Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Do you know where Paradise is? I do!

Yesterday we went on our first trip off the island. It was a full day trip to the Similan Islands, a set of 11 small islands outside Khao Lak, to the west (and a bit north) from Phuket. A lot of people don't go there because the trip from the hotels around our area just to the harbour is 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Then in the boat the trip is about 1 h 10 minutes.
They are missing out:

We first arrived at was Island Number 9 (They have names by numbers) and did some snorkeling. I was a bit scared, because as with so many things, I'm a bi scared of fish. Why, I do now know, but they didn't bother me at all. However the place wasn't great for snorkeling, because jellyfish had released strands from their bodies that burned a bit there.
It was Simo's first time snorkeling and he really enjoyed it.

Then we went to Island Number 8 which was absolutely AMAZING! It was o beautiful with white sand that felt like powder between your toes an clear torquise water. At this island we could go to land, and we had a lunch there and some time to hang at the beach. Simo and I did some snorkeling there as well, and noticed some white quite big fish that was very curious and kept following us around. At least my fear of fish is gone (if I really ever had one), but the squids? Thy better stay away from me!

After relaxing there for a while, the boat took us to Island Number 7 where we went in the water to snorkle again. Simo saw a big fish eat a smaller one in a dramatic fashion right in front of him, and we saw both Dory and Gil from Finding Nemo. We haven't seen Nemo yet. *sigh*
This place was beautiful snorkeling place and we disovered how much we liked it whn we popped up to the surface to discover that we were the only ones in the water and all the people were waiting for us in the boat.
We went to the last island on the trip after that: Island Number 4 which is the most popular one and that has another beautiful beach. We stayed there for a while but I noticed that my head was hurting a bit and that I might have gotten a light sunshock. Of course it didn't help that on the way to Island Number 4 I went to the toilet in the boat and hit my head REALLY hard in the ceiling when a wave came. I stayed in the toilet and didn't dare getting up even until I wobbled out the door like a dog waking up from anestesia when the boat was at the shore.

The trip home was pretty OK; I slept most of the way on the boat and in the minubus. They drive like crazy here though.
If you even go to Phuket, this is a trip I highly recommend, it's simply PARADISE!

Monday, 29 March 2010

Buddha's, beaches and ting tong!

It's been a couple of tiring days. Not because we have done so much (well acutally we have), but the sun which is something I had almost forgotten existed is really making me sleepy.

On saturday we took a schauffeur and drove to a beach called Hat Nai Harn. It was the most beautiful beach I have seen yet and it was very small. The water was crystal clear and the beach pretty calm. Simo of course was thrilled to have a nice pair of boobs laying next to us, especially since most of the boobs laying on the beach are pretty vintage...
After a nice relaxing time, our man drove us to "The Big Buddha", a huge statue on a hilltop surrounded by a temple. We were lucky to see a monk there and the view from the place was pretty impressive.
After coming back to the hotel and relaxing a littlebit we went to a minogolf place called Dinopark Minigolf. It was really cool, with a great dinosaur atmosphere and pretty challenging holes.

Yesterday we got the same driver and went tp Phuket Town. It was sunday, but we thought everything was open which it wasn't. Phuket Town was pretty dissapointing, but we visited a Chinese Temple called Jui Tui Temple. It was open and it was beautiful.

After that we went to the thing that WAS open though; the Phuket Festival Mall! It was huge and we bravely told the driver that we only needed an hour there, but we had no idea how big it was! We decided to come back there later for some shopping! Outside the mall they had some metal art statues of different film characters. I found Darth Vader! Yay!

Today we we're gonna rent a long tail boat and go see some islands but because it's apparently the rainyseason now as we've discovered, and the water was a bit rough, we couldn't go. Instead we hung at the beach and ordered a trip for tomorrow to the Similand Islands. It will be the whole day and it should be a lot of fun!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Where are we?

When we woke up today it was with weird kind of feeling. I was super awake, so early? Nope, we had overslept. It was 12.30 and we missed the delicious breakfast!
Another surprise what that I was basically eaten up. By mosquitoes.

To tell you a littlebit about yesterday, we went to Karon Beach to check it out, and first we got a bit dissapointed, I don't really know why, but as soon as we got a bit further into the center of Karon it got a lot more interesting. It's a lot busier than Kata, where we are staying and more expensive too. The markets and store's are bigger and more prequent though, and we found lots of beautiful things. We decided to wait a bit with the shopping though...
The beach was huge and extreemly hot so insetad of walking there we decided to take the beach promenade and check out some restaurants. We had a great prawn dinner followed by some huge exotic drinks.

We kept exploring the Karon after that before returning to Kata. There we had a lovely dinner at the same place as wednesday. They have so good food, but to my surprise the prawn soup that I had ordered had something very purple with tentacles in it, and with a icy chill running down my back I discovered that I had gotten a squid soup instead! Since I love the place and the couple who owns it I put on a brave face and ate squid for the first time of my life. Certain parts of it I gave to Simo, my human food-disposal-bag, but it was actually very good!
By the way, the chef has the coolest name: Porn!

So after waking up with a shock we hastily went to eat at a restaurant trying to specialize in Swiss food. We had an American breakfast and went on to hunt for sungasses since I don't have any. Big brands are pretty much 1/3 the price than in Europe, but still it's expensive, so I need to use my time and find the perfect pair.

We ended up at Kata Noi Beach (we live at Kata Yai) which is the most beautiful beach we have seen yet.

We had booked a table at the hotel tonight for a "Cowboy Night" with buffet and entertaiment so we went back to take a dip in the pool before the evening. The food was good, but not excellent but the band who sang american country soungs were really good. After them came some ladyboys who lipsynced to old songs and danced in a bored fashion who sort of dragged the mood down a bit. It started raining and I could see lightning in the distance. Of course I freaked out a bit since I hate storms and thunder and lightning. It was a nice evening though, and now we're relaxing in our room waiting for room service...ah. Life is grand.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

I'm in Thailand, baby!

So finally after a 11 or so long flight we arrived in Phuket, Thailand. We were quite tired, 'cause we left late; around 22.30, and the charter plane was full of crying babies (both adult and child) mixed with some drunk people, particurarly one charming man next to Simo who was bickering with his wife and seemed like he ALREADY made a big mistake somwhere along the trip and it didn't get better when he ordered a whisky for breakfast. The passport control and baggage pick up went smooth and it's the fastest I've ever experienced. As soon as we walked out the exit doors it was swarming with taxi people! I read somewhere that it's better to go to a "real" taxi stand, so we did that and that apparently allerted some sort of tourist frenzy, because while I was ignoring, Simo got stuck with a guy trying to push on him all kinds of travlels and so on. There was no letting anyone relax and get settled - book NOW! Then we got swiped off by a bunch of taxi people (I think that's what that group of people has to be called; wearing green) to the taxi, followed by a - "You go with him! No cocaine!" (Simo is sure I heard wrong, but I'm quite sure I heard what "I heard".) The taxi driver was cool! He spoke really bad english, but as soon as he heard I was French he ecalimed: - "ERIC CANTONA! Football! I like Eric Cantona! Do you like Eric Cantona?" After I tried to please him with saying that "I like Eric Cantona" and that now he's an actor, he laughed a very interesting laugh for about a minute. When we were maybe halfway on the trip to the hotel (which was quit long by the way) the taxidriver stopped at this place and said he had to do something. As soon as he did, a woman came to the car and tried to get us to book trips to islands and so on again. It was made to seem very casual and sudden, but we understood that the compalnies are working together and they probably to that with all tourist. We said we hadnæt decided when we would do our trips yet, and while she was quite persistant they respect it in the end. The hotel we stay at is very nice and surprisingly quiet. Nice atmosphere and great staff. People are very friedly here. The tipping system is a bit difficult as they refused to give any tyoical amount at the reseption desk and just said it's really up to you what you want to give. It's normal to tip here though. My only dissapointment is maybe the gym, since that was one of the factors why we booked this hotel in particular. It has very little stuff and only one treadmill that works. Yesterday we went to the beach and saw a bautiful sunset and then went out for a drink and some food. We got served by some slightly frisky "ladyboys" and after that we had a meal at a hidden restaurant. When the waiter/chef asked Simo if he wanted the food spicy, he answered "medium". When he asked me I said "yes! since I love spicy food. Then he shooked Simo and bit and said "Ooooohhohohohoooo!" and from that point until I got my food people in the place behind me kept saying "Spicy! Oohohohoo!" Man, that WAS spicy! No scandinavian "spicy" there, nope. (Eventhough they had both a swedish and a norwegian flag there of course...) We will come back to this place a lot for sure! Today we're taking it easy and we're gonna go to the beach soon probably. We're now by the pool and it's 12.02 here local time and we've already been to the gym and had a WONDERFUL breakfast. Today I need to buy new sunglasses.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

I can't believe I did that!

I have had a looong battle with needles. I've had a phobia for them since I was as small as I remember. I'm not talking about "Okey, I have a fobia for needles, I really don't like taking shots". There was no "taking shots".


and the list goes on - basically anything you can think of I've done to those poor doctors who tried to give me a shot. In fact I haven't taken a shot since I was about 13 because I have always told the doctors that I've had the shots I needed (which wasn't true) or I've avoided the topic.
When Simo has mentioned that he'd really like to take me to Tanzania sometime because he grew up there, my first worry has always been if I would need a vaccination. And if the answer was yes, it's out of the question.

So when we started talking about going to Bali or Thailand I realized that the vaccination issue would come up again. I don't think Simo really thought the trip was gonna happen, and I didn't tell him, but I mentally prepared for possible vaccinations for days. I went to the doctor and just talked to her and explained my problem. I even brought my Yantra Mat with me so I could maybe lay on it so the pain would be centered to my back instead. I even bought Licodine patches from the pharmacy that CHILDREN put on their arms before a shot.
So the day I went there I knew that is was my choice. Not like when I was a child, when I was forced to and didn't know what it was for. I could walk out if I wanted to.
When I came in the door the syringes already layed there, ready for me. I felt a cold shiver all over my body and I'm quite sure my eyes expanded to at least double size. I started shivering and noticed that I was staying away from the area where the syringes were, as if they would jump at me at anytime and do their will.
I showed her my arms and asked if I had put the patched on the right place and she said "Yeah sort of..." and with that I stared to babble. That's when it all went really fast and I don't really even remember, but I was seated down and in between babbling I asked countless times "are you SURE it's not gonna hurt" and before I knew it she gave me the first shot. The horror of what I had created in my mind was not there at all, and suddenly the other one was given as well. There.
Of course I knew this was gonna happen. It happened last time to, but now I will remember that it's really not a big deal.
She told me later that I had put the patches on the wrong place, and the shot wasn't even taken there. I'm actually glad.

Most people who reads this are probably rolling their eyes or wondering how one can be so scared, but it's a phobia, and they are not rational. There is no "Oh it's not so bad, get over it". It's something you have to get over by yourself, if you ever do. And maybe you don't, and that needs to be okay also.
But I am at least EXTREEMELY proud that I have been able to conquer a fair!

But bloodtests? They better forget about it!

We're going to Thailand, baby!

It's ordered, sealed and almost delivered. I'm talking about our very needed trip somewhere - anywhere!
We have now ordered flights back and forth to Phuket in Thailand, as well as a wonderful (I hope) hotel. It was suprisingly cheap and we're actually leaving already in 9 days!
As Phuket is a big tourist place, we will do some island hopping and check out the different places and try to see as much of the local things as possible. I will of course blog from there so you can follow us on our trip!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

"Nothing in Common".

Finally the opening of the exhibition that I was part of is behind me. I have been stressing about this for quite some time, I always use a lot of time on my paintings, so it's consuming my life when I have a deadline.
The exhibition is a group of 5 artist displaying their works of different types of art. I had two paintings up.
The new painting that I finished is called "On the Road" and is based on our Route 66trip last summer and set in a world inspired by Alice in Wonderland (and no, NOT the new Tim Burton version, I have always been a big fan of Alice in Wonderland and especially the Disney film).

The opening went well, there wasn't so many people, but the place is great - open with much light coming into the room and the windows are big, so it's easy for people passing by to see the works and come in. It's gonna be up for a month, so hope it will have many visitors.

What the...?!

The other day Simo and I were in the kitchen making food and I just started looking at the ceiling (no, Simo was not making me bored...). Guess what I saw! A beenest! It was dangeling peacefully from the rods that keeps the kitchenspots up, minding it's own business. I was completely surprised, I have never seen it before and it's march - it's probably been there for a long time! Eventhough I became a complete psyco jumping around boxing in the air like a kangaroo, we took the dead nest down. Again, some insects had decided to live in our place. Glad they like it.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Milla the Victim.

The other day I had gone to bed, and as usual Milla was doing the "bed dance". I tried to calm her and take control and by doing so take a look at her teeth in the same process. I haven't done it in a while so she didn't want to let me have a look, and I soon figured out why.
One of the back teeth had broken and it looked really nasty. It was very discoloured, and a peice looked like it was sort of glued on top of the rest of the tooth. I had no idea and got very worried since I didn't know how long it haad been like that.

On thursday Simo and I went to the vet with Milla and they had to sedate her to be able to have a good look. The vet just ripped the part of the tooth that looked glued on right there and then, and poor Milla was too tired to really care. Apparently it had been like this for about two weeks and it was really bad. They had to operate. Since Milla was already sedated they decided to do it right away, which was really good.
Poor Milla looked like a drunken scruffy lookin' animal for the rest of the day, but she STILL had to pick up a stick and play with it on the way home from the vet. She's amazing, the day after, she was completely back to normal.

Friday, 5 March 2010

I'm gonna pack my bag and get outta here!

So a decition is made.
I found out by surprise from my boss the other day, that since my contract ends in june, I have 36 payed holiday days that I can take whenever I want to until june. I thought I had none at all and got really happy about that since like I said earlier, I REALLY need a holiday.
I took yesterday and today off so I could finish my painting for tomorrow, and Simo and I have discussed a lot where we could go. Right now we're between Thailand and Bali. The good things with both places are that they are extreemely cheap to stay in, the food is great and accomodations are also cheap. Thailand has absolutely beautiful beaches, which is something that we'd like right now, but Bali seems to have a lot of culture, and especially art.
The bad thing: You need to take two shots and a lot of medication to go to Thailand or Bali.

If anyone have been to either place, please feel free to tell me what you think.