Year of Firsts
Note: I’ve not finished editing and proofing this story yet, but feel free to have a read anyways.
I’ve done many things for the first time this year. It’s been my first big trip by
myself. My first time around the world. My first time in
California, Fiji, Austrailia, New Zealand and Southeast
Asia. My first snorkelling, surfing, bodyboarding, zorbing,
luging and skydiving. My first time living and working in
a foreign country (well, I guess New Zealand is only
slightly foreign, but it still counts). My first…
Well, I can’t tell you about that right now. Hell, I nearly
did my first Kareoke! It’s been that kind of year.
And now, my first dead body. Let me backtrack a little to
illustrate this one very mixed experience of a day in
Made it! Mildly hectic afternoon but I’m really starting to enjoy this travelling game. Ended up in a place called the New Siam Guesthouse, in a room which has a fan, is clean, is reasonably secure, and is in a great location. I decided air-con would be overdoing it, as it’s not so hot here (just nicely hot - high twenties, and the rain has not appeared thus far). Paying something ridiculous like 2.50 GBP per night, and beer is around, ooh, 60 pence… :) I loiks it…
Crossing roads is a bit more exciting than at home, more because of the general driving style than the tuk-tuks. In case you’re not familar with these beasties, I’ve stuck someone’s picture of a tuk-tuk over on the top-left there. If you remember the Jaws-chasing-007-in-a-high-powered-milkfloat scene from whichever Bond movie it was, then you now what a tuk-tuk is. However, the ones I’ve seen have no heat-seeking missiles (or whatever) built in. Some do seem to be fitted with explosive exhaust pipes though.
There’s generally a few more people trying to scam tourists around these parts, but they’re...
Well, technically speaking, given that I’ve just passed through Singapore immigration (and am pottering around on some fine free internet access in the huge departure lounge), I think I’m nowhere. Is that how it works? Or am I on Singaporian soil still?
Anyways, just awaiting my flight to Bangkok. The little weather indicator on the departure board depicted a thundercloud for my destination, so I went here to get more information…
A mere 31 degC, 79% humidity, rain forecast on and off for the next week, and ooh look, pictures submitted to that site showing the effects of the flooding they had there on the 12th! I hope things have calmed down now. Although I fear I will soon regret not owning a breathable waterproof jacket, only an un-breathable one. The Big Trip: a.k.a. Sweaty Jackson Strikes Again.
Singapore was very nice. Finally feel like I’m beginning to get used to the heat, and have enjoyed exploring the place. The best thing was probably the zoo, which uses moats and hedges instead of cages for most of the beasties. This means you can get to feel really rather close to lions, white tigers (very cool!), elephants, funky gibbons, etcetera,...
Queen Victoria I mean, which appears to be impossible. I dunno, you travel a quarter of the way around the world, to the ‘Gateway to South East Asia’, just to find it’s yet another ex-colonial outpost where everyone speaks (some) English. Hmmm… Quite handy that… I bet there’s a statue of herself down by the mouth of the river - I can add a photo of it to my collection!
Anyways, got here last night at about 8pm, having stupidly ignored the possibility of sorting out some accomodation from afar, and hence ended up in a bit of a panic. Nearly paid lots of cash to go to some hotel for the night, simply because it was really easy to organize. I then realised this ‘cheap’ hotel was about as far from the city centre as it’s possible to be without actually leaving Singapore, so decided I was just being a complete wuss, paniced for a bit, and then found somewhere cheaper…
It’s rather basic, but its cheaper to stay there for the whole time than the one night in that hotel, it’s in a great central location, it’s got air-conditioning (this is important!) and the staff are friendly. And...
excited & scared & sad & hopeful
Well, crikey, my last night in Wellington. Tomorrow morning I fly to Singapore for a few days, then most of a month in Thailand, Cambodia and, hopefully, Vietnam. Rather mixed feelings at present, but I’m looking forward to being back home and catching up with everyone again.
I’ll try to post stuff here as often as I can, just so you all know I’m still alive! As long as the culture shock doesn’t kill me, I’m sure I’ll be just fine. Even managed to pack as light (if not lighter) than I did on the way out, but it’s going to be weird living out of a rucksack again.
See you on the other side of the world.
in a brown study
While hanging out with David, Jenny, Andy and Michelle, a heated argument broke out. The subject was one of those close to all our hearts, the history of British chocolate. To be precise, the history of the Rowntree Aero bar.
Andy and Jenny had the sheer audacity to suggest that the Aero chunky bar (the long thin one, released in the 1980’s) had been the first, and that the segmented Aero (the wide flat break-into-bits one) had come out afterwards…