Those who don’t have elephants

I realise people feel comfortable asking me all sorts of questions. I haven’t decided if that’s a good thing or not. Boat with Thai flagI just came back from a much needed vacation in Thailand.

“Is the wealth of a family in Thailand still represented by the number of elephants they own?”

What.

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What’s been going on?

So summer’s over. What’s been happening?

I quit my job. I waved everyone goodbye and packed off to Malaysia for a week on a recommissioned oil rig. It is now the Seaventures dive centre and it was my base for some dive adventures at the world-class dive sites on the nearby island of Sipadan.

View of the metal monstrosity from the boat.

View of the metal monstrosity from the boat.

Lots of stairs on to climb!

Lots of stairs on to climb!

Diving was great. Saw large schools of jackfish and barracudas. I was also very lucky to catch a school of bumpheads early in the morning. Sharks and turtles as long as I am tall are the usual features.

The famous rig lift that gets us on and off boats. It also goes underwater so we can just step off for dives on the house reef!

The famous rig lift that gets us on and off boats. It also goes underwater so we can just step off for dives on the house reef!

The rig lift from another angle.

The rig lift from another angle.

I think I can get used to the diver’s kinda life. Early mornings. The morning boat leaves at 5am for Sipadan. By 10am, you’ve already done one dive and had one breakfast. By lunchtime, you’ve done three dives and are pretty much exhausted. Dinner is at 7pm and immediately afterwards, unless you’re tempted by beer and a guitar-playing off-duty dive master, you just crash into bed. And for a few days in a row, that’s all you do.

View of the main deck from the dive centre.

View of the main deck from the dive centre.

Bar on the main deck.

Bar on the main deck.

Internet access was patchy and when I was able to get on, I remember texting someone and saying that if half of the North American continent was nuked, I wouldn’t know. Being in the middle of nowhere, not be able to do much other than rise and retire with the sun, I think that’s as much as anyone ever really needs.

Deck chairs relaxing between dives.

Trying to get wetsuits dry.

Trying to get wetsuits dry.

After a week of that, it was back to real-life and a brand new start.

Showed up on the first day of my new job with a peeling face. Ha! The rig has a helipad that is now used as a sun deck. I guess I sat out a bit too long without sunscreen. Once I got back, I was simultaneously trying to get my face to finish peeling while trying not to appear peeling at the same time. I think I was going to bed with an inch of moisturiser on my face for a few nights in a row. I don’t think my skin had ever felt so norished before.

I’m hoping this job will give me more time to read, write, go out and see people, do all the things I’ve been meaning to do, and just basically make me less of a wound-up bitch taking my job out on people that matter. Three weeks in now. So far so good. I’m more relaxed.

No less because a week ago, I decided to take advantage of a long weekend and spent a few days in Phuket with friends from high school. Really, there is nothing like old friends. People who’ve known you forever and who doesn’t give a fuck about what you do and what you’ve done. If there are people you can be with without keeping any sort of guard up, it’s them.

You know you've got great people around you when they successfully persuaded you to buy a yellow polka-dot bikini when you didn't want to and it ended up looking pretty decent.

You know you’ve got great people around you when they make you out to be a sitting duck for Asian v-signs.

So yeah, it’s been an eventful summer. I’ve left a lot of the shit out because hey, I’m done getting through them, so I’m in no great need to rehash them here again. There are still a lot of changes and I’m learning. So here’s to more time to write and better things to come!

the super pepsi drink, and on donating a coffin

I was in Hua Hin (Thailand) for the long Easter weekend.

As with most of my holidays, what usually make or break my trips is the people I go with. My cousin was fantastic and the two of us made the six-hour drive from Bangkok to the sea-side town of Hua Hin and back eating, catching up over the last two years, listening to music, and singing at the top of our voices (as girls are obliged to do).

Along the way, we made various stops for food and drink, varying from local roadside shacks serving way-too-hot-for-me curry chicken, to chocolate croissants and iced caramel macchiatos at what is apparently Thailand’s first drive-thru Starbucks. (Actually, I’ve never heard of a drive-thru Starbucks anywhere. Has anyone?!) At one stop, she showed me her own way of drinking Pepsi on a really hot day:

super pepsi drink

Walk into a 7-11. Pull a large plastic bag. Fill it with ice from the drinks machine. Buy a bottle of Pepsi. Pour the Pepsi into the bag of ice. Voila. I call it the super Pepsi drink. Continue reading

Ice-cream, straight from the nipple

This could make for a good horror movie, set in Thailand too no less: sick dude stuff nursing mums into freezers. Tada! Instant all natural ice-cream.

Sorry, that is admittedly sick. But not as bad as the Human Centipede I think. I’m surprised they even made a sequel.

Anywhooo, I was in Hua Hin (Thailand) just before the Christmas holidays.

Besides from finding inappropriate ways to eat ice-cream, we also…. Continue reading