you it won't be as exciting as the past 4 months have been, but I'll give it my best shot.

Rating: 6.5

What I'm listening to: The Audreys - Between Last Night and Us

Friday, December 16, 2005

Bye bye Bangkok

Yes, as sad as it is, the time has come. Alice and I are flying out of Bangkok tonight; destination home. It's been a lovely 4 or so months keeping you all in the know of what crazy shenanigans I've been getting upto, so I thank you all those who could be bothered reading. And thanks to all those who wrote me abusive comments to help me get through those lonely nights. I will cherish them forever...

But now onto what's been happening this week. We left Koh Chang at around 9:30am to get to the ferry so we could catch our private VIP bus to Bangkok on time. Lucky we left as early as we did. The speed boat that takes 10 mins to get to the mainland took around 40 because the seas were so rough. It made for a fun ride though, especially when Alley was filming me and we hit a huge wave and she was thrown up in the air and landed back down and smashed her head on the side of the boat. Yes, it was fun. Pity she didn't actually have the record button pressed, so she didn't actually record any of it. I only got the aftermath. Oh well...

So we finally got to Bangkok around 6:30pm, but it was a strange drop off. The bus decided to stop on the side of the road on some random street and proceeded to unload all the baggage in the middle of the road. But not to worry. None of our stuff was damaged, just in case you were all wondering...

Since this was going to be our last two nights here, we decided to splurge out and get a nice fancy hotel room. When we arrived we were told that the price had gone up quite alot, more than double in fact. But we were too exhausted to care, so we still checked in and made the most of it. They also said that the price they quoted was for a standard room, but they upgraded us to the delux sweet. Better bloody have I say! Now now Jaan, let's not get stroppy. It was a very nice room. Cable TV, king size bed, robes and slippers, and a buffet breakfast for both mornings. Can't really complain about that.

Yesterday we went to the MBK center, which is this friggen huge mall. 7 floors with so much crap. One floor is just chockas with stalls selling silk scarves, chopsticks, tiny elephants, clothes, watches, just about everything. There's a floor that basically just sells mobile phones. And the floors are friggen huge. There's even a bowling alley! We treated ourselves to a couple of games last night (I won't go on about how I creamed Alley's pants [ooh, er, that sounds a bit rude]). AND there's a floor just full of DVD's, which I am about to go and have a browse through now.

Oh, and I just remembered: while I was looking at some cool mini Harley Davidson's yesterday, some guy approached me about my fabtastic beard, and asked if I was staying in Bangkok. I said I was leaving the next day and he was annoyed because they need a model for some commercial or something, and one of the requirements was a beard. Man, I could have been famous! What a spew... Oh well.

Argh, time is about up. Health - same as the last few posts. I could be doing more, but eh. Whatevs.

Rating: 5.9

What I'm listening to: Sia - Colour the Small One

Gross white men chasing young Thai women: 96 (so close to the big one o o)

P.S. For those who are going to be in the southern hemisphere area on Saturday night at around 8pm, Alley and I are having a few welcome home drinks at the Eggs (Exeter), so if you can be bothered coming down, it sure would be great to see you all eh.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Not so sunny Koh Chang

What a spew. We arrived in Koh Chang last night, found out that the bungalow we wanted to stay in isn't any longer there, so we found a place, went to bed, and got up today to find that we have windy, cloudy and quite cool weather (keep in mind that Ko Chang is an island that has white sand, crystal clear blue water and palm trees everywhere). And it's the only full day we're going to be here! We have to leave tomorrow morning for Bangkok, so we are a bit pissed. But we decided that we are going to go swimming anyway, despite the coldness.

We left Ko Lanta on Saturday and spent the day on a bus and a train to get to Hua Hin (a town about half way up to Bangkok). We arrived at 4:30 in the am, and caught a cab to the hotel that our friends at Fisherman's Cottage booked for us. However, he took us to the wrong hotel, and at 4:30 in the morning, there aren't too many people around to give you directions. So we drove around for about half an hour, and then he turned down this dark side street, crossed some railway lines, and we were convinced he'd had enough of us and decided to finish us off. So we banged on the window, told him to take us to this other place we had read about in the Lonely Planet, for him to reply with "We are here". Phew! So we checked in, went up to our room, put on the AC, and watched tellie for a few hours before passing out from tiredness.

We awoke to a beautiful sunny day (prob the first one we've had since coming to Thailand) and deiced to go for a stroll down to the beach. Not bad - very busy with older people and not the nicest looking beach, but because of the head we didn't care and proceeded to splash around in the waves like 10 year olds. Fun. We also went to some markets (where I found a way cool watch), ate some dinner (where we needed to walk down the side street at 10pm, which was quite scary) and slept some more.

We were up at 6am so we could get to Bangkok at a decent hour before more bussing to Tran (where we needed to catch a ferry to Koh Chang). So we got to Bangkok and caught a cab to the Eastern Terminal, which was about half an hour away. Man, was this the craziest cab ride I've ever been in. I stupidly sat in the front, so I could see all the mayem that was unfolding. We were going down the main streets at over 90 kmh. Bloody insane. We had so many near misses that I lost count, and by the end I needed to change my pants. But the excitement didn't end there. We got to the bus station, and found out that the express bus to Trang was leaving in 15 mins. I hear you thinking "what's the big deal? 15 minutes is heaps of time". Well, yeah, normally it would have been. Except that the boot wouldn't open, and all my stuff was in it. We were quite a hit with all the officials, so at least it was entertaining. Anyway, they were trying everything to get it open, but in the end they had to just keep pulling at it until it broke the whole boot and ripped the lock out of the car. Poor guy... but we ran onto the bus at 10:59am (the bus was leaving at 11am). Good story huh?

The rest is pretty boring. Caught a speed boat to the island, just to be cooler than the others, and found a bungalow to stay in, did some shopping, and now telling you all my crazy adventures. Again, the island here is picturesque. White sandy beaches, perfect blue water, just the way you expect Thailand to be. So we'll make the most of it by doing something to make the most of it by.

Health - I haven't been doing as much as I should, so no surprise I'm not the best I could be. But I figure I'm home in a few days, so not alot to worry about. Alley is feeling quite a bit better, and she thanks all of you for your well wishes.

It's weird having a beard - everyone is staring at me. I feel like a Western girl in Morocco wearing only a bikini top and a mini skirt. The woman at the airport in Bangkok said I looked like a monkey. Not that that has anything to do with Western girls in Morocco, but it was another random fact that I thought you all needed to know.

I'm off now. I've said too much. Or not enough... I haven't decided yet.

Rating - 5.9

What I'm listening to: System of a Down - Hypnotize

Gross white men chasing young Thai women: 62

Friday, December 09, 2005

ษน ศฟืฟ รห ดพรแ ฟไหนทำ

ฟะ ไฟหใ... sorry, I was trying out my Thai. The title reads "Ko Lanta is fricken awesome". Anyway, enough of me showing off. As you all now know, Alley and I are in Ko Lanta, which is an island off the coast way down south. We were originally going to leave a day earlier than we did, but we couldn't find where the bus stop was, it was hot, we were frustrated and just not in the mood. So we stayed an extra night and then made our way down the next day.

We caught a sleeper train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, which wasn't the most enjoyable experience. For me it wasn't too bad, but poor Alley wasn't feeling the best, and it just continued to get worse. Once we got to Surat Thani, we needed to catch a bus to Krabi, but that had a stop where we needed to change busses. Again, Alley wasn't in top shape... We then had to get a van to Krabi, which took a couple of hours. Once there, we had to hop on a ferry to get to Ko Lanta, where we were VERY happy to be greeted by O, one of the guys from the place we were staying at. We got showed to our hut, ate a bit of food, then pretty much slept for the remainder of the day and night.

The place we're staying at is called Fisherman's Cottage, and it's right on the beach. Sooo nice. The hut we are in is all concrete floors and walls, so it's not too warm, with a palm thatched roof and a big bed. It's taken a few nights to get used to the, shall we say, firm bed. But it's getting easier each night. But that first night - woah, not the best I've had. Since I went to sleep at around 6:30pm, I woke at 9:30pm and thought I should get some dinner. But Alley was still sleeping, and I couldn't really be bothered. Then I woke up around 2:30am and couldn't get back to sleep because I had already slept so much. I finally managed to drift off at around 5am... sorry, I got distracted but the monkey outside torturing a tiny kitty. Quite amusing. Now, where was I?

Then the next day, I thought I would give 'stupid Jaan' a go and didn't put on any sunscreen, and got completely burnt and suffered some fun heat stroke, which included feeling sick as, headaches, dizziness, and just unpleasant feeings. But I went for another swim, ate some food and have since made a full recovery despite the scorched skin on my shoulders. Since then, there's been plenty walks along the beach, loads of delicious meals (there's tiny resorts all along the beach so you just take your pick of where you want to eat), tonnes of relaxing, some physio, swimming, and typing on this stupid keyboard.

Health - well, I haven't been that diligent with treatment, so you can imagine I'm suffering a wee bit. Nothing to worry about though. Well, so me thinks anyways. I've started it up again, and hope to be in full health very soon. It's just a bit hard when there's so much relaxing to do. You wouldn't understand...

But tomorrow we are leaving here and catching a train up to Ko Chang, with a stop in some city along the way. I will write more when we get there. I've prob missed out on heaps of important info, but who cares.

Rating - 5.6

What I'm listening to: Nothing, since my Ipod ran out of power...

Gross white men chasing young Thai women - 42 (and that's only in Bangkok)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Tantalizing Thailand...

My my, I'm getting so creative with my titles eh? I'm copyrighting all of them so none of youse buggers can go and claim credit for my genius work. Hmm, I think the heat is starting to affect me, and I LOVE IT!

So, as you can see, or have figured out, I have arrived in Thailand. After Peter and Trudy left me there for their roast dinner (hehe), Becky and Janka were nice enough to keep me company for another hour talking about random stuff while sipping iced tea and eating brownies. I then thought I would have to run to catch my plane, as it was only 20 mins left till the gate shut, and I still had to get through the bag checks and stuff, but my plane was delayed for about an hour (couldn't expect anything less from London could you?) and ended up sitting around doing absolutely nothing. Yeah, that was fun. And so is this entry so far...

So the flight was alright. Not too bad, not that crash hot. Watched a few movies (Batman Begins, 40 Year Old Virgin, Charlie and Chocolate Factory), listened to some music, and then hopped off the plane to a stinking hot Thailand afternoon. 32 and coudy. Fantastic! It's so good to be in a warm place again. So I got ripped off getting to the hostel because I couldn't be arsed trying to figure out how to catch a shuttle (remember, I am REALLY slack) so I paid 700 baht for a private car to take me there. I later found out that a taxi costs about 150 baht, so I was a bit pized. Anyway, after mistaking another room for my own, and locking my belongings in there, I had a nice shower, met a nice Irish girl called Catherine (I think)and had a very nice dinner in the little restaurent next to the hostel. Quite quaint.

At around 9:30pm I caught a cab to get to the airport to met Alley. After being taken to the wrong terminal, I found my to the arrivals part, and luckily, just as I was walking in, I saw her walking out of the door. Ahh, to see her face again. Ok, I'm going to stop going on about that, otherwise it will turn into a big love fest, which I'm sure you don't really want to read... but I will say that it is so unbelievably good to see her again, and I've made sure to give her hugs from all of you that requested.

So we are leaving today for Koh Lanta, which is a very nice little island just off Krabi. For those who know, you know where it is. For those who don't, one word - google. So, yes, until then we are going to walk around for a few hours, then catch the bus tonight and hopefully get there tomorrow. I have no idea if there's net there, so if not, you won't be hearing from me for about a week. If there is, well, haha, sucks to be you.

But to summarise my last week in London - pretty average. Not to say that Peter and Trudy are bad hosts or anything, but I just really don't like London. However, there were a few highlights. Mars Volta concert was on Wednesday at Birmingham. Pretty nice show. Although it took forever to get there, even more forever to find the venue, an even bigger line (which we managed to miss out on by sneaking in the front, and a late night drive home. But all in all a fun day out. Then on Thursday I met up with Janka, a German cf girl who is just totally awesome. Hung out with her during the day and had a nice Chinese dinner along with Peter, Trudy and Becky. Then yesterday caught up with her again and did an interview, packed my stuff, and hopped on a tube for 2 hours to get to the stupid airport. I think that just about covers everything...

The heat and humidity here is definitely something I have to get used to, and it's making breathing a little bit difficult, but I think I'm adjusting nicely. Give me a week on a beach and I should be peachy keen. But I think I'm going to head off now. That's enough rambling from me for today. I'll try and keep in touch with everyone, but if there's no net then tough luck.

Rating - 6.9

What I'm listening to: Buckethead - Enter the Chicken

P.S. One last word of note - it was quite disturbing at first, but now I find it quite amusing, the number of middle age white men hanging around with young Thai women. Alley and I have decided to keep a tab of the couples we see. I am now at 10. And we only started an hour ago...