Sun, sea, scooters and a ladyboy!

Trip Start Aug 15, 2010
Trip End Dec 17, 2010

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I spoke to my dad last week…he asked me if I'd given up on my Thailand blog. I have to admit that I very almost had, so I guess this one down to you dad – I’m 6000 miles away and still need a kick up the arse every now and again!

Wow.  December already! It sounds like a cliché but the last month has flown by, just like the others.  I have to consult the tatty paper timetable that I’ve repeatedly taped to, and ripped off from my bedroom door to remember what I’ve done and where I’ve been during the last 6 weeks... 

Sun, sea, sand...and a ladyboy!  (Phuket, November) 

We arrived in Phuket on Saturday 13th November, after a short flight South of busy Bangkok.  As always I’d spent the entire journey convincing myself I was going to die on the plane (definitely need to get me some Zanex for the journey home) so wasn’t bothered about the thick layer of grey cloud that covered the sky when we landed, just relieved to be alive!  The grey didn’t last long as we made our way down to the Southern tip of the island and eventually found our resort, nestled in the middle of a mangrove forest overlooking the bay of Cape Banwa – beautiful!  

The first night we spent at Kata beach.  Like anywhere it's difficult to get a feel for a place until you've sat on the beach with a beer and watched the sunset.  The perfect break from kids, no teachers, no schedules...just Heidi (miss Lonely Planet!) who had a few 'places of interest' up her sleave, one being The After Beach Bar - reccommended by mr Lonely Planet as one of the best places for a sun-downer on the didn't let us down!  After making friends with big-red-heart-lantern-man on the beach, and a 'Nicki', the very friendly tour operator who wanted (and failed) to sell us a ride on his boat!..we negotiated a lift up the hill to The After Beach Bar.  We were obviously destined to find this place, for this is where we met Yuka - our crazy, man-eating, heidi-loving, beer-guzzling, lady boy!  ok so i've met a few lady boys (or kathoey's as the Thai's say) while i've been here but Yuka was something else. The night was an education...learning the ins and outs about the life of a Kathoey - from sex changes and bra padding to hormone tablets and high shoes! We probably over-stepped the mark with our Western curiosity but Yuka was more than happy to answer our questions.  Another Lucy & Heidi adventure, probably one we wouldn't want to experience again! The next morning the first words that croaked out of Heidi's mouth were "Lucy, we don't really have to go back there and see Yuka tonight do we?".

Waterfalls and Gibbon calls

Work-life over the last two months has been pretty intense, with back to back trips to Khao Yai and Chiang Mai with some of Bangkok's most prestigious International Schools (you want to see the cars these kids come to school in!!!)  

Khao Yai National Park is an awesome place to take kids.  So rich in colours, sounds and smells, it's easy to inspire young brains about the beauty and importance of the rainforest.  Easy as that may be, the forest does have it's heart-stopping and grey-hair producing moments! Setting up camp with 45 giddy teenagers was a challenge...supervising 45 giddy teenagers whilst they set fire to themselves (and each other) with exploding gas stoves was a bit more than a challenge!
The grey-hairs and newly acquired stress lines are almost compensated for by the morning melodies of Gibbons in the tree-tops - a wonderful experience to share with concrete-jungle citykids.


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