So it’s 2015. We had a splendid New Year’s Eve here at the Seaflower on Koh Phangnan, Thailand. (Highly recommended place run by some very nice folk – Lise and Chai and their great staff – Cee, Say, Za, No, Bo, So, Kira that other guy). We had a great pig roast on the beach, some margaritas, beer and what-not to go with a barrage of fireworks and Chinese lanterns set adrift at midnight. “Best New Years ever!”, Swanson was heard to exclaim.
We also had a lovely Christmas. Another nice feast featuring a couple of barracudas, BBQ chicken and lots of fabulous Thai salads finished off with a chocolate fondue. It was amazing but very odd being in 30 degree weather during Christmas. Swanson was on to us after he noticed the same wrapping paper that “Santa” used on his present as the paper used to wrap fake presents for the tree in the restaurant. I think that he doesn’t actually believe in a fat man in a red suit B&E ing everyone’e house once a year. Maybe he just doesn’t want to admit it or he’s doing it for us. Probably the last year for this ruse anyway.
We’ve been here for a month just kicking back and chilling. It’s a nice change from the hectic previous three months – especially the two weeks leading up to the beach which saw us visiting Jordan, Cambodia with a few days in Bangkok sandwiched in between. Some R and R was definitely on the agenda. Our days consist mostly of swimming in the warm blue waters, snorkelling, going in the kayak, eating great Thai food, getting fat, happy hour on the beach at 5, laying in a hammock, reading and napping. It’s OK to hate me.
So that’s about it for the last month or so of our lives. Not much to tell but I did start to put together some thoughts, points of interest, observations and recommendations that have risen during our travels. They might include…
My disdain for fellow travellers was re-affirmed this week waiting to board a ferry while a steady stream of tourists exited the boat. I don’t know what it is but I just wanted to punch a lot of these yahoos right in their smug greasy faces. You know the type – slack-jawed mouth-breathing, backwards baseball cap wearing, short-fingered troglodyte frat-boys shuffling along in their flip-flops, ugly neon shorts and ill-fitting dirty tank tops clutching a can of shitty beer like it’s some sort of trophy. Some were even strutting – strutting! Who struts?! It’s like they have no respect for where they are or the people that live here. Tami says not to judge, but sometimes I can’t help it. Judge, jury and executioner.
If you’re ordering “lamp” or “crap” off a menu, you’re probably going to get “lamb” or “crab”. Probably.
A tip for you fellow budget travellers – steal packets of salt, pepper, bars of soap and shampoo whenever you can. Be it from hotels, restaurants or McDonalds. They will come in handy.
If you hate shaving as much as I do and part of that reason is the insane cost of blades, make sure that you wipe the water off your razor as soon as you finish with it. It’s the water that dulls it. I’ve only gone through two blades so far in the four months we’ve been on the road. Thanks to Phil in Bangkok for this tip.
Bring a child with you. You get all kinds of perks ranging from getting through busy line-ups at the airport and customs to getting free things given to your child – extra pillow on the plane, candies, street meat (chicken döner kebab in Turkey) and pastries. Folks just generally treat you nicer most of the time if you have a sprog with you. I’m sure you can buy one cheap in some places if need be.
My body has taken a beating this trip. From diseased and infected fingers to (possibly) cracking a tooth or crown eating pizza in Romania (who puts whole peppercorns on a fucking pizza?!) to pulling a muscle in my leg in Petra to a constantly bleeding nose (why didn’t I get that cauterized? Maybe tonight on the beach!) to straining my neck sleeping in so many terrible beds. And I had to get a haircut in Bulgaria. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m also very old.
Warning the next photo is pretty gross. Feel free to skip down to the next area if you like…
There’s something vaguely weird and almost creepy about the curtain that s separates coach from first or business class on planes. Like the the folks that can afford the expensive seats don’t even want to see the rabble in the back. Have they never seen Snowpiercer?
One thing that I love about visiting different countries is just the way things are done. For example I love that I have take off my shoes (sandals really) and entering barefoot in stores here on Koh Phangnan. Could you imagine doing that at home? And it’s a bit odd seeing the proprietor’s family laying on the floor watching TV or eating dinner behind the counter.
Another thing I love is weird packaging and signs for various products in said stores. Here’s a few photos (plus some other random shit) from our local down the street (70 Baht large Singhas!)
We move on to Malaysia next week with a stop in Kuala Lumpur and Legoland! Swanson is terribly excited (about Legoland, that is). I only hope we can keep him entertained once we leave there. It will only be for only 5 1/2 more months!