Good morning one and all, and in the words of Jim Carrey from the Truman show, if I dont see you, good afternoon, good evening and good night. (As I have no idea at what point of the day you will be reading this epistle...)
So, I hope everyone is okay. I just thought I would kill half an hour or so with some ramblings while they are still fresh in the memory. Last time I left you I think I had a coupl eof nights left in Pattaya before heading due South on my job quest to Trang City. The last couple of nights in Pattaya interesting to say the least. I spent much of the time with Na Na who was getting increasingly upset by my impending departure and teh rest of the time relaxing or sorting out some admin details ahead of the job.
For the past few days or so the US Navy had arrived with a 6000 strong crew and one of the biggest aircraft carriers in the world parked in the dock. This resulted in obvious tension on the streets as these guys were pretty obnoxious after a few ales which they so blissfully supped on. Indeed, on teh Tuesday I got in a bit of a row with a few of the gentlemen which resulted on me boarding the aircraft carrier to give a report of their behaviour to their superiors (as I had been requested to do so...). The incident itself is long and complex with quite the twist but I am too tired to reagle you with it now. A few people at home are already aware of it so I am sure the details will spread.
Other than that my swangsong in Pattaya was relatively uneventful. Now I just had to wish goodbye to Na Na and look forward to an epic bus journey to Trang. So, having packed up my "Old kit bag" I headed out to find a taxi to Pattaya bus station, a few miles outside the city centre. I was greeted with teh insistence that a motorbike taxi would suffice and reluctantly I agreed as I was in a rush. So me, my laptop backpack and a 20kg suitcase were boarded on 1 motorbike with the driver who proceeded at blinding pace to the station. My fingers were pretty cut from holding on so tight and I am pretty sure tears would have been rolling down my cheek had it not been for the vicious wind created by his outrageous speeds drying them before they could really take form.
After that harrowing experience I enjoyed the sedate bus route to bangkok and spent a couple of hours mincing around Bangkok's southern bus station while I waited for the bus to Trang. I mainly used the time sampling an array of fruits that I had never experienced before from various local vendors. (I have just realised i probably shouldnt have used the term "mincing" when about to talk of "sampling fruits"...ahem)
Eventually the time came to board the bus for a twelve hour, 600 odd mile trip South. The Bus was okay but was packed with locals rather than the buses filled with Western tourists I had previously experienced. This was to prove my undoing as instead of the usual Hollywood blockbuster on teh TV came a Thai "comedy" and puppet show, shown on seemingly endless repeat for the entire journey. It was horrific. Weird sound effects echoed around my brain as strange puppet creatures danced to screeching tunes seemingly the the merriment of everyone around me. To say I was losing my marbles was an understatement. Unable to sleep, and unable to read due to a lack of lighting my "mind-pod" came in to play, or the Mi-Pod for short. It is the tool that can play you songs from within your own mind at times like these, only in general, it is on permanent shuffle. Mine was no exception, ridiculous tunes bounced around my head, songs I had not heard in years, and ones I never wished to hear again! One such one that sticks is "white flag" by Dido. I have no idea why but my Mi-Pod, like a CD with a scratch kept repeating this over and over again, until eventually I resorted to watching the puppet show again. It was almost sweet relief...
After a nightmarish twelve hours then I arrived in Trang on Saturday morning in bright sunlight. Boarding a tuk-tuk to my guesthouse, which was called "My Friend Guesthouse" I surveyed my home for the next few months at least. I have to say I was impressed. It was beautiful, surrounded on one side by a couple of glorious mountains punctuated by various gushing waterfalls and jungle terrain, while on the other side lies the coast, dotted with twenty odd tiny isolated islands called the Trang Islands. I have yet to see the coast but from my reading it is noted as one of the best diving spots on earth and the pictures look glorious. From there I also have easy access to places like Koh Phi-phi and Krabi. Indeed, I learned from a local later that Trang is proud to have been voted Thailand's cleanest and most beautiful city a number of years running now...things were looking good.
I spent most of yesterday just rested and recovering from the journey before heading out in the evening for a bite to eat and a minor exploration. I wandered through a now bustling street to discover a night market where all manner of things from the exquistite to the trashy were available. Settling in a local restaurant/bar where there appeared to be live music I sat and quickly became somewhat of an attraction myself, with locals questioning me on my origins and so forth. This was a nice welcome and the band joined in too, playing some western "lock n loll" as they pronounced it. This included a great Pink Freud cover, which I found quite Freudian in itself.
Finally I got chatting to the waiter who told me many western teachers live in the area, including apparently a lad from Manchester who teaches at my intended school, so I may be in good company, or bad, depedning upon you point of view. Eventually settling down in bed I watched some insane TV once more and drifted off to sleep, waking today to write this blog and hopefully meet the school rep in a couple of hours once I receive the call. Then who knows...
So, enough of this on my bill (Bryson) waffle, I shall leave you all to get on with your day. Though on one final note, happy birthday to my brother Neil for yesterday, 28 I believe. And also my thoughts are with all the family too, as yesterday was also the 10 year anniversary of my Dad, Brian's passing. I cant believe it has been 10 years, still miss you every day dad. x