Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Water and Weird Words!
Oh for a private joint on that long journey!
Clean environment. Clean Arse!
Koh Chang... the joy of Songkhran.
Big farang... pipsy bucket.
Motorcycles are fair game as targets...
... and only rarely get away unsoaked.
Since breaking my jaw, I’ve spent quite a lot of time recuperating on blue inter-city buses.
I couldn’t stray far from the hospital in Bangkok but we decided to go to the lovely island of Koh Chang to escape the water festival at Songkhran, the Thai new year. Being stuck in the city for five days constantly getting soaked wouldn’t be much fun and it made much more sense to get soaked at the beach.
From door to door it was about an eight hour trip, including taxi, bus, truck, ferry and finally a pickup to Jinda Resort on White Sands Beach. Twice we’ve had to go back home to our Surin village for a few days before returning to Bangkok to have the metalwork taken out of my mouth and for root canal treatment of my battered teeth. That’s a good nine hours door to door, all of which totals about fifty hours on blue and other buses.
Meanwhile with my jaw sewn closed I’ve been unable to eat anything other than liquids and it hasn’t been easy. If only the ‘Private Joint Buses’ of the BMTA, the Bangkok Mass Transit Association (??) really allowed you a little something to help you relax along the way
In out hut on the island we had a very entertaining shower room.
Bathrooms in England sometimes have carpets but Asian loos are always awash with water. This one had a large concrete water tank, empty except for some litter and frog. Next to the WC was a small ceramic sink for post-evacuation cleaning purposes and of course a shower. This was at the highest point of the room so that every time someone showers the whole place floods and your feet are always wet whenever you go inside. People call it ‘the wet room’ and for good reason.
The most entertaining bit though was the sign on the wall.
In most beach huts the latrine drains into a sump in the ground, so they ask you to put used tissue paper in a basket by the loo. Flushing it down the WC blocks the plumbing and fills up the sump which then has to be pumped out.
Westerners need to be told the rules and the sign on the wall had a picture of the special hose used for anal ablutions, together with the following words.
“This device is use for wash your behind when finish on toilet, and paper to dry for water. “Clean environment.”
So nicely put. Clean environment, clean posterior!
And talking of loo signs, our Bangkok bus pulled into the same new inter-city mega-loo this blog reported on some months ago… the one offering a choice of three different sit-down stalls with a huge sign saying, “Pregnancy. Deformed. Senility”.
Somebody must have seen this blog because it’s been changed and now it says “Pregnancy. Disability. Senior Citizen”. Shame really as I much prefer the original!
The best shower though was during the Songkhran festival. On Koh Chang as everywhere they were throwing water in the streets and no quarter was given for the grey haired, for cameras or for motorbikes. The roads become wet and greasy and when water is thrown full in the face of a passing motorcyclist, there are bound to be accidents.
It’s all good clean fun and there were plenty of farang holiday makers joining in. Frankly though I was relieved when it was all over and the horizontal rain came to an end for another year.
Blue buses too are a memory and instead it’s been twelve hours on an EVA Air flight to London. Now we’re in Petersfield, Hampshire, and Cat’s just emptying the dish washer so I’d better stop and go to help.
Yesterday I bought yet another liquidizer and I have to take paracetamol before eating so I’m not out of the woods quite yet.
Ever tried liquidized muesli? It’s not as bad as you’d think!
Andrew Hicks The “Thai Girl” Blog May 2009