Messner On Tour
Happy New Year one and all! Hope you had a good one wherever you where, and here is to a great 2005. I'm here in Bangkok after a very strange 5 days before going to the Philippines tomorrow! After returning to Bombay from Goa, Annette and I went to the airport where we said a teary au revoir after what has been a great 6 weeks in India. Then suddenly - there it was - I was on my own for the first time..... s***! I touched down in Bangkok after less than 4 hours sleep in over 48 hours, found a hotel and went to sample the delights of the Khao San Road. Oh my Blackpool! I think I have seen all 92 English football league tops being donned on fat blokes who point at pictures of egg and chips for tea. My first instinct was to get the hell outta here. So I popped down to British airways to see where I could go on my ticket. Result = The Philipines! Bad news is I could only go on the second so new year in Bangklok it was :-( While booking my ticket I met a fellow Brit called Dave and we decided to hit Patpong - the red light district. Result = 2 hours later some nubile young lady popped a balloon out of my hand after firing a dart from where the sun don't shine. And I don't mean the pancreas. Since then it has been hanging around the Khao San Road which has the ability to make you walk up and down it without remembering where you are going or why you went out. The only option in the evening is lather, the place sucks you in and 5 days there was 4.5 days too long. New Year was cool though, I met up with Gaz and Marianne from Goa (who obviously live in Balham so meeting in India is all lovely and normal) and we brought in the new year by going to another seedy area of town - the place the discerning sex tourist frequents as Patpong is soooooo yesterday. These stand up chaps, who look like Halcrow engineers, seem to have made a pact to grow a little moustache in an implicit game of 'Who looks most like Colonel Mustard?' Then it was off to some R&B club (how hey heyish is that K&K?) drinks etc. A good ol' knees up in the end. New Years day proved to be a whizzbanger as I decided on my last day in Bangkok I would go and soak up some culture. Bad move. I went to the Grand Palace which although very nice will hold bad memories for me in the field of kleptomania. Going into a temple required me to take my shoes off and when I got out they were gone! Some Dutch guy had the same problem and so I got a tuk tuk home in my socks...... This is a painful lesson kids. Culture is bad. Next time I will put on my Preston North End top, don a tache and just order egg and chips with the other Colonel Mustards. I also lost my sunglasses, bringing the fiscal value of stuff I have lost / broken on the trip so far past the GDP of French Polynesia. It has been strange chatting to people caught up in the recent tsunami. Tales of narrow escapes, cleaning up dead bodies, rooms vanishing, trees torn down, friends missing....... It has been really crazy and the mood in Bangkok has ben a little weird because of it. Life is full of ifs, whats and maybes but I was seiously thinking of going to Sri Lanka for Christmas if Annette hadn't changed her flight, and I even tried talking her into going to the Maldives for about 2 weeks. Scary thoughts. But anyway - Messner is OK to have a stab at the North face of Shishapangma and so it is on with the oxygen, full down suit etc. and off to the Philippines. Anyone requiring a special DHL package home of a new wife please pop your order in now. I also now have a new camera so the pics should start rolling again. Love to you all and happy 2005! Hope your feet are warmer than mine. Messner.