Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Thailand (the 1st bit)

When the lovely Georgina Dollface had a blog break a few weeks ago she decided to keep a list of daily thoughts and observations and then blog about them when she got back. I loved reading them....they gave a great glimpse into her day so I thought I would do the same for our Thai holiday (I won't do it all in one go cause I think both thee and me would lose the will to live!). Soooo, here goes....

Sunday 5th -
We were flying out of Manchester (cause it was easier and cheaper than doing it from London) so after dropping the splats off at the cattery we decided just to make our way up there. We arrived at lunchtime.....the sky was blue, the sun was shining and West Didsbury (the area we used to live) was having a mini festival to celebrate it's independent shops....the entire place was buzzing. We had lunch in our old local, walked past our old house, caught up with a friend who we'd not seen in five years, bought wine from our favourite wine shop (the owner, Kate, organised a champagne tasting for us to help us choose what we were going to have on our wedding day...OMG we had so many different champagnes! I had my first ever proper hangover the next day!) and it reminded me just how much I love the city. We sat outside with a beer reminiscing about our time there....it was a great start to our holiday!

Monday 6th am - (Somewhere between Manchester and Dubai).
I had been dozing in my seat and stretched to get a bit more comfortable. Cool air was blowing on my face but I was nice and warm having wrapped myself up in the blanket that was provided. I opened my eyes and saw the wee lights they have on the roof of the plane twinking away like stars so decided to open the blind and have a peer out the window. The sky was split in two by a band of deep orange....the bottom half was a smokey blue/purple colour.....exactly like the colour of black grapes, above it was the band of deep orange and above that was a cloudless dark blue.....and the best bit.....I could still see a tiny sliver of crescent moon. (I found a pic that looked similar)

Monday 6th pm -
Knocking on the door of Marisa's apartment and seeing it nearly flung off it's hinges as Moon opened it to greet us.

Tuesday 7th -
Meeting my fab friend Jen to go and get our nails done. It was like I had never been away!! (although I really should have remembered that the place we went to put's three coats of nail varnish on...the first was lovely, a kind of caramel brown, the second was not so lovely, they now looked a bit greeny brown, and the last one...well, I ended up with nails that were the colour of manure.....lovely!!).

Wednesday 8th -
Sitting in The Bulls Head playing Mah Jong with the girls. Aircon is whirring in the background and I'm listening to the chatter of the girls and the click of the Mah Jong tiles on the wooden table. I love the feel of the tiles....they are so well worn that they almost feel soft to the touch. My jet lag had well and truely kicked in and I was struggling to work out what hand to play....much to the amusement of Louise!

Thursday 9th -
We got the river boat to Wat Po. I loved the feel of the wind in my hair, the slight spray of water on my face and the thud of the boat as it struggled against the current. I could hear the boatman's whistles as we approached the piers and the answering call of the guard on land. The boat was packed and I was squashed between Chris and Moon as we watched the mixture of sky scrapers and shanty towns go by. We spent three hours meandering round Wat Po. I had forgotten just how magical the place is....and how very large the Buddah is...it has to be one of my favourite places in Bangkok. (You can read more about Wat Po here)

Iron Fairy. Small, dark and very quirky restaurant which does THE best burgers in Bangkok. We went there with our good friends Tim and Elyssa and the evening past in a blur of laughter. (Remind me to tell you about the catfood story.....you gotta hear about the catfood story!)




Friday 10th -
We spent the entire morning at the Grand Palace. It was great to recapture my love of the place which I had kind of lost having been there so many times when we had visitors.

That evening we went to the Robin Hood where we met up with all of Chris's old work colleagues. We started drinking at 4.30 and, not surprisingly, it got a bit messy....culminating in Chris and Marisa having a foot fight (don't ask) back at her apartment.

Ok, I think that is more than enough for now! I'll try and do the next instalment at some point in the next few days.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Thailand musings - observations and things forgotten

Well, we're back...I have a head that feels like it's full of cotton wool and I've picked up the dreaded lurgy somewhere along the way so have a blocked nose, sore throat and am feeling a bit crappy.....I can however, do THE most wonderful impression of 'Balcomb' from the Tunes advert! (Eeek, now I'm showing my age!). Anyhoo, this is not going to be a long post....just a few wee things that struck me about the place I called home for two and a half years....observations and things forgotten


I had forgotten about the weird and wonderful (ha, I say wonderful....) things that the humidity does to my hair! Seriously, I stepped off the plane and almost imediately I felt my hair go 'poof'...instant frizzyness...not a good look!

I had forgotten how Bangkok smells...it's very distinctive and I'm really not sure how to describe it! It's a mixture of heat (a kind of steamy wet smell...the one that you get when the kettle boils or you are making soup) combined with exhaust fumes, the aroma of cooking (think barbecued meat and stir fried chilli), dry fish (you have never smelled anything till you come across dry squid man...well, except durian but they are not in season at the moment!) and drain. It sounds awful but actually, and I don't know why this is, it's kinda wonderful!

The sheer joy of stepping outside at night and feeling the heat on your skin. Some of the restaurants and pubs really crank up the aircon and you can actually feel really quite cold......there is nothing nicer than opening the door and feeling the warm night air hitting your body...particulary your freezing feet!

Oh, talking about feet....Foot massages....simply divine!! We had one after spending two days walking around temples..my tired feet were revived and I could have danced out the shop (I didn't cause that would just have been weird but you know....I could have...if I'd wanted to!)

There were also a few things that made me really sad....

Seeing what was left of Central World after the troubles (For those of you that don't know Cental World is...was...a huge shopping centre in heart of the city that was completely destroyed when the red shirt protesters set fire to it). It has messages of hope written along the side of it but that only made me feel worse cause it's going to take a lot more than that to put the country right!

Another casualty of the troubles was the loss of yellow Mondays. Let me explain, the Thai's have colours for each day of the week and yellow is Monday's colour (it is also the colour of the King cause that was the day he was born). So on a Monday nearly everyone wore yellow shirts.....walking down the street used to be like moving in a sea of yellow but that doesn't happen anymore....I guess it's because it is now associated with which side of the political divide you are on (Red shirt or Yellow). (If your curious about what colour the other days are you can find out here)

The range of goods and the quality of what is available (on the streets that is) has dropped...not surpising really considering the number of tourists has also dropped significantly. The stalls used to pack up about midnight but some were packing up as early as ten on a Saturday night....unheard of when we were still living there!

Still, it was really interesting to see what had changed and what had not changed at all! The Thai hospitality and warmth was still there in abundance, the streets were still bustling (yes, I did still have to jump out the way to avoid getting a motorbike up the jacksie and yes, I was on the pavement at the time) and, I think it is safe to say, it will always hold a very special place in my heart!

I will blog more about our trip when I am feeling a bit more human!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

We're off on our hols (+ Finished Painting)

So won't be around for the next couple of weeks!

I shall leave you with a pic of my finished painting...it was supposed to be Winter in my four seasons series but I think it's going to be too similar to Autumn. Still, I've since had another idea which I think will work better so it's not all doom and gloom (and I quite like how this turned out!)

'See' you when we get back :-)

(Oh, and you can double click on the pic to see it in all it's glory!)