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Showing posts from February, 2011

Euphemism / Gravity is on my side (Apparently)

We were halfway up the mountainside and panting like dogs in a hot summertime when Ek, our whippet-thin guide, turned to me, patted me on the belly and said "when due?" before dissolving in peals of laughter on the ground. Didn't know much English, our Ek, but he knew that. Aside from taking abuse from the natives I'm happy to report that things have improved since our Sliding Doors escapades (or "Down the Wrong Leg of the Trousers of Time"). Lisette and I have made our way across the briny sea from Phuket to Koh Lanta where life is looking up. :-) Lanta attracts a very different demographic to Phuket. Essentially it's rammed to bursting with Nordic families - all with very young babies. The reason, or so I gather from chatting to a Finnish guy and his Swedish wife (with baby strapped to her belly), is that paternity leave is quite staggeringly generous in Sweden - in fact I thought he said "480 days" but it was a noisy bus

Sliding Doors

So.  There's this film called Sliding Doors.  In it there is a crucial moment at which point Gwyneth Paltrows life is divided into 2 possible alternate realities.  In one she makes it past the sliding doors and onto the tube train where she goes home and catches her errant boyfriend with another woman.  In the other universe the doors shut, she misses the train and consequently doesn't find out about her cheating fella. Happily nothing in a similar vein to be reported from Thailand apart from the idea of a life (or in this case 2 lives) diverging at a given point. Lisette and I were in Chiang Mai and having just finished our cookery course we were getting itchy feet.  We got talking to this retired American guy who'd just been to Luang Prabang in Laos and couldn't stop talking about it - all French Asian and dead pretty lanterns and the like.  Bakeries.  So we thought we'd give it a crack.  Love a bakery we do.  Off to the travel agents with our cunning plan to

"Beware Fake Monks"

... read the sign on the restaurant wall. Not the sort of thing you'd see at home. It turns out that Thai people have a very strong affection for the orange robed Buddhist monks that roam the streets and pretty much venerate them. Monks don't queue as a general rule of thumb, they have reserved areas in airports and are given the best seats on planes and, that weren't enough, they are given money by the locals on the street. The upshot of this is the modern day occurrence of fake monks; tribute monks if you will. People who purport to be monks (shave their heads and wear orange) so they can experience the benefits. Hence the government is now warning tourists not to be taken in. But apart from saying "Beware Fake Monks" they haven't really provided any guide on how to pick them out. Lisette suggests keeping eyes open for monks ordering steak, smoking and swigging beer but we've had no takers on that front so far. Sneaky monks. (Or

Big hands

So the flames licked up the side of the building and smoke billowed like billy-o. The people up and down the street turned, pointed and stared and the restaurant where Lisette and I had eaten our first meal in Bangkok was consumed by fire. Yup, Lisette and I are on holiday and appear to be blazing a trail in a more literal sense than usual. We are currently resident in Bangkok and making plans to head North to Chiang Mai. I love my wife. This hopefully doesn't come as a surprise to you but the fact was brought home at the start of the trip with a more emotional than usual departure to foreign climes. It started with Lisette and I attempting to board the Thai Airways flight to Bangkok in Terminal 3, Heathrow. We should actually have been attempting to board the British Airways flight - the bouncer (for want of a better term) set us straight on this by replying to our "Can we board please" with "That'll be a negative sir". "Negativ