Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Perth Day 2: Where are the Penguins :-)

1502079418601-01Dear Matt and Mar,

During winter season Penguin Island would be closed to the public, however, only as a trial they are allowing limited number of visitors to go to the island, so in a way we were quite lucky (or they just wanted to generate some revenue during winter, haa haa haa). To be honest I did read up quite a bit about Penguin Island, and I knew that we weren’t going to see any Penguins and when I told your mother she didn’t quite believe me, haa haa haa.

Our second morning was glorious, the sun was out, the air was crisp with light breeze, breakfast had fewer choices (understandable as they now have less guests, this being a Monday) but there were still plenty of choices. The time slot I’d reserved for Penguin Island was at noon, there was an earlier time slot but didn’t really want to chance it, as it turned out noon was pretty much perfect.


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We arrived at the Rockingham Wild Encounters with almost 40 minutes to spare, so with that extra time we took off back down the road to Shoalwater Shopping Centre (I love these local shopping oasis, what a gem, so friendly), your mother wanted to get you gloves, lol, ended up getting you both a woolly hat as well.

You two loved the excursion, we got to see wild dolphins swimming literally alongside our boat for the longest time. Once we eventually stepped onto the tiny Penguin Island, even with all the man-made walk way and some other structures, I still felt like I was in one of Sir David Attenborough’s wildlife documentary, haa haa haa.

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Personally I didn’t care too much in not seeing the penguins, what fascinated me were the seagulls, I mean it was an infestation, and it was amazing, I felt like some awkward unwelcome intruder walking around a house jam packed with people, and all of them didn’t like us being there, haa haa haa.

The guide took us first to the beach where the penguins would be coming up from the sea then it was a walk to the peak of the Island, which literally took less than 10 minutes to walk from the boat (just wanted to give you some scale). Still, I loved it, such a change from busy BKK, where the ambience sound was nothing but humming machines, here were the sound of living things and it was glorious (even though it was probably telling us to F&*% Off, haa haa haa haa haa).

An hour or so later it was all over, and we found ourselves back in the boat once more. I think it must have been close to 14:00 when we were debating where to have lunch, driving back to Perth would meant that our lunch was more likely to become our supper, haa haa haa. Turning to Google once more, we drove the biggest shopping plaza in Rockingham, it was way larger than we had expected. Much to your mother’s delight, we found Nando’s... but somehow this time she didn’t find it as good as she had found in KL.

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Once we were back in Perth it was already very late in the afternoon, and instead of finding another activity it was decided just to chill, but what about supper, haa haa haa, this time another short walk left from the hotel, managed to find this VN/fusion restaurant, ended up ordering way more than we should, haa haa haa.

Tomorrow was going to be a jam packed day! Might as well get the mandatory Zoo and Aquarium visit all done in one day, haa haa haa, like I said before, I really don’t like Zoos but I guess in some case it does help some of the species.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Perth Day 1 (still): To Kings Park

001Dear Matt and Mar,

Sunday 06th started off with a superb breakfast, I was going to carry on with my intermittent fasting but it was just too much seeing that delicious buffet, haa haa haa.

You two were amazing, even with interrupted sleep, you two were as bright as daisies, and breakfast was scoffed down in no time. But what to do after breakfast, luckily there was a small child play area, with (I believe) you two being the only two children in the hotel, you had it all to yourselves, Matt was loving the XBox and Mar the the drawing set, that gave your mother and I time to figure out where to go on our first day.

Oh, I had forgotten to mention a couple of things, after your mother had booked the holiday, I then asked her to extended it by one day, but that meant we had to change the hotel for our final night (your mother found another great hotel to the North of the city), and secondly, the task of finding things to do was my responsibility (of course the final approval of the itinerary belonged to your mother, haa haa haa). It was quite difficult because I wanted to balance driving time with the activity that you would enjoy, it didn’t make sense to be driving for 2 hours only to see a nice scenery that you may not appreciate (yet).

One of the main reason we had chosen Perth was because of 2 things, firstly it was winter here, as we wanted you to experience something rather than just hot and hotter (haa haa haa) and secondly, we wanted something different than the usual Fun Park or Water Park. Perth is beautiful, lots of natural attractions and several historically important sites.

After breakfast we took a short walk around the hotel, just to get my orientation of the place, wow, a short walk down the hill was the lushes Langley Park and sitting just beyond the park was the majestic Swan River. Langley park had a small but well equipped playground, which you two took to it straight away, lol. Of course staying here half the day was not in our plan, especially for our first day, haa haa haa.

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So to the first stop, ‘Kings Park and Botanic Garden’ (parking space at the main carpark was a little difficult to find, but the other carparks were virtually empty). It was obvious after 10 minutes (haa haa haa) that it wasn’t your thing, lol, but giving credits to the both of you, you did gave it a chance, and eventually the moaning subsided, only to be replaced by laughter, loud laughter, very loud laughter, lol. I was a bit lucky and a little annoyed with myself with a near miss, the car is low, and when we were parking at Kings Park I drove in head first but went a little too far, but luckily the curb was a tiny bit lower than the front bumper, lol).

005It ended up being way past noon before we started to think of lunch, and that was where the real fun began, haa haa haa. The decision was to head to the centre of the city, and I was dreading it. My pet peeve has always been finding a parking space in busy city centre... this problem just doesn't happen in Perth, first thing, there were plenty of Carparks (absolutely brilliant), and secondly the City Centre was not that busy.

Found a small and relatively busy bistro, fusion food from Italian to Fish and Chips... both of which went down a storm, you two couldn’t wait to get back to play at the fountain, allowing you to run off ahead after lunch was a mistake, as when I arrived at the fountain you two were nowhere to be seen. Must admit, I was panicking a little, making a logical guess that you two had missed the right turn, so I then doubled back only to find you two coming the other way (arm in arm), chilled as a glass of iced water on a cold winter’s day, haa haa haa.

The water fountain was super fun (only because there was a bunch of you screaming together, haa haa haa), and you can not make an omelet without breaking an egg, you couldn’t have a child playing near a fountain without getting wet... haa haa haa, your jeans and socks were soaked, and it was cold... After a very long while and the fear of you two catching pneumonia, it was time to go.

Because we all had little sleep the night before, it was decided to go back to the hotel partly to allow you two to change into dry clothes, and for your mother and I to think of what to do for the evening. For your mother and I we knew exactly what we’ll be doing in the evening, as on the ground floor quite a large pub was a part of the hotel, haa haa haa.

006Coming back to the hotel after the late lunch was a great move, you two were soaked and very cold, so a rest back at the hotel was just what you two needed. A while later, instead of driving somewhere far, we took our supper close to the hotel and then took a walk down towards Swan River once more and parked ourselves at Langley Park, which you two were more than happy to do, lol.

It was a wonderful evening, a beautiful view of the expanse river, the huge grassy open ground and cool weather made it perfect for doing nothing, lol, whilst you two played, I was busy on the phone looking for things to do for the next day.

In planning for what to do, logically the first thing I’d checked was the weather, then considering it would be a Monday (how the traffic was going to be), then there was a simple matter of going back to the list of ‘must do, must see’, haa haa haa.

When we got back to the hotel, I was still drawing a blank, so instead of going back to the room, you two were given time at the play area (much to your delight) whilst your mother and I hit the Guinness (much to our delight), haa haa haa.

After a pint, everything became clear, lol, and with a push of a few buttons it was all booked and paid for, for tomorrow our destination would be ‘Penguin Island’, haa haa haa haa haa.

Perth Day 1: Touchdown Perth

Dear Matt and Mar,

After all the palaver of the visa fiasco, it was so satisfying to be on our way, we were due to fly out mid afternoon (Saturday 5th), haa haa haa), timing was great as we still had most of the Saturday morning and early afternoon to finish packing.

BKK to KULInstead of using the usual Uber, I’d decided to use Grab instead, it was slightly cheaper (but this car was certainly not as clean as the usual Uber), so with only 20 minutes into the start of our family holiday, I was already in trouble with your mother, lol. Your mother got cross at me for talking too much to the driver (who were struggling not to get lost, he is new to the business, lol).

We were in no hurry, and finally made it to Suvarnabhumi well ahead of time, because your mother is in the travel industry she wanted to try Malaysia Airlines (not the best of choice as it turned out, will tell you in later post). Our first chuckled was at the Thai immigration, for local we could have used the ‘automated’ gates that are common in all airports around the world.

But in Thailand one needed to be at least 120 cms tall to use the automated gates, so it was out of the question for Mar, but Matt was way above that now... but (haa haa haa), we were told that the 120 cms threshold was not based on actual height, but the height stated in the passport, considering that Matt’s passport is over 3 years old... and guess what was Matt’s height in his passport... 119 cms... haa haa haa.

Your mother went through the gates while you two and I had to endure the long wait, haa haa haa. Soon we were all together again, my priority was to get you two fed before the flight, as I was not sure how you would take to MH’s food.

Of course you two were in such high spirit, once we got to KL (around 18:00-ish) we had about an hour of layover, just enough time for your mother and I to top up our coffee level (haa haa haa), and in no time we were boarding our flight to Perth.

Here was my first concern, we were scheduled to arrive in Perth around 01:20, meaning we won’t be out of the airport anytime before 02:20 (including picking up the rented car), and so arriving at the hotel around 03:00-ish. I was just scared, with that kind of timing, it would be heartbreaking to have to wake you to up at that time, and I wasn’t even sure how that would affect the rest of our first day in Perth (Sunday 6th). So my strategy was to get you two off to sleep as soon as possible after we took off, haa haa haa, it would have been easier to build a the Great Wall China with nothing but a teaspoon.

KUL to PerthThe flight from KL to Perth took around 6 hours, and all I wanted to do was to follow through with my strategy, getting you two off to lala land as soon as possible (eventually you did). Gratefully the flight was uneventful, I should have slept more but all those films... haa haa haa.

The flight was on schedule, and in no time we were all hanging out at the Avis counter picking up the car, I had reserved a Camry, a nice capable family car... the lady there was fantastic (but she was from the Budget booth though), she also taught me a great lesson. Me being my careful-self, I had also bought insurance, but it was third party insurance, so should anything happen I would have to pay Avis first, then claim it back later, so note to self don’t buy third party insurance.

Anyway, Camry turned out not to be a Camry, but a Holden Commodore SV6. Coming from a car rental background and 10 years in the Automotive industry, I fully appreciated the term ‘or similar’ when renting a car, haa haa haa, please don’t get me wrong I was over the moon to have been given an opportunity to drive my first Holden (or is it GM, lol) and a SV6 too :-) To me this was some steps up from the Camry.

To be honest I thought it was going to take much longer at the Avis counter, as it turned out, it took less than 10 minutes, it was fantastic. The car was easily found (great credit to Perth Airport) but it took me another 15 minutes just to find where everything was in that lovely car, haa haa haa haa, and a further 10 minutes setting up the seat and the mirrors (that is BMW training for you right there, lol).

Luckily Australia and Thailand drives on the ‘correct’ side of the road, haa haa haa, and being on the road at 02:20 in the morning was the perfect opportunity to get use to the car and the roads.

Touchdown Perth-08282It was partly having too much fun driving, partly being unfamiliar to the roads and the car, partly being two in the morning, partly being cold, partly being in Perth and enjoying your laugh and smiles... Suddenly, there was a double Flash!, Parp Parp, I knew exactly what that was... I instinctively looked down at the speedometer, 87-ish, then I looked up my eyes scanning the short horizon looking for the answer... then I saw 80... darn it... my first speeding ticket ever! Immediately I’d asked your mother to search on the net, how much was the fine... haa haa haa. Your mother looked up, smile and said 200 AUD, holy moly... that is over 5,000 THB. Well, there was nothing I could do now, except to wait for the dreaded letter :-).

Once I had decided to rent a car, the first thing I had to check was, does the hotel have Parking? Luckily it did, but when we arrived it was full (being the weekend) but it was free to park on the street during the weekend (lucky). Novotel Perth Langley was perfect for me, it may not be the best looking or the most luxury hotel in Perth, but the location was gold. The room was clean, albeit smaller than we we’ve use to, but it was more than fine.

It was gone 03:00 by the time you two settled down, finally all was quiet, couldn’t wait to be out and about and breakfast... haa haa haa.

Arriving this early have several advantages, because with only a few hours of rest we then would have a full (first) day to explore the city!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Pre - Perth: Never do this to me again :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

You have no idea how close we were to not having had our holiday in Perth, haa haa haa. We can laugh at it now as it has already been a month, but at the time your mother and I were devastated (for a while).

www.morevisas.comOk, so from the previous blog post (‘Pre - Perth: So where are we going again?’), we had submitted our visa application on the 27th of August (it was a minor miracle in itself getting all the paperwork and booked ‘appointment to submit’ all on the previous day). Hang on, let us take a step back, so that you have the full understanding of the horror leading up to our departure, haa haa haa.

Wednesday 26th August, soon after your mother had woken up, she nonchalantly said she had booked flights and hotel in Perth for our holiday, haa haa haa, shock... and the date of departure was the 5th of September, 10 days from today, double shock. But by some miracle we got all the document ready (Stress #1) as well as booked an appointment to submit the visa application.

Thursday 27th August, the appointment to submit visa applications was at 10:00 am and all of us had to be there, but I had a meeting at work starting at 09:30! (Stress #2). Somehow managed to move the meeting to 09:00, and even luckier the meeting ended at 09:45. You have never seen me ran so fast to catch the BTS.

Once arrived, the long wait began at the visa agency, dishearteningly during the application process, the agency said clearly “Do not book flights or hotel prior to getting the visa”... haa haa haa (Stress #3), in our case everything was paid for, even the car rental, lol.

8 days until departure (Stress #4), 7 days until departure (Stress #5), 6 days until departure (Stress #6, still went shopping though, haa haa haa, you needed warm clothes for Perth), 5 days until departure (Stress #7)... I think you two get the picture. You have no idea how much stress it was when we hit the ‘3 days until departure’ mark.

Wednesday 2nd of August (3 days before departure day), we got in contact with an old friend who works at the Embassy (not in the visa department), but of course it was not possible for her to help (and rightly too, it was our fault after all), but worse, the information she gave us, gave us very little to no hope. She told us that the visa department was still processing the visa applications submitted on the 25th of July (we submitted our application on the 27th, haa haa haa) (Stress #8 #9 #10), and we had only 3 days left.

www.english.comRemembering that we were due to depart BKK on Saturday 5th (mid afternoon), your mother and I even discussed if the visas were not approved by the end of Thursday 3rd, we should start moving the flights and hotels bookings... and that was the last thing I needed, as I was also due to start my new job as soon as I have returned, meaning I had to tell the ‘new job people’ that I could not start on the agreed date... wow how unprofessional would that be? (Stress #11 #12).

Thursday 3rd of August, came and went... nothing... (Stress #13 #14 #15) but somehow your mother thought everything will come together on the very, very last day so we didn’t try to move our flights or hotel.

Friday 4th of August, by this final day all my nails were gone, I was feeling sick every second of that day, haa haa haa, still we carried out our normal routine.

Just a little before 16:00 we arrived at your usual Chinese and Thai class (while waiting I made my monthly donation to the homeless houses), I of course was quieter than usual, haa haa haa. At 16:10 your mother called... because she is in the travel industry, her system could tell (I still don’t know how) that the visas had finally been approved, and she ordered me (haa haa haa) to rush to the agency to pick up the papers, and I had to get there before 16:30 (let me repeat, she called me at 16:10).

But I was at the opposite end of the city, driving to the visa agency would have been out of the question (luckily by design, I had all the documentation with me to allow me to pick up the visa). So I ran to the car, picked up the documentation, ran downstairs, found the nearest motorcycle taxi (I didn’t even know at that time if anyone would take me across the city, but luckily the very first motorcycle did) and in no time I was zooming across Bangkok (I gave extra to the motorcycle, haa haa haa).

Here is stress level 1,000,000, whilst on the motorcycle, the vis agency called me and this one silly lady told me to pick up the visa on the MONDAY!!! So there was a conflict of information, your mother told me to get to the agency before 16:30, but that silly lady told me to come on Monday!

www.travelocity.comI totally pleaded (begged) with that agency lady, but she was utterly ‘stone cold’ and that there was no way I could pick up today (silly lady, I had even told her I was on my way) (remember that while all this was going on, I was zooming across BKK on a motorcycle, who was paid extra to go fast, haa haa haa). I tried to call your mother but she was not picking up. So I called my ex-colleague whose sister was a manager at that agency (only to realised later that my ex-colleague was actually in hospital recovering from an operation! I felt so bad), anyway she was kind enough to call her sister (who was on training so was not at the agency), who gave me until 16:45 (I thanked her profusely).

My some miracle, and it was a miracle I made it to the agency at 16:20!!!!!!! Immediately ran to the lift, which took its slow arse time to get to the 28th floor, I was expecting to see an empty office! But guess what... it was just the opposite, it was still full of staff and visa applicants... that silly agency lady was full of $#%&!

Picked up the visa (which was just 4 pieces of A4 paper, which I didn’t even think we need, as the visa information was already in the system), walked downstairs to the same motorcycle (paid him to wait for me) and rode back all the way to your language school... I was all smile!!! (but still miffed at that agency lady though).

When you and I were home, we continued with the packing (by then we had given up packing altogether, haa haa haa), finally your mother walked through the door, full of smile. Although I’d laugh at the sight of your mother, but my first sentence to her was, ‘Never do this to me again!’, haa haa haa (Relief level 10 billion). Finally in just a few hours we would be flying to Perth, haa haa haa.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pre-Perth: So where are we going again?

Dear Matt and Mar,

Before you read this post, just wanted you two to know that today is 13.09.17, and the last time I had put up a blog post was the 3rd of August... haa haa haa, the post you are about to read had been sitting in my Google Drive since 04.08.17, haa haa haa.

So what have been happening for the last thirty odd days  to cause such a dry spell on my blog, haa haa haa. A couple of major things, first and foremost, I had changed my job, the previous job was brilliant, the people were fantastic but it just didn’t work out for me and when another opportunity came along, I took it. Secondly, I’d bought Lara Croft, Rise of the Tomb Raider... ‘nuff said’, haa haa haa. Wow what an absolutely gem of a game... you get to use a trebuchet to shoot a fiery boulder  across mountain tops to destroy the ‘immortal’ soldiers...

I am sorry and will start posting again, well in a few days (lol), I am 84% with Lara now, haa haa haa. Come to think of it, more delay may be necessary... already have Uncharted 4 downloaded and waiting... haa haa haa.

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Last Wednesday (26th July) I woke up to an ordinary Wednesday, until your mother told us she had already booked flights and hotel in Perth (Australia), first thing that came to mind was... ‘what!!!’, haa haa haa, the departure date was set for the 6th, meaning not much time to prepare. Being Thai, to enter into Australia one needs visa, and those can be complicated and slow to get... haa haa haa, I was panicking a little.

AustralianFlagThe remaining of Wednesday was spent getting all the necessary document ready (whilst at work, lol), it was so cumbersome, bank statements, photocopy all the pages in the passport, a copy of your birth certificate, wedding certificate, housing registration are just a few. The application form was as long as the application for a country to join the European Community, and probably more complicated, haa haa haa.

I still don’t know how we did it, but by the evening of Wednesday all the forms were filled and signed, all the paperwork had been copied and stuffed in individual clear folders (one each), and we were prepared to go to the agency to apply for the visa. Your mother’s plan was to apply for the Visa on the following day (Thursday) (as Friday was a public holiday), meaning I had to shuffle my meeting to start early, by 10:00 I was running out of the office and heading to all of you who were already waiting at the agency.

Unbelievably the application went without a hitch, so all we have to do now, is to wait if the Australian Embassy would grant us a visa or not... Today being the 31st, at least we have a few more days to keep our fingers crossed. In the meantime we have to prepare for the trip, it is Winter in Perth but not really that cold, after looking in your wardrobe we realised you have nothing for cooler weather... haa haa haa, shopping time... :-)

Your mother and I are still working out where to go in Perth, we have decided to hire a car and that should open up our travel option quite a lot, we are going to use Perth as base and just drive out into the surrounding areas. I am a little apprehensive with the flight time, very, very early and very very late night on the return trip, I am sure both of you would be fine, nothing has ever stop you from sleeping anywhere, haa haa haa.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Double Trouble :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

Finally that day has come, Mar is now joining Matt’s golf class every Saturday morning :-) Could be because she had seen Matt practicing as well as been out on a few rounds, Mar is picking up the swing quite well. Of course at the beginning there were more misses than hits, but now after a few sessions in, Mar is hitting the ball quite well.

Mar starts golf-05815Matt has also improved considerably, to the point that in a few months he could easily beat both your mother and I, haa haa haa haa haa, that doesn’t say much though, haa haa haa.

Your mother is also back on the green, and I am really glad with that, your mother has been so busy lately any form of exercises had gone out of the window… so this is a good starting point, soon she will be back running again :-)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Let the annihilation begins :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

With your summer holiday in full swing, your mother and aunt have been doing their best to keep both of you busy, with loads of fun activities. A couple of Saturdays (22nd) ago you two were invited to Sean’s BD at Laser Hunger, the old hunting ground for Matt, so he was well prepared to the point of picking out his black long sleeves shirt all the better for camouflage, haa haa haa.

It was fantastic, especially with so many friends joining the game, usually I would join, but looking at the players... I didn’t have a chance, haa haa haa, so decided to go for a coffee instead, lol. You two had an absolutely great time!

Sean BD Laser Hunger-07223Sean BD Laser Hunger-07224

Dance recital :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

Just realised I had gone through most of July without posting anything, and that was due to a couple of things. It has been so busy at work and to add to that, this is my last month here at my current workplace (which is a subject for another post, lol), moreover, my old blog nemesis has been raising its ugly head... PS4, haa haa haa. I am now so besotted with Raise of the Tomb Raider, not to mention Uncharted 4 (hasn’t even start that one yet), haa haa haa.

Back to the subject at hands, Mar absolutely loves her ballet class, so when it came to her class dance recital she was over the moon, practicing virtually every night, to see her smile during the dress rehearsal (04.06.17) and the actual event (11.06.17) was an absolute joy for both your mother and I. There is not much more to it than that, although there was a change at the very last minute though.

Dance recital-06324Dance recital-06328Dance recital-06342Dance recital-06396

Originally Mar and her class had the dance routine all warped up, unfortunately all of her class pulled out from the show, so Mar had to learn a whole new routine and joined another class for the event, that did not in the slightest damper Mar’s enthusiasm, all it meant was more fun time learning a new routine, haa haa haa. Love you both so much :-)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Visiting Grandmother

Dear Matt and Mar,

Last Thursday your grandmother sent me a short ‘line’ message, she was going for a shoulder operation on the Friday (morning) at the General hospital (10 minutes walk from my parents place), I was a little worried, although the shoulder operation was not considered as major, but for me I get worried even if she was going to the dentist, haa haa haa.

Took half of Friday off work, and headed to the hospital, by the time I had arrived it had already been a good three hours since she had come out from surgery, but the medicine was playing havoc on her, she was nauseated from the painkillers and could not keep down her food, being mildly diabetic meant not being to keep the medicine down was a bit of a problem.

001Super early on the following morning (Saturday), your mother had left just a little before six for the airport, she was heading to Phuket to pick up Matt. Obviously for breakfast I took the easy way out, lol, off to Dean we went. It has been a few days now since starting my 5 hours feeding window, so skipping breakfast while watching you eat bacon, scrambled eggs, pancake, potatoes, vegetables whilst I sip coffee was easy, haa haa haa.

Breakfast was fun, but soon it was over, and the next stop would be to the hospital. During the drive to the hospital, all I was thinking was how to keep the day interesting for you, my priority for the day was to be with your grandmother, as it turned out, it was more fun than ever.

Your grandmother was a different person than yesterday, she was a thousand times better, of course her shoulder was a bit sore but that was about it, lol. Mar was super helpful, fluffing up the pillows, getting the cold pack, and so much more, haa haa haa.

Truth be told, as it turned out, it was me who got bored first, haa haa haa haa haa, my aunt was amazing as usual, she was there to help her sister from the very first minute to the last second. After an hour or so, it was time of our adventure.

General hospital pretty much sits in the middle of old Bangkok, with mostly Chinese community, Chinatown is only a stone throw away and also there is a very famous Chinese Temple, after getting the direction from my aunt, Mar and I headed off on foot.

Wow, what a fantastic walk, it was nice change to the normal routine and for once I didn’t both of us lost, lol, I think it took us about 10 minutes to reach the temple, and for once it wasn’t busy. After a nice roam around it was time for lunch, and I had no idea where to go :-) but being in Chinatown finding a place to eat wasn’t going to be a problem, haa haa haa.

002In fact five minutes after leaving the temple we found a Chinese Restaurant (haa haa haa, I wish I could say we’d found a Mexican eatery). Lunch was interesting, I was going to continue the day’s fast but come on... we were sitting in a nice Chinese restaurant in one of the most vibrant Chinatown in this ASEAN, of course I ate, haa haa haa haa, ate far too much too, lol.

Soon it was time to go back to the hospital, your grandmother was now well enough to walk around and was in a great mood, so it was time to take another short walk to see your grandfather. He was busy as ever, so we didn’t try to disturb him too much. We couldn’t stay for long as we had to pick up your mother and Matt from the airport.

So we went back to the hospital, my aunt once again went out and got Mar’s dinner, which was scoffed down in record time, haa haa haa. I had planned to pick up, down to the last second. The plane was due to land at 18:40, give it another 40 minutes to clear the immigration and pick up the luggage, so leaving at 18:00 was going to be perfect... haa haa haa.

And for once, I wasn’t wrong, haa haa haa. By the time I’d turned down the last stretch of road towards the airport, your mother called... It was so great to see and hug Matt again, so many stories were swapped on the drive home. Mar went into detail how the apartment got flooded (warrant another post, haa haa haa, that was a tough morning), Matt was going on about all the fun time he had (with some coaxing from us, haa haa haa haa).

Saturday, July 29, 2017

12 months on and the start of Fasting

Dear Matt and Mar,

It all started back in August 2016, with 78 kg on the bathroom scale, a can (or two) of coke (zero), a snack (or four), and a fag (or two), all of that just before shower and bed (with no exercise routine thrown into this mix), so as you can see I was at the peak of physical fitness.

Farm De Lek-Daily routine was difficult, didn’t have the energy, walking up a tall flight of stairs required as much effort as those Everest climbers, haa haa haa haa, the worst thing was one was blind and didn’t see that a change was needed.

The beginning was when Matt was sent to Discovery Camp in Khao Yai for three days (or was it four? In August 2016), when it ended the rest of us drove to pick up Matt, and that was when it all started for me, and all thanks to the environment. Simply there was no convenient store in sight, the closest one was at least 20 minutes drive away.

So it was 3 days without nicotine, cola or even snacks and with all the activities flying around none of it was missed. Once back in BKK, and I remembered that day vividly, it was a Monday and I was on my routine walk to the BTS (sky train), on the way I had to walk past 7eleven... I remembered standing outside the door of the convenient store, literally with money in my left hand, looking like a mad man looking at the floor thinking... In my mind it was one simple question ‘to buy’ or ‘not to buy’ (nicotine sticks).

My left hand relaxed, the money stayed in the pocket and I walked on... I knew I would lapsed, so it was necessary to focus on something that requires so much effort that it would take my mind off the nicotine sticks... the answer came pretty much straight away... ‘Eating plan’, lol.

Eating until the verge of splitting open my stomach was by far my favourite hobby, and I took that hobby very, very, very seriously, haa haa haa, and I was good at it too. So focusing on eating less and eating better was going to require such dedication it was sure to take my mind off the ‘sticks’ and onto food. And it worked like a charm!

To be honest, this purpose of the eating plan had nothing to do with wanting to lose weight, I mean I was already pretty handsome in all fronts (haa haa haa), with this focus, nicotine was out of the picture entirely. But now another bridge to cross, how to cope with the need to feed, lol.

Bounce Emquartier BW-07133The answer was simple, lift weights, the heavier the better. The most difficult time was in the evening, so in the beginning was a simple set of dumbbells in the living room, slowly as weeks rolled by using a set of dumbbells and calisthenics soon hits its limit, so it was time to venture to the gym on floor 1. Thanks to the internet, advice and techniques was in abundance, at the beginning I had decided on 2 schemes, mostly ‘push’ with ‘legs’ and then ‘pull’ with ‘legs’.

After a few months having only 2 schemes was a bit of a burden, and now I am on 3 schemes and with this I am once again motivated to hit the gym a few times a week.

So now, close to 12 months on, from 78 kgs, I am at 65/66 kgs and feeling much better but in need of something new to maintain this new lifestyle. Earlier on I had stumbled on ‘Intermittent Fasting’ but never seriously consider it.

In needing something new to focus, I had started fasting a few days ago, and it was easier than I had thought. Once again I had started gently, skipping breakfast was easy (as by now my breakfast was quite small, a couple of eggs and a tiny bowl of oat flakes). At the beginning I couldn’t wait until lunch time (consists a huge bowl of salads (with a large dollop of proteins, lol), but with effort, I had been pushing back my lunch later and later, until around 15:00. Meaning my period without food was hovering around 15 to 17 hours, until yesterday.

Yesterday (middle of July) was so busy with work and meetings, it was easy to skip lunch altogether, so my only feed of the day was at around 19:00, meaning I was hitting 22 - 23 hours without food, and I couldn’t have felt better! Of course I am not going to do this everyday, I would just get bored with it, and what would be next? Haa haa haa haa haa haa.

Today, I am hoping to repeat yesterday’s effort as I am typing this post, it is now 10:52 not sure how I would fair without the distraction of meetings to keep my mind off lunch... but I’ll do my best :-)

The time is 17:50, still on the fast, I thought it was going to be more difficult today without the rush of work to keep my mind occupied. There were a couple of humps, specifically during the normal eating schedule, the first hump was around 08:00 and then again around 12:00.

To be honest, I was waiting for the shakes to come, but it didn't (must look into why one shakes when hungry), perhaps I was drinking more water to avoid dehydration. I am assuming that the third hump should be here soon, the plan is to break the fast around 19:00, about an hour before gym.

There is no way I can do this tomorrow (Saturday), to fast at the weekend would be a social suicide, tried it last weekend, your mother and Mar (Matt is in Phuket) had full breakfast at D&D and I just sat there with a cup of coffee... it was very strange... haa haa haa.

So these past 2 days has been very interesting and proves that given the right environment a 20+ hours fasting was doable. Will give this another try during the next coming working days, lol.