All Posts Filed in ‘Asia

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Hua Lapong railway station, Bangkok, Thailand

In a cafe in Hua Lapong train station, Bangkok, waiting for a train down to Surat Thani, then catching the boat over to Ko Pangnan. I’m drinking the first real coffee I’ve had since I’ve been in Thailand. An espresso. (Although yesterday I did have a cappucino, but they seemed to make it without putting any coffee in, so it was just frothy milk with chocolate sprinkled on top. Apart from that the coffee has always been instant. This one was 50 Bahts though, pretty expensive by Thai standards, but I’m trying to convince myself that money doesn’t matter because I lost 650 Bahts this morning. Only £10, but it felt like a lot more. I have to keep telling myself it’s just a tenner. I was paying the hotel to store my bags while I’m away, and I paid with a 1000 Baht bill but don’t remember being given the change. When I realized, about 10 minutes later as I was walking down the street I went back but the woman insisted she had given me the change. But I didn’t have it.

I then spent several hours trying to find a secure locker where I could store my video camera and the tapes of the trip across Canada. They had lockers at the hotel but only for guests staying there, and even though I had been staying there and was planning on staying there when I return, they wouldn’t let me use them. I asked twice. It’s impossible, she said.

I got a taxi to the station (60 Bahts) assuming they would have left baggage lockers, but they don’t. They have left baggage, but not individual lockers. They just label the bags and put them all in a room, which is then locked at night, but it doesn’t feel very secure. A sign says you shouldn’t leave valuable or fragile items in your baggage, and that you should lock it. That they accept no liability for the loss of valuable items.

I’m more worried about the tapes than the camera, which could be replaced. They’re all packed into a box I got from the post office (another place I tried for storage), along with the camera. I don’t think anyone would deliberately steal the tapes, but if they accidentally stole them they’d probably just dump them and that would be the end of them. I’m only half way through backing them up. I wish I’d finished the backing up in Canada. I had plenty of time there. Don’t know where it all went. Some of it was spent doing work on the internet, some of it going out drinking or doing other things. Being lazy. But staying in the hostel it was awkward to set up the camera and laptop since I didn’t have my own room and didn’t like showing off that kind of equipment in the canteen. I could’ve done more while I was staying in the YMCA. There I had my own room, but at the time I was doing a lot of work on the internet.

Maybe the malaria pills I’ve just started taking are making me feel drowsy. I remember someone here saying they made him feel spaced out. Normally when I hand over money I’m very careful to check the change. Especially when it’s a 1000 Bahts I’m handing over.

No point thinking about it any more. There’s nothing I can do about it, and it’s only £10. That’s about my daily budget though, which I’ve been going over these last few days. Spending too much on beer. And last night I treated myself to some expensive food. 200 Bahts for red snapper in a hot chilli sauce. It was very hot, but good. Whilst in the restaurant I watched a couple of French guys complain about their bill. One of them went off to fetch the Tourist Police. They were saying they’d been charged for one too many beers. They were being charged for four, and while two police stood and watched the waitress insisted that they had had four beers. A beer there is 45 Bahts (about 70p). I think they gave in in the end and paid it.

On the upper wall of the station are a mosaic of square images of Thailand painted in an impressionistic style. Like Monet. Thai music is playing. Above the information desk is a large flat screen TV. It’s showing what appears to be a Thai pop video.

I’ve not passed a solid for over a week now, ever since I arrived in Thailand. Not a true solid at least. I’m not sure if it’s the food here, or just the heat. There was a stomach bug going around the hostel during my last two weeks in Vancouver, which made me ill for a day. I think most likely it’s the food. Almost everything is hot. Usually I quite like hot food. Usually it doesn’t bother me. I’ve been drinking bottled water, not tap water, except on a few occasions I have brushed my teeth using tap water, but not much.

I hadn’t intended to spend the whole afternoon waiting for the train. It’s a night train and I have a sleeper car. Bottom bunk. 12 hours to Surat Thani, arriving at about 5:30 tomorrow morning. Then about an hour’s bus ride to the ferry port, arriving on the island around midday.

On the TV school children sing and dance. The sound now seems to be more or less in sync with the images. There are Thai subtitles. A Farang guy takes photos of his girlfriend sitting opposite him. The camera flashes. They’re both wearing headscarves.

Half an hour to the train. Maybe I’ll go and see if I can get on.

Eight o’clock and in bed on the train. The bottom bunk. we just went over a bridge. Might have been the one over the River Kwai, which I know we go over. It sounds like we’re going pretty slowly. They stopped the train for about half an hour a while back in order to convert the seats in the sleeper carriages into beds, The vlue curtain on my left waves about in the draft from the open windows and the fans. This isnlt and air conditioned carriage.

Every so often vendors walk through the carriage calling out blah blah blah ka (*if they’re a woman) or blah blah blah kap (if they’re a man). Some of them were pretty persistent earlier when the seats were up. I was sitting opposite another farang, a Norwegian guy, and so on seeing the two of us they really made an effort to sell, knowing that as tourists we’re both loaded. Last night walking back from Khao San Road after the pub had closed a guy tried to sell me am embroidered picture, which he said was hand made but to me it looked mass-produced, and I’d seen someone selling the exact same things the night before, At first he said just look, you don’t have to buy anything, just tell me which one you like. I pointed out one that was monochrome with clear simple shapes that I liked. two figures and two arrows. That’s good and evil, he said. It would make a nice present for someone. Tell me what you think it’s worth. I bet you think it’s very expensive but it’s not as expensive as you think. I refused to name a price so he went on: Normally I would sell that for 300 but I’ll give it to you for 250. No thanks. 200 then. I decided to try some reverse haggling to see what would happen.

No, you shouldn’t sell it to me for a reduced price. I’d feel like I was ripping you off if I bought it at such a low price. It’s a really good picture and I’m sure you could sell it for a lot more than that. You should be asking 500 for it. I’m sure there are people who would buy it for 500.

For a while he seemed a bit confused and I started to walk away, but he came after me. I’ll give it to you as a gift, a gift from Thailand for 100 Bahts. Look, it’s the last one I have.

Thanks, but really I couldn’t. It wouldn’t feel right.

For 100 I did consider it, but remembered the guy I was talking to the night before had bought 3 for 100.

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Soi Rambutri, Bangkok, Thailand

A quiet middle aged Aussie and a loud young American argue about Iraq. Guess which one is pro-war?

I’m in a cafe on Soi Rambutri, the older and more sedate version of Khaosan Road, the main touristy area.

Just been on the internet. The web server’s down – the one that hosts mine and a number of other peoples’ websites. I phoned 1&1 support and the guy said that one of their support people had taken the server down but he didn’t know why. He said he’d email me within the hour, so in the meantime I’m having some beer and doing some writing.

You say that the Iraq government killed Kurds and then you try to deflect that blame by saying they were supplied by someone else, the American says. I can’t hear what the Aussie is saying but I think he’s arguing that Saddam was bankrolled by the US government. It sounds like an argument I’ve had and heard many times before. It’s become a boring argument.

The Farang sitting in front of me looks over at them and smiles. I guess he’s heard it before as well.

I was watching BBC News 24 this morning in the hotel. They had a woman on there who was a soldier in Iraq who’s written a book about her experiences. She talked about how she was called into an interrogation session, initially she thought because they were interrogating a woman and wanted to be sensitive, but then found out it was because they were interrogating a man and wanted to humiliate him.

Finally the American gets offended and calls for the bill. Walking out he says to the Aussie: I wish you the best, thankyou. The Aussie now gets congratulated by an English guy with a mohican. I would’ve hit him, says the English guy. No no, he’s a nice guy, says the Aussie.

The American returns and sits down. He wants to start up the argument again. Now there’s an argument about the argument. You must have a dipstick in your head to think all the. The American stands up. A tribal street vendor is there making a clicking sound with one of the things she wants to sell. Sell it to him, he says, pointing to the Australian, because he’s full of shit. He’ll pay 5000 Bahts for that thing.

The American meets another American in the street. I think the other guy’s American. He’s tall, and they seem to be friends.

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Bangkok, Thailand

I’ve checked into a new hotel, part of the Sawasdee (Sawasdee = hello) chain, Thailand’s McHotels (or McHotles as they spell it on one of the signs here). Cheap and basic. But they serve much better food than McDonalds. I’m sitting in the open air cafe, having just had their 49 Baht Thai Fast Food lunch. A plate of chicken in chilli sauce and rice. Very good.

They have a wide screen TV which was showing some HBO programme. Earlier they had BBC News 24’s Asia service. Now they’ve turned off the TV and are playing Boney M’s Greatest Hits, of which there are many: By The Rivers of Babylon, Daddy Cool, Brown Girl In the Ring, Ra Ra Rasputin (Russia’s Greatest Love Machine) – he would’ve liked Thailand.

I’ve just booked a ticket to Ko Pangnan – leaving on Thursday night. I’m thinking I’ll probably leave the bike here at the hotel, which I can do for 10 Bahts (15p) a day. Apparently the roads on Ko Pangnan are rough and very hilly – mountainous even. A lot of people cycle on the island, but not with road bikes, which is what mine is. It’s just a lot easier to leave it and a lot of my stuff here.

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Bangkok, Thailand

I’ve spent a day going down to the station and back again on the river taxi. Doing things like this seems to take a long time here. I’m not sure why it’s taken me the whole day but it has.

The highlight of the day so far: I saw a monk in orange robes smoking a cigarette outside the station. I didn’t think monks were allowed to smoke.

No. Better than that. On the river taxi a women held her hands together in prayer and closed her eyes each time we passed a wat (Buddhist temple) and then as we went by she ran her hands through her hair. There are a lot of wats along the river so she was doing this every couple of minutes.

Also, I’ve now plucked up the courage to say “Sa wat dee krap” instead of “Hi” or “Hello”, though I’m not sure I’m saying it right. No one has replied to me in Thai yet. Men have to say krap after everything here. It’s polite. Though often they pronounce it kap. Women say ka.

Sitting in the internet cafe I’ve found off Thanon Rambutri, typing some emails and picking at a spot to the right of my nose – a mosquito bite I think, not a zit – I notice blood on my finger. I wipe it off and touch the spot again. More blood. I stand up, hlding my hand over my face, and ask one of the Thai women in there if she has any tissues. She says she doesn’t but I can buy some at a local shop. Then i take my hand away from my face and the 3 Thai women go into panic mode. One of them runs outside, but she returns seconds later with a handful of toilet paper.

It’s now ten to ten and still hot. I’m sitting on the bed in my private hostel room. It’s a bunk bed. The room isn’t wide enough for a double bed. The traffic outside is noisy. Mainly motorbikes. Small engined ones. There are loads of them here, but I’ve only seen one or two push bikes. I guess the roads are too dangerous.

It’s still hot. My room has air conditioning but it’s not turned on. I don’t like air conditioning. It’s too noisy, and feels decadent and wasteful. I did turn it on last night though, intending to just run it for a minute or two but I must’ve fallen asleep because it was still on in the morning.

Showers are a better way to cool down. I’ve been taking at least two a day. The room has a bathroom with a shower and a toilet (but no bath). There is no shower cubicle, just a drainage hole in the bathroom floor, and a raised step in the doorway to prevent the water spilling out into the bedroom.

There was no toilet paper. I had to buy my own. But in public toilets I have also found no toilet paper. Instead they have a shower attachment which I guess you use to wash your arse after a crap. I haven’t tried it. I prefer toilet paper. I can’t imagine how it’s done, with the shower thing, without getting your clothes wet. There must be a knack to it. If I could watch someone doing it then perhaps I would see. But that’s not going to happen. It’s one of those things you have to learn as a child, and if you didn’t learn it as a child no one’s going to show you now. Can I watch you have a crap, krap?

Yes, but it’ll cost you 1000 Bahts, ka.

There’s a hotel down the road from here called Hotel 88. At the entrance they have the prices. They charge by the hour. It’s really a motel, with curtains that they close around the car port so that no one can see who’s parked there. Any hotel or establishment with an 8 in its title is part of the sex industry. I’m not sure why the number 8 is considered sexual. Someone did tell me but I’ve forgotten. Perhaps it’s because an 8 is like the shape of a women, though most Thai women have more of a number 1 type shape. And so do the men, meaning it’s often hard to tell them apart (particularly when the men have long hair and are wearing skirts). Khymer women (from Cambodia) are apparently shaped more like 8s though.

I think it had something to do with the fact that an 8 is the symbol for infinity rotated through 90 degrees. That’s what the guy told me, but I’m sure there’s something missing. If you know the answer please post it in a comment.

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Khao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Sitting in a cafe on the Khao San Road, the main tourist area of Bangkok. Like Carnaby Street in London. The place you go to get ripped off, except here things are so cheap it doesn’t matter. I’ve just paid 60 Baht (less than £1) for a plate of fried rice with chicken and vegetables, though last night on a street stall I paid 10 Naht for a noodle soup and a pavement stall.

There’s a scam here where people come up to you, particularly if you’re standing around looking at a map, and they say where’d you want to go? and wherever it is they tell you it’s closed, but they can take you to a much better place in their tuk tuk (a kind of motorized trike). Those things are really noisy, making it worthwhile getting away from the street vendors and coming to a touristy area like the one I’m in, where I can sit inside under cool fans, and breathe relatively clean air. Bangkok is a very polluted city.

The only Thai people in this place are the ones working here. I’ve felt a resentment from a number of Thais of rich farangs (Westerners) like me, coming over here and getting waited on, thinking nothing of spending what to them are ridiculous amounts of money. It seems fair enough that we should be ripped off. It’s just a way of redistributing our wealth.

The farang in here look obscene. Why aren’t they out working? One of them takes the chair on the other side of my table. I’m surrounded by them. But I’m one of them so I shouldn’t complain. I’ll just get up and leave. In a minute.

American football is on the TV.

I’m sitting here with my laptop. I didn’t want to sit in the hostel with the laptop because it doesn’t feel that secure there and I don’t want people there to know I have something so valuable in my possessions. It feels a bit insensitive now to be sitting here with this thing though, a thing that’s worth more than most Thais would earn in a year. More than most would earn in a decade perhaps.

I don’t know much about this country, and haven’t yet spoken any of the language. I know that “Sa wat dee krap” means hello, but I’m not sure how to say it and haven’t tried. I just say hi and assume they’ll speak English, which is very rude. I’ve done the prayer sign (hands held together under a bowed head) to a few people, after they’ve done it to me, usually as a thank you for payment or for a tip – tipping isn’t expected here, even in restaurants. I usually do give a tip and then realize how much what is a tiny amount of money to me means to them.

This disparity in wealth makes it very difficult for Westerners and Thais to interact in a normal human to human way. I’ve seen a number of Western men with Thai women. I wonder how that works. There was one such couple in here earlier. A Western guy in his late twenties, early thirties, not particularly attractive, with a quite attractive (not stunning) Thai women. They ate in silence. Then the guy spoke on his phone. Then he left and she followed him out. He walked out into the crowds of Khao San Road without checking that she was behind him. But she was, of course. I wanted to ask her why she was with him, but that would have been a pointless question. And quite offensive. Conflict is not the way of things here. Arguments and differences of opinion are things to be avoided.

Some Farangs from the table next to mine look through the wine box. One of them has a bandaged leg. Another, with an English accent, talks about how he had a kebab today, cooked in pesto sauce. Was it big? asks the bandaged leg.

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Bangkok, Thailand

I arrived at 12:30am the night before last after an eighteen hour flight (or maybe more) from Vancouver, with a brief stopover in Beijing. It was a miracle that the bike and my paniers arrived safely since I hadn’t packed them very well. The bike box was fastening with tape which I noticed was broken when the bike got to Bangkok, but the bike was still in there and seems okay, though I’ve not yet ridden it. I spent an hour re-assembling it at the airport, wondering whether to ride the 25km into Bangkok, but in the end found a reasonably priced taxi that could take me and the bike. I didn’t notice at the time that I was sitting on the left (in the front passenger seat) and that we were driving on the left hand side of the road. I hadn’t realized they drive on the left here, so it’s a good thing I didn’t try and cycle.

I wrote some things on the laptop but can’t get them up here because I’ve not been able to find anywhere in Bangkok with wireless internet access, or with ehternet access that I could just plug into the laptop. I tried a university library today but they wouldn’t let me in because I was wearing shorts. Now I’m in the public library, still wearing shorts, but using one of their computers.

The reason I’m wearing shorts is 1) it’s pretty hot here and 2) I did my laundry this morning, washing my clothes by hand in cold water using a washboard and a scrubbing brush. Apparently you can pay someone 20Bahts (about 30p) to do it, which is maybe what I’ll do next time since I noticed when I hung my white socks up to dry they didn’t look any cleaner than when they went into the wash.

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Bangkok Airport, Thailand

3am local time. I’ve assembled the bike and I’m sitting outside the terminal building in a t-shirt. They reported the temperature as 25 degrees when we landed. It must still be at least 20.

I have a headache. I wasn’t able to drink any water at Beijing airport, and on the place when I asked for some water with my red wine the stewardess mis-understood me and gave me another red wine. And now I have the noise of the traffic from a busy road behind me.

I’m not sure if I’m going to cycle the 25km into town. The bike may be a bit shaky. If not got the brakes working very well, and haven’t really checked the rest of it properly. There’s a taxi stand here so I think I’ll just put it in a taxi. I phoned the hostel here and they have rooms available for 280Baht (£4) a night. If I get there after 6am I pay for tomorrow night rather than tonight, so I think that’s what I’ll do. It may seem a bit tight of me to be sitting in the airport for several hours just to save £4, but over here 280Baht is quite a lot of money.

I changed up CA$20 and got back 667Baht. All notes except for the 7. One 500, one 100 and three 20s.

I was worried about getting the laptop out but there are very few people around, and no sign of any con artists or thieves. One guy helped me a bit as I was assembling the bike. He spoke some English and asked me how many miles I’d done on the bike. I told him 4000. He said I must have strong legs. He was also impressed with the bike, noticing the small fat front wheel and larger thinner back wheel (which he thought was too thin). He asked me how much the bike was worth and I told him I didn’t know, which is true. I didn’t pay for it, though I know if I had I would’ve paid a lot, and translating a lot into Baht would’ve been even more. But I don’t know if that would be a fair translation. Some things, like food and accomodation, may be very cheap here, but other things may not. I don’t know. It never seems right to me to have these exchange rates for money. Having been poor in Canada now I’m suddenly quite wealthy. That doesn’t make sense. When tourists exchange money they should get what their money, they should get an amount that makes them as rich or poor in the country they’re visiting as they would be at home. That way they’d get more of an experience of what a place is really like. With money you can shield yourself from the more unpleasant aspects of a place. And that’s something I will probably find myself doing, for a while at least. If it’s 25 degrees at midnight how hot is it going to be during the day? I hate the idea of air-conditioning, but I might need it if I’m to get some sleep tomorrow. I’m not sure if the 280Baht hostel room comes with air conditioning. I may have to pay extra for that.

It’s now 3:41. A cleaner is nearby, emptying the ashtray. I have a few Canadian cigarettes left. I need to sit out here and smoke (and write) to keep myself awake. After the red wine I slept for two or three hours on the five hour flight from Beijing. Though it’s the 10th now, two days haven’t passed since I set off from Vancouver on the morning of the 8th. Crossing the International Date Line (which sounds like it could be a dating agency, but isn’t – it’s the line that is roughly opposite the Greenwich Meridian, in case you didn’t know) I lost a day, which makes of for the time I’d been gaining travelling across Canada, gaining an hour as I crossed each time zone.

Though the calendar says two days, it’s really only been one day. One sunset which went on for hours. Now just waiting for the sun to rise.

Dates and times are a bit like exchange rates.

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Beijing Airport, China

Two hours to wait before the flight onto Bangkok. Unable to leave the airport. Watching Chinese TV. They were showing English Premiership football, but now it’s the news. A chinese leader in a suit meeting with what looks like Evo Morales, the new Bolivain president, dressed in his casual Saturday afternoon clothes. He looks bored, whereas the chinese guy looks very pleased with himself. No idea what they’re saying.

A woman spits into the bin. I remember someone telling me that the Chinese spit a lot.

My right nostril is blocked (the left one’s fine). I was starting to come down with a cold yesterday, after being out in the Vancouver rain so much I think.

I bought the Lonely Planet guide for south East asia and have been reading up on Thailand. Firstly places to stay in Bangkok, though I think tonight I’ll be staying in the airport. The flight doesn’t get in until about 12:30 local time so I think by the time I’ve got through customs, got my baggage and assembled the bike it’ll almost be morning. I don’t fancy cycling the 25km into Bangkok in the dark. I don’t fancy doing it in the daylight, but they may not be an alternative. If they have a large cab I may just do that. That’s how I got the bike to Vancouver airport. I had to take a bike (a big cardboard box to pack the bike in), so couldn’t cycle with that.

There’s no bureau de change here. If I could change my remaining CA$20 I’d buy a bottle of water. I don’t want to pay on the card for someething like that. Could really do with a drink. But less than an hour to the flight now. Time is getting confusing. I think it’s now about 4am in Vancouver. I’ve been up since 8am Vancouver time. I’d like to know where we flew over. Instead of showing crappy TV shows on the flight it would be much better if they showed you a map of where you were. The flight coming over the Atlantic six months ago did that in the interval between the movies.

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On a plane from Vancouver to Beijing

I had thought we would be flying over the ocean, but below is frozen and unpopulated land. It might just as well be an ocean. It’s been going on for a few hours and I’ve not seen any signs of population. No towns. No roads. At first I thought it might be Korea, but we can’t be that far yet. It must be Northern Canada, Alaska maybe. Or Russia.

We left Vancouver at about two in the afternoon, delayed by an hour. The sun is now low in the sky. It’s either the 8th or the 9th of January. If we’ve crossed the international date line it’s the 9th.

There’s a coastline ahead. On the screen a chinese woman demonstrates exercises you can do whilst sitting in your seat. She’s sitting on an empty place. The one I’m on is packed, and the guy in front keeps tipping his seat back as far as it’ll go so there’s not even enough room for my laptop screen. I’m typing this with it half closed.

Getting the bike boxed up to go on the plane was a problem. I haven’t ridden it for a couple of months and was unable to get the pedals off. The joints had seized up, and I wasn’t totally sure which way to turn them to undo them so I may have been tightening them. But I managed to get it in the box with the pedals on, but taking off the handlebars and front wheel.

And then I had to get all of the paniers into one bag but the airline (Air China) wouldn’t give me a bag so I had to go and beg someone from Cathay Pacific to give me one of theirs, which she did if I promised to fly Cathay Pacific next time. I sort of did promise, but I don’t think she believed me. If you make a promise but the person you’re making the promise to doesn’t believe you’ll keep your promise, that voids the promise. So I had my bag. In it I put the two back paniers, the two front paniers and the tent and sleeping bag, managing to rip the bag slightly – I wrapped what tape I had around it, and them some more tape at the checkin but it felt very insecure. I hope it holds together. The video tapes are in one of those paniers.

The stewardesses wheel the drinks trolley along the aisle. I’d like to ask them why the seat of the guy in front of me reclines further than mine or anyone else’s, but I won’t. Earlier I wedged my kneses into the back of his seat so he couldn’t recline it any further. That was when they were serving dinner. And then I gave him a few nudges. He seemed to get the message and moved his seat to the upright position (almost) for the duration of the meal (chicken stir fry, a bread roll, salad and some kind of mousse type thing). It was about the best airline food I’ve had, though I don’t fly very often. I don’t like it. for several reasons. First, the environmental reason. Flying over this frozen landscape which we’re contributing to defrosting more than anything else. And second, the fact that it’s over so quickly. When I step off this plane I’ll be in a world completely different from the one I left, or at least once I get out of the airport because airports are all pretty similar. There’s no journey. Very little sense of the distance you’re covering. It’s like teleportation.

I had wanted to get a boat across the Pacific, but it was too complicated, and too expensive. I would have had to get a medical check up, which I would have had to pay for. And to land in China you need to be able to show proof of onward travel, such as a flight out of the country. Even if I had been able to arrange that, I wouldn’t have been able to pay for it up front. I get paid monthly – the rent from my flat – so I don’t have a lot of money at any one point in time. Plus it would takee the shippiong company a month to organize my passage, so by the time we got into December and I hadn’t managed to do it I realized I’d have to fly.

I can smell food behind me. Must be the next meal. don’t know whether it’s dinner lunch or breakfast, but it smells good.

There was some local amusement as they were serving the last meal and the stewardess asked me what I wanted in Chinese, and then realizing, laughed and asked me in English. The guy next to me said, so you’re not Chinese then?

We’re descending now. That must be China below us. Or maybe Russia? Or Korea? A long river, a couple of lakes. Another river, or possibly a road since there seems to be movement on it.

The other night I was in the Samesun hostel bar on Granville Street, Vancouver, a place frequented by many Aussie backpackers, most of whom I have no trouble understanding, but the other night the following took place:

AU – Is this the loin for the bear?
UK – Eh?
AU – Is this the loin for the bear?
UK – Sorry?
AU – IS THIS THE LOIN FOR THE BEAR?
UK – Errr.. Ahhh! No. There’s no line for the bar. You just push your way to the front and wave your money about.