My new orchids

Yellow orchid Polaroid Frosty Dawn Polaroid 2

Frosty Dawn Polaroid  Yellow Orchid Polaroid 2

I bought these outside the Robinson in Trang. There were so many orchids – lots of Cattleya orchids too. I could’ve easily bought more… but stopped myself. I managed to get these ones back to Bangkok safely… it’s a 14 hour drive…

The little yellow-orange hanging one is an Ascocentrum of some sort, possibly ‘garayi’. The white/orange one is a Denrobium hybrid. I’ve got to weigh the pot down because it keeps falling over! Though, the girlfriend cleverly tied it to the railings on my balcony. Denrobiums get so tall, and any kind of wind knocks my one flat.

I love the different types of orchids here :)

Trang

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Trying out the WordPress app…

I’m currently relaxing in my new adoptive Thai family’s home, surrounded by a large variety of food, lovely, friendly and welcoming people, and two cats who have been trying to have sex for several hours, but keep being interrupted.

Over the past few days I’ve been driven around in the back of a pick-up truck with at least 8 other people, and have helped splash cold water over people in other trucks (whilst being splashed with icy water myself). I’ve stood slightly awkwardly while waiting to wai the correct people at the appropriate time. I’ve met the whole extended family and been sniff kissed (hom) by an elderly auntie. It’s been exclaimed many times how white I am. I’ve also eaten a lot of spicy food, and come to realise that the southern accent really is quite different…

It’s been awesome :D

So, just a few instagrammed pics from Trang.

Happy Songkran!  :-)

เกาะช้าง – Koh Chang (2)

As I approached on the ferry, I didn’t really know what to expect, or how to get to where I wanted to go…

DrawingCowsinBruges

…but that’s half the fun.

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Such bright colours in Thailand…

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…and lovely sunsets on the beach…

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I love the sea so much. I love looking out and thinking about how far I’ve travelled to be here… :)

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…and I also love taking random pictures of rocks.

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:)

เกาะช้าง – Koh Chang (1)

DrawingCowsinBruges

I have quite a lot of pictures, so I will post them over several posts :)

It’s rainy season from March/April until about October in Thailand, so in Koh Chang that means no tourists and a hellalot of clouds in the sky. I went to Koh Chang last July, right in the middle of rainy time. I stayed in far corner of the beach, on some rocks, and could have probably fallen out of my room into the angry sea had I wanted to (… I didn’t though…). At times it was hard to sleep because of the noise from the waves… romantic… huh. Annoying. Yes…. but still incredible.

I love the sea. Sure, it’s great to be on a beach when it’s hot and sunny, but I love it when the weather’s not so good too. I lived in Brighton for the last few years I was in England, and spent a lot of the time on the beach whatever the weather was like (you can’t allow the weather in England to control what you’re going to do every day – you’d never do anything…) In bad weather the whole character of the sea changes. Same landscape, completely different emotion behind it. The beach was desolate when I went, it was warm and humid too. I read so much while I was there.

While I was… cloudbathing and reading my book, pretty much alone on the beach (can I just add, honestly, it was a perfect holiday) I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up… and saw nothing. Just sea, sand.. I carried on reading my book. Movement again, I looked up and something small(ish) zoomed across the beach in front of me.

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After waiting patiently, I got some pictures a bit closer.. but still hard to see… look in the top right hand corner.

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They hide in holes…

DrawingCowsinBruges…and some of them are tiny!

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I’ll be posting some more pictures of my trip over the next couple of weeks!

Under frozen soles

Drawing Cows in Bruges

Woops I haven’t written a post in an awfully long time. Sometimes life just runs away with me. I have no idea what I’ve been doing in the time to be honest. Working and sleeping mostly. Life can get kind of mundane sometimes, even in Bangkok.

Come to think of it, I have moved apartments, which I suppose is a pretty major event. Just over a year ago I found a cosy apartment on Sukhumvit Road, and moved in with 1 suitcase, and 1 back pack. Moving out I used 3 suitcases, 3 backpacks, and numerous other plastic bags of bits and pieces.

I’ve collected a lot of ‘stuff’. Oh stuff. How I wish I didn’t need you, yet I always seem to want more of you. I suppose it’s not too bad, though. Most of my acquired ‘stuff’ is books, bottles of wine… fairy lights, water guns and orchids.

November is fast approaching, and I’ve been reflecting on how much I miss autumn – even though as my friends and family in England point out to me ‘it’s cold!!’. But I miss the (ok I think this is pretty clichéd …) colours of the leaves and stuff. Plus I get to wrap up in a coat and scarf and drink gingerbread lattes and think of Christmas.  And make apple crumble. And I make a ruddy good apple crumble.

The main thing I miss is the sea. Living in Brighton, the seafront was my thinking spot. I often paced up and down, sometimes walking vast stretches, emptier – apart from the odd runner – with the onslaught of winter approaching. The waves’ mood became unpredictable, changing day by day from calm and pleasant with reflections of cobalt and an amber sun, to heavy and crashing, the colour of a dull, mottled sky. I often associate music with memories, and ‘Foals’ is my music of choice for this one, specifically ‘Total life Forever‘. It helps me recreate narrow streets and very steep hills, crunchy orange leaves on the ground against a backdrop of white terraced houses, pebbles, seagulls, and relinquishing the achingly long days of summer sun.

In Thailand, people look forward to less rain, less humidity, slightly cooler weather, and clear blue cloudless skies. It’s refreshing, and weather I look forward to immensely. Inevitably though, I will be caught wistfully thinking of gloved hands and cold noses, being given hot cups of tea by friends, wearing fluffy socks and going inside because it’s warmer, not cooler.

Everyday Life

Silom Road. A busy area with a drastic juxtaposition of rich and poor; It’s in the business district, where ‘High-So’ people work and also home to Patpong; Go-Go bars and Ping-Pong shows. The shadows of the looming concrete BTS tracks cannot easily be avoided, either.

For more information about the challenge, click here.

(No) Banana Man

My walk to work in the morning used to take me round the corner or Sukumvit and Thong Lor. Everyday (ok well nearly everyday) I would walk past breakfast- stalls piled high with fried rice, fried noodles, rice porridge and other dishes, all ready to be put in a white box or a plastic bag and taken away. Busy people jostled about, their money ready, only to pay and then become the slowest walker ever as they continued up the street, me following closely behind trying to overtake on the right, no on the left, no ok the right… desperate to overtake somehow.

In amongst all this were two of my favourite sellers of breakfast. One was a lady who sold toast. Oh.. but not just any toast. This was delicious barbecued bread. Once the bread had been sufficiently browned over hot coals, it was covered in margarine and then dusted with sugar, or drenched in sweetened condensed milk. Cut up into triangular squares, I would take the sweet sticky bready mess and devour it later on.

Next to her was another barbecue. This guy was selling little banana leaf parcels, neatly held together with a cocktail stick at each end. One day I bravely asked for two, ‘ow sorng na ka’ and squirrelled them to work to find out what they were. To my delight, inside one was sticky rice and something sweet, mushy and lavender coloured (I later found out this was taro). To my disgust, I bit into the other one and… banana.

I.Hate.Banana. With a passion. Ewww. Yuck. Gross. Euuuuuurgh. I mean really.

So, from then on, in my bid to avoid banana poisoning and get the ones I liked, (and because I can be damn determined when I want to be) I attempted.. Wait for it.. I attempted to speak Thai. ‘Mai chop gluaay’ – I don’t like banana. Simple, easy. I wouldn’t get the banana ones again.

Simple… pssht. Every time I attempted the phrase the man would look at me blankly, and put a few parcels in a bag. Every time I would get one banana, one taro… Of course ‘mai’ means a bazillion different things if you change your tone slightly, and ‘gluaay’ well who knows.

Everyday I would try again, say it a different way, draw out ‘gluaaaaaay’, say ‘mai’ high pitched, say ‘mai’ low pitched. No avail. I tried English – ‘No banana’ – and…recognition! ‘Banana?’ he would say, and when I got it back to the office – two banana parcels.

A few months ago I changed jobs, turning my morning walk round the corner to a 25 minute train ride. I also, as it happens, began to officially learn Thai language. My breakfast, however, became something from 7Eleven, or a pastry from a self service bakery. Talk about boring.

This morning I left an hour early for work as I had to go to the bank near my apartment (and I never know how long things will take when they involve me speaking Thai). As I walked back, I saw ‘Banana Man’ as I had since affectionately called him, standing in his usual spot, blue apron on, tongs in hand, midway through rotating all the little parcels so they were evenly and perfectly cooked. I stopped in front of him, smiled, and said ‘No banana’, in English, wondering what the outcome would be.

He smiled back at me. ‘Banana?’ oh no not this again. ‘No, no banana’ I repeated. Confusion. He screwed his face up. Then, out of nowhere, ‘No banana? Uhhh! Mai chop gluaay’, he said. ‘You no like banana. You like taro’.

Cue jaw drop.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Free Spirit

Well, nothing is freer than clouds, in my mind. They’re easy to photograph with their effortless beauty.

These were taken over the sea at Koh Chang (more photos of the trip will follow at some point…). It’s rainy season so the sky was never clear. Suddenly it would get windy and the sky would turn dark… and the heavens would open.

I didn’t break any rules as such… but hopefully people will enjoy :)

For details of the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.