Friday, November 29, 2013


So I planned a day at the beach, in fact cleared my whole day so I wouldn't have to make tracks till about 4.30. And what should happen? The wind should blow up a gale making it close to impossible to sit out on the beach without getting blown away. But I persisted. I sat at the wooden seats that was in the hotel restaurant, facing the beach and determinedly finished my Dorothy Wordsworth. I even wrote a letter to Katherine. But then, I slunk back to my room to do some other things on my to-do list. I even ordered room service (see how low I've sunk?).

But then I decided to spend whatever time I had left on the beach. And I made tracks for it with my needlework and book. I read a poem and did my needlework. The wind, while still high, had died down somewhat. There were other people on the beach, rearranging the deck chairs to get whatever sliver of sun they could manage. They got more than a sliver. Most of them seemed nice and toasted. Speaking of which I find myself delicately roasted around the edges. Despite glopping on loads of sunscreen. Oh well. Now you'll know I went for a holiday.

This evening I searched out the famous Cicada artisans market. Because everybody insists that is the one place in Hua Hin you HAVE to go. But I was sadly disappointed. Not only was the stuff overpriced, it wasn't very artisanal to begin with. It seemed that by virtue of being Cicada, they could charge twice or three times what they charged at the night market. And Sarah warned me that artisans don't like to haggle. After taking a gander at the prices, I sighed and walked around feeling lost. Part of me said, the reason I'm not seeing anything worth buying is because I have already written everything off. But this feeling persisted, nonetheless.

At last, I decided that, if nothing else, I could at least eat here. Here too, Cicada had to make things difficult. You can't just go buy what you want from the stalls. Oh no. You have to get 200 baht worth of coupons and then walk around to see if there is anything that catches your fancy. And if nothing, you can always cash in your coupons. Provided you do so on the same day.

I did have a nice mango and sticky rice there. But that was about it.

Oh I forgot to tell you, this nice Canadian lady told me that Cicada was walking distance, only about a kilometre away, no problem. Well, I walked and walked and then walked some more. Came to a pub called Lost, which was how I felt so I smiled at the irony. And then I found it....I guess part of my judgement was clouded by the fact that I was so footsore.

But here's the thing. I had already decided that if I didn't like anything at Cicada (actually the possibility never entered my mind, I thought I would like at least one or two things there) what I would be getting from the night market.

So...I guess it's back to the nightmarket (for the 3rd time, no less) tomorrow. Oh well, having been to Cicada, I now appreciate the unpretentiousness of the night market.

I have planned my day (again) so I can maximise my time on the beach. Hopefully, tomorrow, the weather will be plascent. I know, that's not a word but that's the word I feel like using.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

In Hua Hin

I'm in Hua Hin now. Sitting in front of a computer that keeps translating every page I look up to Swedish. Those frigging Swedes seem to have put an override command on everything and it makes me see red. The tourists over here are not that friendly. I have only managed to talk to one - this Canadian lady who is volunteering with her husband on the Thai-Burma border. She's really nice and different in a good way.

As for the others, they look fat, Germanic and self-satisfied. Sometimes they are accompanied with a young Thai/Cambodian/Burmese girl, in which case, the self satisfaction deepens.

For the most part, I like this place. I guess what I expected was artist villages and hipster cafes - but the artist village only opens on Friday (so no, haven't been there yet) and the night market, well, I've made a few bad choices there. I have sent out a bunch of postcards today and will be sending out two more. Was waiting on an address...and the lack of wi-fi here is amazing. But I like the people - they're mostly gentle and polite and if I have to make connections, I guess it's better to make it with the locals, than the self-satisfied, oil running down their bodies, barbecued tourists. Ugh.

I haven't spent as much time as I would like by the beach. Which is where I'm heading right now. Or should I go scrounge up a sandwich somewhere? Decisions, decisions. I was thinking of watching Thor in Thai. Problem is inertia. Once I am seated, I find it very hard to get up. I don't run here and there. Instead, I amble.

Yesterday I went crazy at the night market and finished half the money I brought with me. Which makes it a lot. So today, I am banned from that place. I shall sit quietly in the hotel, take my meals here, post my postcards at reception, eat at the hotel (at least that can be added to my room bill which I can pay by card as they don't seem to accept cards anywhere else)...and just chill.

Tomorrow, I don't intend to get out of here until about 5 in the evening. For a massage and then...the Cicada Market. Finally, Sarah, I'll be going there and I want to see what all the big deal is about.

Later for you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A State of Constant Upheaval

It's my birthday today and I feel a little sad. My first birthday without Mum. Spent the last three days at Fraser's Hill which deserves a post in itself but the details have melded together and I don't think I want to write it anymore. Suffice to say I went with Anna, we walked a lot (ok not enough for her but quite enough for me), I acquired a fondness for Harvey's Bristol Cream, the place was mellow with old wood and pretty flowers (and a black cat that I named Uncanny), we had some delightful encounters with wonderful people (none of whom were members of the BMW sports club who tried and failed to book out the hotel for the weekend).

I finished reading The Little Friend and it left me vaguely unsatisfied, ending the way it did with nothing resolved. Sort of on a jarring discordant note. The book had 555 pages but it would have been more honest to make it twice that length. The font was small and crammed and it took so long to get through even one page. Nevertheless it's done. And I came home and picked up All Manner of Monks and finished it in one sitting. It was a delightful book, gently humorous and tragic by turns. But it also ended sort of discordantly and I need to look and see if Mike sent me any sequels to it.

I've decided to take four books with me to Hua Hin. Three of which are poetry books and one journal. And this doesn't include the two fat tomes I have downloaded on this iPad. I leave for Hua Hin on Tuesday. God bless my soul. It sort of feels like I'm stepping off a precipice but never mind. I can only fall so far.

So I'll be by myself for 6 days. Reading, maybe writing, and basically just contemplating life as it stands.

My room has degenerated into a tip. I probably need to do something about it before I go. At the moment, every inch of floor is covered with stuff. And I itch as I toss and turn in bed. Not good. Not nice. I feel like taking another shower. And it's 2 in the morning. I should just sleep.

The plumber came but didn't finish the work because some of it were deep seated problems which required more drastic measures. I am wondering how it all turned out. And there are other things that need to be done. Should make a list to give to Chubs who will be going back earlier in preparation for his wedding.

I didn't achieve all I wanted. But I did my best. And that is all you can ask of me.

What with everything I only ended up driving back on Friday morning. And then it was off to Fraser's. I left my charger at home and my change off tee shirts at the car wash which made for some interesting situations. But it all worked out ok.

I miss my Mommy. Hers would have been the first call at midnight to wish me. I wish I had spent my last birthday with her.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

On and on

So the new heater has been installed and I'm tripping over dead lizards wherever I go. Courtesy of James the exterminator. Because apparently not only did we have an ant and rat problem but a lizard one as well.

Here's how insidious it is. Last night I shoved some leftover pizza in the oven toaster. I had had half of it for lunch and had saved the other half for dinner. Well what with buying groceries and visiting my old music teacher and Chubby's old teacher to hand out wedding invitations, it was way past 9 by the time I got back. So I shoved the leftover pizza in the oven toaster without bothering to look at it and when I went to retrieve it I found one slice neatly adorned with lizard toast.  Ugh.

I was too hungry to throw it all away so I merely fed the lizard-infested one to Arnold who was waiting at the sidelines tongue hanging out,  and ate the other two myself.  While reading The Little Friend. At a particularly reptilian scene. It seemed oddly appropriate.

The plumber who was supposed to come today hasn't been here. He said one of the things I require is by special order and only arriving tomorrow. Problem is, I have to leave tomorrow. Looks like I'll be leaving late. Must be sure to get lots of sleep today.

Also I want to visit Mummy's grave. Try to make it a point to do that when I come to JB. Don't foresee coming back very often from now on. Pity. This house is comfortable and very much a sanctuary

I could fall asleep here right now.

Posted a letter to Nessa. Paid a bill. Made a duplicate key. Swept and mopped the downstairs. Took Arnold on two walks. Will rest now and take him for his third.

Then I'll be off to Singapore to hang out with Nits.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I'm in JB at the moment. Alone, or rather with Arnold. I arrived yesterday although I was supposed to arrive on Friday night. Instead, I got drunk in the office and had an excellent burger courtesy of Anna, went on to Backyard 2 to talk to Mark about Ivan's wedding (Mark and Alvin are playing) and had a vodka orange and from there on to Omar's. He cooked the most excellent pasta ever. More wine. So Friday was out. I got home tired and reeling and all but passed out.

Saturday is a blur. I know there was a lot of shopping involved: stationery, books,  groceries. I wanted to buy a handbag I could use - something sturdy which would actually hold everything I want and have enough compartments so I could be organised. I saw it, loved it and decided to wait until I could afford it. Right now I am seriously digging into my savings.

So Sunday.  Woke up late, started packing desultorily and then Chubs asked me to follow him to give out wedding cards. So yeah didn't make it to JB on Sunday either.

Was supposed to leave early Monday but staying up late to read The Little Friend put paid to that idea.

So I walked Arnold, posted a card for Dadda (he in turned vacuumed Arnold's little doggie bed) and took off at about half 10. By the time I hit the highway it was 10 to 11. By the time I got here (by dint of driving at 140 whenever I could) it wad half one. Well half one when I exited the highway. By the time I reached the house it was closer on 2. Bad jam.

And then it was time to feed Arnold, call for a pizza and try to find workmen who could deal with the various things wrong in the house. One of which is that Mummy's room wouldn't open. The calls yielded an electrician, a plumber and a pest control person. This morning I went off in search of a locksmith and found a good old fashioned one who doesn't charge the earth and who succeeded in unsticking our problematic front door.

The pest control guy knew and liked Mum. He's coming again tomorrow because the house is really overrun with ants. And rats. The electrician fixed two plugs. The plumber came to suss out the job, give me an estimate and take a deposit. He's coming back tomorrow to do the job.

Chubs wants me to deliver wedding cards. And I have some groceries to buy. To support life here over the next few days.

I am trying to get as much done as I can in the short time I'm here. And then my real holiday. Fraser's, Hua Hin and Happy Birthday Jenn.

I'm so tired.