A Travellerspoint blog

More Danger... More fun

all seasons in one day 30 °C

Good day,

Greetings Greetings Greetings one and all... So today we met a man that had been shot 6 times and stepped on 3 landmines, leaving him sans gall bladder, sans leg and sans one eye, and gained a nail in his other leg and shrapnel in his arm... yes this is Cambodia!

Cambodia is without doubt infinitely more fun than Thailand and certainly stranger! We arrived here after a mammoth haul from Bangkok ending up in the Cambodian border town of Koh Krong or something like that.. after a bus ride and then a taxi ride we arrived at the architectuly (not a word? it is now) underwhelming village of hat lek which we had been reliably informed would have guesthouses to stay in... instead we found a ramshackle street of huts leading up to a chainlink fence, a man with a gun (border control apparently) and no one who spoke English. No English in Thailand means you're definitely out in the sticks! But no matter we decided we should cross the border now and stay in Cambodia in stead, only a passport photo is required and I didnae have one. Many hand signals later and a few idiotic smiles going in both directions we ended up being stood against dirty bed sheet while some random hut dweller took a few snaps of our gormless mugs and 2 minutes later produced 4 snapshots of us all for the princely sum of a dollar.. a photo me machine at Waterloo station wouldnt even give you a kick in the nuts for that much (physical limitations aside)! So armed with our new mug shots we headed out of one country and into another. Along the way we picked up an entourage of about 20 taxi drivers each offering "helpfull" information as they tried to get our business. However after only 10 minutes in Cambodia I was back in Thailand having been told we needed Thai Baht for a Cambodian visa (you what?!), dollar was not good enough apparently and seeing as Cambodia as about 20 cash machines in the entire country and Thailand has about 1 for every person it was off to try an explain my self to an unamused border guard... hmmm as it turns out the reason for the demand for Baht involves a cunning (see criminal!) way of obtaining extra cash for the border guards due to rubbish exchange rate!! Oh well... anyway into Cambodia and the first thing we noticed is the lack of a road as such. After being spoiled in Thailand and Malaysia it was back to dirt tracks and pot holes with a vengance!

Cambodia holds the awesome tag line of being the most mined country on earth (Laos its neighbour as the title of most bombed country in earth... this part of the world rocks..literally), suffice to say Mulliner went into overdrive on the mine detection front.. so far none detected except at various museums! The country is considerably more rustic and rural than other places we've been and also a lot more pleasing on the eye. The people are a little different and seemingly quite friendly but also very distanced, often you smile at someone and unlike in Thailand where you get blown back by the size of the smile in return, here you often get a look completely devoid of emotion, its quite odd really! But anyway enough with that.. so what about the places we've been... well Koh Krong is a bit of a nowheresville although apparently its popular with bandits...awesome! We left the next day.. we decided to voyage East to the beach resort of Sihanoukville. Sihanoukville is mainly a port town with some beaches the main town is functional and has the charm of frenchman which considering the number of french in cambodia is hardly surprising!! The beaches were deserted save for a few random types, ourselves included. The beach where we stayed had the sand and general charm of Bognor Regis only with more shacks and perhaps even less people... we even found a syringe on the sand.. paradise indeed! Theres also a rather high number of tokers.. i.e. those with an afinity to smoking weed. Having spent time on a beach in Thailand (white sands and turquoise sea anyone) and seeing as these beaches are about 4 hrs away by boat, i'd say you have to be high to stay in Sihanoukville for the beaches and seeing as thats all there is to do there (unless you're interested in shipping) I say to thee cross the place of your list of places to go, save the cash and go sit on a deck chair in the garden with an icecream that wont make you ill! Hmmm so we left a day later and headed for the supposed guns, girls and drugs capital of South East Asia.. Penom Penh..

well it mioght have been once (thats still less than ten years ago) but its calmed down a bit now. We both liked it though.. its a small place citywise with about a million residents buts its history along with the rest of Cambodia is a nailbiting and horrifying as the come. We took in both the Killing fields and a museum which was a secret prison during the Khmer Rouge days (1975-79).. The killing fields a place about the size of half a football pitch saw the deaths of about 19,000 people mostly former inmates of S.21.. these people wernt gunned to death or gassed, they were chained together in long lines killed by men armed with hammers who reduced their heads to pulp and then chucked them in shallow pits.. its hard to describe how brutal it must have been.. at the killing fields site their stands a glass walled pagoda containing the skulls of almost 9000 people from children to the elderly.. the remains of which have been disinterred from the site.. so far only half the site as been excavated. You wander through the leafy quiet place poluted only by scraps of cloth and dried sticks.. only after a minute you realise you're stepping on the clothes of the thousands who died here and the sticks are their bones piled in small mounds besides trees which have signs telling you what they were used for.. such as the death tree where they literally beat children against it holding them by their legs and swinging their bodies and their heads into the trunk.. or the 'magic tree'where they slung a microphone so the moans and screams of the men being executed could be heard by everyone. The whole place is so choked up with terror and pain its completely overwhelming and everywhere you look its horrorfying, teeth lie on tree stumps, morbid reminders of what lies beneath your feet.

S.21 is much the same.. not quite so visceral as the killing fields but certainly very powerful.. the building was a former school turned into a torture pit. The classrooms hold iron bed frames still with shackles and other oddments where the prisoners were tortured untill they confessed to what ever they were accused of and then if they were not killed there they would be transported to the Killing Fields. Pictures in the rooms show how they were found when the Khmer Rouge were finally deposed with a dead prisoner shot through the head still shackled tot he bed.. the only difference between the picture and what you see is the absnece of the body everything else remains in place. The pictures of the prisoners line the walls like the mugshots taken of the Jews by the Nazis.. only here they are persecuted not by Nazis but there own countrymen, imprisoned for wearing glasses, for living in a city, for having gone to school or whatever, people often went there just because the KR was not sure if they fully believed in the Angkar and vision of the KR. It doesnt make sense.

The most shocking part for us was the fact that people were being electricuted and bludgeoned with hammers in these places only 4 yrs before we were born. How is it that we know so little of what happened, how is it that the holocaust is so infamous and the current rammifications still so large, and yet here next door to Vietnam where for years Western troops were engaged in the fight against Communism absolutely nothing was done to put a stop to the genocide. It seems from here that it is beyond reproach and yet it still happens elsewhere and while we learn of the horrors of the holocaust at school and honour those who died annually, we take at best a casual approach to the prevention of similar attrocities, it all seems rather superficial and in many way it insults our percieved civilization that we honour the dead and still refuse to heed the causes for their dead..errrrrrrrrrrrrr right enough with the soap box! You get the picture, its all to absurd! Right now for more jolifications!

We headed on up towards Siem Reap and the world famous ankor wat temples which are it must be said amazing! Having spent a mammoth day yesterday from sunrise to sunset taking in all the huge stone heads we could take, i think its fair to say we're templed out! So today we went to of all places a war museum and a mine museum(uh oh here he goes again!), which were it has to be said rather strange and also very good. We hopped aboard our tuk tuk and headed out to the war museum which is as the guide book says, 'a collection of war time junk', what they dont say is that the war time junk includes a Mig fighter a massive ex soviet helicopter, several tanks and APCs, a minefield and countless heavy artillery guns.. not to mention hundreds of guns, rocket launchers and grenades.. all of which are securely left on shelves without chains or anything to hold them down, so you can pick up an AK47 or M16 and have a good laugh with your mates pointing it at each other! Worryingly none of them look in the slightest way disabled.. so if you could get some ammo and yes there was ammo floating around.. you could have yourselves a firefight there and then, and yes you could of course take one home to seeing as theres hardly anyone around at the entrance/exit.. bizare! What the guide book also doesnt day is that there are free guides who are ex veterans of the army KR or otherwise who along with various disabilities accrued during their service will take you around speaking knowledgeably about the stuff they have in the museum, as with our guide he drove one of the tanks in the war!! He also gave us lessons about the different mines which included how various mines took out different bits of his body scars and everything!! Of course we all left a massive tip, its hard to believe people can go through as much as him, both his daughters died by stepping on land mines and anywhere elses I'd be tempted to say it was fabricated as a way of getting a bigger tip, but when the man has the scars and the shrapnel still insde hime and a wooden leg.. its clear hes telling the truth. This of course is the guy i spoke of at the start.

The mine museum is another interesting place and its also free (hooray), its also a home for child mine victims and is run by a mine expert who difuses the things...pretty amazing stuff really! Theres a bit of land set up as a mock mine field (its on the site of a now cleared minefield) where you can have a go at spotting the mines and booby traps, only the mines are not camoflaged in anyway but they're still so hard to spot and thats when your looking for them! Incredible.

Anyway thats abpout it from me.. apologies around, its been a little low on humour but there it is! We're off to Laos tomorrow or the next day which sounds exciting although we have to watch out fro bandits apparently! Sounds cool to me! Ah yes and of course I have been making Jennie watch lots of football, come on England and too bad froggies, nil-nil against the cuckoo clock makers really isnt a good score!! Haha, anyway fingers crossed untill tomorrow, I'm off to watch Spain beat the Ukraine! Ciao for now

Andrew

Posted by andyabroad 04:34 Archived in Wallis and Futuna Islands Tagged business_travel Comments (0)

thailand... whitey ahoy!

I'm on holiday so leave me alone... wait, ok not polite allow me to rephrase, I am in thailand where there are more brits than thais wherever i look... annoying, yes convenient much more so! ok ok... so we're in thailand and what more can i say than there is a boots "the chemist" on the road outside our hotel... its is not what one might consider back to the orient in any shape or form.. i should remind you also that i am writing from bangkok hwich doesnt really resemble thailand in either shape or form...

right.. so we left malaysia early. Far far to early in my opinion, mind you there were ladyboy prostitutes on the street so i gues we should redifine that as really really late! anyway we were transported relatively swiftly to the Malay Thai border where, i am now overcome with fear of being wrongly convicted opf some offence in thailand and being sentance to x many years in jail having started to read religously the experiences of those who have been incarcerated in thailand, i trembeled like a wimp at border control.. fortunately trembling is not yet a crime so i was allowed safe passage onwards and there began our thai odyessy! We travelled straight on to the delightfully named town of Krabbi (say it as you see it people), it was pleasant enough although we were eager to make ouiur way to the beaches of West Railee which are a ferry boats journey away from Krabbi, and being naieve as we are we were succoured into beliveing that the ferry would not run when it wa raining (it was raining by the by!) so we took up the offer of a free taxi and a place to stay for all of 400 bhart by a kindly fellow by the bus stand.. we no doubt would have been ripped off had it not been the free taxi part which saved us 300 bhart and actually transporeted us a fair way down the coast to a nice foreign populas that was augh nahn (it probably wasnt spelt that way but who cares right?). OK right so we stayed their a night, their were big waves as it happened but that is not enough to put off any self respecting longtail boat captain (a longtail boat being an overgrown wooden rowing boat without oars and with a lawnmower/small car engine strapped to the back of it... nice). Anyway we made our way to Railee the next day and it twas very very nice indeed, we stayed on the posh side and therefore paid a bit more but got a pool! I wish there was much to tell about this little place but there really isnt, its got a lovely beach and you can wander through the jungle past some caves to yet another lovely beach or alternatively, if you want to drink on the cheap and hang out with other smelly backpackers you can go to East Railee which is an unpleasant marsh but sells cheap beer and provides for all late night drinkers Thailands ubiquitous fireshows. Its hard to believe how fasinating one man with a pair of conkers on strings which are then set onfire and flung around his head can be, When they want to get really dangerous they send on the kids to do the same thing. Its a bit like watching Formula One, you watch it because its exciting at moments, but really you watch it because theres a good chance someone will have an enormous crash! LIke wise you know theres a good chance that the fire-swinger has a good chance of burning himself to a cinder if he accidently tangles himself up. I must admit we never saw it happen and subsequently after about 2 ngihts of the same sort of thing, I couldnt honestly care if i ever saw another fire swinger in my life.. afterall they are hippies.

So anyway, we spent a few nights at Railee and then headed 'pon boat towards the islands of Ko Phi Phi. Right this is taking forever for me to write about thailand and we're leaving tomorrow so time to speed up me thinks... Ko Phi Phi = tres nice, lots of sun lots of greeny bluey holiday brochure sea and pretty girls who apparently had not realised there wasa top half to their bikini (dont tell Jen about that last bit).. we met up with of some of Jennies friends who were on holiday for a few weeks and spent four days together basically lying on a beach and snorkeling and we even managed to squeeze in a dive or two, for the most part I was normally trying to shake off the effects of the nightbefore only to repeat the process that night, i can also report that i am now offically unabloe to hold me drink. So many hangovers and chicken currys later we decided enough was enough and it was time to brave Bangkok.

We left on a midday boat with Jennie pretty much having to support me on to the boy as the hangover was particularly heavy from the night before.. however a nauticle 2 hrs later and I was right as rain or close enough anyway.. and we boarded our direct coach to Bangkok, which as it turned out was not direct, in the end we swapped busses twice.. nice. Bangkok is an interesting city, very pleasing on some aspects and hugely worrying on others... the sheer number of old white men with young thais (i omit gender as both gat a shwoing) is staggering.. very dodgy..the place is full of backpackers all wearing the same clothes bought off the street stalls.. no hippies here, evryones wearing fake designer this and that, i met my clone the other day, wearing same t shirt and everything... amazin. Anyway we tried to sort out our visas for Laos and Vietnam in advance and being completely retarded after too many drinking sessions had failed to realise that embassies dont open at weekends and so we couldnt leave in a couple of days but actually had another 4 full days in bangkok... idiots! Anyway we decided to have a drink and think it over.. as it turned out we decided to Kanchanaburi.. Kanchanawhat? Its the Bridge on the River Kwai folks... so i brought out the camoflage and read 'Bridge on the River Kwai', only to be rudely reminded by the first museum that we went to, that it is of course a novel and the film is based on this novel and therefore not a matter of historical record... well balls to that.. as it turned out the truth was just as harrowing and seeing the bridge and the war cemeotry as well as visiting the museums was quite moving. There were a few random bits like the war museum that had a distinctly Japanese sympathetic bent. ON one exhibit it describes how the Japanese made prisoners drink gasoline or would crush thier hands with a hammer if they were caught stealing. THe conclusion being that the Japanese for these cruel punishements as of course the thief brought it on himself!!! Errr what? Anywayback to Bangkok it was and am glad to say we have both completed preparations for the World Cup by buying fake England shirts I have Wayne Looney on the back of mine, not actually spelt that way, just as the Thais have an unfortunate speach impediment that stops them pronouncing r's and turns them into l's... oh yes Loooooooooney! Jen got a Gerrard one and we're already to go bar a barrel of stella and a bar fight (theirs still 3 days to go folks). Anyway thats all to report i'm afraid I think i need a drink... I'll have one for all of you.. Cambodia tomorrow.. up up and away..

60p a beer? I'll take 7 please.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAndrew

Posted by andyabroad 09:25 Comments (1)

In the jungle

Allo,

I shall endeavor to keep this brief... so brace yourselves!

So we left the 1st world what seems like ages ago and flew straight into KL which it must be said is also the 1st world ro rather a Malaysian effort at the 1st world for which I award them A-. KL it has to be said a rapidly evolved sort of place.. Sandall and I couldnt for the life of us find anything more cultural than the Petling street ngiht market to see and the Petronas towers which dont in my opinion really count being essentially really big office buildings with the dubious claim of being the worlds largest TWIN towers, not the worlds largest buildings still, small victorys and they are quite big. Anyway so we went to the night market and the woman bought a gucci purse.. wait sorry a fake gucci bag.. its fabulous darlinng dont you know or something like that! I of course bought a fake watch or maybe 2 (they rule.. I have a James Bond Omega Seamaster and a Breitling jobby, the Breitling seems a bit more flimsy but they both have automatic movements apparently.. either that or you have to shake them to get it started whenever they break). So I was happy and she was happy and then we went for a drink, and then we were not happy as alcohol is a pricey commodity in this neck of the woods.. officially this is a Muslim country, based on the number of bars, clubs and prostitutes its one relaxed muslim country too!

Right I just deleted a whole bunch of what I had writen so I shall condense it for my sanitys sake! 2nd day in KL and we decided to head to the Petronas towers to journey to their lofty peaks and see the sights! Only you can only go as far as the skybridge which is only on the 41st floor or something and therefore not quite as impressive! Still must be done, anyway we then met up with the couple who had agreed to hold onto my camera for me and so it came to pass that once again I was reunited with my toy! In fear of losing it again I then sent it home today so fingers crossed it will remain in my possesion now! Anyway we met up with the couple (Simon and Claire) and had an absolutely awesome time, they are as all the expats we have met are, absolute legends and proceeded to ply us with the super expensive booze and lovely food until the early hours and then picked up the whole tab.. truly a pick me up for a pair of shoe stringers like ourselves! Anyway I can report that my hangover was of monumental proportions and I dont want to even discuss what happened.. there are pictures of me the day after and i look like I belong in a morgue!

So seeing as I refuse to speak of the day after the night before I suppose I'd better change the scene which promptly leads me to worlds oldest primary rainforest! Smooth link eh! Yes we ended up in this place called the Taman Negara which is reputedly the worlds oldest rainforest, I dont know much about rainforests so i guess i'll take their word for it, but it could have been the worlds newest for all I know... suffice to say there was a lot of trees! Now everyone knows that rainforests equal leeches so you can imagine that the pair of us went out bought salt, and other goodys to defeat the slimy blood suckers, only to arrive there and find that there were no leeches... hmmm. Anyway we went for a walk in the woods and a night safari, which was advertised as going through the jungle when in fact we went on a jeep guided by a wildlife hating lunatic who took us to a fruit plantation.. awesome.. we saw 3 birds, one of which the man captured.. why? who knows! So not to great really considering the cost of getting there! We were going to go on a canopy walkway which apparently is a 'highlight' but were caught out by friday prayers that seem to shut down odd bits of the country for friday afternoon. So we left, unimpressed! Ah well.. anyway we headed back for KL inorder to head north to our current abode, that being Penang. In Kl we met up with Chase and Furze two mates from university who we had arranged to meet up with at some point.. it was tres amusing to see them, acting all married! haha! Went to a few bars drank some, caught up, marvelled at the wonder that is A/C and then sadly bade them fair well as we caught a bus to Penang..
Penang it must be said, is not awesome at all... we havent seen so much of it so cant speak for all of it, but in Georgetown where we've spent most of our time, the highlight for me would probably be watching the Da Vinchi Code in the local cinema.. I still cant figure out if i liked it, i think i did, a good use of 3 hours anyway! Anyway we've seen a bit of this place and had planned on heading to Lankawi next and then on to Thailand, but reports are that Lankawi is too quiet and too expensive to be worth it.. so we head for Thailand tomorrow at 5am!! Dear god! Anyway thats really it from me... its been a bit of a list hasnt it not.. not so much with the gags or fun, sorry people!

Anyway I dream of England...

Posted by andyabroad 04:38 Comments (0)

Sing a pooor

Greetings friends,

We have taken refuge in Singapore one of the great outposts of the empire! Since flying in some luxury from Dehli to our present location we have been scuba diving, sat on a tropical island, had the worst hangover of the trip (ok thats just me) and errrr spent a lot of money, probably too much money.

Its fair to say theres been a bit of a culture shock since getting here, we both started dribbling over things like road markings and traffic lights, which in India are yet to be introduced in most places and in those 'enlightened' areas which have been blessed with such traffic control devices, the indiginous population chooses to ignore them completely (flashing green and red lights are either a form of witchcraft or the signs of cheap restaurant, neither being particularly useful for controlling the flow of traffic), but i digress. So yes its different and at first its very wonderful, its so first world and pleasant. But then theres something about it thats just a bit dull, its the city equivalent of the colour beige, its inoffensive and on occasion fairly pleasing but for the most part you'd struggle to find much of a pulse! Bit unfair maybe espeacially as the taxi drivers use meters and theres an underground! Get in! Anyway we didnt stay long in Singapore, infact it was about 2 hours before we found ourslevs being herded through immigration and into Malaysia. Four hours on a bus and 5 hours sitting on ones elbows and then another 2 hours on a boat and we arrived in the tropical paradise of Tioman island just of the east coast of Malaysia and very nice it is to. You could cornettos there, just like in Weston Super Mare but without donkeys and with palm trees and coral reefs and stuff! Highly pleasant.

We already had ourselves booked on a diving course, an advanced one no less, so we hoed for it so to speak. I should point out now that since cracking my cusp (thats the dental expression apparently) i have been whinning day in and day out about a) how much it hurts and b) how afraid i am of a tooth squeeze. Now for those who aren't aware of what a tooth squeeze invloves let me enlighten you! A tooth squeeze is when a pocket of air is caught inside a tooth and you decide to go diving to 20mtr or something the volume of the air is decreased by 3 times due to Boyles law (you still paying attention there!! this is important!) and causes a squeezing sensation which is rather unpleasant.. However on the way up it should expand back to the normal size and everything is ok again..solution dont go diving. It happens when you get filling which then gets some decay under it or if you have a decayed root or something.. I dont know. Anyway what I was worried about was what happens when you have cracks or tiny holes that allow preasurised air in i.e. when you're at depth but then doesnt let it out as it expands, this is called a reverse block and in teeth it can lead them to break apart.. yessssssssssssssss. break in twixt. This hurts alot. Now being paranoid (you may have noticed from the explanation), I was concerned that my cracked cusp would play a trick on me and course my teeth to explode, so as you can imagine i decided to externalise my fears by telling Jennie about how excrutiating painful it would be!! Right ok so I've just gone and done it again, thank you all for listening. I can tell you now it didnt happen and I am very grateful for this fact, so instead I became afraid of sharks. Diving can do this to you.

Anyway enough of that Sandall and I are now both advanced diver people, not what sure that means but I can tell you on the underwater navigation I almost became lost so just dont ask me to read a map underwater. Ok right what elese happened, well we also went snorkelling which was very nice and saw lots of lovely looking fish and a few mean looking ones too, I found a large shell which i gave to Jennie and she told me to put it back... nice. Apart from that I watched the FA cup final and was gutted for West Ham and decided to get drunk in support of them, it was quite bewildering to have people commiserate with me when they finally lost, perhaps Tottenham fans just have that look about them espeacially in near miss situations!! I dont know. Anyway we arrived back here in Singapore yesterday afternoon and booked into a hostel called the 'The Inn Crowd', very clever, stayed in a huge dorm which to my mind stank of feet but apparently it was wet paint... hmm think i'll take feet if i'm going to spend the night in there. Anyway we then went out and spent loadsa money all at once in this place called SimLim Square which is an electronics mecca, Sandall bought an I Pod Nano and hasnt stopped proclaiming her love for it, and I bought a big fat digital camera which I'm still trying to figure out how to turn on, I've charged the batteries so far whichis a step in the right direction!! Hmmm apart from that Sandall keeps on threatening to blow all the rest of our money on clothes and shes also come out with lots of bumps up and down here legs, which she says is lots of mosi bites but i think its a spending rash she gets when she wants to go shopping. Right now shes effing and blinding at a computer because shes trying to get her music off her old MP3 player so she can put it on to her new one, but in a fit of electronic jealousy her old MP3 player refuses to give up its musical bounty!! She is not happy I can tell you so I hope she doesnt read this and beat me up!

Anyway we fly to KL tonight which i think will take about 45 mins or something stupid, so we set off for the airport in a little while, in the meantime I'm making preparations to watch the Champions League Final tomorrow evening, come on Barca! Hope everyones well back in Blighty... I think its time we got backpacking again, we're getting fat and comftorable living in the first world!

Be upstanding

Andrew

Posted by andyabroad 20:53 Comments (1)

Leavin On a Jet Plane

HOOOOOOOOT STUFFFFFFFFF

Good morrow hombres

Well thew time has come I'm sad to say to say farewell to this fair country and move on to yet another colony.. I mean ex colony. So it has come to pass that we make passage for Singapore this very night. From there it is a matter of hours before we voyage north and east to Tioman, tropical paradise.. errr right. Ok Ok so enough with the waxing lyrical down to business, last time we met I told you to Mahal this well now we've Mahal'd that and the rest we've seen the Taj Mahal, the worlds most beautiful monument to love apparently, it is I might remind you a tomb but I guess its a case of whatever floats your boat! Still a very nice tomb and a good alternative to the traditional headstone. So we saw that and visited a few other places in Agra which were no where near as impressive and then we decided to get the hell out before we cooked and I was peruaded to buy a mini Taj Mahal.. they were majestic though! The salesman really fell down when he spent half an hour showing me how rubbish the cheap mini Tajs were that were for sale everywhere and then proceeded to try and flog me a large marble one for a rediculous sum. When he sensed there was no way this chump would shell out for an oriental dolls house made of marble, he then tried to sell me the very same cheap and shit mini Taj Mahals he had just taken great pains to show me how rubbish they were. No sale although for sheer audacity I almost bought an elephant before Sandall started to beat me up and I had to leave the shop in humiliation. Ah dear. Anyway we moved on to Jaipur...

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and is very dusty! Its also hot but between you and me thats a given from now on. Recently Indian newspapers have been printing death tolls in Dehli.. amkes a nice change from the old degrees celcius we're so used to... in Dehli to day 10 people died from the heat... not sure what the conversion is but think if the rate goes abover 15 then we've passed 50 degrees.. ouch! So where was I.. ah yes Jaipur. Well its not big or particularly clever.. Notable points of our time there would be dining at Pizza hut and the AC bus we took to Dehli. Ok thats not at all fair, Jaipur does have its charms, for one the old city still has its walls round it so to enter you go through these massive gates.. inside the buildings are slightly older and supposedly pink in colour although to be honest they just look dirty to me! There were sopme interesting places the various palaces where i Stubbed my toe for the 50th time this trip causing it to bleed all over the place, prompting every Indian within a mile to come and have a good look at white mans blood.. like sharks only not. I have now bought some new holiday dad sandalls (no pun intended) to protect my damaged feet (they dont work that well as yesterday I had to pull a fat wodge of glass from the sole of my foot.. painful!). We also visited a lovely observatory place where some lunatic went around building massive sun dials among other things. I'd tell you more but the guide we hired was about as helpful as well I dont know he was bloody useless. Ten minutes after hiring him he had finished and he hadnt spoken a word of sense throughout! Bloody useless! Anyway in a an extreme show of one up man ship Jennie located an individual even more useless than our guide and paid him a sum 15 times greater than I had paid our guide for of all things a 5 year horrorscope. Horror being the appropriate prefix here. The man had a Phd in god knows what and basically printed off a bunch of crap from his computer stuck it in a red binder and charged us over 1000 rs. It turns out that his predicitions repeat themseleves preiodically, so i think we can expect many years of strife and hardship to come.. I thank you Dr! Hmmm anyway we also managed to catch a cycle rickshaw, the driver of which required me to push when ever we approached an incline, and then asked for more money because we were tourists, I was going to explain to him that it was rediculous to expect extra cash if you require your passengers to push as well but in the end i just told him to bugger off! So on that high note we left Jaipur for the very last leg of the Indian adventure... to Dehli!

Dehli is without doubt the most infuriating of all cities. The rickshaw men are without doubt the biggest thieves of them all. They all carry meters with them which by law they must use. However if you ask them if their meter works they'll say yes, when you tell them where you want to go they'll say there meter doesnt work and then charge twice and sometimes 3 times as much as they should! Whats more most of them wont negotiate, they look at you and then just drive off if you try to argue. We've done a fairly decent job of beating them down, but I must say I'm not sorry to see the back of them! The good news is that according to this mornings paper, the governement on the basis of all they're elicit earnings feel they should now have to submit a tax return! hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha... I cant wait to go and find one and ask him what he thinks his tax bracket will... finally they get what they deserve a big fat lump of Indian red tape! Ah dear.. hmmm anyway we've seen the sights them being Humayuns tomb ( like the Taj just not as good) and the Red Fort (promises much gives very little!), the red fort has been appropriately ruined by some British barrack blocks which have been built inside they fort, they look a little like the turds of the Raj left on the British retreat from India.. something to remember us by maybe?! Anyway the sights have been seen or at least some of them and I have to say I couldnt be happier to be leaving.. after a while this place starts to drive you nuts, the two faces of India both generous and thieving all at once sends you out your mind after a while! But there you go, thats India for you, a country of many different faces, but the one I'll remember will be the yellow smile of the rickshaw driver as he shouts "you wan rickshaw?" whilst his eyes glint with greed as he sizes you up for hom much you're good for!

On a personal point, one of my teeth is killing me when I eat.. after spending more than a grand on dental treatment earlier this year I just want to wrench the whole lot of them out and get me some dentures.. but i'm hoping it'll get better soon if not its off to the Drs South East Asian style! Ahhhhh!

Right I must be off, I shall great you from another time zone soon enough..

Best wishes one and all.. Long live the Queen and Long live England

Posted by andyabroad 01:11 Comments (0)

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