It has been a rather long half-term. After a very interesting and eventful 10 weeks (99% of it amazing; the other 1% taken up with dealing with the clinically insane and professional brown-nosers), it really was time for a well-earned rest. Whilst the rest of our colleagues set off for week long trips to Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Krabi to bask in the sun and drink cocktails, we got the flat cleaned, changed the bedding and got very excited about staying in Bangkok. My aunty Jennifer and her best friend Sharon were coming to stay.
Just before leaving the UK, we stayed with Jennifer for a few days as she lives near Heathrow. The day before we left, a random conversation led to her looking at flights, booking a ticket for her and her best friend to fly to Bangkok to visit us during our first half-term and for her 46th birthday.
As the weeks drew closer and that pesky 1% started to really bug us (far more than they should have), we began looking forward to that little bit of home more and more.
The Friday night before they arrived we decided that we shouldn't try entertaining visitors with just a loaf of bread and 3 eggs in the fridge. We had long given up on buying actual, proper food here but if people are coming, you should at least try and pretend. So a quick trip to the supermarket later and the cupboards looked a little more respectable. I thoroughly hate shopping here. With regards to food: you either have to go to Tesco Lotus (I know; you travel thousands of miles and still you have to get your bread and milk from Tesco's-depressing) which is far too big and confusing or you have to go to Villa which is nice and small but clearly aimed at the mega-rich. We buy 4 items and some how have spent the equivalent of 20 quid! As for clothes shopping, if you want to give yourself a complex about your body then come to Thailand! I'm no small girl but I wouldn't call myself a hefalump either yet whenever I try anything on, I either can't fit my shoulders into it (who knew I had the shoulders of an American footballer) or I have the humiliating experience of having to ask for a XL or XXL! As for shoes, Thai shop assistants look horrified by the size of my feet! Bizarrely, J at 6'4'' doesn't appear to have these problems. Anyway, back to the main topic: Jen and Sharon.
So last Saturday morning, we arrive bright and early at the airport. Suvanabhumi airport isn't exactly user-friendly. However, after an hour's wait I see Jen and Sharon walking towards us. Back at our apartment, we are thrilled to find they have not only brought over the obligatory tea bags and cheese (you have no idea how expensive those items are here) but also Rich Tea, Digestives and Celebrations chocolates. I was practically wetting myself with excitement. Until now, I had wondered why J and I hadn't put on more weight since we eat more sugar and more fat here than we ever did in England. The biscuits, chocolates and cheese reminded me we eat far less food and definitely less junk now we're in Thailand. Please note that the 4 packets of biscuits and the huge tub of Celebrations only arrived 7 days ago and already there is only 1 packet of biscuits left. Oops...
After unpacking, we set off on what became the most activity packed 6 days I've ever done. We went to the Grand Palace (lots of gold and emeralds), an elephant centre (lots distinctly unhappy looking elephants; although I was particularly impressed with their footballing skills especially from the one dressed in the Rooney kit), the State tower (drinking coctails on the roof 64 floors up), the beach at Koh Samed (with 40 mozzy bites to prove it), eating at Cabbages & Condoms and doing lots and lots and lots and lots of shopping! I don't think I have shopped that much in my life(especially when you take into account what I outlined to you about my shopping experiences so far) but Jen and Sharon were clearly in their element! I think, however, the shopping slowly made J lose the will to live. It did something to him anyway as he had another 'unfortunate incident' with another electical appliance. This time, the phone has gone to rest in 'appliance heaven' after being cradled in J's pocket whilst he took a wee swim in the sea.
We had an amazing week with them and I really hope they enjoyed seeing us as much as we enjoyed having them come to stay. The only downside was that we are probably more homesick now than we were before and are actually really looking forward to coming home for a couple of weeks at Christmas. Only 7 weeks till then.
In the meantime, back to work tomorrow and a weekend in Krabi for my birthday in a couple of weeks. Will keep you posted. For now, back to work and trying to avoid the 1%.