Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wow, what a busy last few days...I don't know where the time has gone!!
We had a lovely Easter dinner upstairs on Sunday evening, there was 10 of us and as usual it was a really good laugh. I've never really had the big family occasions, so it's a really nice experience for me.
The last 2 days I've spent in the city walking from recruitment agency to recruitment agency, it's really hard work I tell you as you spend probably 1.5 hrs in each one having the interviews and the tests etc...and my feet are killing me from walking around! I found out yesterday that it's preferable to have closed toe shoes and a smart jacket if you want to work in the city, which of course I haven't got with me, so I've spent lots of time trying to find those as well, it's not cheap this looking for work business!! I have had a couple of jobs come up, I went for an interview this morning at Woolworths (it's a bit different than the UK one, it's more of a supermarket here) the post was in the legal dept which I was a bit wary about, anyway, they wanted someone with legal experience, which I haven't got. That was a pain, cos I was up at 5.30 to make sure I got to the interview for 8am, feeling a bit sleepy now!! Anyway, I'm not too worried, I've had some more positive feedback from other agencies, so we'll see what happens. I managed to find the strength to go to the gym when I got back this afternoon and I'm aching now!
More news.....I've just spoken with the guy about the flat in the city center I mentioned before... I decided on Sunday I would take it, and I was just waiting for his return call before I told you about it. He has said that he's going to put a phone in so I will be able to make local calls and long distance calls with a phone card, which is great news, and also, he's looking about getting a TV put in there too, so I'm quite excited I'm moving in on Saturday ;o) I'll be sad to leave Sue and Grants as they've treated me so well and been really generous...but I'll still go round and see them lots....if they'll have me!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The sun is finally here!!
What a hot day today, this is what Australia is all about!! The family came back last night from their holiday so today I went with the kids to the Sydney Royal Easter Show, which is Australia's largest annual event. It celebrates everything from Australia's bush heritage to the latest in entertainment. We saw a few of the shows there for example, pig racing, sheepdog trials, woodcutting and freestyle motocross. The best bit though was the fairground, Jess and I got quite addicted to one of the poker games where I won not just one.....
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.....but two prizes!!
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I gave Jess the dog, so she was quite chuffed!
So we've just got back to the house now and I'm a bit sunburnt, it was such a beautiful day ;o)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Had another early start today, Kath took me to the supermarket this morning....Misty was running out of cat food! I went into the city pretty much straight afterwards, I had phoned up about another flatshare last night, so I had 3 to see today. The first one I saw was full of hippies, they seemed nice, but the house wasn't very nice and the room was really tiny, plus just 1 bathroom between 4 onto the next one. This one was just around the corner, first impression it was on a busy main road, so not good anyway, the house was ok, but the guy really creeped me out, I felt so uncomfortable in there on my own with him, I couldn't wait to get out!! so no luck there either. The walk to the houses was quite interesting, I hadn't been to that side of the city before, there were lots of mad people walking about shouting to noone in particular and it's obviously a gay area. After seeing these two places I started to get a bit disheartened, so I didn't have any hopes about the next place, but as it turns out I was pleasantly suprised. It was a Victorian terraced house split into 2 apartments, the landlord has converted the top 2 or 3 floors for himself and the bottom 2 floors are for his tenants. It's all been newly renovated, and is really clean which is good. There are 2 bedrooms which he is going to rent out, there are a couple of downpoints though, as I can't afford to live on my own, I was hoping to get to meet some people through a flatshare, but there is no communal lounge area there, so each room is pretty much self sufficient (apart from the seperate kitchen) so I don't know if we'll just keep to ourselves, also there is no phone or TV, but apart from that it's ok, plus I don't have to give lots of notice when I move out, so I could always move in there and still keep looking. The best thing though is the location, it's right in the city centre, literally a stones throw from the shops and the price is very good too. He said for me to think about it tonight and give him a ring tomorrow, anyway, he may even decide not to give me the room, I'll have to see. So I had a pretty good day, it gave me an idea of what properties in the city are like and what the prices are.
I'm glad something positive came out of it, I was feeling a bit down earlier. I'm really missing my family and friends and my life in Munich, I guess I'm just feeling lonely cos I haven't been out and met any people my age yet, so I'll be glad once I get a job and I settle in a bit. Apart from that things are going great ;o)

Friday, March 25, 2005

The weather has cheered up a bit ;o) yesterday was a really nice warm day (as long as you were in the sun) I was up early to go to the gym for my induction, I then spent about another hour there doing my exercises so I'm a bit stiff today! It's a really nice modern gym (Fitness First), they do lots of different classes, so I'm looking forward to trying those out.
When I got back I spent the afternoon sending my CV off to the recruitment agencies, unfortunately I forgot that it's Easter weekend and they won't be open now until Tuesday, so I'm going to have to wait until I hopefully hear something back.
Today I went into the city again, I thought I would go to the King's Cross area which is where all the backpackers go to stay. I'd heard that they put postings of jobs and flat shares in the hostels, I went into quite a few, but they only share the ads with people that are staying with them...which I guess is only fair. I went into one hostel to find out how much it would cost to stay there long term, the guy at reception was asking me all sorts of questions, like where I was from (he actually knows Bournemouth) then he was asking who did my hair....then he asked if I could sing!! He said he was looking for a singer.....yeah right, I just said, I'll see you then! Kings Cross is a red light area, so as you can imagine it's a bit seedy, I didn't like being there at all.
So I walked back into town, through Hyde's like being in London, all the names are the same! Absolutely nothing was open today, it reminded me of Munich on a public holiday, mind you it wasn't quite as bad as Munich cos not even any of the cafes or restaurants were open which I was really suprised about, well Hungry Jacks (Burger King) was open, so I got myself a veggie burger....I had no choice!!
I had picked up a few leafets on my way through the hostels, so I've just been doing a bit more research on the internet since I've been back. I've actually got a flat to look at tomorrow and a couple more to phone today, so fingers crossed!
Back to the weather, it was lovely this morning, but the wind is getting up again and the skies are black...great!!
Hyde Park
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Rain, rain, rain....
We were lucky cos the storm didn't really happen in the end last night, it was pretty windy and very rainy, but I think the coastal areas were affected more. It's funny, this weather is actually making me homesick!
I joined a gym today!! I walked there this morning and got absolutely soaked on the way even though it's only a 10 minute walk. The thing that gets me here is there are hardly ever any pavements in the suburbs, so you end up having to walk in the road! Anyway, back to the gym, my plan was just to do the 7 days free trial and then have a think about joining, but you know what those sales people are like once they get you there! I ended up paying for next month, but I do get a 2 week trial, so I can cancel it if I like and it's a pay as you go, so I'm not obliged to stay for a year. I just really miss doing my exercise after all this time!!
After that I managed to finally get my photos put onto the internet (see links on the right) that took me a fair while to get sorted. Then I walked to the supermarket to stock up. It's so cool how friendly and polite everyone is here, whenever you go in a shop, they always say 'hi, how are you' without fail, like I said before, it's a bit like being in the States!
I had a mail yesterday from a Kiwi guy I met in Munich last year, he's given me a contact of a friend of his here, apparently he wants to teach me to surf....well that could be interesting, will have to give that a try!!
I'm going to open a bottle of wine now and watch a film (free films are one of the perks of the gym!)
Oh, and I had a breakthrough with Misty the cat last night, she jumped up on the sofa and fell asleep on my knee...and I thought she didn't like me!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Yesterday was pretty quiet, apart from me spending about 4 hours getting through all the shops in the shopping mall up the road! I picked up some really good bargains too, I think I've got most of the things now that I need to get me through the next few months.
Last night I went to Kaths upstairs for dinner, her nephew had arrived earlier in the day. She cooked Flathead fish, which is an Australian fish, it was delicious.
Today I went into the city again with Richard (Kaths nephew) we started off by going to Darling Harbour and we took a walk through Chinatown, which didn't take long cos it's not very big. Then we got on the monorail and did a circuit of the city, it was good to see it from a higher viewpoint. We got off at the city center as we wanted to go up the Sydney tower, but by the time we got there the weather had taken a turn for the worse so we decided we didn't really want to spend all that money and not be able to see much so we didn't bother with that.
We had some lunch in one of the many food courts before walking down to Circular Quay. By this time it was really raining quite badly, so we thought we would go to the Opera house and do one of the guided tours. Close up the outside of the Opera house was not what I expected, the roof is covered with ceramic tiles (1 million of them) and the buildings are actually all separate above ground level. The tour lasted about an hour, within that time we sat in the concert Hall (the largest interior venue there) before we went in there I was thinking that the inside foyers were not all that impressive, I expected it to be more luxurious, but when we got into the concert hall I was very impressed! It is actually designed primarily for acoustic performances. The floor and the ceilings and all the chairs are made of wood so the acoustics bounce off of it, there is a massive organ at the back with something like over 100 pipes (the biggest of its kind in the world) they have seats all the way around the stage, so you can even sit at the back of the orchestra when they play. I'm definitely going to try and book a ticket to see a performance whilst I'm here, it's just got to be done. After that we walked next door to the opera theatre, that was a lot smaller than I expected, the acoustics there are designed for operatic perfomances. Next was a visit to the Uzton room, which is the first interior designed by the original architect Jorn Uzton (he was kicked of the project just after the shell of the building was completed because of going over budget and over time) he only recently designed this room, and it's only been open for 3 months.
So that was a good rainy day touristy thing to do, we then caught the bus back home. I've now just fed the cat and she promptly threw it all back up again!! I couldn't clean it up myself, everytime I went near it it made me feel bad, so I had to go and ask Kath to help me! I felt a bit silly, but I just couldn't do it, luckily she's used to it cos the kids always get her to clean it up for them!!
I've been invited for dinner again tonight, so I'm just off up there now.
I"ve just listened to the news, they're expecting 125km per hour winds and storms in Sydney tonight, I can't believe this fact noone can, apparently it hasn't rained here for about 12 months!!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Well, the last couple of days I haven't done so much as I've been sick, must have been the drop in temperature, anyway, I'm feeling a lot better today. I'm here on my own now, the family have gone to New Zealand for a week, so it's just me and the cat, Misty. It's ok looking after her, the only thing is she keeps waking me up at 6.30 in the morning by scratching on my bedroom door, not sure if she's trying to get in or if she wants her breakfast, I feed her anyway!
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Today I was up early, the weather is now not so cold and it's stopped raining which is great. I caught the bus into the city. It's a nice journey as the bus goes over the Harbour Bridge and you always get to see the Opera House. Everytime I see it, I'm amazed I'm actually here! I walked down to Circular Quay, which is where the Opera house and all the ferries are, I jumped on a ferry to Darling Harbour and took some photos on the way (sorry they're a bit wonky, the boat was up and down!)
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sorry, I went a bit mad with pics of the opera house!!
So my first stop after that was Paddy's market, which is a very large indoor market, I walked around there for an hour or so, didn't really buy much though, apart from 3 pairs of socks and some cashew nuts....exciting!!
After that I walked back into the centre to the Queen Victoria building. It's a really amazing building (built in 1898) which has been turned into a shopping centre, it has been described by Pierre Cardin as the most beautiful shopping centre in the world! It's so big, so I took ages looking around there, the clothes here are quite nice, and the prices aren't too bad. I'm really desperate for some new clothes as I've only brought a limited supply with me cos of my travelling beforehand! I did manage to find a couple of tops, I also got myself an Australian SIM card for my phone, which will help me to be contactable in my job hunt.
I have got my CV up together now, I've just got to send it to some agencies and see what comes up, I'm planning on working for a couple of months and then heading up North for a few weeks when winter arrives in June. I'm also looking for a flatshare in the city as I have to stand on my own 2 feet at some point, it'll be good though cos I'll hopefully meet lots of people.
Sue's mum (who lives upstairs) has just been down to tell me that her nephew is coming over from New Zealand tomorrow for a week. He's never been here before so we'll probably go and see some sights together, so that will be a bit of company for me.
I bought some potatoes today, so I'm just going now to make myself a nice baked potato, mmmmm.....

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Travel update
so far I've flown 16,253 miles

Sydney harbour bridge in the rain
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more photos on the way......

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Had a nice evening yesterday. We started off with drinking a bottle of wine at home (my kind of people!) Then Grant, his wife Sue, her mum and Jess took me to their local Italian restaurant for dinner, I had my first BYO experience (bring your own bottle) apparently it's really common to do that here.....we took 2 bottles of wine. It was a really fun evening, they are all very nice people and I had a laugh with them.
I was so tired later on that I had to go to bed just before 10. I managed to get a good nights sleep, but unfortunately I woke up with a stinking cold :-( It's quite cold and rainy here at the moment, it's supposed to be like this for the next 5-6 days (it's only 21 degrees, which is cold from what I've been used to for the past 5 weeks) so that might be why I've come down with something. Anyway, Grant took me on the bus into the city center, it only takes half an hour to get there which isn't too bad, he says they hardly ever venture into the city. We saw quite a lot there, I got a really good first impression of Sydney. Lots of cool shops, I saw the Harbour bridge, the Opera House, and lots of other parts of the city, we were walking around for over 3 hours, trouble was it was raining all day, so we both got a bit wet!! We saw lots of people spilling out of the pubs celebrating St Paddys day. It hasn't really sunk in that I'm here yet, obviously seeing the harbour helped a bit, but it all seems a bit surreal somehow.
It reminds me a bit of America here, there are shopping malls everywhere, and cafes, restaurants, loads of take away food places with the most loveliest looking foods, theres no way I'm going to be able to lose any weight whilst I'm here. Mind you saying that, I picked up a leaflet today for a 7 day trial at the Fitness First gym, so I'm going to go there next week. Grant and his family are off to New Zealand for a week tomorrow, so I'm going to have to fend for myself, but that's a good thing really.
When we were at the shops yesterday I saw loads of Easter eggs, I actually hadn't realised it was Easter next weekend, that's how out of touch I've been!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Australia- Sydney, finally here...
I'm finally here in Sydney after a couple of pretty scary flights. The first one from Bangkok to Singapore was awful, it was so bumpy, I was almost in tears (I'm really not a good flyer at the best of times) The mistake I made was I didn't take my tablets to relax me, so I got myself in a right state, plus I was a bit poorly maybe from something I'd eaten, so it really wasn't nice at all. The second flight was a lot smoother, but still really bumpy in parts, apparently it's like that a lot when you fly in the tropics, at least now I haven't got to fly again for a while!!
The landing was quite spectacular, about 30 mins before we touched down just above the dark clouds we could see strips of orange, yellows and blues, and then we saw the sun coming up whilst flying past the Harbour bridge and the Opera house, that was quite an experience, it made the flight all worthwhile.
So I was picked up at the airport by Grant, the flight came through a bit early so he wasn't at the gate right away, I did panic a bit cos I wasn't 100% sure what he looked like! Anyway, we found each other in the end. I've met his son and daughter now, it's funny meeting family that I've never seen before! They are all really nice and friendly and have made me feel really welcome. I had a sleep for a couple of hours, then we went to a shopping mall for some groceries, I'm looking forward to going back there and spending a bit more time (and money!)
We're going out for dinner tonight, we're eating Italian which I haven't had for over a month so I'm looking forward to that.
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A few hours and a dream is realised...

Australia... woohoo
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

SMS message

SMS from Vikki (Arrival in Singapore GMT + 8.00) - Next stop Australia...
Hiya in Singapore now, what a horrible flight, was so bumpy, just about to board, don't want to fly again! x.
(received Tues lunch 13:00 GMT+1)
Last day in Thailand :-(
I had a really good day yesterday, I met up with Ric in the morning, he looks really well, he's got a suntan and he's lost a lot of weight. Was nice to see him, he sounds like he's really enjoying Thailand...I can't blame him!
We started off by getting the bus into the city centre, I wouldn't have dared getting on a bus on my own, but he obviously knew where he was going. We spent some time walking around there, it was absolutely packed and sooo hot there, but it was good to see. We went to this massive shopping mall and spent ages walking around there, they have so much tacky stuff to sell it's unbelievable.
After we'd been there we met up with Ric's Thai friend, Nong, she is visiting from Chang Mai. We both wanted to do a river cruise along the Chao Phraya river, so we booked a long tail boat and spent 2.5 hours sailing along there. I was so amazed at how many houses there are along the river, some are really nice, but others are not so great. All the families were waving at us as we went past.
That was our day spent, so after that Ric took us to a Thai restaurant on the pier, I got to try some food I never would have tried before which was a good experience, my mouth was burning for ages after I can tell you!! When we'd finished dinner, we went to The Shamrock!! (nothing like the one in Munich!) they had a live band playing, so we had a couple of beers and watched them. We had good fun, Nong's English was excellent, she's a really nice girl, it was nice to meet a Thai person. I've learnt a bit of Thai too, only Hello, Thank you and Cheers, it's taken the whole time I've been here for the words to actually sink in!! I'm really sad to leave here, but I'm definitely coming back in the future where I hope to see some more of the country.
So, I'm just off to meet Ric again, he's coming to the airport with me as he's got a friend that works there. I've got a couple of things to do before I leave, got a little bit more money to spend!!! so until next time.....

Monday, March 14, 2005

Back in Bangkok....
I've just stuffed myself with spring rolls and Thai curry...yum!
I arrived in Bangkok early this morning, I left Koh Phangan yesterday at midday. The journey was pretty uneventful, although I met lots of people again. Dídn't sleep too well, there were a few snorers on board!!
I saw the Orient Express today, it was in the train station when we arrived, it looked really posh, would have loved to have gone and had a look inside, it was headed to Singapore.
I booked a hotel room at the same place as I was when I first came to Bangkok, I just couldn't resist their yummy breakfasts, and I thought I'd treat myself to a nice place as I'd been slumming it a bit over the last 2 weeks! I've been put in the new wing this time, so it's even nicer than my room before, and I've got a double and a single bed in there. Mind you saying it's nicer, I was walking down the stairs earlier and I saw a massive rat scuttle across the floor...that made me scream I can tell you!! Luckily I'm staying on the top floor, so hopefully no rats would venture up that far!
Today I thought I'd do a bit of shopping, I picked up a couple of skirts, a couple of tops, a pair of flip flops and a CD. I probably only spent about 7 pounds for the lot, still not sure how I'm going to get them in my rucksack mind, but I'll worry about that on Tuesday! Got my laundry done again too.
I had a message from Ric and I'm meeting him tomorrow morning, I hope he'll show me some good sights. I really want to go to the Patpong area, just for the experience, maybe I can persuade him to go tomorrow night, I want to go out with a blast as it'll be my last night to Sydney on Tuesday, I can't wait ;o)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

SMS Message

SMS from Vikki (Currently in Thailand GMT + 7.00) - Back in Bangkok
Hi, just arrived in Bangkok. In a room with air con and hot water... bliss! Speak soon xx.
(received Sun Morning 00:00 GMT+1)

Friday, March 11, 2005

Had another great night last night, I started off by having dinner and watching a film (you have to do that as noone goes out till late) I met an English guy who was sat on my table, so we went down to the bars on the beach and had a few more buckets of vodka!! I bumped into lots of people I'd met the other night so it turned out to be another good night, I was home about 5ish again!! Its funny, I haven't actually met many females yet, they don't seem to travel on their own and they stick to their groups.
Just spent today relaxing on the beach (again) although it was far too hot to sit directly in the sun, I was sat in the shade most of the day. I've just treated myself to a pedicure (my feet look really pretty now!!) and an hour long Thai massage, well I had to whilst I'm here!! It was not what I expected at all, it was actually quite painful sometimes, they manipulate different parts of your body....they even use their feet to apply pressure! I must say though now I'm feeling really loose and relaxed, but I can imagine I might be a bit bruised tomorrow!! It only cost me 4 pounds for the lot, I might treat myself to a manicure when I get back to Bangkok (what a life eh!!)
I'm leaving Koh Phangan tomorrow morning, getting the ferry to Surat Thani and then the long train ride back to Bangkok. I can't believe my time in Thailand is nearly over, I'm going to be so sad to leave, I just love it here!! I've been away just 4 weeks now, it feels a bit like forever, but then again it's gone really quick too (if that makes any sense)
Quiet night for me tonight....well thats the plan anyway!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

What a brilliant night last night! I take it back what I said about it here, it's actually really cool. I took a walk through the town after dinner and I found all the bars put tables and chairs out onto the beach and thats where everyone goes. It doesn't really kick off till 11pm, but I'm really glad I stuck around. I met loads of people there, firstly I was talking to an American guy then he took me over and introduced me to all his Aussie mates, we had such a laugh, we were drinking whisky, coke and Red bull from a bucket, don't know how many we had, but needless to say I got quite drunk! Then we started dancing and I met even more people, everyone was really cool and friendly, I'm so glad I came here. I didn't get to bed till 5.30 this morning, I'm absolutely knackered now, I only had 5 hours sleep, wanted to get up reasonably early so I could get down the beach. Today was a scorcher, not really the best conditions for a hangover but I struggled through, I must have gone in the sea a million times to try and cool down. I stayed on the beach till 5ish, it was quite funny just before I left I was watching the little crabs poking their heads out of the sand and then looking around and then scurrying back in the sand again, was quite cute!
I'm just going to watch a film at the restaurant tonight, no buckets of alcohol tonight!!
I can't believe I saw those Israeli guys here last night, they arrived here on the same day as me, it's funny how you see the same people around and about, they've just walked in the internet cafe now actually, keep seeing them everywhere!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Koh Phangan - Another day, another island...
It was an early start yesterday to get to the pier for the 9am ferry. I managed to get a songthaew (local taxi/pick up truck type thing) I met a couple of Phillipinos who were really chatty, they were working at the resort just up from where I was staying. When it was time to get on the ferry, I thought, is that it??! it was very small, luckily the sea didn't look so rough so I thought it would be ok...little did I know that once we were a bit out of the harbour, the sea would get a lot rougher. That was another scary 45 mins, the boat was rocking all over the place, I had white knuckles from holding onto the seat so tight. I don't think I want to get in another boat ever, but I have to get the ferry back on Saturday, I'm dreading it!!
So anyway, I got another songthaew (I managed to get the price lowered too...I am getting good at this bartering) it was only a 15 min drive, but it was quite hairy, its a really hilly island and the roads aren't finished yet. After a couple of attempts, I found myself a bungalow (again for only 4 pounds a night) It seemed nice and big and clean, so I thought I'd take it....I'll come back to that later!
Took myself to the beach for the afternoon, it's quite a narrow beach which I was a bit disappointed about, but as the day went on, the tide went further out, so by the end of the day there was quite a lot of beach. I'm not quite sure what to make of it here yet, it's very touristy (which I don't really like) and it seems to be full of posers and hippys... not really my cup of tea. I decided to come to this resort as I'd heard it has one of the nicest beaches, but I found out it's a really big party town (I sound like I'm getting old don't I!) but I'm sure it'll grow on me.
So after the beach I went back to the bungalow and read for a while, then just as I was getting ready to go out I saw a lizard pop down through a crack in the ceiling and then pop back out again... well I didn't like that! It was only then that I noticed the ceiling tiles have not been fitted properly and there are lots of cracks and holes. I started to have a bit of a panic, so I grabbed the toilet roll and spent the next 30 mins stuffing paper in all the holes! Then I had to try and put my mosquito net up somehow (there was nothing above my bed to hang it from) so I did a bodge job and managed to stick it under one of the ceiling tiles, then I tucked it under the mattress as tightly as I could. They're not going to get me whilst I'm sleeping if I can help it!
When I sorted that out I just had a quiet night at the resort restaurant. I ate Pad Thai (recommendation from Alison, thanks Al) which was really nice. I watched a couple of films they were showing, National Treasure and Starsky and Hutch. Most of the restaurants show films each night, but they're the dodgy DVD copies. They play them in English with English subtitles, I tell you, that was funny in itself, the way the Thais have understood what the characters are saying, hilarious, especially Starsky and Hutch, I found reading the subtitles funnier than watching the film!
I managed to get some sleep last night, although what with worrying about the insects and the noisy men next door (I've never heard people talking so loud) I woke up god knows how many times, they were talking (well shouting) practically all night, I even heard them at 6.30 this morning, hope its better tonight otherwise I'll have to find my earplugs!
Spent today sunning it again, I'm slowly getting browner, although I'm going for the longlasting, slow tanning approach, but another day of using factor 30 today and I've decided to go down a couple of factors, the thing is I can't rub the stuff in, I just get white streaks...and I can't even wash it off properly cos I only have cold water...what I wouldn't give for a warm shower!!
Anyway, I think I've gone on enough, time for dinner.

Monday, March 07, 2005

SMS message

SMS from Vikki (Currently in Thailand GMT + 7.00) - Arrival in Koh Phangan
Hiya. Got here ok, was a bumpy ride! Found a decent bungalow and just sat on the beach now. Cu
(received Mon Morning 9:00)
Koh Samui - washing day...
Not much going on here really. Last night was a bit strange, most of the pubs were closed, and the ones that weren't were not selling any alcohol, apparently it was because of the local election my Saturday night wasn't very good at all!
Today wasn't much fun either, I was a bit poorly in the middle of the night, so I didn't sleep very well. I felt much better this morning so I managed to get up early to catch some sun, but it was really cloudy and windy and then it started to rain again a bit in the afternoon. I heard there was a boat accident near Phuket yesterday and 40 people died, I'm not suprised as the sea has been really rough, I'm heading off to Koh Phangan tomorrow, which is about an hours ferry ride, so I'm a bit dubious about that, I hope the weather calms down a bit, don't want to have another boat trip like Friday.
I managed to get my laundry done this morning, it only cost me a pound and it's so nice to have lovely clean clothes (it's not the same when you have to wash them in the sink!) I feel really fresh again now!
Well, I've got an early start tomorrow, so I'm going to have a drink, then off to bed.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Rainy days...
I was rudely awakened this morning by a massive storm and torrential rain, typical, I was just saying yesterday that I hadn't seen any rain for over 3 weeks!! I'm really bored today, theres not much to do here when it's raining, I can't even get my laundry done cos it won't dry, I'm running out of clothes! Actually it was quite good that it was raining cos I managed to get a lie in.
I've just been for long leisurely lunch at one of the restaurants, a guy I met a few days ago walked past and decided to join me, so that wasted an hour or two. Now I'm at a loose end so thought I'd come back to the internet cafe.
I met up with Riggs last night for some food, I walked past a place that did baked potatoes and I just had to have one with lots of cheddar cheese, it's been over 3 weeks after all and I was getting cravings! It was worth the wait. We went to a couple of bars after, it's such a funny experience going to these places...the amount of girls that work behind every bar goes from about 7 - 15 and the Western men just love them. The girls call them over and pay them loads of attention, and you can play Connect 4 or Jenga with them, then most of the time the guys take the girls home with's so funny to watch. The amount of old men I've seen with young Thai girls, in fact lots of young guys have them as girlfriends too. We had a couple of games there and then went to the Friday night foam party, I'd never been to one before so that was funny, I had to go home pretty soon after that cos I was shattered from the days tour. I had fun with Riggly though, it was nice to see a friendly face again.
Koh Samui - Sea Safari
What a great day we had today. It was an early start again, we were picked up at 7.45. After we picked everyone up we headed for the pier to get our boat for the day where we had breakfast and headed on our way. First stop was Ang Thong National Marine Park, we got off the boat there and walked up lots of really high steps for ages until we got to the top view point, and what a view it was, it overlooked the Emerald Lagoon, which was every bit as green as the name suggests, I hope my photos come out ok.
After that we hiked back down and had a well deserved dip in the sea. Next was canoeing along the coast of Mae Ko Island. What a laugh that was, I was sharing with Riggly, we all set off at the same time, the idea was that we canoe into all these caves and crevices, anyway, we were absolutely rubbish at it, I don't know which one of us was rowing the wrong way, but we kept ending up going around in circles, we just couldn't seem to get in a straight line!! Needless to say, we were way behind everyone else....then the wind started up and we were rowing and rowing with all our might and we just weren't getting anywhere, it was hilarious, I was crying with laughter it was so hysterical, and that made me lose all my energy even more!! Eventually all the guys came back through a cave and saw us still in the same place, they thought that was extremely funny. We decided to swap places after that and Riggs got in the front and we seemed to make a bit more headway, and we actually managed to go through a couple of caves...about time! I haven't laughed so much in ages, the guy from the main boat even came back to see if we wanted to get taken back there, but we were determined to do at least something! So when we finally got to shore we did some snorkelling, I was quite disappointed though as the water wasn't clear at all, so we could hardly see anything, and it was my first time too :-(
After that adventure it was time to head back to Koh Samui, which should have taken us 1 and a half hours, but in the end took us over 2, the sea was so rough for the whole trip, the waves were massive, I tell you I was pretty scared at first, the front of the boat kept crashing against the waves and we were getting pushed all over the place, that lasted most of the trip back, it was mad! I'm still feeling now like I'm on the boat and it's over 3 hours later, not a nice feeling...I'm so glad the crew had some sea sickness tablets, it was pretty awful! As you can imagine I was really relieved to get back onto dry land.
The last stop was to do some elephant trekking, that was pretty cool. We fed them bananas, that was a funny experience as they kept spitting over our hands when we fed them.
So it's been quite a long day, I'm off to meet Riggs now for some food and a few drinks, he's heading off to Pataya tomorrow, but we might meet up again in Bangkok before I go.
I hope this going up and down feeling goes away soon!!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Koh Samui - Island tour
Today was a good day, got picked up by the tour bus at 9am where I met Riggly. The tour of the island was really worth doing, we got to see most of it. We started off by going to Wat Plai Leam (temple) it was only built last year though and it wasn't really very impressive. Next it was to visit Big Buddha, which is a massive gold statue that overlooks the sea, it's supposed to watch over the people of Koh Samui and bring whoever visits it good luck. We saw a monkey show where the monkeys are trained to climb up the palm trees and throw down the coconuts, that was pretty cool, plus we got to have our photos taken with the monkey on our arm!! They gave us some fresh coconut and some coconut water which was yummy, I also bought some coconut oil, it smells gorgeous but I think I've got a long way to go to get enough of a tan to be able to wear it on the beach without burning!!! We also saw a mummified monk, apparently he was 80 years old when he found out he had a vision was going to die within a couple of months so he asked for his body to be mummified... this was 32 years ago, was a bit creepy actually. We saw Grandmother and Grandfather Rock by the sea, the brochure nicely calls them 'Unusual stone formations' but basically they look like the male and female genitalia, was quite funny to see them, and you can imagine I got a few funny photos of Riggs with them! After that was the Namuang Waterfall and then our last stop was the Nathon town for a quick look around. Was a cool day, I really enjoyed it, we've just booked another tour for tomorrow which I'm really excited about, so watch this space....
Koh Samui - a peaceful sunrise...
Had a fun night again last night, I met up with all the guys and we had a few drinks together. They were having an earlyish night cos they had to leave early the next morning, so Riggly and I went off to watch another ladyboy cabaret. Got some great photos, was a really good laugh!
I actually managed to get up at 6.15 this morning to watch the sunrise, that was pretty cool to see, the beach was so nice and peaceful at that time, there were Thais already up doing the fishing on the shore. After that I had to go back to bed for a couple more hours!
Spent yet another day relaxing on the beach, mind you I didn't go in the sea today as it's been pretty rough the last couple of days, I attempted it yesterday, but just got knocked around all over the place!
Just been to meet Riggs, we had some dinner, and we've booked an Island tour for tomorrow, it's about 6 hours and the bus takes us to all the landmarks, so got an early start!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Koh Samui - It's a small, small world...
Had a great night last night, I went to a really nice restaurant and decided that I had to try some seafood while I'm here, so I went all out and had a prawn cocktail and a prawn green curry...was absolutely delicious, as you probably know I'm not a massive fan of spicy food, but it was definitely worth it. I was a bit silly though and didn't order any water, so I had to wash it down with wine when it got too hot... not a good idea. I started chatting with a couple on the table next to me, they were from Northern Germany. We had a great time talking for a couple of hours and they kept filling up my wine glass so I wasn't complaining!! After that I left them with the intention of finding a phone to call my Mum...anyway, I was just walking past a pub and saw a guy, I thought, I know him... it turns out it was Riggly!! (for those who don't know he used to work in Murphys in Munich) how suprised were we, he had to do a double take too. I knew he was travelling about the same time as me, but I had no idea that I would actually bump into him, I just couldn't believe it! So we had a drink then we went to this cabaret bar where all the lady boys were putting on a show, was great to watch (trust Riggly to take me there!) we were trying to tell if they were all guys as some of them look amazing. I even won a poster of them all in the raffle so I had a real close up of them when I had to go on stage to get it. So after that we went to another bar, and the second shock was that we saw someone else that we both know who used to live in Munich...Richie from Birmingham!! we were all pretty flabbergasted I can tell you. He was there with some of his mates, one of them called Mally who used to live in Munich too, I've heard of his reputation, but I don't think I'd met him before, by all accounts he's a bit of a mad one! So we had a few drinks together. I was planning on getting up to watch the sunrise this morning, but I couldn't drag myself out of bed, probably won't make it tomorrow either cos we're all meeting up again tonight!! It's really nice to see a couple of familiar faces, but how spooky!!
So sorry Mum you didn't get your phone call!!!