8 Before 8: Time On My Hands Early Morning Type Musings

It’s 7 AM. I’m leaving super-early to nab the 42 thousand props I need to teach today’s bunch of two year olds their class on the word “monkey”. However, in typical Disney-dysfunction the school is not open. Left with an hour to fill/kill I decide to take a walk to the park.

Now. Imagine what we’d find taking an early morning walk in the park in Leeds…

  1. Geriatric dog-walkers
  2. Joggers
  3. Flashers
  4. The recently flashed
  5. Crackheads and crackwhores
  6. Dog turds
  7. An occasional dead body
  8. More dog turds.

In Shanghai, it’s a whole ‘nutha ball-game. I saw…

  1. Old lady fan-dancers. All in velour tracksuits with HUGE fans in matching colours. Amaze.
  2. The most ever old people in one place since they filmed the last episode of Countdown. They were all doing yoga/tai chi, slowly making their way over the grass like a tide of zombies. Actually chilling.
  3. Three guys dressed as a Chinese dragon.*
  4. A ramshackle troupe of guys practicing their circus skills. Diablos, juggling, unicycling. Bloody mental.**
  5. A 28 piece (I counted) brass band. Just like the Black Dyke, but minus the Alan Titschmarsh affiliation. Home sweet home…
  6. Massive kites, jeweled in LEDs. At night I’ve seen these before. I did wonder if they were UFOs, but now I know it’s just geezers in the park.
  7. Some girl painting beautiful Chinese letters on the ground with what looked like a giant ear-bud. However, she was painting them with WATER. They were evaporating away seconds after she’d painted them. Life is just so….y’know…transient and….it all means, like…nothing in the end….y’know? Woah. Deep.
  8. Walking back to my school, I sit outside. Each Disney school has random letters outside the building. The letters outside my school are DIWAHJ. At first, I thought it said ‘Jihad’. Then I noticed the ‘W’. I toyed with the idea it might mean ‘White Jihad’ and that that’s Disney’s plan for Asia: fill it with Yanks and their culture is for the taking… But I thought it might actually stand for Walt Disney Is A Jew Hater. Or Walt Disney Had Anti-Jewish Inklings. I finally settled on Walt Disney Is A Jovial Holocaust Denier.

All this early morning thinking really drains a gal. No wonder I’m too tired to teach class now. Eeeurch.

* At this point I realize this list sounds a bit like one of the checklists on the back pages of a Where’s Wally? book. Not intentional, but I like it nonetheless.

** Sounds even more like a Where’s Wally? list now. Wow, Wally watchers.

Gallery

Hello world!

So here I am in Ban Phe in Thailand.

Some cultural observations:

  1. Dogs. They are bloody everywhere. They look more like hyenas; snarly and evil. My advice? Give them a very wide berth…walk on the road if necessary.
  2. Walking on roads. Deathwish?
  3. Toilet paper. Not used here! I wish someone would have told me… instead they have what can only be described as a “BUM GUN”. It is NOT a bidet. It’s handheld for a start. It’s basically a supersoaker for your ‘arris. Not pleasant.
  4. Mozzies. My blood must be well tasty because I am being eaten alive. My feet have swollen up in protest. Now, the home-medic in me says “elevate ’em!” …God I’d love to put my feet up on the table. However, apparently one of the rudest things you can do in this country is show the underside of your feet. The only faux pas worse is touching a Thai on the head or speaking ill of the King.

On the plus side though, Thailand has a really cool vibe about it. On Saturday I am going on a speedboat to the local island, called Ko Samet. Apparently this place is ‘party island’; white sandy beaches, postcard-blue sea and beach-hut bars dotted all along the coastline. I will take pictures for y’all to see!

We had a beach party on Sunday on our island and one of the locals told us that if we decided on a whim we wanted to go join the shenanigans on Ko Samet, we just need to call the ‘speedboat taxi’ (W.O.W!) and they’d have us there in 10 minutes for 200 Baht (about a fiver)! This country is coooooool…..

It’s rainy season at the moment but actually the wet has held off for most of the time I’ve been here. It’s raining pretty heavily right now, but I woke two days ago to the sound of tropical storm. The thunder was wild and the lightning orange! See? It’s cooooool here.

Oh – and I went to the nearest big city (Rayong) and they have a Tesco! Glad I brought my Clubcard….

I hope you are all well at home and elsewhere! Leave me a comment below, why dontcha?

Muchos love,

Hales

Image