Ok, I am really lax at posting an update. I will try to summarise briefly where I am at so we are all back up to date and you can all stop pestering me to update this!
Saturday I had to work from home which I was expecting to be a bit of a drag, but in actual fact was great as it meant I could sit at my computer in my pyjamas, and do the few tasks I had been set and then faff about. I should really have blogged then, I grant you – well, I did, to say it was raining. That was great, the rain. It has since rained again twice, yesterday and today. From the state of the pool side plants, I’d say it was pretty stormy here earlier, there are branches off trees, broken plant pots and all sorts.
The rest of Saturday and Sunday were pretty uneventful – some shuffling around, washing, tidying up a bit. Reading and I think swimming, if I recall correctly. Monday you have already read about with the day in the life thing, which leaves Tuesday.
Oh, Tuesday! What a day! I don’t think I’ll forget that in a hurry. Liz and I arranged to meet up and go to Khao San Road, which for the uninitiated, is the backpacker area of Bangkok. It’s also (in)famous, at least amongst my colleagues and the TV news crews) for being mental during Songkran. We arranged to meet at the pier for Khao San, but actually met on the boat, which was cool – a bit like meeting your friend on the bus. Then we headed to a restaurant that Liz is a regular at, May Kaidee’s, which is a vegetarian place. I would never ordinarily pick out vegetarian food, but this was realllllly good. Everything was so fresh and you could really taste the difference between that and the blander stuff served elsewhere. They also have a cookery school and rooms to rent – try it if you are ever in the area!
So, fortified with delicious food, we set off to Khao San and the surrounding streets for a gentle stroll …
I’d like to say that was me at the end of it all, but in actual fact, we’d barely begun. It was mayhem, with the streets literally crammed with people, young and old, all brandishing water pistols, bottles of waters, hoses, high-powered cannons, buckets, saucepans – anything they could get their hands on that they could fill with water, both warm and icy cold, they had brought out to soak passers by with. Some people also have little plastic buckets with chalk pellets which they mix with water to make the sort of clay/paste that you see liberally slapped upon my chops above. As they walk past, they just dip their hand in the pot and smear it on your face! Of course, you can then smear it straight back on them, and everyone laughs and smiles and hoops and hollers and it is GREAT FUN!
We got thru about 5 bottles of water each, not to drink, you understand, but to throw over other people (and each other, mwuhahaha). We got separated at one point, such were the throngs, but quickly found each other again and carried on along the streets, soaking up the sun (or not, thanks to the factor 70), the atmosphere and the clay – my skin has never been so soft!
We were drenched pretty much from head to foot by the end of our soujourn along Khao San and headed to meet Liz’s boyfriend Rob for a drink in an ex-pat cafe called … Oh My Cod! What a GREAT name for a chip shop! Anyway, we sat down and puddles quickly formed under our chairs, such was our level of dampness. Luckily I had the foresight to put my camera and mobile phone in a plastic bag inside my other bag, so they were fine, which is more than can be said for my invaluable Nancy Chandler map, which is still drying out on top of the telly.
After a drink and a rest, we headed back in the direction of the pier but of course we could not avoid further soakings/clay slappings, so I made my way home a wet, dirty mess, but then so did just about every single other person in the city! There were plenty of people shivering along with me in the air conditioned train – I rather enjoyed being properly cold for the first time in 5 weeks! And then back home to get the clay out my hair and have a good swim before bed. I had to leave my clothes soaking for a whole day before I could get the clay out, and my Rocket Dogs needed a good dunk too, but I have mostly recovered from my day. I can’t begin to express just how much I enjoyed myself! You’ll need to do it next year to see what I mean!
So, since then it’s been back to work, which continues to be pretty easy. I am heading “up country” this weekend with Liz and Rob to Prachinburi, where they taught last year. It’s about 3 hours away on the train – the TRAIN! I’m really excited about going on the train, as it’s definitely my favourite way to travel and it will be great to sit and watch the countryside change as we go further north where it is quieter, greener and COOLER! Yay! I am staying overnite on Saturday and then will return on Sunday some time, taking in the big nite market that Liz had told me about on the Saturday. Liz and Rob are staying a few days to visit all their old haunts, so I will have a solo adventure on the Sunday on the way home, which is also to me, very exciting! Yes, a little bit sad too to be excited by a train journey alone, but there we go!
The other potentially exciting trip coming up is a sortie to Koh Phangan, where the Pymans are going for their last couple of weeks in Thailand. Liz suggested I go for a couple of days whilst they are there and that sounds to me like a great idea! Even for a weekend, on a sun-drenched island … wow! So, I am pretty excited all round just now!
Right, I promised myself a nite off from the internet to get some sewing done, but it’s already 9.12pm and I’m still here, so I am OFF. Will be back with more news soon!