Saturday, December 31, 2005

happy new year ('s eve)

i did it! i have found people with whom to celebrate new year's eve (much more important than new year) and am quite happy. plans are to head to the beach for some celebrating and fireworks with the local residents. it should be fun! similar in concept to last year's celebration, minus the struggle for food, the fancy hotel, the underage drinking everywhere, my mom and david, the champagne... ok, so all that's in common is a beach, fireworks, and the heat. same same!

may tomorrow be better than today and without too much of a hangover. may midnight bring happiness, health, love, friendship, encounters, discoveries, peace, courage, hope, conidence, more travels and anything else that is good and holly in this world, such as great food, comfortable beds and beautiful beaches.

bonne année à tous et à toutes!

Friday, December 30, 2005

day 155

last night i had one of the best meals of my life. it was perfect chinse food, the best on this trip that's for sure. to top it off, the restaurant was located in an incredible historical chinese house (over 200 years old), beautifully restaured and decorated in the original hainanese style. and so, i ate thinly sliced bbq duck in a sweet sauce, along with chinese broccoli in a sweet-garlic sauce and these wonderful turnip and carrot dumplings. it was so good that i ate it too fast. it was so good that i wanted to lick my plates!

then today i did some walking around, taking in the historical sights of the city. it is absolutely insane how many nice buildings there are here. almost all of them are colonial with foreign influences. it's so charming! i visited many temples, a fort, and a couple mosque. unfortunately i was spotted right away at the last one (a very beautiful one, kapitan kelling) by islam recruiters and got stuck in a few hours of religion debates. but on the good side of things, i was allowed to enter the mosque's prayer hall and observe and take pictures... a rare thing around here really. it was quite interesting... and i now have many pamphlets to read though!

tomorrow... december 31st. i have no plans yet... maybe the beach, maybe more walking around, maybe some far away stuff. and then, i will go out, of course. hopefully not on my own though. but the people at the guesthouse are just weird. i mean, not the kind of people i really get along with... so we'll see. but i refuse to go drinking alone!

about love lane...

i thought that it might have sounded weird when i said that i was staying right off love lane. it makes it sound kinda... sketchy, and so i thought i should explain a little bit. the name comes from way back in the days, when the street was filled with shop of chinese matchmakers. now those shops are gone, but the name stuck.

though love lane now also seems to cater to a different kind of love, offered by hindu and chinese lovers, most of them ladyboys with extravagant painted-on faces.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

a moment of fame! (sort of...)

mags from Blog By Women decided to make my post on jungle and tea the feature on the site for december 27. i was really excited when i saw that. first, because someone actually read my blog. second, because it means that what i wrote was at least interesting. and third but not least, because maybe I'd have more people read my blog (a little greed maybe?).

she says:

Magalie's post today highlights two of my very favorite things: Tea and hiking. As a novice hiker, I am very impressed with the fact that she hiked in a foreign country all by herself. Solo. In the jungle. And as a tea drinker, I love that she finished her hike with a cup of tea grown in the region she had been traipsing through. It doesn't get any better than this.

Travel books almost invariably have a "women traveling alone" section - or at least a mention of things women who are traveling alone should do in that particular country - that addresses women's safety in that country. This has always made me wary - I'm not as adventurous as I like to think I am. So to read Magalie's solo hike in the jungle, then capping it off at a tea house, drinking locally grown tea is just mindblowingly amazing to me.

Props to Magalie for being fearless.

well, that was really nice to read! although i have to say, i do not feel fearless. not at all! i just went hiking, without really thinking about it. i was just hoping not to run into a green mamba (unlike the site says, they're over here in Asia too) or something...

today when i was waiting for my bus to penang there was an information counter there at the station where you could get info on anything related to the cameron highlands or anywhere around here for a matter of fact. on the information board there was a noticed that said:

warning to female travelers. it is not safe to go on jungle hikes solo. if you must go on your own, at least take a wooden stick with you (not funny).

hum. was i fearless or clueless? i will never say :)


i have left the jungle and the great temperature for the island of penang, host of famous georgetown. i thought, island, chinese influence, beaches... could be nice. but then we get there and georgetown is well... a freaking huge city with skyscrapers and the likes. not what i imagined! it's ok though, most of the streets are filled with historic colonial buildings in need of a coat of paint. it is quite charming. and i did get to see the sea, although i won't be swimming there.

i've got myself a room right off "love lane", the backpacker's hub. actually my room isn't a room but a closet with a bed, i swear! the name of the room is "ER", emergency room. tomorrow i've been promised a dorm bed. but meanwhile it's quite funny. the smallest room yet! and somehow it is less depressing than some other rooms i've had thus far.

i decided to come to penang because, as i said above, it's an island with beaches. i thought that it would be a good place to spend new year, and i was right because the place is packed with bars and nightclub. i won't be bored on new years eve!

i ate the second biggest sandwich of my life today (the biggest is from el zazzium in montreal. my dad and i split is because it was so big... the kind where you get a t-shirt if you eat it all). it was really good: a club sandwich with real cheddar (thank god you entered my life again!), cucumbers, grated carrots, lettuce, beef bacon (it is a muslim country after all) and grilled chicken, on 3 slices of fresh, home-made whole wheat bread. yum!

and now, it's 6:30 and i'm still not hungry... so i decided to do the internet thing while waiting for my appetite to come back, sipping a root beer (i missed you too!).

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

more jungle, more tea...

last night i had the delight to try out the famous chinese "steamboat", a specialty around here. basically it's the typical, "here's a pot of soup, cook your own food!" type deal. you see, fellow canadians, chinese fondue around here is nothing like what it is back home. actually, i think chinese fondue is as chinese as pâté chinois. anyhow, i sat down by myself at the busy chinese restaurant on the main road here and i was invited to join a table of americans, german and swiss for some steamboat. we had way too much food, it turned out, just like at every other meals in this country. i think we might have looked like we were starving. we had: two types of noodles, eggs, fish, calamari, shark fin (yes, and i didn't have any. shame on them for killing sharks.), beef, chicken, numerous types of fish balls and fish raviolis, meat balls and 4 different types of greens (lettuce types, not vegetable types). it was all pretty good but i still like our canadian version better!

and today i went for my solo hike #2. i chose jungle trail 9A, which starts in the village and goes past vegetable farms and ends on the road that leads to the boh tea plantation (past more vegetable farms). the hike was a good one, although in the end there wasn't much of a trail left. i could hear monkeys but i couldn't see them, which i blame the two screaming families behind me for. the hike was again pretty uneventful for wildlife spotting but i did find this incredible species of begonias with leaves that shimmered bright blue to bright green, like those fancy paintjobs some people put on their cars.

after the hike i was set on going to the tea plantation for great pictures and great tea. after all, 60% of the tea consumed in malaysia come from that producer. my guidebookmentionedd curry scones (how oriental of the colonisers!) and i was sold. so i started the 4km walk uphill to the tea room. by the end (it had been 3 hours and at that point i had walked 7.5 km) i was just begging for someone to stop on the side of the road and offer me a lift to the factory. thankfully, a lovely couple asked if i wanted to jump in.

turns out they were part of a group of 3 couples traveling on a short vacation from singapore. i met all of them, who have been friends for over 20 years and have met - and still belong to - the same chinese christian group. this explained the "are you cristian" question. they were all lovely though, and all have children my age. they were impressed that my parents "let" me go on this crazy adventure... we got to discuss all of this over butter-lemon cake and cinnamon tea (for me) while the sky decided to give us a mighty shower. no picture possible. they were kind enough to offer me a lift back in town (13km away on the main road), with some nice conversations. i also now have been asked to call them when i reach singapore... which is a little weird but very kind of them. now, if i will, that's another question. i guess i'll see when i get there!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

jungle and tea - like a proper coloniser

what better way to end a hike in the jungle than a stop at a fancy english hotel for some tea. that's what i did today. i went for my first solo hike and my first hike in the jungle. i picked the easiest hike to ease myself into it. i kept looking around, hoping to see more but i guess it's not pristine, remote jungle. it's a path between two small cities that's pretty close to the highway. regardless, i saw a waterfall, butterflies, tons of different types of ferns, a squirel and a few birds but nothing to write home about (although i'm kinda doing that, aren't i?). i went up to the observation tower and the landscape was beautiful, with mountains playing hide and seek with the clouds.

after the hike i headed to the old smoke house, where i had great locally grown tea with a slice of spicy fruit cake, 2 scones, home made strawberry jam (nothing compared to mine!) and thick cream. yummy! the whole place felt very english and it was all proper. i thought that it was a great way to get energy back after a hike and i wondered why i never did that in whistler after hikes instead of going for nachos :) but then again, i could go (right now!) for that huge plate of fancy nachos at the ritz in whistler (david, you know what i'm talking about!)... yum! with a margarita por favor!

Monday, December 26, 2005


after too many days in KL i have finally jumped on a bus and headed inland to the cameron highlands. the road here was fantastic, looking at the mountains in the distance, covered in jungle and the planted palm tree fields before that. then the road started to go up the mountain, and at every turn the bus had to honk to warn oncoming trafic, and we nearly collided many times. i missed those roads! from the side of the jungle, hanging over the road, where hundreds of purple orchid plants. i love the jungle!

the highlands are fantastic so far. the tea plantations look really nice and the temperature is perfect. it is cool, and i was happy to layer-up tonight. socks, shoes, jeans, sweater... people walking around with scarves on. i missed that a lot. it feels like a nice evening by a camp fire, after a warm day, a cool night. you just want to wrap yourself in a blanket and look at the stars.


today is the 1 year anniversary of the tsunami. the original plan was to spend this day on the coast, somewhere where the wave hit but plans change. in a way, i think it's a good thing. thousands of families have travelled back to the islands to remember their lost ones. i have seen some of the damage. today would have been a very depressing day. but it is important to remember what happened... it was so tragic.

Sunday, December 25, 2005


the petronas twin towers have put on a new coat of lights tonight. they had strings of green lights around them, to make them look like gigantic christmas trees. pretty cool!

this has been my most boring, less-christmas christmas ever. i have spent my day watching movies, avoiding the rain, being on the internet and struggling with the timer on the public phones that disconnect you after talking for 5 minutes. i went for chicken though... not turkey, but close enough. that was my effort for today.

tomorrow i will be heading northeast into the cameroon highlands, for a much needed change of scenery and a refreshing cool breeze. also, i hope that i will not be encountering any more beds plagued with bedbugs. my arms, back, and feet are driving me insane.

last night i watched "the hitchhiker guide to the galaxy" and when they asked at the end the one thing that we could do without, well, bedbugs would be it. they're not part of any food chain. so what's their purpose in life aside from pissing us off?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

"miss, why so lonely?"

tonight i went for a christmas eve dinner at bistro de paris, a fancy upper class restaurant in the golden triangle, KL's upper class district of restaurant and bars. or as their pamphlet said, the "champ élysée" of KL (obviously they haven't been to paris - well, neither have i but franchement!).

i was assured by the staff that all three table d'hôte were available on the 24th. in true asian style, they lied and i was thus faced with paying double the price of the set i wanted. i sweet-talked my way to the maître d and got them to prepare the set i wanted "just for me" instead. the leek and potato soup was alright, if a little blend and cold. the baguette was the worst bread of this entire trip. the steak fritte was cooked medium instead of medium-rare (i can live with that) but was a little too salty, as were the fries (who pre-salts frieasidede from fast food chains?). the fries were also overcooked... the crème brûlé though was very nice, the crust was perfect but the texture of the crème, well, not as usual but still very nice. the wine as good. the tea was unfortunately lipton's yellow label, a tea that plagues all of south east asia. overall the meal was nice, not perfect, but very nice.

i think though that what was more important about this meal is what i learned from it. as i sat there, eating my first meal at a fancy restaurant by myself and spending christmas even by myself for the first time, i thought, this isn't bad at all. of course i'd love to have someone to talk to. of course i missed my mom's food insanely and everything that comes with it. but i watched the couple sitting close to me and i realised, i'm better off than them. they sat there, barely talking, barely looking at each other. who was more bored, more lonely, more miserable? them or me? i thought they were for sure.

the waiters, though, didn't think as i did. they kept coming up to me and asking me if i was waiting for someone, why i was alone, if i was lonely, bored... "but it's christmas eve!". the thing was, yes, i was/am alone, but i do not feel lonely. it's funny, how before i probably would have felt that. sad even of the situation. but for some reason, since being in kuala lumpur, i haven't felt lonely. haven't even felt the need to meet people.

anyhow... i was done dinner by 10pm and then couldn't face going for a drink somewhere. i might have mastered the eating alone part, but going to a club alone, that's a different thing. i didn't want to pay the cover, wait in line, buy myself a super expensive beer. so i went home... early...

not a bad evening though. but what i really, really missed was having someone around to say, "oh, you got all dressed up! look at you!" and such. i miss having girls around for that... or even anyone really. but the staff here were kind enough to fill-in! and surprisingly, i missed ko phi phi with it's ridiculously big tourist population of sweedish people. i hated them there because they were all ridiculously good looking and well dressed but now i missed them, because we could all be dressed up together and such. weird...

selamat hari krismas!

malaysian style

possibly the less christmas-y holliday greeting in the world. a camel?!? come on! ... only in malaysia i guess!

Friday, December 23, 2005

random thoughts

my back and my arms are covered in bed bug bites. they're itchy, dammit! i had the room all to myself last night and so i changed bed, thinking i might get a better one but instead i got a much, much worst one. now the room is full and i'm stuck on that bed. good think my christmas eve outfit is a long sleeve shirt.

it's really warm outside. like, it's 30 degrees everyday, under the clouds (thank god for the clouds). then, in that case, why is it that all the fancy stores at the mall insist on selling their entire collection, including wool sweaters, winter jacket, hats and scarves? who will buy that here??? although i have to say, they were beautiful jackets...

i went to batu caves today. the couple from chile told me that they were beautiful. it was just another cave. with hindu sculptures inside. good thing it was free and the bus ride there was cheap. i've learned that i'm not a big fan of caves. just like i've learned that i'm not a big fan of monkeys. this place had both.

yesterday i wanted to go see king kong while i was at the mall. i started to stand in line but the line was ridiculously long and it seemed like it would take well over an hour to reach the counter, so i gave up. good thing because by the miracle of piracy, my guesthouse was playing the movie last night. it's not as good as i had hoped... they really made it look like an old movie, but they added colours and fancy starts. oh well!

on the bus we passed a chinese restaurant that had dumplings. i thought of getting off the bus just for them but i was full at the time. so tonight i went to chinatown and asked around for dumplings, which most chinese people didn't understand. so it seems that my only option is morning dim sum at this random coffee shop. maybe for the 25th! we'll see.

kuala lumpur is obsessed with christmas music.

random thoughts

my back and my arms are covered in bed bug bites. they're itchy, dammit! i had the room all to myself last night and so i changed bed, thinking i might get a better one but instead i got a much, much worst one. now the room is full and i'm stuck on that bed. good think my christmas eve outfit is a long sleeve shirt.

it's really warm outside. like, it's 30 degrees everyday, under the clouds (thank god for the clouds). then, in that case, why is it that all the fancy stores at the mall insist on selling their entire collection, including wool sweaters, winter jacket, hats and scarves? who will buy that here??? although i have to say, they were beautiful jackets...

i went to batu caves today. the couple from chile told me that they were beautiful. it was just another cave. with hindu sculptures inside. good thing it was free and the bus ride there was cheap. i've learned that i'm not a big fan of caves. just like i've learned that i'm not a big fan of monkeys. this place had both.

yesterday i wanted to go see king kong while i was at the mall. i started to stand in line but the line was ridiculously long and it seemed like it would take well over an hour to reach the counter, so i gave up. good thing because by the miracle of piracy, my guesthouse was playing the movie last night. it's not as good as i had hoped... they really made it look like an old movie, but they added colours and fancy starts. oh well!

on the bus we passed a chinese restaurant that had dumplings. i thought of getting off the bus just for them but i was full at the time. so tonight i went to chinatown and asked around for dumplings, which most chinese people didn't understand. so it seems that my only option is morning dim sum at this random coffee shop. maybe for the 25th! we'll see.

kuala lumpur is obsessed with christmas music.

what i have to put up with...

makes for great vacation planning! do i want to chance rain in this city or that one? hum...

courtesy of yahoo weather.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

if i've been quiet lately

it's only because i felt that updates that went "today i did this, than this, and then that" were a little boring. i guess though than by waiting i'm only replacing the old update for a "yesterday i did this, today i did that" kind of update. but i hope that perhaps by combining days it will seem less like a list and more like a feeling, a flow, a something more meaningful and pleasant to read. hopefully. maybe. maybe not.

in the past few days i have visited the petronas twin towers twice, once by night and once during the day. both times were with a couple from chile that i met at the guesthouse. they're the first people from south america that i've met on this trip and it was so new that i kept feeling that they were from spain. no, i did not get to practice my more than limited spanish, although i did understand parts of their conversations. as it says in the book that i am currently reading (the piano tuner, a great book, get it!): "one can learn many things if one assumes that you cannot understand their language". i am only paraphrasing and i am certain that it is said much more elequently in the book but ut stuck with me. anyhow, back to the towers... the twin towers are the tallest twin towers in the world. they are very shinny under their stainless steel dress. they are impressive, beautiful, artistic. today i understood why i felt the last adjective. the towers were designed with islamic design in mind and used the 8-pointed star patter as the shape of the tower (created by superposing two squares). very clever!

anyhow, i now have too many pictures of the towers, at night, during the day, with sunglight, with strom clouds, it's reflection in a pond, the view from the bridge at the 41st floor... haha. had to wait 3 hours in line for those last ones!

i visited little india and found it just as disapointing as chinatown. i realised though that because this city is so intertwined in all those cultures that the actual area for that one culture can't look different from everything else, because it is present everywhere else. pretty cool, indeed, but makes for boring sight seeing...

what has been impressive though is all of the arab/moorish architecture that you can find here. yet again i am taking too many pictures but it's only because i haven't seen anything like this on my trip so far. i visited the islamic art museum and they had a section on the architecture and evotution of the mosque and they had the one in x'ian there. i tought it was pretty neat that i could look at the model and say, i've been there! that exhibit though has really made me want to travel and see the mosques that were on display. so incredible. the years. the grandeur. mecca can hold a million worshippers... crazy.

talking of worshippers, i visited my first mosque. i mean, the first one where i could actually go inside the prayer hall and such, not just do a walk around. i had to wear a scarf, it was pretty cool. everyone (tourists only, it was visiting hour) was in blue robes and scarves. more pictures there.

and i've unfortunately got another cold. i used to think that it was beijing and hanoi that got me sick but now arriving here and getting sick again i connected the dots: it's flying that makes me sick! dammit. yet another cold, a different kind this time. more sinus, headaches. good times. yesterday i thought that i might have a fever, i was so hot and sweaty and couldn't get out of it. i kept touching my forehead and asking people if they were hot too because i couldn't understand what was going on. it turned out that the air conditioning at the guesthouse broke down. ha! i was happy not to be sick but not happy to have such a hard time sleeping...

people come and go from this city quite fast. not one at the guesthouse has been there for as long as i have. i mean, they've all left since. my dorm room just keeps changing everyday. i don't get it. speed tourism? who knows. it's a cool city. with great food (probably it's best asset). why leave so fast? as for my departure, i will hold on until after christmas. maybe on the 25th or 26th will i head to somewhere, i'm not sure where yet.

i said that the food was great here. i mean, it's wonderful, incredible. i've been eating so much roti and naan and mutton massala. the food is great everywhere. for example, at the mall at the petronas towers (the biggest mall in malaysia, 6 floors, huge, lots of fancy expensive stores like chanel and prada and i had to fall in love with a marc jacob's dress. i mean, is 6000RM with 60% off still too much money? for me, right now, yes. but dammit, that's cheap for what it is! about $340 usd) i got really excited about the food court. i mean, i haven't been this excited about food court food since le marché opened in toronto and montreal's main food court. anyhow, we're talking about the ultimate food. choose from arab, indian, malaysian, chinese, western, japannese, thai, middle-eastern. we're talking hot pots, sizzeling plates, and the best freaking chicken with rice i've had in my entire life. chinese bbq over steamed rice with a tereaki-like sauce with some cillentro and cucumber slices on the side. divine! and afterwards i had to go for a made just for me naan. good stuff. but the ultimate highlight: i found a cinnabon! ha! it had been so long... too long. the downside though is that their regular bun is the size of our mini. and they have the mini as well, which is like, one bite. crazy.

today i went shopping crazy... i have been set on a pair on jeans since vietnam and i decided this was the time and the place to finally get a pair. see, this is the first place since vietnam where i can actually fit in a pair of jeans (or a bra for that matter, but shopping for that got ruined by all the bras being padded). after trying on about 20 pairs of jeans i found 2 that i couldn't choose between and since combined they were about the price of the cheapest pair i had found so far i decided to got them. crazy, i know. how i'll find room in my bag? who knows. i also got a shirt for xmas/new year and the likes... it was nice to shop. but shopping is evil.

Monday, December 19, 2005

i slept so well last night, and long as well. sleeping in a room without windows makes for very long hours of rest, thankfully. and i quite enjoyed an ultra long shower this morning. shaving under hot water is much easier. and it seems that soap rinses off better as well. small luxuries! quite appreciated.

i spent my afternoon walking around china town. i visited two hindu temples (why are they so ugly and cold out here?) and two really cool chinese temples (why are they so much better outside of china?). i strolled the food stalls but i didn't find any dumpling anywhere... but i found cherries!!! i was so excited and i paid so much for them but they tasted so good. i was relieved because the last fruit "treat" i offered myself, strawberries in bangkok, was more than a disappointment. i also found some rambutan. i had been looking for them everywhere in thailand but they didn't have any. unfortunately, most of them were quite spoiled.

chinatown here felt a lot less chinese than back home, somehow. the street market was filled with imitation goods and outside the market there wasn't much chinese-feel anywhere. yes, there were chinese signs on every buildings and the buildings were much in need of a coat of paint but heck, they were colonial buildings.

i also went to the central market, located in an art deco building. quite a big market, but they all sell the same things. batik, necklaces, etc.

my other lucky find, aside from the cherries, was discovered at the 7/11. i love that store and just walking through it to see the local additions. although here the products aren't so great and the choices are quite limited, i found... vanilla coke! ha! i was so happy. my first in 4.5 months! the joy. it tastes a tad different though, but who cares!

the rest of the evening was spent updating my journal, while the rain was falling hard outside. and then dinner, where i met august, a south african man who wanted to be my friend and asked if he could visit me in my hotel. when i said that i wasn't interested, that i didn't want his number and that i wouldn't call him he ask if it was because he was black. i said that it had nothing to do with it, but i should have added that it was because he was creeping me out. i went to pay my bill and the two guys behind the register asked if i was married, to which i said yes.

note to self: go buy a wedding ring.


random info about malaysian culture: coffee comes with an asian-style spoon and is consumed as a soup.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

trang by night, phuket by day, kuala lumpur by night

after writing my blog update i kept myself busy by wasting a lot of time trying to find out at what time the first bus left for phuket and by purchasing a plane ticked from phuket to kuala lumpur. the goal: leave on the first bus, get dropped off at the airport in phuket and make it on time for my flight, all in one day. a tight schedule but the most logical route to take.

thus, the next day was to be as such: wake up at 5:10 am, leave at 5:30am for the bus station, get on the bus that leaves at 6am, arrive at the airport at 11am and get on my flight that lifts off at 1:30pm. cross my fingers that nothing happens along the way!

satisfied, i headed out to the western restaurant i saw near the train station (really the only option since restaurants in trang mostly close at 5pm). i ordered a burger (what?! i'm allowed to!) and was thrilled to see it arrive with *real*, aged, cheddard cheese. paradise! it had been ages since i had cheddard (read, cambodia). anyhow, small stuff like that really makes my day.

i ate really slowly and read my guidebook section on malaysia's history, general info and everything about kuala lumpur. i was even highlighting passages when some guy came up to me and said "we're going to a bar, wanna come?" to which i said, ok. i mean, it's not like there's anything to do in trang at night...

regardless. my plan was to get back home early due to my having to get up real early but it was my last night in thailand and so the saysong (local, evil whisky) started flowing. the nightclub was weird though: tons of people, no one dancing. bunch of waiters, too many even. and a stage in the middle that made the whole place look suspiciously like a strip joint. at least, i thought, i would be able to say that i saw a lady show in thailand. but no! it turned out to be a ledgit stage for a real band! well, a cover band. but a band! the musicians were really good and hip looking but the singers were quite... pop and had some of the worst voice/pitch ever. regardless, the evening was quite nice and ended up... never ending!

that's right! it got too late for it to be logical to go to bed as i would have never woken up. so i left the guesthouse at 5:40 (they didn't reserve a tuktuk as agreed), in the dark, on no sleep. arrive at the bus station: bus leaves at 6:20am. not too bad. the upside to being this early is that i'm pretty much the only one on the bus so i take the two seat, get myself in a ball and sleep... sweet sleep. i slept pretty much the entire 5 hour ride but found it hard to sleep getting closer to phuket because the scenery was so goddamn beautiful. limestone mountains everywhere, covered in lush greenery, palm trees... just incredible.

arrive at the airport and i get off the bus, evidently on the side of the highway and not at the airport. the timing is good though - i still have plenty time before my flight. i hop on a motorcycle because i'm not up to walking to 4km to the airport and arrive to what was described as a "boutique airport" by thai airline - only to find out that they lied (of course they did!).

regular airport, and i'm too early for my flight. check-in has not yet started. i do some walking around, i eat lunch. finally i check in, and the girl at the counter is nice enough not to charge me for the extra kilos on my bag (it now weights 18 kilo, crazy! i don't know how that happened since there's less stuff in it than before. anyhow, that saves me 160B/kilo) and the fine for overstaying my visa (200B saving). i go through security, the guy isn't happy that i stayed the extra day, to which i explain that the entire south is flooded and i couldn't leave, and i get away with it, thankfully.

anyhow. the plane is late and we end up boarding about an hour late. i could have left later and slept! damn.

the plane ride was nice, in the clouds, of course. it was weird though, the airline doesn't assign seats so i got to pick my seat. as we got closer to kuala lumpur the clouds dissipated a little bit and i could see the landscape. a weird one, really. where is the forest? the wild nature? everywhere i could see, of miles on end, was different types of palm tree plantations. all farms. nothing real left nearly! but the water... oh! i didn't expect reefs beside the capital.

anyhow. go through customs, get on the express train into town, hop on the elevated rail network (the metro/subway really) and i realised: i did it all like i've been here before. buying the tickets, getting around, etc. i nailed it. it was natural. it was weird.

kuala lumpur is a very modern, developed city. but unlike bangkok it didn't disappoint me here, perhaps because i was expecting it. there's cool building and a great mix of people/cultures. and the petrona twin towers are very impressive, even from afar. i'm glad i'm here.

country number 7 of this trip.
country number 10 this year.
my first muslim country.

my hostel is well located. it's pretty run down though, but they have all the services you can imagine minus a pool so it's cool. it's back to the world of dorms but that way you meet people. at least they have *hot* water. i haven't had a hot shower in a very, very long time. it will be sweet.

went for dinner tonight with a guy that's in my room. we set off to walk around to find somewhere to eat but as we turned the corner i spotted a curry house, so we went there. we each ordered the banana leaf set: you get a huge banana leaf that serves as a plate and 3 kinds of vegetables (2 curries and 1 yoghurt), a ton of rice with 2 curry sauces, chips and roti (incredible indian bread, better than nan) and a curried meat for 7 RM (divide by 3.8 for usd). i had the mutton curry - absolutely incredible. you eat the whole thing with your fingers so it's really cool. but there's way too much food! i ate half my leaf and i was completely full, to the point of discomfort.

and here i am, enjoying decent priced internet and weak aircon. soon i will take a hot, long shower and sleep, a very long and deep sleep, i hope.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

trang wetness

i took the minibus to krabi this morning and asked about going to malaysia. i was told that all of the buses were sold out but that there was no guarentee that they were even going to leave. regardless, the lady told me to go to trang and see from there if it was possible to go south. like an idiot i listened to her, thinking that i could get lucky. or something.

i told myself that no matter what happened it would be alright because i already knew that things were bad. well, somehow it still got to me when i got in trang and realised that i was stuck here and should have gone to phuket instead. a waste of money, really.

the highway is a tad flooded driving here. the side of the roads, though, are really bad. it's like the entire region is under a big lake. there's no way to go south from here. they waren't lying.

trang is a pretty ugly town, and a very chinese one. all the signs are in chinese, i'm staying in a bizarre chinese hotel that smells like chinese food (which they don't really serve at the restaurant downstairs) and looks like it was done in an old school or office building. the buildings are ugly and old. it's raining. everything is pretty much closed, including the tourist information stores and tourist stuff like dive shops. farangs (there aren't many of us here) all looks confused and wonder the streets looking for something to do but there's nothing. even hardly any restaurants.

we all look like we're stuck here. and we want to get out.

anyhow. tomorrow i am heading back up and going to phuket. from now on, it seems (and according to the weather network) that everywhere i go will be wet, rainy and depressingly unlike what i'm looking for. like there's no end in sight...

Friday, December 16, 2005

f*cking hell

in my last post i asked the rain to go away.

obviously it didn't listen to me and so today i found myself watching more movies and taking a walk on the beach in the rain (it really reminded me of tofino...). it was cool to just lie in the sand and feel the rain hit my face. hurray for big 25 cents raincoats.

when i got back to the guesthouse i asked about the bus to kuala lumpur. i've had enough islands (read, islands in the rain) and so i might as well head there first. all was going great until the staff called to reserve a seat for me on the 20 hour journey. one of the nice ladies here returned to me and said "i am sorry, but you cannot leave tomorrow". i just looked at her, waiting for the explanation. "there is water in the roads up to here", she said, pointing to her shoulders. the highways are flodded. no car, buses or train can make way pass trang, a few hours south of here. apparently it's been like that for a couple days. i tell her that i have to leave tomorrow because my visa expires tomorrow. we look at each other and we both start laughing. i'm quite stuck here. surrender. she recommend that i go to krabi to get a visa extention from the immigration office there, but i know the obstacles: tomorrow is saturday (they're not opened on weekends) and they take numerous days at processing extentions. and they cost money.

so basically i can sit here and wait for the rain to stop. maybe in a week, she said. who knows.

or i can fly out. i can fly cheapest out of bangkok on the 23rd or from puket on the 21st. strangely it costs about the same for me to get to phuket or bkk from ko lanta.

regardless, i'll be staying illegally in a country for the first time in my life.

i don't know what to do: wait and save money, but risk being here for a very long time. or book a flight, pay more but be sure to leave.

damn monsoon. i planned everything around you and you had to stick around to ruin my plans!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

rain rain go away...

yesterday i noticed that the wind was blowing from within the island - not from the coast as it usually is. this meant that the monsoon rains and typhoons that have been plaguing the east coast were arriving... yet it didn't sink in that this could be pretty bad.

we had rain yesterday, light rain, which was fine. but during the night heavy rains moved in and it hasn't stopped since. i have thus watched lord of the rings twin towers, the hours, elf and romeo & juliet so far... my head hurts and i think i might have a nap before more food and movies. maybe i'll even eat fried bananas again; they're delightful here.

rumours have been going around about the raining season and it seems that there's no end in sight to it until early january. so, i have decided to skip the malay islands and go straight to kuala lumpur. at least there, if it rains, i can go shopping, visit tall buildings and religious temples and go see king kong. then i'll do the highlands and if the weather clears, i will then head back up to the islands. i've found pretty cheap tickets for bali, so who knows. i'll see how things go.

this means though that on the 17th i'll be on one very, very long bus ride... i'm not really looking forward to it at all. and the ticket price! ha! but at least i'll get rid of this freakin' rain. so much for this being the "peak" season...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

new island, same weather

today we (isabelle and i, a french girl i have been traveling the islands with) left ko phi phi for ko lanta, a boat ride away south-east of phi phi. just as phi phi was incredible for its water and mountains, lanta seems pretty ordinary in comparison. maybe that's not the right word, but it's simply not as impressive. on the other hand, this island feels lived-in (as it is huge) - there's not only tourists here but a big population of locals and that feels nice. docking at the island it felt more authentic, real... less touristic.

in fact the beach (long beach, the main one) was pretty deserted today, perhaps due to the gray sky and random light rain. it's weird - the beach reminds me of the westcoast/northshore of canada & usa. the sand colour, the trees. i don't know, it doesn't feel tropical. but this impression would surely change if it was sunny out and we could see the colour of the water.

we're staying in a pretty nice bungallow a few minutes from the beach. we're right around the corner from a really cool restaurant/bar place and another few bars, which is quite nice. this place can be quiet, or not, depending on the mood... and the weather i guess. fortunately though our hotel lets us watch dvds as we wish so when the rain comes again we will now have something to do, on our own time.

in a few days i will be leaving for country #7. it feels weird, leaving. just as much as thailand hasn't felt like an as incredible country as the rest i keep feeling the urge to go back to bangkok, as if i've left something behind or forgotten something. it's a weird feeling...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

phi phi...

i realised that i haven't really said anything about the island yet and that perhaps i should... i was putting off the internet because it's so exoensive here but also because well, there's often better things to do, although it was raining for a while...

so yeah. first impression of phi phi was under the rain, but yesterday the rain and clouds left and were replaced by blue sky and sun! the water was beautiful but the light was wrong... so i have to admit i never got to see it as i wished because the clouds came back before the sun could shine properly over water. but that's ok!

yesterday we hired a longtail boat to go to phi phi lay, the other island. we did 2 snorkeling stops where i saw the most incredible things ever. i say so many fish, big clams, live corals and the likes. it was so incredible to swim in this blue water with all these yellow and black fish swimming around me, unafraid. i tried reaching out to touch them but they always got away! of course... i saw puff fish and parrot fish of the most incredible colours and even a baracuda i had to swim away from. just incredible. after the snorkeling stop the stop was maya beach, where they filmed the beach and i have to say that it looks just like in the movie. well, minus the tourists and the boats of course. but beautiful! so it was a good day really.

otherwise phi phi is quite nice. it was odd standing where the wave hit. there's not much left there, but there's this huge bodai tree that was left standing. quite odd. the island still has destroyed areas and most places have pictures of what their shop looked like after the hit. and some places never rebuilt and are just standing there, broken... but otherwise you would never know that the island was destroyed at 75%. they've done a good job rebuilding everything.

in a few days i will be heading to ko lanta and then make my way to malaysia... i'm wondering if i want to keep doing beaches so maybe i'll head inlands to get a change of beat. we'll see!

Friday, December 09, 2005

thailand from dusk 'till dawn, or... i got on a tuktuk that didn't know where the southern bus station is and drove around in circles until i lost face and told him to stop.

... how i got stuck in a cab (that did know where he was going) in thai traffic and ended up with my most expensive cab ride fare yet (143B).

... how i was conned into thinking i missed that aircon bus to krabi leaving at 7:10pm (550B) so that i'd buy a vip ticket for the 8pm bus (850B).

... how i got to watch one of the most horrible movies ever, made in england, of all places (dubbed in thai, of course).

... how at the bus stop the bus attendant took my picture with his phone and kept staring at it later while sitting in the bus...

... how i got to see wonderful jungle, sugar palm and teak fields. and limestone cliff mountains.

... how i hardly slept.

... how i woke up to the most horrible, awfully loud thai karaoky song ever.

... how i got off the bus to be told ferry tickets were now 300B instead of 200B and a taxi to the terminal would be 150B.

... how i got on a public transport instead and was dropped off at the old ferry terminal.

... how i realized that 2000B ($50 usd) were taken from my wallet during my few hours of sleep (somehow, it didn't even make me angry) on the bus.

... how i realized that while taking my bag off the bus they broke the waste strap/back support section in a way that i can't fix without tools and expertise (that, i wasn't impressed about. but it's not too bad).

... how i was harassed until i'd buy a ferry ticket to ko phi phi.

... how i got south to find out it was raining everywhere (not as bad as ko samui though!).

... how at the ferry port realized krabi was like ha long bay meets mangroves - quite nice!

... how i finally arrived to see that ko phi phi has to be the most beautiful place i've ever seen - and note, i've only seen it under gray clouds and light rain. imagine what it would be like under the sun!

... how this island has such expensive accommodation!

... how i absolutely love it here.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

au revoir bangkok

je dis adieu a bangkok pour la dernière fois. je vais avoir resté ici un peu plus longtemps que prévu, à cause de la paresse et à cause de la santé. mais bon!

ce soir je prend l'autobus pour krabi, coin paradisiaque du sud. un beau trajet de 12h (sinon plus!) où je ne vais surrement pas pouvoir dormir et où je vais tester pour de vrai les progrets de mon rétablissement.

demain matin je vais prendre le traversier directement pour ko phi phi et je vais voir par la suite comment les choses vont se passer. j'aimerais bien visiter krabi et ko lanta, mais il ne me reste que 9 jours dans le pays et je ne sais pas si ça va être assez de temps!

hier j'ai finalement prit le temps de prendre des photos de khaosan, des marchats et des vendeurs de nourriture. c'est fou tout ce qu'on peut manger dans la rue! et vu que c'était ma dernière soirée et que je suis déjà sur des antibiotiques, j'ai décidé de me faire plaisir et de manger la bouffe de rue. donc, pad thai, jus de carrotte/pomme et cuisse de poulet bbq. délicieux!

retour à l'hotel j'écoute le film super comique "anacondas"... suivi d'un des employés de l'hotel qui sort son serpent (un gros!) de sa chambre et essaye d'impressionner la gallerie... je demande pour mon lavage, je monte à ma chambre et réalise que mon chandail manque et que mes pantalons préféré sont tous tâché... je retourne en bas, on cherche mon chandail mais il se fait tard et je dois attendre au landemain. heureusement, mon chandail m'attend en bas ce matin et mes pantalons sont maintenant tout propre! une chance...


this french update was brought to you by request of victor who never, ever updates his blog...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Puce in Vancouver and Mag in Bangkok

Puce in Vancouver and Mag in Bangkok
Originally uploaded by Officer Dave.

pretty cool, no?

my fat cat is reading my blog and looking at me. too bad i can't look at her as well! david is refusing to get a new cam... bah!

it's nearly my secret!

postsecret is a place where people can send in their secret. some of them are displayed on the website every sunday.

this sunday this secret was posted. it really hit home. god called me to do something as well. and i also said no. and when i asked him to stop asking, he did, and i felt lonely, sad, abandoned. maybe it sounds crazy but it's true.

my last 37 hours

well. where to start...

december 5, woke up to a overly sore body. i had planned on getting a massage that morning but as i was lying down i realized that the massage would turn out to be quite painful. i felt like you feel when you have a bad cold and your entire body aches. and then, bathroom runs.

i ate a hearty breakfast of plain toasts and fruit juice (for the vitamins, even though i know all those fibers won't do much good) and headed out to the train station 3h in advance to get my ticket back to bkk. of course, the guy yesterday said that the ticket booth opened 3h before the train departs but he meant to say 30 minutes before. of course! and of course, the train was delayed by over an hour and we had no way of knowing just how much more delay could occur.

for some obscure reason i still sat there 2h thinking i'd wait for the train but after 2h i realized i'd get in bkk way too late (to get a room at my guesthouse) and decided to take the bus instead. so i got on the back of a motorcycle and well, that was a crazy ride! i think i've gotten back my fear of motorcycles now... zooming between cars, busses, lane from lane. very scary! now i know why they suggest that you don't use motorcycle transport in thailand.

anyhow, make it to the bus station, hop on a bus and we get going right away. because i took a 2nd class bus, i was on a bus that piled the isle with thais so the ride was pretty crowded. they had started to show terminator 2 in thai and i was quite interested on knowing what hasta la vista, baby was in thai but they stopped the movie when the isle was so crowded that there was no way that anyone could watch it anymore.

during the ride it started to rain pretty hard (rad, typhoon-like) and the streets got really flooded. but the good part was, it started to rain inside the bus too! i guess that's what you get for ridding a fancy 2nd class bus with air con.

get to bkk, head to the guesthouse where the only room left was a fancy room with in-suite bathroom. i took it because i was lazy, and it turned out to be a great idea later that night.

but before we get to that... i went for dinner right at the corner here and met a cool scottish guy. took him to see the view of khaosan rd and that turned out to be the best thing i could have done. see, yesterday was the king's birthday and so the entire view north of here was of the park, street and palace/temple all light up. you could see the crowd of fans in the park, and it was magical when they all lit a candle to celebrate his anniversary and sing happy birthday. a sea of candles... followed by fireworks. when i say fireworks, i mean insanity. i thought i was lucky in tokyo when i say two firewoks at the same time but now... it seemed like there was one at every 5km for a good 360 degrees. just everywhere! and then, one started right in front of us. big fierworks, non-stop, like the typical closing bit of fireworks back home but this lasted about 20-30 minutes. they were exploding right in front and above us - my neck was hurting from having to look up so much. i had never seen fireworks like that, and i had never been so close them before. very impressive!

after drinking some water on the side of the street and watching khaosan rd go by, i had to head back to my room because i was feeling really bad. i had chills, i was cold, i had fever and i was nauseous.

i went to bed, and fought the fever all night. i kept going back to this same, weird war-like dream about a thai town. i didn't understand the dream or the story, and i've pretty much forgotten all of it but i guess i was fighting in my dream like i was fighting my fever in real life. i also kept waking up and having to run to the toilet - the in-suite was great for that.

next morning, got up late, with too many toilet runs. i tried to eat some plain rice and drink water but neither were going down. and then i had blood in my stool, and decided that i had enough.

i grabbed a cab to the local, public hospital (apparently the best in bkk). i was sent from one window to the other, to the emergency room and eventually to room 122 to see a doctor. i waited 1h to have them take my temperature/blood pressure and 2+ hours to see a doctor. while waiting i looked around and felt really alone. everyone in the hospital had their family with them. kids, sibling, parents. i was all alone. i so wanted to be home at that point... feeling like shit, missing my loved one, dying for some chicken soup from swiss chalet or st-hubert with some Premium crackers (you can't find those here). it was the first time since osaka that i didn't want to be on this vacation. i started to cry in the waiting room, quietly... discretely.

finally i saw the doctor. she wanted me to spend the night in the hospital (read, in the hallway on a bed with tons of old people) but i thought that that would be too depressing and would be quite a waste of the room i was paying for. so she gave me some injections of i don't know what along with penicillin to kill the bacterias causing the diarrhea/nausea/fever/pains etc. then i got more meds to take over the next 5 days.

i couldn't believe though that i didn't have to pay anything to see the doctor or use the hospital services. i only had to pay for the meds (250B, that's $6 for 5-6 different types of meds) which was very cheap.

and now here i am. i am doing much better after those injections, and i actually ate a full meal. i'm taking pills and drinking rehydration salts (that taste alright, as opposed to the ones i brought that tastes like hell - enough that it's undrinkable). hopefully things will get back to normal real fast.

i will take tomorrow as a day of rest and see how things go. i had wanted to go down to krabi tomorrow but now it's not such a good idea... we'll see when i'm up for it.

so. there it is. my last 37 hours. not fun ones...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

war stuff!

today i did the mandatory war-related tourist activities. i went to the museum (one of many, i picked the closest) and learned bunch of things i might have been better off not knowing about the japannese and their war savy, aka, godawful behaviour. i knew about china (nanjing, which was much worst) but knew nothing about how they build the railway into burma (myanmar). anyhow, after all this info i went and strolled the cemetery across the street where just under 7000 pow that died building the railroad/bridges are buried. it felt a little small really, didn't have the grandeur you'd expect that would be needed to hold so many tombstones. the weird thing was though that walking the isles and reading the engravings i got teary eyed and i don't know why, really, but it got to me somehow. some of the people were really young...

after a break and some of the best french fries (french fried, as they call them around here) on this trip, i walked back to the kwai river bridge to see the light & sound show. i could have paid 120B to see it but decided to go the free way because well, it's free but also because i could potentially get myself a seat in front of a hard surface i could use to stabilise the camera. i did find such a seat, but showing up 2h before the show. the show was weird and all in thai, and then there was a lot of fireworks and explosions to show how the british bombed the bridge. it was kinda cool, but it felt like some sort of prostitution of war-time stuff... hard to explain but it felt wrong somehow... like that the thais should feel more shame in having partnered up with the japanese during the war and about letting that kind of pow treatment go on in their country. but whatever!

anyhow, i guess it was a day as happy as they get when one does all that war memorial stuff.

tomorrow i will head back to bkk. i'm heading back ealier than planned because i'm done over here and because that way i'll get more time down south. mountains, limestone cliffs, aqua water, white sand... should be good!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

kanchanaburri weirdness

this is a weird city.

no restaurants open before 6pm. everything is barricated, closed, deserted. then, everything opens up and everything looks the same. same set up, same fee pool, same very loud music. so how to pick a place to eat when everything is the same? well, you try to choose the one with people inside so that you're not alone and feel somewhat part of something. but i walked up and down and everything was deserted. so i picked a random place, ate a cheap meal and got outa there.

then, i thought, let's go online. so i've spotted a few places that were cheaper further up and i get up there. 7pm. they are closed! what kind of town is this??? restaurants open late and internet closes early. why? the weekend? sunday's tomorrow (one place had a sign that said "closed sunday" even though it's saturday)? the king's bd is coming up? the kanchanaburri festival is going on? why?

so... i will go back to my guesthouse, slab on a ton of mosquito repellent (those bastards are insane!) and watch movies at the guesthouse.

tomorrow i will walk around town to see the war museum and cemetery of those who died building the bridge over the kwai river. then i'll walk to the bridge and watch the light and sound show (part of the festival) for free (tour companies charge 120B but i found a free area and anyhow, admission is only 20B). then i think i'll try heading back to bkk early on the king's bd... hopefully that will work out!

Friday, December 02, 2005

ayutthaya, take 2

i have decided to do things differently today and so i chose against biking about 20km in the blazing heat and hoped on a tuktuk instead. a much better idea, which left me a lot less tired and fed up afterwards. i saw some incredible temples that way today, some of which i was the only one at (which was quite nice). then i went back to the hotel, booked a boat trip around the island (which conveniently goes to temples i hadn't gone to yet) and took a nap (much needed after a 3rd night of hardly any sleep). when i came back downstairs to wait for the tour i was informed that i was the only one who signed up and could pay 50B more (1.25 usd) and be the only one in the boat. i agreed and was quite pleased actually to be by myself.

the boat ride was great and i saw wonderful houses, people fishing and swimming and lots of cool birds. there's this one shot though that i wish i could have taken with my camera but there was no way that i could have caught it in time. there was a fat man sitting shirtless on the banks of the river. he was brushing his teeth and had toothpaste everywhere around his mouth (like a rabid dog, really) and it had dripped all over his fat belly. priceless!

the temple part though was quite funny. we stopped at 3 temples and everytime she said "10 minutes, ok?" which is quite a ridiculously short amount of time to see, enjoy and capture huge temple complexes. so it was kinda like a race against the clock, and i can't wait to see if i actually managed to take some decent pictures in all that madness. i have to admit though that i took more than 10 minutes... so now i have seen thailand's biggest buddha (quite impressive) and can now avoid all other buddha's for a while... i might have had my share for a week or so.

tomorrow i will head out to kanchanaburri (i think i might be misspelling that city's name differently everytime). i'm a little worried because i arrive 1. on a saturday and 2. in the middle of the festival that's going on there. i hope to find a room, an affordable room that is. on top of everything it is the king's birthday in 3 days, which means nothing opened, more vacationers and the likes. we'll see what happens!

i am somewhat feeling better today, but still don't feel much excitement or desire to do anything. but the morale is going up, which is great. perhaps once i manage to get rested it will all get better... now, if i could only stop getting mosquito bites! even with my "eau de deet" on they seem to love me just as much.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

maybe i've had enough...

it really feels like i'm fed up of everything. i feel like doing nothing, going nowhere. i've been taking things slow thinking that maybe i was just tired but today it crossed my mind that maybe i've simply had enough. maybe that's why there's nowhere i want to go, nothing that i want to see, nothing i want to do, nothing i crave to eat and nothing that excites me anymore.

i feel like i've been forcing myself to do things because i ought to but i'm simply not enjoying them as i should. yes, ayutthaya's ruins are incredible. but after 5 temples today and 5 hours of walking/biking i just didn't care to keep on going even though it was only 3pm. actually after the tuktuk night tour yesterday i already had enough of them. it feels like that day in nara, japan, where i just sat in the parc and did not want to move, walk, see temples or smell deers anymore. i was fed up then, but the feeling didn't last long. but this feels deeper.

maybe i'm just tired. i've been on an insomnia bit and i've only slept 4 hours in the past 2 days. but i've been feeling like this since i've arrived in thailand. i was just ignoring it, hopping that it would go away...

but now i don't know. at the temple i sat down on the roots of a tree, eating a grapefruit (yes, i know i don't like them back home but they're really good here) and i kept trying to find out what i wanted. i don't want to stay here. i don't want to leave. i don't want to go home. i don't really want to change country. i don't feel like going to the beach. i'm not excited or interested in taking the diving course i wanted to treat myself to as an early christmas present. i don't want to volunteer or take a course in something.

i don't know how i'm going to solve this thing. i don't know if it's fixable. i don't know what to do.

what a crappy place to be at right now. i've only been travelling for 4 months... i'd hate for it to be over because i can't find the joy in it anymore.

so, anyhow... i will be forcing myself into 5 more temples tomorrow, unless i really can't be bothered after a few. and then i'll have to decide if i really want to go to kanachaburri and see all those war things... more bridges, more graveyards, more museums, or if i go back to bkk early and head down south earlier, even if it's not really appealing either at the moment.

why do i feel like this? this sucks!!!

happy world AIDS day

did you know that asia is plagued by the hiv/aids pendemic?

did you know that in cambodia, 600 people a month die from aids-related illnesses?

did you know that infection rates are going right up all over the world, even in places where great declines had been recorded?

find out more about world aids day and what you can do here!