The Adventures of Marianne

Monday, July 02, 2007

Danger

I can't help but notice the increased police presence on my daily commute through King's Cross... I've never really been scared of any kind of terror attacks - I simply feel that it's not worth worrying about, but in all honesty, I was a bit nervous today. The failed attacks yesterday has resulted in armed police everywhere, and an article in VG (a Norwegian tabloid) outlined how a 23-year old Norwegian girl was "living in fear" on her daily tube journey to work. Now I wouldn't go anywhere near saying that I'm "living in fear", but I definitely feel a bit nervous. Not terrified nervous, but simply having a slight unease and uncomfortable feeling hanging about in the back of my mind.

I guess it's all a bit more close to home when they close down the street next to my office...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

London Real Estate - Part 2

Because of some of the dismal places I had seen during my hunt for a new home I was pleasantly surprised when I saw what was going to become our apartment. Yes, it was fairly small, but much larger than some of the other one's I'd seen, it was in a decent neighbourhood, and furnished.

There had to be a glitch.

Well, as it turns out - the furnished part was a stretch... When i saw the place two weeks ago, there was a double bed in the bedroom, a sofa and a coffee table, as well as bookshelves and dressers.
What met me in my room today was: a closet. Oh, and a mirror. Somehow I don't think mirrors are very comfortable as beds.

My horoscope didn't tell me an excursion to IKEA was going to be in order today.

London Real Estate

When I was searching for a place to live in London, I was, putting it mildly: shocked. I attended my first viewing after reading an online posting stating that the apartment was in a "prime location", had a "high standard" and was "excellent value".

The location was in a back alley (without streetlights), surrounded by piles of garbage, which also appeared in the stairwell of the building. Yes, it was close to the underground station, but it was also close to brothels and what must have been crack dens.

The apartment itself was miniscule - a kitchen with standing room for one person (waify person) and two bedrooms where I'm convinced the bedrooms were converted storage closets. The only realistic way to sleep would be either standing up or the fetal position.

And as for the value? The landlord was asking for £120 a week - working out to £520 a month - EACH.

This did not bode well for finding a place to live...

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Canadian in Norway

After 2 weeks slaving away as a waitress I'm taking Monday and Tuesday off to go to Bergen and visit Elisabeth and meet Ingrid (my former housemate from university in Canada) who's visiting her boyfriend there.

For some reason I always find it so strange that people I know from Canada are all of a sudden in Norway - strange in a good way, of course!! Zach is also in Norway at the moment (http://zach.slootsky.org/2.0), hopefully I'll get to see him sometime this summer, too. To everyone else who isn't here: please come visit! Norway's actually pretty decent, despite what the McDonalds menu prices suggest...


Sunset by the restaurant (this week was try out the sunset function on my camera week) Posted by Picasa

McWTF

After getting back downtown after my shift at the restaurant the other day, my friend Fred and I decided to go and have a drink at the McDonalds (give me a break, not much else is open after the restaurant closes). The McDonalds is in the exact same spot that it's always been in, but something was seriously off - they've replaced the old plastic interiour with stone floors, beige walls, black LEATHER seats, various pieces of modern art on the walls, and to top it all off, a flatscreen tv. However, they still served up BigMacs in cardboard boxes on plastic trays. To say it was surreal would be an understatement.

Perhaps they're finally trying to find a way to justify charging $11 Cdn for a Big Mac meal?


Sunset from the balcony at la maison Husoy. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Biking by the rice fields in Vang Vieng Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's a small, small world

On my brother's and my first night in Vang Vieng, we were sitting at the local bar. A few beer laos and some random conversations with strangers later, we met two Canadian girls from Guelph, and got to talking. For some reason they thought I waws Quebecois, but the misunderstanding was quickly cleared up and my somewhat complicated Norwegian-Canadian background was explained.

Anyways, it turned out that one of the girls had been on exchange in Singapore the last semester, although at Nanyang, not SMU, but we had some fun exchanging stories from Singapore's bar-scene.

But the interesting part came when her friend started nudging her, asking her to ask me about some Norwegian dude. A bit embarrassed, she asked me if I by any chance knew a Chris Dolven (you know, in the "What, you're from Canada? Do you know John?" kind of way). He had been on exchange in Singapore, too, and they had figured that they might as well ask me. Well, as it turns out, I actually do know Chris. He's a friend of one of my good friends from High School, I've known him since grade 11, and celebrated New Years at his house, a mere 6 km from mine. What a small world!

Little did I know it was about to get even smaller. After a solid five minutes of "Oh my gaawwwwd"s, they told me that Chris was in Vientiane, due to arrive in Vang Vieng 2 nights later. Fast forward two nights, and I'm at a bar in Vang Vieng, drinking buckets with a guy I've known since High School and barely seen since.

Small world indeed.

Wax on, wax off

One of the many things you notice walking down Khao San Road in Bangkok, is the plethora of establishments offering Thai massages and beauty treatments. And yes, I know what you might be thinking, but they are actually offering massages. Anyways, we went there on the day we arrived in Bangkok, and after looking at the ridiculouly low prices, i figured I'd get a leg and bikini wax to prepare for the week on the beach we were going for in Hua Hin.

What I didn't realize, was that the low prices also reflected the process in which you get these "beauty treatments". In Canada, you get escorted to a private room, painted in white, with soothing music coming out of the speakers, and floral arrangements on the wall, and the esthetician is dressed in a white, nurselike outfit.

It was an entirely different scenario that met me in Bangkok. Now by all means, I'm not usually a very squeamish person - I've stayed in my share of shabby bungalows, sleeping on a mats on the floor with no electricity and a public hole in the ground toilet/bucket shower combo. But after going up two flights of stairs to a room reminiscent of a worn down criminal mental institution, I started feeling slightlyi uncomfortable. The room had a fan that rotated just slow enough to not have any cooling effect whatsoever, the wallpaper was peeling, and had an alarming case of mold across the ceiling that seemed to be rapidly spreading down the walls, and in the rather small room, about eight or nine empty beds with the stuffing falling out were lined up next to each other. On the counter nearby, an ominous-looking saucepan, filled with bubbling brown wax stood, and old newspapers covered the floors.

After one of the many estheticians that were draped spread newspapers over one of the beds, she told me to remove my undergarments and lie down. Now, waxing is uncomfortable enough in the "comfortable setting" of a domestic spa - it's not exactly fun to have a stranger pour hot wax on you and then tear out your hair, much less when it's clammy, dingy room, and four girls are giggling in thai with each other. But, you know, it wasn't all that bad - it would be over soon enough, and it was very cheap.

That's how I felt until the next person came in. And then another. And another. So there we are, 3 girls lying next to each other on top of old newspapers, sans undergarments. What do I say? "So..... This is awkward."

Silence.

Longest.15 minutes.ever.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Introduction to Laos: tubing in Vang Vieng Posted by Picasa


A nice cold beer lao at one of the riverside bamboo "bars" going down the river in an innertube Posted by Picasa


Tat Kuang Si Waterfall outside Luang Prabang Posted by Picasa

I'd like a Popsi, a Franta and a bleak coffee, please

Yeah, the English on Laos menus isn't perfect, but it does make for some cheap laughs.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Home Alone 4: Ingvild in Bangkok

Remember Home Alone 2, where Macauley Culkin accidentally got on the plane to New York City instead of the one going to Florida? Well, I have a younger sister, too, and while she's 12, Bangkok is not exactly the best city to be lost in, much less when you're 12 and by yourself.

Well, three days ago, the family and myself were waiting for a ferry at the pier in Bangkok. I'm engrossed in my Laos lonely planet, while my parents are talking about someting, and Aleksander is just walking around, when my dad says, "Where's Ingvild?" The pier isn't that big, and within minutes, it's fairly obvious that she's nowhere to be found. No one on the pier's seen here, and mild panic starts brewing among my parents. Surely she didn't fall into the water - she's a good swimmer, and we'd have heard a splash if she'd fallen in, wouldn't we?

The answer quickly becomes evident, however. As we look to the right, we see a boat that had stopped at the pier minutes before moving towards the horizon... Since it was similar to the one we were supposed to get on, Ingvild probably jumped on the wrong boat. We hoped.

While my dad looked like he was about to have a heart attack, my brother and I grabbed a tuk-tuk to the next boat pier, but were met by an obnoxious American that told us horror stories of kidnappings and injured kids after we'd told him about our sister.

15 minutes passed, and still no Ingvild. While I usually stay pretty cool, for a split second, images of newspaper headlines, human trafficking and how I was going to explain to people at home that I no longer had a sister because she disappeared in Thailand flashed through my mind. The fact that I'd watched the beginnin of the show "Without a Trace" in the hotel room that morning probably didn't help either.

But of course, my little sister was fine - she had gotten a bit freaked out when she realized she was on the boat by herself, but a woman had helped her out and sent her on the next boat back to the pier where my parents were waiting.

Relieved much?

Monday, May 08, 2006

American Seagull!

It seems as if I'm finally getting acclimatised to the Bangkok heat - not bad considering it's 35 degrees ("feels like 50" according to the weather network) and things are falling into place regarding Laos. Me and the bro went to a travel agency off Khao San Road where the computers were definitely from the 80s and confirmed plane tickets. Apparently Lao Aviation flies oles, so the plan now is to fly from Bangkok to Luang Prabang, then take the boat and bus down to Vang Vieng and Vientiane, then fly back to Bangkok from there. I'm pumped about Laos, although the actual flight seems a bit iffy: I found this guy's account of a jouney with Lao Aviation:

"I flew Lao Aviation last October from Vientiane to Luang Prabang and back. To say I was terrified anticipating it is to put it moderately--the Lonely Planet assured me that I should only board the plane if I had good life insurance!

Lao flies old Chinese and Soviet prop planes, and often lacks spare parts. I had just been on a variety of scary flights and bus trips in Vietnam, but I needed to meet friends who were coming from northern Thailand to Luang Prabang, the gorgeous 13th century kingdom on the Mekong. And I had no way to reach them.Some Danish tourists I met in Vietnam said the bus ride could take 10 hours and that the roads were often muddy. Busses tended to slip off them, and they had had to get out and push. Their bus driver drank lao lao, the local whiskey and smoked something they claimed was opium. Also Laos, while a lovely country, isn't entirely safe outside the main tourist destinations. Between the bandits and the land mines, it might be safer to fly???

I figured I'd rather be scared of dying for 40 minutes than 10 hours. At least I'd go quickly. So I bought a ticket.The departures board at the airport was a white board with notes in Lao. The flight itself was smooth and uneventful. The flight attendants served icy sodas and seemed serene. Except that when we flew through the cloud layer, the clouds actually came into the plane. "

I'm crossing my fingers!

Bangkok's been pretty decent - wholesome family sightseeing's been the main agenda and on Sunday I went to the weekend market and did some shopping, purchasing among other things a fake hollister t-shirt. That's right, american seagull's made it to the fake producers in Thailand.

Otherwise there haven't been any big events apart from the fact that my brother arrived safely so I officially have some company my own age, and the kids outnumber the parents 3-2. Advantage us.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

National Lampoon's Family Vacation.... in Thailand

So I'm back in Thailand after a little less than a year, albeit under somewhat different circumstances: The Family Vacation.

After a few days in Bangkok we took the bus down to Hua Hin, where we have, true to form with the average family vacation charter tourist, obtained some impressive sunburns. One of the joys of going on holiday with your parents is the ability to stay in fairly decent places, so rather than staying at the flea-infested guesthouse where the matresses were covered in plastic wrap that I stayed in last year, we stayed at a hotel with a rooftop pool, tv and (thank the lord!) air conditioning.

The plan forward is to stay in Hua Hin until Saturday, head back to Bangkok to pick up my brother, then go north to the random town of Ubon Ratchatani where my dad's conference is. Aleksander and I will then go on to Laos the week after my parents leave. Good times.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


As a final goodbye to university, what's better than a roadtrip to North Carolina? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Library Computer Hogs

On the ground floor in the library there are computers available for public use. It seems, however, that once someone's occupied one, there's little chance of them giving them up.

I stopped by today, hoping to get one, but while there were only people at about half of them, the others were surrounded by coats, papers, books and coffee mugs, loudly demonstrating their "occupiedness". Out of the computers with actual people by them, I spotted 3 people sleeping on the keyboards.

Seriously, if you're going to nap, just go home, or at least sleep at another desk and let someone else use the computer. There's no need to be this possessive.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mr. Muscles

Back in High School, I used to go to the gym fairly often. It was a pretty small place, but it definitely had its share of stereotypical "gym" people - there were the aerobics girls in skimpy spandex, older aerobics women in spandex from the eighties, the odd local volleyball celebrity, and of course, the iron pumpers who were past their prime and somehow thought that the tanning beds made them 20 again.

One of these iron pumpers, I would guess him to be around his late 30s, tended to lurk at the gym pretty much every day - either in the weight room or outside the aerobics studio, ogling the girls. He was an over-confident Texan that would hit on anything that moved, and I highly suspect that the fact that he brought his son to the playroom was merely a ploy to score "cute points" with chicks. He was shameless in his pursuit of girls.

Anyways, after having been rejected by a sufficient number of the skimpy spandex girls he moved on to me.

I remember the day with horror. It was shortly after I turned seventeen - I was stretching after a class, and before I knew it, this Schwartzenegger wannabe was putting on the moves. "Hayhhh, I saw you in there, you know.... I think you're veeeery attractive." Cue sleazy smile and inappropriate invasion of personal space . Charming.

I mumbled something about having to leave, because I had a lot of homework, emphasizing the fact that I attended the HIGH SCHOOL across the street. Disturbingly, he seemed unfazed. Every time I met him (which was far too frequently - I wouldn't have been surprised if he spent 4-5 hours at the gym every day) there would be these awkward conversations where he'd offer to drive me home and I would politely but firmly decline, with images of sleazy sexual assault going through my head.

Anyways, I saw him at the grocery store last week when I went home for reading week, and he stops to start a conversation:

" So how's it going, you haven't been to the gym in forever," he says, while unsubtly eyeing me all over as if to emphasize his point. Despite not even knowing my name, he finds it fitting to touch my arm and stand way too close. I almost feel bad for the guy - he's wearing skater clothes and his shopping basket contains protein powder, a tv dinner for one and a sixpack of beer. The guy seems to think he's 20, but his hairline clearly doesn't agree with him.

I take off and hope I deal with my age better - at this ripe age of 22, I'm starting to feel old.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Other Side

Alright, so I've shamelessly hijacked Marianne's blog despite the fact that I haven't written on here for close to a year. Because I have no blog of my own, and because I've noticed Marianne posting a lot about this issue lately, I thought I'd post the above link. It will lead you to an op-ed article originally published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that I found interesting that gives an alternative (read: not pro-Denmark or Norway) view regarding the Muhammad caricatures.

Pittsburgh, by the way, is a very nice city, as I discovered during a recent visit. In fact, I think it'll be my hiding spot of choice once Marianne realizes I've posted this.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Why Norway

The link above has an opinion on a possible reason why Norway was targeted to such a large extent in the uproar regarding the Muhammad caricatures. Interesting reading.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Hey! Get get get get over it! Ok Go Live at the Grad Club 04.02.2006 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ok Go

On to a much lighter subject - Ok Go, one of my all-time favorite bands, came to Kingston last night, playing a show with Controller Controller at the Grad Club, quite possibly the smallest concert venue here.

It`s weird, I always thought if I`d ever get to see them live, it would be at some huge venue, with overpriced tickets and too many people. Instead, I saw the concert from 2 inches from the stage, with great people for $15! In my overexcited state, I requested the song C-c-c-cinnamon lips, which unfortunately the new guitarist (who otherwise did an awesome job) didn`t know. The lead singer, however, compromised and played You`re so Damn Hot. It was spectacular. To make things even better, the band hung out at the bar afterwards, so I got to actually talk to them and being the starstruck person I am, had my picture taken with them.

Oh, and the band finished off with the A Million Ways Dance. Hilarious.

By far the best concert experience in a long time.

Elaboration

I've talked to several people about the controversy surrounding the cartoons and I was a but surprised at the number of people who felt that the embassy attacks were unsurprising, to be expected and a even a natural, justified reaction.

I have a few issues with that argument:

a) Why punish an entire nation for the actions of independent newspapers? The of that newspaper (or in Norway`s case, small, independent Christian magazine) does not represent the sentiment of the nation as a whole or its government. The fact that an independent publication does something appalling does in my opinion not justify retaliation against the nation itself.

b) In all honesty, I believe that violent attacks and/or encouraging violence is horrible in the first place. Even more so when the trigger is non-violent.

I admit that I do have a biased standpoint on the issue, given the fact that Norway is my home country. However, I do wonder why Norway was targeted specifically to such a large extent? The drawings were reprinted in a tiny, Christian magazine in January (that I personally had never heard of until this case), and as far as I`ve understood, it was in the context of an article outlining the controversy regarding the printing of them in Denmark.

Many other nations` newspapers have also published the caricatures, several in Europe, and even "a select few media outlets in Canada dared to reprint any of the controversial cartoons". Why did Norway become such a scapegoat?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

In a World Called Catastrophe

I understand that publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed was disrespectful and insulting. Clearly an error in judgment was made at some point.

That said, is it really necessary to burn down the embassies of Denmark and Norway over it?

Whatever happened to forgiveness? I don't mean to underestimate the significance of religion, but come on, but what good is religion if it's used by people to spur hate?

Monday, January 02, 2006


Happy New Year! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Luggage

I have never been known to pack light.

Last time I flew back to Norway for Christmas, I was a vision of awkwardness. I show up at the airport laden with my two humongous suitcases, each weighing more than the average 2ndgrader, backpack, purse, wallet, passport, plane ticket, sweater, scarf and random shoppingbag with a Diet Coke and some magazines (there was no room in the backpack).

Paranoid about missing the plane as I am, however, I've showed up in good time and the check-in line isn't so bad. Turns out I made it just in time, because within 10 minutes, it extends to the iffylooking airport cafe where the bagels are pre-creamcheesed and shrinkwrapped.

Quite satisfied with myself, I waddle to the counter, and heave suitcase # 1 onto the scale. I'm in business - 30.2 kilos - a solid 1.8 below the legal limit. Suitcase #2 - the numbers soar. It looks as if some of my jeans are making it retain weight. 1.7 kilos to be exact. I try to flash an innocent smile and shrug at the heavily made-up shrew: "How about some flexibility?". Since I'm under the limit on the one suitcase, can't you just consider the luggage's combined weight?

Answer is no. I'm convinced airline employees are actually contracted out from Lucifer Airways, but I keep my mouth shut. I haul my suitcases to the side, and in the presence of 50-some other passengers, move some jeans from the one to the other, and after an awkward incident involving my undergarments, I zip them up and hand them in at the counter.

Imagine my surprise when I arrive at the airport in December, and the luggage limit has been changed from 2x32 kgs to 2x23. But what happens? Yours truly get away with 2 suitcases weighing slightly above 30 kg. Maybe Lucifer Airlines isn't so bad after all.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Hockey Night in Canada

Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got till it's gone?

As it turns out, I didn't even get an interview for the internship I applied for in Ottawa, which means that I am technically out of Canada starting late December. Up until now I was so sure that I wanted to leave Kingston, but the prospect of depressing unemployment, leaves me wanting to somehow stay in school, and have fun with the many great people I have gotten to know while here in Canada.

Even hockey seems to have more of an appeal! If for nothing else, the fact that Wayne Gretzky is the most stressed out person ever makes the game more exciting....

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Note to the people in the apartment below me

My bedroom shares the heating vent with you.

If you hotbox your apartment, you are inadvertently hotboxing my room... I just woke up with an inexplicable craving for cookies, go figure.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I'm so glad I'm not in Bergen right now Posted by Picasa

False alarm

Well, I was wrong about the ring around the moon - today was absent of snow, but rich in rain.

Thus, I conclude, the chances of me winning the lottery based on the luck brought upon me by the old lady carrying a boom box are rather slim.

Bummer.


On the other hand, it did snow in Stavanger today... Maybe I have a chance at the millions anyway?

Signs

Tonight I sat down, with every intention of doing work, then ended up having a craving for a slurpee. Makes sense, doesn't it, as soon as the temperature drops below zero, Marianne craves a brainfreeze-inducing frozen drink. Either way, I figure I can do with the fresh air.

On the way I notice there's a white ring around the moon. Apparently that's a sign that it's going to snow tomorrow. Then, when I got to the 7-11, i saw an old woman walk by - at least 70 - wearing a beige coat, old lady shoes, and carrying no, not a matching purse, no, not a little wheelie bag for her groceries; she is carrying a boom box. A big, badass one, straight out of Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

I chose to take this as a sign of good luck. So I bought a lottery ticket.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A series of unfortunate events

I'm typing this from the computer lab at school. After a close encounter with a glass of diet coke last night, my keyboard is being difficult. To mention a few of the quirks: My Q, A and Z key all type "QAZ", the arrow keys leave apostrophes, the B key is BG, while S is now S>/. When I press enter, a ] comes up.

Needless to say, this has left me struggling. God knows what anyone I chatted to on msn were thinking.

It seems that my computer thinks it's participating in pimp my ride, but instead of pimp, it's crappify, and instead of ride, it's my already crappy computer.

As of now, I have to have it propped up on a stapler or thick bracelet (to prevent it from overheating and shutting off, leaving me with the blue screen of death), and for some reason, the speakers have a hollow, hissing sound to them.

Today's lesson? Don't buy Toshiba!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

You don't necessarily care, but

This is what I'm listening to now:

Carla Bruni - Quelqu'un m'a dit
Like Fondue: Cheesy and french, but in a good way. [how's that for a cheesy tagline, by the way?]

The White Stripes - Doorbell
When you gonna ring it?

The White Stripes - Hello Operator
For some reason I'd completely forgotten about this song, then they played it at the concert last weekend. Quality.

Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band - Casino
Background...

The Shins - Past and the Pending
Depressing in a cheerful manner.


Coca Cola Zero Posted by Picasa

Coca Cola Zero

A few days ago, I noticed a new product on the shelves in convenience stores here in Canada.

Coca Cola Zero, a 0 calorie coke.

Being a bit of a self-proclaimed addict (at least I'm past denial) of calorie-reduced colas, I was intrigued. Why on earth would they introduce this when they already have Diet Coke? Is this not the exact same product?

I conducted an informal taste test in my evening class, and the taste was clearly different. Good different.

Upon returning home, I found it necessary to conduct some research on the topic, and as it turns out, Coca Cola Zero is simply Coca Cola Light* with a different label!


Oh carcinogenic goodness.


* Coca Cola Light is the version of Diet Coke sold in Norway, Singapore and most European countries. It is sweetened with Aspartame and Acesulfame-Potassium, as opposed to just Aspartame, the sweetener in Diet Coke.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Homecoming 2005 - yes, that is an overturned car Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Breaking and Entering

It's 06.15 am, homecoming morning. My flatmate is away for the night with the rugby team, and won't be returning until tonight. I'm happily asleep in my warm bed, feeling safe, sound and well, asleep.

Imagine my surprise (read: shock and horror) when I am awoken from my sleep by heavy footsteps and loud breathing approaching.

Adrenalin pumping, I scramble for my cell phone and block the door to my room with my office chair. I feel terrified and vulnerable, and I'm not wearing contacts.

I muster up the courage to talk. "Hello!? Who's there?"

Silence.

Footsteps in my apartment. They're definitely coming towards my room.

Crap. So I'm going to get killed. I guess my choice of attending university in a city with 9 prisons is finally catching up to me.

"Hello!? Whoever's there, tell me, or please leave!"

Footsteps stop, and I hear the clunk of the toilet seat. Great, whoever's in my house is relieving himself.

I start yelling again, slightly more frantic and panicky.

"Hello!? Tell me who you are, or I'm calling the police!"

Heavy footsteps moving towards my bedroom door.

"Uh, hello?"
The intruder speaks. He sounds big and scary.

"DO I KNOW YOU?!" I'm not quite as scared anymore, but I don't recognize the voice. I definitely do not know this person.

"Uh, yeah, no, you don't, I, uh, just needed to use the bathroom. I knew a guy who lived here a few years back, and uh, I guess I'll be leaving now." He seems a bit embarrassed, but not really. I sneak a peek out of my bedroom door as he's leaving. The man is a tank. Even with my ultimate fighting skills (pffft), I wouldn't have stood a chance, had he actually been out to kill me.

So now it's 7 am, I can't fall asleep again, and I really need a drink.

To all guys out there needing to take a leak: PLEASE, just go outside. Find a backyard, a driveway, a tree, whatever. The girl home alone in the house where you want to use the bathroom will be scared shitless if you just break in and take advantage of her bathroom facilities.


Oh, and he left the seat up. Classy.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Take it as a compliment?

While waiting for the bus to Kingston at the Toronto bus station, I saw what must be the most stereotypical tacky man I have ever seen.

This guy had a mullet, handlebar mustache and a Hooters T-shirt and a mesh-back cap. He looked the way I would expect Kevin Federline to look if he was older, poorer and in Mississippi. The guy was there there with his wife (I presume, at least - he was definitely grabbing her ass), who also sported a mullet, along with a tank top, leopard print tights and white sneakers.

As I was boarding the bus, the guy asked me, "Do you need a hand with that?" referring to my ridiculous amount of luggage.

"No thanks," I responded, the bus driver had already started to load my suitcases.

"Well, then if I may say so myself, you look very lovely."

"Uhhh. Thanks?"

Given the look of his wife, I conclude that if he thought I was "lovely", I must look like trailer trash. So sad.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Canadian "Technology"

When I first arrived back in Canada, I decided to get a cell number so that I could use my phone to send text messages and whatnot while I'm here.

Apparently this is easier said than done.

Visit #1: Telus Mobility
"Sorry, we don't use SIM cards, so you will have to buy a new phone with at least a 2 year contract"

Visit # 2: Rogers
"Yes, we use SIM cards, but you will have to pay a $50 activation fee of your phone, then $25 for your new SIM card, oh, and did we mention that while you can send text messages to Sweden and the UK, Norway is not on the list. Why don't you try FIDO? With them, you can send messages to Norway, and we own the company anyways."

Excuse me? If you own the company, then why can't I send messages to Norway with Rogers?

Visit #3: Fido
So far so good...

"There's no activation fee, just $26 for your new SIM card, you can send and receive messages to pretty much the entire world!"

oh joy!

"- BUT - we don't have network coverage in Kingston, so you'll have to pay long distance roaming fees, as well as people calling you will have to pay long distance fees"

ARGH!

Visit #4: Bell
"Nope, no SIM cards here either. But if you join today, this shitty phone can be yours for only 399 dollars with a 3 year contract plus tax"

So now I have a ridiculously overpriced Rogers telephone that can receive messages from anywhere, but not respond. I also have to pay for incoming calls, and if I don't have money on my account, the calls will simply not arrive.

God bless the modern technology of Canada.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Fagott Beer. Only in Norway. Posted by Picasa

The Evolution of Stewardesses

I remember when being an airline stewardess seemed like the most glamourous job ever. It was during the days when they were all so tall and pretty, they'd give you cookies and a colouring book and show you the cockpit even though they said they weren't really supposed to.
Somewhere along the way, my impression changed.

All of a sudden, the glamorous stewardesses of my youth have been replaced with bitter, middle-aged women wearing too much foundation. The uniforms don't even look good anymore, and at the extent of friendliness I was shown on my flight today was a huffy "sorry" after the platinum blonde with dark roots ran over my foot with the cart.

Oh, and I'm now at Toronto Airport waiting for my luggage to get in - it ended up on the wrong flight. Remind me never to work at an airport/airline customer service desk.

Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean

It’s time to head back to Canada – I’m currently on flight AC 873 to Toronto, arriving in few hours, with no idea of where I will be living this next semester. All of my furniture has been crammed into Dan’s less than spacious abode (I owe you big time, Andrew – thanks so much for the moving!), but I haven’t found anywhere to live yet, so for the next few days, I’ll be mooching couchspace from Zach in Toronto, then head to Kingston for some intense house hunting. In that time I’m hoping to relocate to the wonderful sofa of 41.1 Clergy Street. Maybe I should just become that visitor that refuses to leave for a semester. Or pitch a tent in someone’s backyard? Probably less than ideal in a climate where the deep freezer tends to be warmer than outside…

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


It's always a good sign when the meat you're preparing is bigger than the actual barbeque Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 11, 2005


Mount Kinabalu Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Celebrity

Sometimes, work can be pretty intolerable. There are those days when you wake up, and the sun is shining, and there is really nothing you would want more than to just sit outside and eat strawberries. But then you realize you can't do that, and have to wait on grouchy people that don't seem to understand that why the tables by the window went to the other couple that booked four weeks in advance.

But nothing helps more than having a celebrity at the restaurant, and much more than that, a celebrity whose bank card won't go through. Twice. This is why waitresssing is actually a pretty decent job.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Paycheck

I got it today, in the mail, and for some reason it was a lot smaller than I had anticipated. That's when I saw that 29 diet cokes and seven bottles of wine had been deducted from my paycheck.... Oh, to have more self-control....

G8

These last few days have been ever so eventful, and I'm proud, impressed and somewhat overwhelmed by the fact that I have a close friend that has been following the events from a lot closer than I ever would ever have expected of anyone I know. Click the link!

Sarah's Press Bulletins

No ser eg atter slike fjell og dalar

Today I just got back from the family's cabin near Voss and I have to say the nationalist in me was definitely reawakened. I'll be posting pictures as soon as my father gets back (after I had mine stolen in Cambodia, he is the one with sole custody of the one we have now). But it's weird how I now think of the cabin as such a pleasant place after my so-called "vacation from hell" in the same place a few years back.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Sheep like Volvos Posted by Hello

Donald Rumsfeld

On my way to the restaurant this afternoon I counted:
3 Helicopters
20 Police motorcycles
3 Police SUVs
1 Big, black, armed vehicle,
at least 35 Police officers
outside the Atlantic Hotel.

If they were trying to be discreet about where Donald Rumsfeld was staying during his visit to the NATO base, they failed miserably.

Christmas in July

So on Sunday it was six degrees outside. Not sixteen, not twenty-six, but six. It’s fucking June and for some reason beyond my knowledge, the temperature is the same as it was here as when I left for Singapore on JANUARY SECOND. That’s fucked up.

I came home to Stavanger last Thursday, and apart from temperatures suggesting that hell is about to freeze over, it’s been quite nice. My bed is fluffy and comfortable (perhaps a pathetic excuse to spend copious amounts of time in it), I’m still getting along really well with the family and the tap water is just splendid.

Given my rather dismal current financial situation, however, I’m working as much as possible at the restaurant. That’s right, I’m back to waiting tables. I have avoided any major accidents thus far but in memory of my fuckups of last summer I’m including a list of my three most humiliating incidents from last year.

  1. Accidentally knocking over the 4 m high palm tree in the dining room so that it ell down on the table of 14 daycare employees.
    told that it’s headed towards Tau, not Stavanger.
  2. Missing the boat going off the island (the restaurant’s a 20 minute boatride from downtown), waving like a maniac to have it turn around and come back for me, then being told that it’s headed towards Tau, not Stavanger.
  3. Being assigned to serve at the boss’s father’s private party and then standing poised and ready with a tray full of champagne in glasses. Then, as the guest turn the corner and see me, having one glass get knocked over by the wind, causing the others to fall like dominoes and shatter as the guests stare.

Hopefully I am older and wiser by now.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Irony of it all

Does it strike anyone else as weird that I spent 6 months in Southeast Asia without getting any tropical diseases, sicknesses and/or travellers diarrhea, but, as soon as I get back to proper showers, safe tap water and a less noodlelike existance I am blessed with what feels like all of the above?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Back to Civilization

And so I am back in Europe, where we have civilised things like the Eurovision Song Contest and snow in June. Remind me, why the hell did I leave crystal waters, white shores and extreme mountains for this?!

Being back does have it's perks though - I'm consciously avoiding rice and noodles for the time being, and I don't intend to have a whiff of durian for a while. Also there is a certain joy to be had from sleeping in a bed with a duvet, and a shower where you don't have to scoop the water up from a trough.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Head above the clouds

I'm EXHAUSTED.

Mount Kinabalu was perhaps the very best ending to my travels in Asia - it was amazing. My knees and legs disagree - I have reverted to a crawl/waddle for the time being due to their state, but as long as they don't get any worse by tomorrow it was definitely worth it.

The course of events was:
22.05.2005
09.00 - started climb from Mt Kinabalu National Park HQ, 1600 m
14.30 - reached Laban Rata Rest House and realized that they had overbooked me and had to come to terms with sleeping on a mattress on the floor of the unheated lobby/restaurant.
21.00 - went to sleep (exhausted much?!) among Asians pointing and laughing at the fact that I was sleeping in their eating quarters. Embarrassing photos being taken by annoying Koreans.
23.05.2005
02.00 - woke up, got dressed for summit.
05.30 - reached summit in time for sunrise - 4095 meters above water, baby!
07.30 - Back at Laban Rata for "breakfast"
08.30 - Trek down to HQ
12.30 - DONE!

Ok, so that was probably not interesting for anyone other than me, I'm more begging for sympathy due to the fact that my continued schedule is as follows:

(still 23.05.2005)
21.05 - Fly from Kota Kinabalu to Johor Bahru
23.30 - Arrive JB and get to the Singapore border, get a cab to Claudine's to pick up my stuff, then head to Changi Airport for flight to Bahrain at
(24.05.2005)
05.25 - see above
12.45 - (Local Bahraini time) catch plane to London
17.45 - (Local London time) arrive in London
19.40 - Bus to Bath
21.40 - Arrive Bath

In other words, I am going to be arriving in Bath the day after tomorrow Malaysian time with no access to proper sleep, despite having been up since 2 am this morning. I predict a disaster. [KNOCK ON WOOD!!]

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Head in the clouds

After almost missing my flight from Bangkok I made it to Borneo on Thursday night. I'm in Kota Kinabalu now, and the last two days I've spent on the beaches of the nearby islands. The snorkeling is fantastic! Actually, I was supposed to head to Mount Kinabalu this morning, but I pulled a me and overslept, so I'm going tomorrow instead. That means that I'll have to go straight from the two-day trek to the airport, so I doubt I'll have any trouble sleeping on the plane. This also means that I'm leaving Asia in less than three days!

Incomprehensible.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my

Scratch the lions and bears, but oh my, I went to a tiger monastery in Kanchanaburi today, and it was definitely a highlight. About 15 tigers just wandering around freely in a canyon (the really really big dangerous ones were in an enclosed area). Pretty damn cool and pretty damn scary. Made for excellent photo opportunities, too - it's at times like these I really wish my digital camera wasn't stolen.

It was a good tour though - it was me, two peruvian girls, and a group of gargantuan Israelis (really, I keep picturing the four of them meeting each other for the first time at the "Big and Tall" section of the army supply store) and we went to the bridge on the river Kwai, which is really just a bridge, but I suppose if I end up ever seeing the film I'll maybe recognize it. We also did an elephant trek and went downriver on a bamboo raft before we going to a waterfall, but since the wet season started only about a week ago, the waterfall was seriously lacking in terms of water.

Otherwise, Koh Chang was decent but definitely too rainy, especially given the fact that my bungalow roof was more "water resistant" than "water proof". So instead of being rain woman (haha, get it? rain man, rain woman? dude, I'm SUCH a geek) I headed up to Bangkok to catch the weekend market, resulting in an even more dismal cash flow situation as well as an a backpack that officially hates me.

I might have mentioned this already, but Kayella flew back to Canada last Thursday because she's been so sick, so now it's just me again.

In other news it seems that the homeland is letting me down. I was hoping to invite myself to some sort of embassy do at the Norwegian embassy here in Bangkok for May 17th, but as it turns out, here they simply close the embassy rather than host events for patriotic Norwegians that are keen to celebrate their heritage (Read: take advantage of free canapes and booze).
Dis-appointing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Monsoon

Wet season has officially begun.

The last 2.5 days have been filled with what can be described as nothing less than torrential rainfall. It started when I was in Phnomh Penh on the back of a moto, getting a ride to the bus station and since then, I have not seen the sky. Slightly less than ideal when we're planning on heading to Koh Chang, and island known for its beaches, today.

My passport run to Phnomh Penh went surprisingly well and I stayed at a guesthouse where I met some great and random people with who I sat around drinking Beer Lao with until 4 am. The group was complete with guitar, singing and an old English guy who'd been to prison for fraud but then ran away to Vietnam. It was good times. And when I told my story of getting robbed, one of the other English guys there gave me his old camera (and I mean OLD) so now I can take pictures after all.

Kayella and I left Sihanoukville yesterday, by boat to Koh Kong and then by minibus to Trat, and we were supp0osed to go to Koh Chang last night. Unfortunately, the seas were quite rough, resulting in issues with the mango shake Kayella had before we left. So we decided to stay one night in Trat, and hopefully we'll get to Koh Chang by tonight.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Serenity Now

Just got back to Phnomh Penh and wisely picked a safer spot to stay - a Khao San Road of Cambodia, if you will. Staying on the beaten track and loving it. I'm just here for a day to get my passport back (hopefully) and some cash from the Norwegian Consulate (hopefully), before I head back to the beaches ("bitches" as they say here) of Sihanoukville and move on by ferry to Trat in Thailand.

I have to say, while Kayella's pretty much had it with Cambodia (and Asia as a whole, for that matter) I am strangely enjoying it, despite the robbing, passport issues, constant hassling and abuse from kids yelling profanities because I don't want to buy their fruit/bracelets/sundried lobsters. I think it's just the whole "travelling" thing - it's so great doing nothing but relaxing, meeting new people, seeing new things and having a meal (even when it's hilariously awful) or a couple of drinks with no responsibilities. As much as I'm looking forward to seeing people at home, going to England, working, and so on, it's great just slobbing around and talking to funny/crazy/dull/interesting randomers that you're probably never going to see again, but keep running back into them in random places.

Generally in a good mood.

Sihanoukville isn't really much more than a smallish dirty town with a few beaches, so we've spent our days on the beach, and out of nowhere we met Veronika and the girls we had met in Siem Reap and had another really good night out. Had dinner at "The Snake House" - a restaurant run by crazy Russian people, where there are live snakes in the actual table, and in terrariums all around and an owl and lemurs. It was pretty awesome despite the fact that I got tricked into eating a crazy Russian dish that for all I know may have been made of reptile remains for all I know.

But tonight I'm just going to hang out by myself here by the lake in Phnomh Penh (a gazillion times better than the place we stayed before - my guesthouse is built on stilts on the lake) - and then hopefully get my passport back demain.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

PS.

As it turns out, Karma turned around and bit me in the ass for the previous entry. 30 minutes after finishing my previous post, I was robbed. Kayella and I were taking a tuk-tuk home from the internet cafe when two guys on a motorcycle grabbed my purse from my lap and sped off.

So, here I am, in the Cambodian capital of Phnomh Penh, sans passport, money, camera and credit cards. It's dismal. To say the least.

Apparently I'm quite lucky, though - the Norwegian Consul told us a story about an incident where a guy had tried to snatch a girl's purse, but the girl had kept her bag across her chest, got pulled out of her tuk tuk and was dragged behind the motorbike for 2 or 3 blocks. That's bad.

Given recent events, I would honestly like to leave the country as soon as possible, but unfortunately I'm stuck here until next week because making an exit visa takes at least 3 business days [which means, my application needs to lie around in a basket for at least 3 days. I hate bureaucracy].

We're heading to Sihanoukville to take refuge on the beaches for the next few days - hopefully things won't get any worse. I'm crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

An open letter to Cambodia

Dear Cambodia,

No, I do not want a tuk-tuk or a moto. If I wanted a ride somewhere, I would ask one of the 20-something people around at any time. This goes especially to you, tuk-tuk driver #5. When I say, “No, thanks” to tuk-tuk driver #1-4, chances are I still don’t need a ride 2.5 seconds after I refused them.

If I don’t want a tuk-tuk, 99 times out of a hundred, I don’t want a guidebook/cold driiiink/postcard or whiny flute either. Please refrain from trapping me in a circle of souvenirs. IF I WANTED THEM, I WOULD APPROACH YOU.

YES, I know I’m sweating. It’s HOT! Just because you’re acclimatized to the 42 degree weather does not give you the right to point, laugh and loudly ridicule.

Please stop staring at my chest. That means you, dirty 12-year old boy and you, dirty, dirty moto driver. Or at least, try to be a bit discreet instead of staring, pointing and “accidentally” touching.

Yours Sincerely,
Marianne

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Worst Homecoming Ever

Last night, I met 3 Norwegian girls and 4 British guys at our guesthouse and after playing so many drinking games that they ran out of Ankor Beer, we went a pub and then finally a Khmer disco with the waitress from the guesthouse. It was pretty awesome, complete with traditional dancing and Khmer pop music.

Veronika, one of the Norwegian girls told us the most awful story about her travelling mate. The two of them were supposed to travel together for 6 months, but the girl got terribly homesick after only 2 weeks, and went back home after a month. When she arrived home, however, thrilled to see her boyfriend and family, it turned out that her boyfriend had gotten her best friend pregnant and the day after, her aunt died.

If that isn't the worst welcome home EVER, I don't know what is.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Angkor What?!

After 16 hours on the train and a godawful minibus on what I think is the worst road I have ever travelled on, Kayella and I arrived in Siem Reap last night.

Really, the trip was miserable - hot, sticky, sweaty, bumpy, unsafe, long, slow, uncomfortable, you name it. But we drove through Cambodian countryside which is completely different from anything I've ever seen, with villages taken from a National Geographic magazine. Skinny cows, geese and chickens, and landmine warning signs all over. Pretty scary - apparently there are millions of landmines all over Cambodia, and you can really tell just based on the number of amputees here.

We checked into a great guesthouse though, and while I admit I do miss Thailand's prices and friendlier people (it seems as if everyone's out to rip you off and whine at you about buying cold drinks here), the temples of Angkor Wat are spectacular. We got up at 5 am this morning to watch the sunrise and it was pretty cool, despite my hate for early mornings.

Had dinner at a crocodile farm tonight, and now we're off to buy some cheap wine and get pissed on the terrace of the guesthouse...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

One (more) night in Bangkok

So, this morning both Kayella and I slept through the 5 am alarm, resulting in us missing our train to the border town of Aranyaprathet. No harm done, we spent another day sightseeing and drinking 10 Baht fruitshakes.

In the Lonely Planet book we read about a Thai cooking class at the Oriental Hotel for which you only had to pay for by donation to some charity. Pretty happy with our find, we took the ferryboat to the hotel for some budget foody fun. When we arrived, however, we were met by a security guard pointing to a sign: "No backpackers, no slippers, no shorts or sleeveless shirts". Well, there we were, in shorts, tanktops, flipflops - one of us carrying a backpack. We were SOOO not getting in. Trying to push our luck, however, we asked the guard if he could give us a brochure for the class, so that we could possibly come back later in more appropriate attire. The guard was helpful enough, and we were terribly pleased until we saw that the 3hr course we had been told was priced by donation, did indeed cost USD $140. We were out of there before the guy could say pad thai.

Otherwise, we've done some monster sightseeing in the last 2 days and hung out in a great park nearby where there's outdoor aerobics at sunset with about 60 thai people, backpackers juggling and doing the numchuk tricks and a totally drugged out 60yr old doing a flying dance.

I'm also reading the funniest book ever: "Are you Experienced?" by Micheal Sutcliffe. Absolutely hilarious.

Anyways, hopefully we'll make it to our train tomorrow, so in less than 24 hours I'll be in Cambodia!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Click here for some new pictures!

Lots happening.

No time.

Cambodia Tomorrow.

Having a great time!

Will write more soon.

Time for Thai massage!

Monday, April 25, 2005

"Sletne Ruiner"

"Anyone want to see something gross?" she said, self-confidence in her eyes, all dangly earrings and "I'm a vegetarian free-spirit backpacker" bun.
The minibus was silent. Before any of us managed to come up with a polite way to refuse, Little Miss Backpacker's foot is in my face with a wormlike thing under her skin.
"It's a parasite," she continued. "Apparently I got it from walking on the beach - but the again, I have been in the jungle and all kinds of crazy places since I came here."
Well, good for you, aren't you all that and a bottle of Singha?

This busride was going to be long.

And it was - the so-called VIP bus we'd all paid for was in fact a 12 person minivan crammed with passengers, luggage and a scabby dog. Luckily we changed to a huge doubledecker from the seventies in Suratthani, and after some questionable noodles, I fell asleep. The train to Ayutthaya - 1.5 hours was the cheapest thing ever - 15 baht! Ie. 3 NOK or $.60CDN.
It wasn't even a very shitty train!

The place is pretty cool - lots of old ruins so I rented a scooter and am whizzing around taking pictures and whatnot. In the process of locking the bike, however, I smoothly managed to burn my hand on the muffler. Obviously, some things never change.

I'mget some lunch now, then some more sightseeing - apparently there are elephants in the area but I struggle with directions, so we'll see if I manage to locate them. Back to Bangkok tomorrow to meet Kayella and that's all I know for now!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Phi Phi Island Update

Day one of Marianne's time as a manual labourer (who would ever have thought!? isnt she too lazy?) is over, and it's been good. I'm volunteering with Hi Phi Phi doing tsunami relief and today I dug up and carried bricks since 8 this morning - tough work, but fun (for hard work). Met some great people which is great since I was terrified of being by myself.

On the way here though, I had some scary experiences - first, Singapore pointed out that I had overstayed my visa. I assumed I'd gotten a 30 day one, but no, on the Malaysian border they only give visas for 2 weeks. Anyways, 30 minutes and $150 poorer later, I made it to the plane on time at least. Man, I hate the Singaporean bureaucracy even more now.

In Phuket town, while waiting for the minivan to take me to the pier, however, I saw something truly disturbing. Two police officers came up to a monk that was sitting on a bench by the road and started harassing him. And I mean harassing. I always thought that people had a lot of respect for the monks, you know for their dedication or whatnot, but this one police officer was as far from respectful as possible. This guy struck me as the poster child for "bad cop" - he's the guy in movies who is on a power trip and gets personal satisfaction from being mean to the token hero. Tall and lean, and reeked of arrogance and corruption. Anyways, they start talking, and all of a sudden Officer grabs Monk's bag and emties it out on the ground. As Monk goes on the ground to pick up his things (two wooden sticks and some sarongs), Officer kicks him in the stomach, laughs his head off with his buddy and goes back to his motorbike. Monk hurries away down the alleyway. So sad.

Anyways, I'll be staying here on Phi Phi until Saturday and Sunday, when I'll take the bus to Ayutthaya via Bangkok. Hopefully it'll keep going well, and I won't kill myself going up or down the three metre ladder to my sketchy bungalow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Elvis has (almost) left the building

And I'm out. Well, almost.

I think I qualify as the worst (slowest) packer ever. Yes, even slower than you, Dan.

A little nervous for the first week by myself, but hopefully I'll find some other people that I can tag along with until I meet Kayella in Bangkok!

Of course I'm late, so I need to hop in the shower and cab it to the airport... Goodbye Singapore!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Itinerary

So, after struggling for hours on www.airasia.com and www.tigerairways.com, my Lonely Planet guide and countless other sources, I've decided on a rough itinerary:

  • April 20th - Fly to Phuket, ferry to Phi Phi for volunteering with Hi Phi Phi
  • April 25th - Overnight bus (14 hours! I'm crying on the outside - it better be A/C this time) to Bangkok
  • April 25th - Ayutthaya! Ancient Temple city north of Bangkok
  • April 26th/27th - Meeting Kayella in Bangkok and train to Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Beginning of May - Phnomh Penh
  • Mid May - Sihanoukville for beaches
  • 18th of May - Flight from Bangkok to Kota Kinabalu on Malaysian Borneo
  • 19th of May - Mount Kinabalu National Park to trek a 4000 m high mountain. Whoa. Watch me collapse halfway and die of altitude sickness.
  • 20th of May - Hopefully reach the top. Hopefully.
  • 21st of May - Watch some orangutans in an orangutan sanctuary and soak in some hotsprings
  • 23rd of May - Fly from Kota Kinabalu to Johor Bahru. Arrive at 23.05 and hopefully catch my plane to England/Norway that leaves at 05.25. Here's hoping.

So excited!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Water to wine?

Further evidence that I struggle at life:

Background info: I am horribly hungover. I get myself out of bed at 1 pm, but getting out of bed really just entails moving my pillow to the couch where I vegetate for a few hours.

A few hours later, I am ironing my skirt in the kitchen, and I need to refill the iron with water, so I grab the water bottle on the counter and fill 'er up. As I am ironing, I can't help but notice a strange smell... Alcoholly smell. Am I really THAT hungover?

Well, the answer is no - but as it turns out I am hungover enough to fill the iron with vodka that Tiffany left at our place in a water bottle.

End result: I go to dinner reeking of liquor (it's been a while since I've done laundry) and decide that I need to learn more about a concept called moderation.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

You know it's going to be a bad day when

So, I'm on my way to my last exam ever in Singapore, late as usual, but of course I have to stop for a Coke Light at the Esso station to wake me up. As I'm leaving, happily sipping on my cold can of nectar of the gods, I smile at the Esso Employees and kee- BAM! I have officially been hit by a black BMW. Startled, bruised, humiliated (and secretly gloating at the scratch in the jackass' paint job caused my me) I go to school to endure 2 hours of International Finance. It better not get any worse...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Singapore weather is crazy!  Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Goodbye

So I'm officially being abandoned by Dan - legendary housemate. Back to 5 degrees in FSJ he goes. And back to procrastinating I go.

The Jeopardy! game is a hoax, I'm so angry, apparently I need to buy the expansion pack to get new questions. Grrr.

Obviously I should be studying, but obviously I'm not. Lacking willpower, concentration and motivation.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Forget Heroin

Internet is the drug of the 21st century. Not even Diet Coke is this addicting.

Now, the situation in Leedon 2 is that we don't exactly buy our own wireless internet. Since we have so many neighbours with unsecured wireless networks, we choose to see that as an invitation to share. Tonight, however, Dan and I were horrified to learn that for reasons unbeknownst to us, it was impossible to access the internet from the apartment. So, here I am in the hallway of the 11th floor, trying desperately to download yesterday's episode of the OC. This show, by the way, is pretty much as addicting as the internet.

This brings me to an official disclosure of my addictions - most of which aren't that well hidden in the first place, I suppose.

In order of intensity:
1. The internet - As I already mentioned, I am sitting on the floor outside the 11th floor elevator to get a hit. If that isn't addiction, I don't know what is. Checking email/blog/flickr/messages comes under this same category. Can you be classified as compulsive if you check your email 15 times a day?
2. Diet Coke/Coke light - I am the dream consumer of the Coca-Cola Corporation, ingesting far too much nutrasweet than what is good for me. When I read the newspapers regarding studies on sweeteners, they always say that these products are hardly harmful in small amounts. I then think of the copious amounts I go through (especially during exams and whatnot) and foresee myself being one of the poor victims you'll see on television, with tubes coming out of the head.
3. Chocolate - Need I say more? Nothing hits the spot like a Troika/Melkesjokolade/Kit Kat in times of trouble.
4. The OC - Undoubtedly the most ingenious timestealers on television. Pretty people, clever banter, and the most unlikely (but oh so scandalous) plotlines possible. I used to be ashamed, but I don't even bother anymore.

At least I can justify the vices to myself by the fact that I'm not on crack? There's an upside to everything.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Singapore National Orchid Garden Posted by Hello

It's a small world after all

On my way to lunch in Holland Village today, I saw a familiar face at one of the table outside Delifrance. It turns out it was Antonia Kreston, the mother of Becca, who was in my class for three years of High School. Too random. It's strange how you run into people in the least likely of places...

I just got back from taking Andreas to the airport, so now I have to snap back to reality (oh! there goes gravity). Almost three weeks of having a visitor left me in solid denial about my two exams that are coming up in 5 days. Given my, ahem, lax outlook on my scholastic pursuits, it looks like I have some pretty solid cramming coming up.

Otherwise, I finally made it to the Singapore Botanical Gardens and took some pictures. In the VIP Orchid Garden, I found an orchid named after Anne Marie Willoch (the wife of Norway's former prime minister) - pretty cool I suppose.

It's definitely starting to feel like the beginning of the end here - Dan leaves for Canada in 4 days or so, and some others have already left. In one way it seems like it's passed so fast, but on the other side it feels like forever since I arrived. Most it feels like it's gone way too fast. I want to see so much more, but there's so little time! On the plus side, it seems I'm a lucky bastard and will get 10,000 kr ($2000 cdn) back in taxes, which is pretty amazing as it allows me to not live in a box for the next month and a half. As much as I like cardboard, last I heard not even those big refridgerator boxes have decent shower facilities.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Another day another disaster

About an hour ago, I was sitting in the apartment, when we heard some loud explosions from pretty close by. I attributed it to the ongoing constant construction in the neighbourhood, but 2 minutes later, Dan called, saying he was at the Esso station and that Leedon Road was closed down - due to a rather sizeable explosion next to our building. Me and Andreas book it outside, met with smoke and dust everywhere - as it turned out, the sub station right next to the building had exploded and fire trucks and police (hurrah for Singapore's Civil Defence) were heading over.

I think the worst has passed, though, knock on wood - waking up tomorrow morning in a pile of rubble would certainly be less than ideal.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Thai Randomness

At the first bar we went to in Phuket, the ratio of young, pretty thai girls to old sleazebags was quite astounding. When I saw the menu, however, I was even more astounded: "STAFF DRINKS: Our waitresses like to party. Buy us a drink for 120 baht". Oh the sketchiness.

Above that same bar, there was a "girls girls girls" place that invited us to take a look for free (seriously, do they get a lot of couples there?)... I refused, but laughed out loud when I saw the sign: "We have 150 beautiful girl and 2 ugly ones". Long live honesty, I suppose.

Apparently this is nothing in comparison to Bangkok and Pattaya, however. The guys I travelled with to Chiang Mai and Koh Phangan went back to Bangkok afterwards and told stories of "pussyshows" where girls would send banana projectiles, ping pong balls and god knows what else. I have to admit that I'm not really that upset that I missed out.

The day me and Andreas left Phi Phi, we decided to go to one of the completely secluded beaches across from where we were staying. We had a longtail boat take us out there, set up a small parasoll and relaxed in the quiet sunshine. Out own private beach! Or so we thought, anyways. Before 20 minutes had passed, a speedboat approaches and starts throwing small yellow things onto the beach. I am filled with a sense of deja vu, and all of a sudden, about 35 monkeys come out of nowhere. I then realize that our "secluded, relaxing beach" is indeed Monkey Beach, the destination of countless speedboat tours. I took one of those tours over the winter holiday, and I remember the words of the tour guide clearly: "we won't get off here, because the monkeys bite and can be quite aggressive". Needless to say I was feeling quite nervous as I was chased out in the water by angry monkeys accompanied by the laughter of random tourists on the speedboat. I got some pictures of a monkey holding my book as if reading it, but as soon as we chased them away from our stuff with a stick and lots of patience, I hauled ass to the other side of the beach where the monkeys luckily left us alone for the most part.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


I learned to play backgammon this week - awsome game. No trivial pursuit, but definitely good times, especially when you make a board on the beach with sand, seashells and dice made from a bar of soap. Posted by Hello

The Definition of Thunderstorm

According to www.dictionary.com:

thun·der·storm (thndr-stôrm)n.
A transient, sometimes violent storm of thunder and lightning, often accompanied by rain and sometimes hail.

On Tuesday, the day before Andreas and I were going to fly to Phuket and then out to Phi Phi, we thought we'd check the weather forecasts, you know, just in case. I wasn't worried in the slightest, until the forecasts told us we were to expect 5 days of "thunderstorms". So, I packed my spiffy Tiger Beer umbrella and we were on our way, expecting the worst. Well, I managed to leave my umbrella in the airport, but it didn't even matter, considering that a weather forecast of "thunderstorms" in Thailand in fact means blue skies all day, and crazy lightning storms at night. It was great, the sky would light up every 15 seconds or so. Now, on the other hand, I'm back in Singapore and the rain is coming down in buckets, complimented by brutal thunderclaps. I have to admit I prefer the Thai thunderstorms.

It was a great holiday, though - Phi Phi Islands are amazing, despite the fact that most of the buildings were pretty destroyed by Tsunami, by far the most beautiful beaches and water I have ever seen. I've decided that I'm going to go back after my exams are over (WAH, only 9 more days! EEK!) to volunteer - there's a great organization there called HI PHI PHI. The atmosphere was great, you have young people from all over just out to have a good time, meet people and actually accomplish something good in the meantime. Our first night, we accidentally sat in on their nightly meeting (it was held at the bar where the most people were) and there were about 60 people out to do some good and have fun.

On the boat from Phuket, I naturally managed to get myself an beastly sunburn and now I'm in a similar state as I was after KL - the skin on my face resembles a world map, and NOT in a good way (if there even is a good way). I'm a walking commercial for sunscreen.

Since our plane left so early this morning, we had to spend our last night in Phuket, more specifically Patong Beach. Since Dan, Christine, Armani, David, Seba and Sean went to Phuket on Friday, we planned to meet up with them, but they (wisely) chose to go to Phi Phi Islands too. Now, to anyone who does not know about Phuket: it's pretty much the tackiest place in the world, overflowing with neon lights, touts, umbrella drinks, "hostesses", old greasy men - note the latter two usually go together - ugly t-shirts, garbage and Dutch/Irish/Swedish/German/etc pubs, bars and clubs... Surprisingly enough, though, it ended up being a hugely successful night, despite the fact that it was just the two of us. We ended up in a random Reggae bar that served the best Long Island Ice Tea I have ever taste and sampled Thai Whisky and played 4 in a row against each other and the bartender. We finished the night, pretty hammered, by drinking a Mai Tai from a pineapple. Nothing says class like drinks served in pinapples (note: the same holds true for coconuts).

Now I'm back in Singapore, faced with the reality of the fact that I have to prepare a mediation and write a paper for tomorrow, and then somehow find a way to do oodles of work for International Finance. Tomorrow I'm going on an excursion to Johor Bahru, for nothing other than to get a Malaysian stamp in my Norwegian passport, and have dinner. Apparently it's a pretty miserable place, but it can't possibly beat Shenzhen.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Irish Domination. I tell you, they're trying to take over Singapore. Posted by Hello

Quake

Apparently there was a pretty big earthquake off Northern Sumatra about 45 minutes ago - I didn't feel anything, but apparently the Irish felt shaking, and a lamp broke at Victor's place. Crazyness - magnitude 8.2 and same fault line as the December 26th Tsunami. Scary...

Trivial Pursuit!

Well, the 7 foot dood that Dan mentioned in the last post has taken off to Orchard in search of a travel version of Trivial Pursuit. If he succeeds, it will be showdown time tonight - I am hungry for victory. Best game ever.

In other news, there aren't really so many apart from the fact that the AC in the apartment broke, leaving it about 20 degrees too hot. So happy that the one in my room is still functioning. School's coming to an end, projects, presentations, exams and whatnot are piling up - unfortunately that doesn't exactly mean that I'm doing any more work. Me and Andreas are heading to Phi Phi islands again on Wednesday which will be nice - my skin hasn't felt like its crispy self lately.

I'm also considering hibernating this summer, stockpile some sleep and whatnot and that way I won't have to worry about the not having a job issue. Pure brilliance.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Jacques Cartier, right this way

So, after my extended hiatus, during which I allowed Marianne to repeatedly ridicule me (see below), I've decided to fill the void formed by her current occupation, who happens to be 7 feet tall and has a penchant for doing my architecture portfolio for me. Or maybe it has something to do with my exam at 9am tomorrow that I really don't want to have anything to do with, or the piles of group work and job applications that need attending to. It's rather annoying how that works.

So tonight, after a power nap to improve studying efficiency later (riiiight), I had the urge for that classic piece of Canadiana... poutine. Now in Singapore, you can find "Chicken rice" on every corner, often at food stands called "Chicken Rice", but there's no way you're going to find poutine anywhere. It therefore had to be made in house. Because we don't have an oven in the apartment, and because it would simply be too much damn work to make "Freedom fries" proper (who do you think I am, Santiago?), they were provided by the fine folks down at Holland Village Burger King, who also serve as the official condiment supplier of Leedon 2 (by the way, Kingston folk, has anything become of the old BK location on Princess?). The grocery store had no cheese curds, so the fromage aspect of things came from pre-packaged, pre-shredded "fondue cheese", and the gravy came in a mug left out on the counter from when Sonia had brought it home for me from who-knows-where who-knows-how-long-prior. Needless to say, the concoction was terrible, but filled the void. April 12 can't come fast enough.

From bush village to cosmopolitan socialite (and back again?)

In other news, Wednesday was another Insomnia night. After missing out the last few weeks for various reasons (music class... non-musical harping... etc.) I was stoked (go back to Whistler, says Cmac) to hit the flat-rate, free-flow bar and unwind before a hellish week began. Needless to say, the desired effect was obtained, and things got hazy from there. At least I didn't come home in the same state as Sonia, who needs to apologize to the future plumbers of Leedon 2 for when they come across a shopping bag full of vomit in the pipes. When I woke up though, I was greeted with the news that I, along with fellow Canadian Tiffany, was the newest socialite/millionaire playboy featured on "nightlife.sg". Apparently it's some internet company that goes to clubs and bars with cameras and take pictures of what they judge to be Singapore's "cool set" and puts them on them on the internet for some purpose that I have yet to be able to determine. They then give you their card, and go on their way. Bizarre. Even more bizarre to find the card in the pocket of your pants the morning after, with no recollection whatsoever. Remind me never to go to out drinking in San Francisco.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Racecar Ya-yas

Yesterday morning I was brutally awakened by the sound of fists hitting my door at 9 am. and "Come to KL for the Grand Prix Race" an urgent voice beckoned, a voice belonging to my housemate Dan. "No, no, I have so much work," I feebly protested, and 20 minutes later I find myself on bus 170 en route to Johor Bahru.

Perhaps I should have known that this trip was not the brightest idea in the world, when Singapore refused to let me leave the country. Being my organized self, I had left my student pass somewhere in my pile of a room, and the ICA civil service employees of Singapore aren't exactly the most flexible folk. But, after a 20 minute interview with a police officer, explaining that I was indeed a student with a valid passport, I was permitted to get the hell out, and thus able to board the "4 hr direct bus" to KL. Well. The bus was certainly not direct, and therefore definitely not 4 hours. We made it, though, and set up camp at the "Budget Inn", a place of lodging (notice that I am avoiding the word hotel) where the rooms are rented by the hour, and the shower is in fact a garden hose. We had a night of decent albeit quite standard drinking, and Fredrik made it without getting his face smashed in, which is already better than last time. The formula 1 race the following day, left something to be desired, however. I don't know why but when i imagined it, I had expected more than cars that simply drove around in circles really fast. Oh well, one more thing that I've seen I suppose. Me, Dan and Paavo (Finnish dude, likes techno music), went to some random Malaysian town to get the bus back, and after Paavo got the email addresses of some local kebabshop girls (Dan scored himself a free coke), we got on a random bus and were back in Leedon 2 by 3 am.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Chances are this will get me killed... But so worth it! Dan asleep on St. Patrick's Day Posted by Hello

Aftermath

I am a walking trainwreck.

The St. Patrick's Day festivities of yesterday have left me feeling subpar to say the least. I spent today primarily vegetating on the couch in an attempt to recover, briefly interrupted by Dan's recital this afternoon. It was pretty funny - he's been in this music class (I love exchange and its bird courses) all semester, and their long awaited performance finally arrived. I overslept, so I had to drag my green self (due to the copious amount of green food colouring from yesterday) to school smelling of ashtray and alcoholic bag man to the concert at the last moment sans shower. Not a pleasant sight...

Dan and Christine (German girl) did a stellar performance though, A for presentation. Dan played double bass, probably because he was the only one tall enough to be able to, while Christine played some random mandolinlike instrument from the Philippines. We went on to eat fish and chips afterwards in an attempt to appease the hangover monster with some grease.

Last night was pretty crazy, we started out at the Irish for a BBQ, then proceeded to play drunken frisbee in the pool. I ate some awesome Italian sausage and grilled corn and after that, details are fuzzier - I introduced green beer, though, which was a success although the my nails will most likely be green for eternity. After predrinking a bit more at the Irish apartment, we went on to go to CU, for freeflow drinks.

I somehow ended up with a cigarette burn on my leg, too. I think I'm going to stick to Diet Coke for a while.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Relentless Restlessness

I must have been a raccoon in my past life. I'm nocturnal and living in garbage. And I like to make that crazy coorrring noise when I'm all alone. The evidence speaks for itself.

The nocturnality (? is that a word?) can be partly explained by my expertise in procrastination and time wasting (note: online JEOPARDY! is not in this category. Best use of time ever.) and the looming deadline of my marketing paper (tomorrow at noon. today at noon, I suppose - the numbers on the computer clock are rapidly approaching 05.34). Wow, that was a lot of parentheses. I don't know if it's the caffeine, but for some reason I am so incredibly restless, and can't concentrate at all (which really is too bad, as I doubt that marketing paper will write itself within the next six hours) - I am to calm what Avril Lavigne is to genuine, I am so restless that I'm not even making sense to myself. I just want something to happen! Oh my, what a luxury problem! "Whine whine, my life is so boring, whine whine, nothing is ever happening." That isn't even the case - in the last 3 months I've done more exciting things than I have in a long time... Why then am I this fucking restless!?

I'm starting to realize that I only have less than a year left of my life as an undergradute, and the fact that I don't even know what I'll be doing scares. But even more so, the idea of actually working, and having a real adult life scares me even more. For as long as I can remember I haven't known what I have wanted to do with my life - of course there have been dreams, but now (and then, really) they all seem so unrealistic, and I have this lump in my stomach telling me that I probably will end up in mediocrity. Oh, she had such great potential. Squandered. Squashed. Lost in a life of inaction. Oh, how I hope this is just me being paranoid, pessimistic, overly pragmatic, even.

I talked to Elisabeth earlier tonight, and we nostalgized about the days of ISS in Stavanger and High School - we were such a good group of friends with such fun times. Hours and years of adventure, fun and prospects for the future - and she told me, "What if those were our glory days? What if that's all there was?" What if there really isn't that much more to look forward to? Terrifying.

I'm almost disgusted by my melodrama here - I'm in SINGAPORE, having an amazing time, why the hell am I whining? I don't even mean to complain, I'm just confused - lost in the ignorance of not knowing.

Deep. Or shallow, maybe?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

A life less ordinary

The blog has been dwindling somewhat lately, mainly because life in general has been somwhat dwindling. It seems that time goes on, with no real developments. This weekend was rather slow - went to a party on Friday, great location on a balcony on top of the McDonalds near school, but we didnt make it there until around midnight, and I didn't really feel in the party mood. It was nice though, the Irish were, as they themselves would say, "locked" and there were a fair amount of people out. Nothing spectacular though

Last night I made a quick appearance at the Ireland-France rugby game after a night of Indian food, and today was spent doing a whole lotta nothing, despite my aspirations to finish all my work AND clean the apartment. We had a romantic salmon dinner for three, though, the first real meal we've actually cooked here. Fast forward through a whole lot more nothing, until me and Dan played a solid round of internet Jeopardy! Best game ever.

This week will be rough - loads of work (well, relatively speaking - I've become a bit to accustomed to the lighter courseload here) and I need to switch rooms and actually get work done, but on the bright side, Andreas is arriving in only slightly more than a week. Good times ahead, I hope.

Anyways.

Oh my. There have been a few updates latelt that can definitely qualify as the dullest blog update ever. This most definitely qualifies.... My deepest apologies to anyone who actually does read this.

So now I'm off to bed for an attempt at sleeping - apparently my biological clock is under the impression that I'm still in Norway because I have the constant urge to go to bed after 4.30 am, and get up as late in the afternoon as possible.


AFTERNOTE (2.56 am on Monday)
WHY DID WE COOK SALMON IN THE APARTMENT!? I smell like fish, my laundry smells like fish, the air smells like fish, even my computer smells like fish. WHY?! I think I am turning into a fish.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Tribute

Props to Daniel Maksymchak, officially in the same class as the cat's pyjamas, or the penguin's suit jacket, rather. Here's to being the hero of the Leedon 2 Campus Observation Room and ensuring the health and safety of yours truly. Unfortuantely, a bad case of champagne induced amnesia is depriving me of the night's details, but after hearing stories of gekkochasing and tireless rambling, I would like to offer an official thank you and a genuine apology.

Lesson of the day: Moderation is definitely the better way to go.

Morning has broken

And I am actually up. It's one of those mornings where you wake up far too early in spite of the fact that you went to bed much too late, and get up imediately because if you don't, there's no chance in hell you'll get up an hour later.

Anyways,

Got back about five hours ago from a decent night at Insomnia - spent it mostly speaking to randomers about everything and nothing. Met Elaine and Rebecca from Queen's which was cool, as well as some fellow Scandinavians from Nanyang. Most people were actually out at the same time, for once, which was pretty cool.

My whole "not going out this week" is turning out to be an entirely lost cause - after the USS Blue Ridge on Monday and last night, as well as rumors of goings-on this weekend... And I'm off to class.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Navy Boat Party Posted by Hello

If I was in the Navy, I'd be an alcoholic

When we were in Phuket 2 weeks ago, we ran into a 3 guys who recognized us from the Phi Phi island boat trip we had taken earlier that day. As it turned out, they were all in the US Navy, and their ship would be coming in to Singapore a week or two later. Emails were exchanged, and that's how Sonia, Tiffany, Claudine, Kara and I ended up with invites to a fancy schmancy cocktail party alongside the American ambassador to Singapore and a truckload of Navy officers. It was cool - we were welcomed by a row of uniformed men, and there was a jazz band on the deck, as well as unlimited quantities of finger food and champagne - the latter being something I unfortunately took advantage of too much. Early night for Marianne. But despite the premature ending, I had a lot of fun - it felt like we were in a movie, really. Very Top Gun minus the bad hair and synthesizer-rich music.

This morning, however, I learned that if you want to avoid a hangover, champagne should definitely be avoided.

Today is the day of my 13 seconds of fame, though - the TV show I was an extra on a few weeks back is being aired, so we're going to Oliviers to point and laugh. Marie from the Czech Republic is actually in the previews. On the topic of TV, I also found out that Gustav, the former ANSA president, that I kind of know, is on the Norwegian "The Apprentice" (or, "Kandidaten" as they call it there). Too funny. The best part is that the show wasn't able to attract someone "proper" to be the Donald Trump equivalent, so in the Norwegian version, people are getting fired by a woman who started a hairdressing chain... Not quite the same if you ask me.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Health Hazards in Singapore

Once again, I must reiterate the significance of slippery floors in Singapore. I simply do not understand why all apartments need to have the slick marble floors they all seem to have. Needless to say, tonight was another night where I managed to wipe out. I was so sad, I had just mixed myself a bucket replica (vodka, redbull and diet coke), when i did the bananapeel fall on the floor and collapsed. The worst, though, was that I was fully and entirely sober (i had drank one beer in advance). Oh, the embarrassment...

Quality night though, Cameron from Queen's is visiting right now, and it turns out he knows a guy who was also there, visiting Lukasz. Small world indeed.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Worst Busride Ever

In an attempt to save money and be adventurous, I thought I would take the 8 hour bus from Koh Samui to Phuket. Given that I had taken the 13 hour overnight bus from Bangkok a few days earlier, I wasn't really worried at all - the bus from Bangkok had reclining seats that would be comfortable even for the most hippo-like people, blankets, a snack and drink service, and its own bathroom.

Imagine my joy when I show up at 7 am at the Phuket bus station and am met by a bus with a similar layout as a school bus, with aircondition that I'm sure was a figment of the bus company's imagination. When I thought it couldn't get much better, A woman with a baby chose the seat next to mine and promptly the baby started screaming. Then, three sweaty, overweight, sleazy Germans sat down on the bus, each of them finding it perfectly appropriate to each fondle a young Thai girl each during the entire ride.

It was a long, long 8 hours.


Mountainbiking in Chiang Mai Posted by Hello

Monday, February 28, 2005

Thailand Statistics

Over the last 10 days, I have:
  1. Seen countless ladyboys
  2. Seen countless disgusting old men with young Thai girls
  3. Seen countless disgusting old men with what they thought were young Thai girls (but were really ladyboys. Hah, in your face, disgusting old man.)
  4. Witnessed a scooter accident
  5. Been to the full-moon party on Koh Phangan
  6. Lost my mobile phone (and my shoes) at the full-moon party on Koh Phangan
  7. Tried flame juggling (and not spontaneously combusted - that's the shocking part)
  8. Come to the realization that all alcoholic drinks taste infinitely better when drank from a plastic bucket
  9. Taken my and others' picture with the most random people ever
  10. Sat on an elephant
  11. Seen an elephant boner
  12. Mountainbiked in Chiang Mai
  13. Swum in a waterfall
  14. Whitewater rafted
  15. Held a snake
  16. Had a falcon on my shoulder
  17. Slept on a minibus twice, regular bus once
  18. Taken 6 ferries, 2 speedboats, 1 longtail
  19. Taken one 8-hr "airconditioned" bus
  20. Been to "The Beach" beach
  21. Snokeled with colorful fish and squid
  22. Met 2 forensic dentists in Phuket there to identify the dead after Tsunami.

Now I'm back in reality - sitting in my New Product Development class back in Singapore and waiting to hold a presentation on something I don't have the slightest idea about...


Longtail Boat on Koh Khao, Thailand Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Words that I like for no apparent reason

Brink
Sweltering
Concubine
Voyeuristic
Magnanimous
Bangladesh
Splice
Episcopalian

Especially sweltering.