HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Hope you all had a good one,we certainly did and are currently paying the price.
Hope you all enjoyed your christmasses too, ours was extremely surreal, spent christmas eve swimming in a waterfall which is definately a first. It was amazing though and well
worth the treacherous scramble up the rocks to get to the plunge pool. We have been getting some strange looks since as part of our attempt to spread christmas cheer we have
been performing rudolph the red nose raindeer with a forster family twist, i think the thai families who were spending a quiet day at the waterfall werent quite prepared for
The highlight of the day has to be michaels reaction to the monkey temple we drove to on the way back. Literally hundreds of monkeys trying to jump into the back of the pickup
truck where we were sat cowering, when we say we, what we actually mean is where michael was sat cowering, attempting to hide behind becca. Ellens auntie lek (an absolute
legend) was in her element and paraded round the car with a stick and a cuddly toy crocodile which was our only weapon against the onslaught of monkeys. Auntie lek is now
micheals one and only hero.
Against all the odds we made it back in one piece to start our christmas preperations. These began at big c the ultimate supermarket which sells everything, beats tesco any day.
becca was particularly impressed by the dairy queen stand which she got us all hooked on. We went slightly overboard on the christmas shopping thanks mainly to a very over
excited michael who envisioned a christmas feast, this involved about 20 different types of vegetable including far too many peas which we had to buy otherwise michael would
have had a hissy fit. Managed to purchase a chicken complete with head, feet and internal organs much to beccas horror, the girls decided it was michaels job to deal with this.
Most successful purchase of the day was our santa hats which we wore despite the boiling heat, as if we didnt already stand out enough!
On the night of christmas eve we decided to throw a party for the people in ellens village.Stupidly we left ellen in charge of the guest list so the turn out was ellens mums gay
best friend Surat and his nephew who didnt talk and was the spitting image of michael jackson. They did however bring a bottle of vodka and doughnuts so they will be welcomed
back any day. Hannah and micheal were in charge of present wrapping whilst becca and laura decorated and ate the doughnuts. This task involved hunting down a christmas tree
which started off on a wobbly note when the only options seemed to be dead twigs or banana leaf branches. neither of these passed the test so they resorted to bringing in a
potted plant from the garden much to ellens auntys dismay. surprisingly worked out really well and looked very festive dressed up in the decorations ellens mum had sent over for
becca insisted that we go to bed early so that santa would come sooner and we looked forward to waking up to the full english breakfast promised to us by michael. The reality
was being woken up at 8 in the morning to a loud bang and screaming from ellen who had tried to light the gas in the oven (which hadnt been used in a very long time, you could
tell this by the fact that it had a handbag in when we first opened the door) and was propelled backwards across the kitchen floor by the explosion, much to beccas horror and
michaels amusement. hannah and laura were more worried about whether they would still get their full english which michael somehow still managed to produce despite the lack of
oven and it did not disappoint. After breakfast came the presents which were all surprisingly still wrapped up despite beccas not so sneaky attempts to suss them out. was so
nice getting everything from home and made it feel really christmassy. michael had done an extremely good job at serving as father christmas. our parents excelled themselves, we
all got what we wanted, laura food, and lots of it, becca clothes (well it would have to be wouldnt it) and hannah enjoyed reading her long letters from home and homemade gifts
from mike and nej.
Preperations for christmas dinner were as follows- michael chickening out (haha get it?) at the last minute and letting a random thai women (there are endless supplies of these
in ellens house) gut and then hack the bird to pieces with a meat cleaver. she was disgusted by his girly screams as he attempted to decapitate it and insisted on taking over.
much to our dismay, this led to fried chicken pieces instead of the roast that we had been so looking forward to. despite this minor setback christmas dinner was gastronomical
(beccas word) and hannahs cheesy mashed potato was a highlight (whoever said she cant cook?). ellen left us for a couple of hours to meet a friend (gergo the hungarian) so we
entertained ourselves and the kids by blasting tunes such as elton john, disney classics and the christmas mixup- which includes the classic all i want for christmas is my 2
front teeth, we'd like to think the kids enjoyed our renditions of rudolph and the sound of music as much as we did but from the looks of terror on their faces we're not so
sure. the kids outdid us with their dancing and even taught us a few moves. ellens 5 year old cousin Carb did a good pigeon dance and another one was break dancing on the
kitchen floor, dancing around like loonies was definately the highlight of our christmas day. was so nice speaking to our parents on skype later on and although it made us
homesick was great to catch up and feel at least a part of the family christmas at home.
Boxing day was spent travelling back to bangkok and then having to say goodbye to ellen which was really hard, she's definately made thailand seem alot more homely over
christmas which was what we needed and we're all going to miss her randomness. Michaels christmas treat (if u can call it that) was a thai ladyboy cabaret show which we knew was
going to be an interesting experience when we walked into the theatre and discovered the number of ladyboys in the show actually outnumbered the audience. It was one of the
funniest experiences, especially since dancing talent didnt seem to be a requirement to get onto the show. they performed some classics including destinys child, is this the way
to amerillo and the ketchup song (they hadnt even managed to master that dance). They had a bit of trouble with matching the miming to the song, often forgetting entirely that
they were supposed to be singing. Despite this we had a really good night, helped along by the free chang) and laughed all the way through, especially when we left and michael
got swarmed at the door by a group of them wanting a kiss and money. the terror on his face matched that of the monkey experience.
the next day we saw a bit of bangkok, got a tuk tuk tour around a few of the temples and saw the reclining buddha which was really impressive. michael has obviously had an
efffect on us coz he managed to tempt us into a karaoke booth which we're not afraid to admit was ridiculously fun and laura and becca are looking into this as being a business
venture back in england.
The journey from bangkok to koh phangan was pretty traumatic, including being woken up at 3 in the morning to be offloaded into a closed cafe where we had to wait for 3 hours
for our next bus. not the best nights sleep on a wooden bench, although we have had our fair share of them! The 4hour ferry journey was possibly the worst experience ever with
the boat being thrown about all over the place, there was more than one occasion when we thought it would capsize. nearly lost hannah overboard when she got stuck on the top
deck, hoping the fresh air would help (it didnt). luckily a passing frenchman managed to catch her before she disappeared into the sea.
eventually arrived, slightly worse for wear to find our hotel surpassed our expectations. a bungalow on the cliff pverloking the bay with an infinity pool just below, bit of a
difference from last thai island experience (no drug dens this time thank god). spent the afternoon sunbathing and catching up on sleep.
The next day the weather wasnt great (whats that all about?) so we hired mopeds to see a bit of the island. so much fun if a bit terrifying thanks to the hairpin bends and blind
summits. found some nice quieter parts of the island including an amazing restaurant on a secluded beach where we sat at sunset for our dinner. That night when we got back becca got some bad news from home we were really sad to find out that her grandad had died. She had a horrible decision to make but has decided to go home for his funeral. LAura and hannah cannot imagine a week without her and will find it incredibly hard to say bye to her even just for a week but she knows its the right thing to do. Needless to say it was a tough 24 hours and we just took it easy - Swimming in the sea and chilling (literally at times as the sun appears to not like koh phangan this week!)
The beach where we are staying is a loy quiter than haad rin (the party beach) but there is still some really nice beach bars where we have been spending our evenings sampling the food and sipping cocktails- not a bad life.
News years eve day reminded us very much of home as it chucked it down all day. hannah and laura took this opporutinity to have a thai massage and they have the bruises to prove it! it's strange how something so painful can be so relaxing- although the toe cracking was maybe a step too far! New years eve was even better than expected , started the night off with a meal on the beach where we were given a lantern to write messages on and set off into the sky. there was disturbving numbers of drunk peaopl setting off their own fire works-quite a few went astray into the trees and bungalows but we lived to tell the tale. we got a taxi to haad rin where the full moon party is for half 10- and we did quite literaly dance the night (and morning) away. we all agree its the best night out we've ever had - you can't beat the atmosphere of 30,000 people dancing on a beach in the moonlight. Had some very sentimental moments as we realised how totally happy we all were, without a worry in the world. we havre some very funny tales and memories from that night. one of the few we can share is michaels gymnastic cartwheel competition/dance off and watching the extremly drunk guys weeing in the sea and then falling over into it. We were there dancing until the sun came up - didnt leave until 8 a.m.. as the sun came up a storm came in- so we were dancing in the rain aswell. we looked a bit of a sight with our flourescent body paint which seemed like a good idea at the time! Today we've unsurpisingly not done very much- the prospect of packing is not one we are excited about.
We leave tomorrow morning to go our seperate ways- laura and hannah to malaysia for the week and becca and micheal to bangkok to head home. they will both be missed majorly and cannot wait to see them both again!