Saturday 21 June 2008

Things I'll Miss About Thailand

Since we'll be leaving the country soon (no, still don't know dates!), I've made a couple of lists that I'll potentially continue to build on...

The Things I'll Miss about living in Thailand:-

  1. Easy going lifestyle
  2. So many smiling, laughing people around
  3. Being part of a real community
  4. The views around my village – mountain ranges, rice paddy fields, rubber tree plantations
  5. My father-in-law
  6. Street stall food and being able to holler out my front door at food vendor people passing on motorbikes to stop and feed me!
  7. Fresh food markets almost daily within a km of my house
  8. Living 15 minutes from half a dozen beautiful waterfalls and a hot spring
  9. How ridiculously cheap everything is (except petrol!)…$1 curries that feed 6 people, 1kg of oranges for 50c, gorgeous tops for $3, weekly grocery shop for 4 people for under $10, etc…
  10. Being told by complete strangers that I’m beautiful (perhaps this should be top of the list!!;-)
  11. Eight course Chinese style weddings every 3 months or so
  12. Having farm animals
  13. Having enormous amounts of space and land
  14. Being able to travel 900 km for less then $20
  15. Living only a few hours away from tropical paradise islands
  16. Seeing the King everywhere you go and the nightly 8pm update on the royal family on every tv channel
  17. Seeing 6 people on a motorbike with a poodle in the front carrier basket
  18. Old ladies walking around in lacy bras with no shirts!
  19. Seeing work men building roads, climbing up scaffolding, tarring roads wearing el cheapo rubber flip flop shoes
  20. Seeing the police wearing those skin tight uniforms (won’t really miss it, but it is amusing!)
  21. Fabulous shoes for under $5
  22. Squalling rain storms

Things I Won't Miss About Thailand

  1. MIL – goes without saying really
  2. Living with the parents
  3. Being surrounded by so much PORK! (and living next door to pig killers!)
  4. Fish Gut Curry and Geng Som (spicy yellow fish curry, a staple at 90% of meals in southern Thailand)
  5. Going to funerals and monk parties almost fortnightly and made to eat Fish Gut Curry whilst watching everyone else devour 7 different types of pork dishes…literally, I am not exaggerating!
  6. Being stared at constantly
  7. Having no friends close by
  8. Cold showers in rainy season
  9. The dust and mould the pervades everything
  10. Being told that I’m slightly fat (although #10 on the above list kinda cancels this one out!)
  11. Rampant corruption both locally and nationally at every level
  12. The smell of wet rubber (think vomit mixed with baby poo…really!)
  13. Seeing so many little kids with black, rotten teeth
  14. Being woken up at 5.45am every morning by the obscenely loud radio news program over humungo speakers 10 metres from my window
  15. Being ‘asked’ to do English school camps that I can’t say no to because my husband’s family are all bloody school teachers! (this is my number one actually.. it even beats the MIL!)
  16. Gangs of howling dogs in the middle of the night
  17. KARAOKE! (no, I really won't miss it, not even a wee bit!!)

Tuesday 3 June 2008

Around Thailand in 80 Days...

Well, about 40 days or so I should, what have us tiddly winks been up to this last month gallivanting around the gorgeous tropics of Thailand.

1st: Went to Hua Hin... otherwise thought of as a developing resort area for rich tourists. Us not being in the afore mentioned category, we stayed for free at J's sister's newly purchased 3 bedroom house that was sitting empty waiting for us to give it comfort.

The beach is nice and all but not a scrap of shade to relax under. The dozen horses that mill about the main entrance begging for release from the hot sun but must endure beach runs worth 300 baht for half an hour and the toe to toe deck chairs that line half the beach are a real turn off.

2nd: My lurvy palio of over 20 years (bring on the aged pension!) came to visit for 2 weeks and was treated to all the luxury of village life.. Yes we did venture back not knowing what to expect but the parents were on best behaviour and J's mom actually touched me (!!!!) and told me she really missed me! Should have taken action aaagggesss ago!

Anyhoo...went to the day spa
Went to the cave but the lights kept on spontaneously turning off just as we entered the really dark area (thank goodness for the fandango torchy thang on my mobile!).

Went on the lotus boat trip again but at sun rise and wasn't disappointed..was vury purdy.

And the overall reason we made the trip back in the first place was so J's brother could get his new car blessed by our village monk. In over 3 years living here, I've never seen this done before so it was beyond cool. Monkio chants while walking around the car 3 times , then walks around it again blessing with water, pretty much trying to cover every inch, including the tyres of holy water, then he jumped in the car to write some scripture, then jumped out and wrote some more on the bonnet.

Went to my favourite waterfall in the ville, which is about 20 kms from home and palio enjoyed some uber risque rock jumping (jokes..very deep, hardly any rocks!)

Went to the hotsprings that are 7 kms from home and burned our lil bot bots off. It took a good half an hour just to get our feet fully submerged..scorchin'!

Then on another day we went to my other favourite waterfall..the biggest in our province and the place I fewl in lurve with hubby dear!

Back to Bangkok, went to Grand Palace (for the 5th time!) truly splendiferous though!

Also, just around the corner was Wat Pho, the home of the reclining Buddha and land of original Thai massage!

Went for a 15 baht, one hour boat trip on the Chao Praya River that runs through Bangkok and had a scrumalicious lunch at the other end of the public boat service at Nontiburi.

Then we went to see the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi (2 hours west of Bangkok). I've always wanted to go there and made it my mission before we left the country to go there. Well, it could have been my last mission in life due to my near death experience. We were staying at the wonderful C&C Guesthouse right on the river, not too far from the bridge when we went for afternoon nappage time and a squalling gale hit our humble little raft room. After the room started lunging around a bit, I'm feeling a wee bit insecure on just floating bamboo polls, when an almighty current hit us and I thought we were gonnas down the River Kwai to fall off some monstrous overhanging waterfall or some such. I had grabbed my bags and was about to jump ship when we finally came to a stand still and we went to inspect the damage. All the bridges that connected our itsy bitsy floaty home were in piles at the bottom of the river (well, almost!). We were a stranded! J ended up skimming over the top of fallen logs while I acted the damsel in distress and awaited proper rescuing which took about half an hour. Oh...the adventures!

After a short recovery (next day!) we rode a hire motorbike 68 km one way, up to Thailand's most beautiful waterfall...Erawan. And what a beauty she be! 7 levels of stunningly aqua blue crystal waters. Definately worth the trip, even though got a bit of a numb bum on the return leg!
So, that's me up to date... back in the ville now just awaiting visa news for J to come to Australia!