Bangkok by Tuktuk

P9210036Have you ever slept for 15 hours without being sick? Gosh! On Saturday night I passed out at 6pm (Thai time) and woke up the next morning at nine. We nearly missed our free breakfast!

Of course that wasn’t supposed to happen. We weren’t supposed to be quite so exhausted on Saturday night. We were supposed to arrive at our hotel on Saturday at lunch time, and then rest a little. You know? I possess about as much spontaneity as a tree, so when we hopped onto a tuk tuk offering us a ride to a couple of temples instead of just grabbing something to eat and then heading back to our hotel room to rest after a sleep-less flight I must admit I was quite surprised with myself.

It didn’t take long to realise that when there are only two people in your travelling party, mastering the “selfie” becomes quite important. Luckily Tyrone sucks at it way less than I do so we managed to get a few pics with both of us.

An Almost Facebookless Holiday

20140924_123209I’m sitting on a sun chair right now, being moaned at by my husband for posing for the photograph he is trying to take of me with my pineapple shake in hand. I think he likes the weird glass…. After three days of go-go-go, we’re relaxing by the pool with our books and some drinks. Being a tourist is hard work – especially if you’re like me and tend to spend most of your life on your well-cushioned bum in front of the computer. I should really take up something more active as a profession… Like tour guiding. Those folks are active! And super fit!

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit scarce on the social media scene.  That’s not because my poor exhibitionist ass can’t figure out how to use the wi-fi. No, folks, I’m taking a well-deserved break from Facebookland. Why?

Well, because:

a.) Doctor Who spoilers

b.) Humans

I am quite enjoying living in this strange little world where I have absolutely no idea what is going on around me. Nothing anyone says makes sense – even if what is being said is said in English. I really like it. I don’t have to listen to/read a thousand opinions on the Oscar trial (yawn) or absorb all the new Nkandla hate. I can miss out on a couple of celebrity scandals for a while. And let go of the Koh Tao murders that were absorbing my psyche for a while. When I suggested a sabbatical from FB to my husband he was very keen, but he has caved the way a tourist should, I suppose, and hasn’t been able to resist pic sharing and the like. I kind of miss writing a little (and realize now how much effing around on FB “feels” like writing and therefore often takes the place of actual functional writing – gah!) so I may post on here from time to time. That way I get to kind of keep in touch but run way less of a risk of getting lost in an ever-consuming Facebook hole.

So yeah…. Don’t bother commenting on the FB link to this post which will automatically pop up on my wall in a little while. If you do, I will either not read it, or if I do manage to find it after a month-long holiday, I will know that you didn’t read the post at all.

I hope all of you are well. From sunny Bangkok I wish you all health and happiness!

I think I’ll have a watermelon shake next….

Sad News for the White Temple

391726_10152856051925094_439141800_nI’m feeling a bit sad tonight after discovering that the White Temple has fallen into disrepair because of an earthquake. A year ago I was blown away by this particular work of art and I had hoped to take my children to see it one day. Sadly  I have no pictures of the inside of the temple, as cameras were not allowed. The outside is magical of course, but I found the mural on the inside to be quite profound and indescribable. The idea that it has been irreparably damaged is devastating. I can’t imagine how disheartened the artist, Ajarn Chalermchai, must be. How hopeless! I guess I should just count myself lucky to have experienced it in its full glory…

Darling Jolene

Photo on 2014-04-10 at 10.33 AMAfter yesterday’s bout of hysteria my now-good-friend Jolene Cawthorn contacted me to ask if I could give her the opportunity to show me that not all travel agents are terrible. The woman is a machine! THANK YOU Jolene! You are incredible and I really appreciate you looking after us so well.  And hats off to  you for being proactive and stepping in!! Too many people are timid about offering help when help is needed. You rock!

Guess how I know Jolene? She is involved in Herbalife!! As I understand it her mom is quite active in the business and Jolene and I have come in contact because of our mutual involvement, albeit a passive involvement.

Now of course I can’t give credit to Herbalife for Jolene’s efficiency — that credit belongs to her alone. But I do think that the company often leaves a positive mark that we might not all be aware of sometimes. And that thought makes me smile. Obviously being a Herbalife distributor is not for everyone. But I really do love the idea that even if Herbalife turns out to be “not for you” there is so much to be learned that you can take out into your life – no matter what you choose to do with it.

The main point is: I now have a DECENT flight itinerary and I don’t feel like I’m being ripped off. Now I just need to sell a body part or two and everything will be peachy!

Bad Service Blues

Photo on 2014-04-09 at 11.12 AMI may have said it before but I think being involved in Herbalife has ruined me as a customer. You know how you get those timid customers who never demand anything, they just kind of sit back and take the crap that you give them? I suck at that. And I blame Herbalife. You see, because I have been to so many Herbalife seminars and meetings and because I have been fortunate enough to interact with the creme de la creme of Herbalife society I have some seriously high standards instilled in me. Actually, they’re not that high. They’re pretty reasonable. They only look high because “reasonable” has become too much to ask of basic service providers.  (more…)

I Just Pressed Enter

IMG_4837The three people who pay half an iota of attention to my incessant ramblings on Facebook may have picked up that I have plans to move to Thailand. Weird how these things work. You say the idea out loud and it’s fun to talk about and make plans but it usually feels like you’re having a conversation about what you plan to do with your fictitious lottery winnings. Well, after almost a year’s worth of “what I’d like to do” conversations followed by a few more serious conversations over this last month I have finally taken the first REAL  step into making this all a reality: I paid for something. In fact I paid a lot of money for something!

I decided in February (while I quietly sat in the back seat of my dad’s Volvo on the way home from a wedding in Cape Town) that the scariness of our plan was that we planned to just go to Thailand, do our practical TEFL course and then kind of “wing it” as far as finding accommodation etc was concerned – with three kids in tow! The thought was kind of horrifying. So, what I decided to do was somehow save up for a separate no-kids-in-tow trip to Thailand for just the two of us. That way Ty can be sure that he is definitely happy to live in Thailand for a little while and we can do our course and figure a few things out without the pressure of over-excited kids to entertain.

Of course this is easier said than done. My three most consistent clients have politely dropped me with a “we’ll be in touch” promise that has yet to be fulfilled. Bye bye finances! Of course no one is taking my calls. So “saving” is proving to be a little tougher than I had originally hoped. Luckily Ty’s Herbalife business is ticking over steadily so that helps a lot.

The point is: I paid my first payment on our TEFL course. The payment has gone off of my credit card. We have to be in Thailand (Phuket) on the 13th of October.  I am elated and terrified at the same time. But mostly elated because I just absolutely cannot wait. My kids are so excited. I am so excited. My husband is excited. There is happiness in my house.

Finances are just going to have to keep up otherwise I might have to exchange pics of my boobs for Kickstarter donations.

Actually….

This one time at the airport…

My friend Craig (and when I say “friend” I mean this guy I met once but am friends with on Facebook and I think he’s kind of cool so I call him my friend) posted this status on Facebook a couple of minutes ago:

 Nothing like spilling a full latte all over your bags and your shorts and shirt right before heading to the airport.

Of course I had to giggle. Firstly because it is funny, but mostly because it is not nearly as bad as what happened to me when I was at the airport on my way home from Thailand. (more…)

Hard to be Home

IMG_4837I’m struggling to be home. Perhaps this is a ridiculous observation, but it has already been five days since I got back from Thailand and I am still trying to escape or downplay the suffocating mantra playing in my head: I’m sick of here.

I think I’m a pretty patriotic person. I get annoyed often when people piss off overseas to “escape” South Africa. You shouldn’t go somewhere to get away from somewhere else. If you want to go somewhere it should be because “there” is where you want to be, and not because “here” is where you don’t want to be. Does that make sense?

Except that I’m struggling with “here” now. I haven’t really before. Ok, I lie. I have once before. When I was 18. I am now 31. I should be a bit less crisis-sy. And yet all I want to do is pack away my life and piss off because I am so mind-numbingly over the proverbial rat race that I could scream. The holiday I took was supposed to fix that, but instead it seems to have simply accentuated it.

I think I’m tired of living in this Westernized world where everything seems to be about pressure. Pressure to have the right kind of job and make the right kind of money and drive a decent car and buy a house and have fancy gadgets and blah blah blah blah blah.

I met the coolest guy just over a week ago. Do you know what he does for a living? He hops on a boat and takes people to Phi Phi Island every day. Do you know what happens there? Nothing. You eat. You drink. You swim. You catch a tan. You snorkel. You do nothing. It’s fucking awesome. This man has the best job in the world. Every single day he gets to experience happiness. Because all that nothing comes with a fuckton of happiness that none of all this other shit we aspire to brings. He makes people happy. He gives people the experience of a lifetime. Every. Single. Day.

And what do we aspire to? Go to school. Go to college. Get a good job. Make lots of money.

Fuck that ideal. It’s stupid.

 

Bucket List Check – Thailand

I wrote a Bucket List a little while ago. I know Bucket Lists are supposed to be a “before you die” thing but I think that’s dumb. I nearly said “no” to this trip. In fact I did at first. It seemed too overwhelming. Too expensive. Too “unplanned”. My brother and my folks qualified for a Herbalife holiday to Phuket and my brother asked me to be his “plus one”. Dreamy! I just need spending money and money for a ticket. Even so little seemed impossible. But somehow I did it. Which brings me back to the “before you die” part. Lately I have been asking myself why we continuously put the things we want off. Not everyone does that. I do. And then ten years later I wake up and go “But I wanted to do that! Why didn’t I?”

When I get home I am going to cross Thailand off of my Bucket  List. And then I am going to add many many more items to the list. And I am going to start doing them…

For now though I have 15 days of amazing ahead of me. Thailand has been my Number One country to visit for as long as I can remember.

And you know what? Making it happen wasn’t that big a deal! Even when strange unforeseen circumstances hit and I fell apart, it STILL turned out ok.

Say what you want about God, or religion, or faith. I  believe that there is a force out there that wants good things for all of us. Even if that force is just a subconscious extension of ourselves. And I believe that as soon as you take a step towards the things that you want (instead of merely staying in once place and wishing) an entire Universe starts to conspire in your favour to give you those things.

A part of me is sad to leave my husband and my baby sister and my baby behind. But leaving the opportunity behind would have been even more sad!

One Week

Tropical beach, traditional long tail boats, famous Maya Bay, ThailandBy this time next week I will be on a plane. Well… I think I’ll be on a plane… I should really check the flight times… But yes… Sometime next Monday I will be on a plane to Thailand and at this point it could seriously not come soon enough. All I want to do right now is dig into my cupboard and start packing. No idea what to take really. I’m thinking an empty suitcase with plenty of space for souvenirs. Also my sanity. I should pack my sanity and try to glue it back together again with a bit of wine once I’m settled on the plane. Yes. Let’s do that…