Monday, January 30, 2017

Not a bad way to commute :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

Now and then I would have to go straight from your school (after dropping you off) to an off site meeting, and since I am trying to drive as little as I possibly can, my chosen mode of transport had always been first and foremost public transport, from buses to trains, then of course followed by the usual taxis, Uber, motorcycle taxis, even tuk-tuk and whenever possible, walking, lol.

IMG_20170119_074523But the best of all is when I have to catch a boat from your school, either to the next pier (to catch the BTS) or to some further pier down or up the river. If the weather was on our side, there is no better way to commute, lol. Bangkok is (or was) known as the Venice of the East, sadly that is no longer true, ohhhh man if it was, life in BKK would have been immensely more palatable, lol.

Wedding ring found, lol.

Dear Matt and Mar,

For the longest time, even before you were born, all of our important document were kept in separate hanging folders, which were placed on one of those rather thin metal frame. You two had a folder each (which were full to the brim and as fat as waistline), of course for me I had several folders one for each bank, workplace, car and so on, and lastly a couple of folders for your mother. Overall I would say we had around 30 folders “pretending” to be organised... haa haa haa.

IMG_20170121_201445Things were being filed without much consideration, at (several) times, haa haa haa, I said it was time to tidy up but never got round to it. Do you know what broke the camel’s back? When I couldn’t find my wedding ring, ‘yes’ I had filed that too (when my finger got too fat, haa haa haa), but now after months of hard work, I was looking forward to be wearing that ring once more... but I just couldn’t find it, but I knew for certain that it was in one of those folders... like I said, all things important go into one of the folders, haa haa haa.

Not being able find the ring, after going through each folder was annoying me and stayed with me for days. Until last weekend, by chance we had to go to Makro (wholesale supermarket), with the team split into two, your mother and Mar did the proper shopping whilst Matt and I was just roaming around with the shopping cart ‘drifting’ in and out of the ‘windy’ aisle (this is where they sell the fans, which were on full pelt, haa haa haa).

IMG_20170121_201506Team B came across aisle of metal cabinets, and it was perfect! Picked one up without any thought (2 tiers, with hindsight should have bought 3 tiers instead), and it was very much to your mother’s surprise, haa haa haa, and I knew that I wouldn’t be sleeping that night (and I didn’t).

By the time 01:00 flashed on the clock, it was really time to pack it in... with only a couple of folders to go I could have carried on but one never knew what would be next, so it was the best of decision just to step away. Managed to throw away more than half of what I had stashed away, you two now have 8 folders each, your mother also have more folders associated with her, nothing will never be lost again! (haa haa haa, that is a totally wishful thinking).

And ‘YES’ I did find the wedding ring, it was caught in between leaves of paper in the ‘apartment’ folder, and I was over the moon, lol.

We Survived, lol.

Dear Matt and Mar,

Definitely not the normal routine for a Sunday. It started normal enough though, your mother took you to class at church and mass, but there must have been something because even at noon you all were not to be seen. So after doing all the chores and even more waiting, I’d decided to go out and have my own adventure.

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First stop was MBK, haven’t been here in yongs, the mission here was to buy contact lens for your mother, by far the cheapest in BKK :-) Then after a quick walk around, suddenly an idea popped up about visiting a temple that I had been wanting to visit for the longest time. Wat Pratum, uniquely sits between the top two shopping malls in BKK which is probably the last place to find such a beautiful temple.

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After visiting this wonderful temple, it just puzzled me why I haven’t paid homage at this temple ever, and the funny thing is I used to work just next door! It was beautiful and strangely serene, well, it must have been destiny, lol.

The time was close to 13:00, and your mother had yet to call, so it was the perfect time to visit ‘Pantip’. Pantip was the number 1 destination for all things IT, but recently it had gone through a major renovation physically and branding.

It was obvious from the very first step, the soul of Pantip had gone, just a run of the mill mall now, I don’t exactly know how the passions and the comradery can disappear from a location, but it was certainly not special. Oh sure, it was clean and in order, but the sense of fun had all disappeared. Not really the developer’s fault, in the past Pantip was one of a kind, but recently several clones had appeared, and they had to revamp to make the place more relevant…

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Whilst I was walking and feeling remorse about that place I was roaming, your mother called, but I was almost on the opposite side of town, so your mother took you to lunch where Mar had been moaning for yongs to visit (again), and for once I was glad I couldn’t join you,

It must have gone 15:00 when we all met up again at the apartment, then your mother had a facial appointment across town, so I took the opportunity to take you two to a place I have been wanting to visit, lol.

I love web games where with a mouse, one would click around to reveal clues and put all the stuff together to get a lock combination to open a door and escape, well some clever people had turn that type of games into an actual physical game, There are a couple (that I know of) of operator of this type of game in BKK, and the one I wanted to visit was actually less than 10 minutes away.

IMG_20170115_171159So your mother went off to become more beautiful than she already was (lol), whilst all of us piled into the van and drove to Silom. As it turned out the place was super easy to find, almost next to Silom Centre, and on top of everything, they were having the ‘children’s day’ campaign, making it even a bigger bargain. I was one billion trillion gazillion sure that we can escape from the room... errrm, lol.

Haa haa haa haa haa, best way to describe is ‘fun to the max’, haa haa haa, and ‘YES’ we did break out before the hour was up (dead line was 60 minutes), however there is a humongous ‘BUT’, haa haa haa, the game master had to help us quite a bit. Game master (a lovely lady) would be watching us from afar (through CCTV) and would come in like a beautiful angel whenever we got stuck, I think she gave us about 4 hints in all, in the end it took us around 58 minutes before Matt decipher the final puzzle and found the combination code to open the main door and set us free... lol.

Forgot to mention that about half way through, Mar decided that she had had enough and wanted to leave, luckily by then your mother had caught up with us and had been watching us outside with the Game Master, haa haa haa.

We are definitely coming here again, and with the four of us together, I am one gajubillion percent sure that we could break out in less than the time allowed, easy peasy, lol.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Day Six, Pattaya & Rayong: going home.

D6 PnR Trip-03320Dear Matt and Mar,

Finally our final day has arrived, and it was marvellous, we couldn’t have woken up to a more beautiful morning, instead of hitting the gym I’d decided to take a rest, because of the long drive back to BKK. Of course as always after breakfast Kids Club was on the agenda, but instead of a swim afterwards, it was time to pack and move out to the Rayong aquarium.

Due to today being a Saturday and New Year’s eve, the aquarium was free admission, in plain translation, it was super crowded! Haa haa haa haa haa. But we managed to have a great time, due to this place being quite small, we did all we needed to do in about an hour, then it was time to move out once more.

For lunch we’d decided to drive into one of the mall in the main town of Rayong. Dotted along the way were several noodles shops, and so it wasn’t surprising that we didn’t make it to the mall, our lunch was taken at one of the noodles shop houses, was it delicious? Not really, haa haa haa haa haa, but we needed something quick and not poisonous, and this quick lunch served all purposes, haa haa haa.


D6 PnR Trip-03343Next stop was BKK, the drive was uneventful (which was a very, very good thing), I got really tired on the rather long and very boring elevated expressway from Cholburi to the edge of BKK, luckily there was a huge cup of steaming coffee to keep me company, as all of you, including your mother were in dream land... lol.

For your next trip (I can’t believe we are discussing your next trip already, lol) should be in Singapore, definitely going to be a fun time, so many things to do now, love you.



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Day Five, Pattaya & Rayong: will try again tomorrow.

D5 PnR Trip-03179Dear Matt and Mar,

Today was going to be our final full day in Rayong, and the routine was well established, I was hook on the gym and so off I went again at around 06:00, back again at 07:00, just in time to usher all of you to dress and off to breakfast. Once our bellies were full (during breakfast Mar was totally besotted by what she called the smallest orange in the world, lol), you two wanted to go to Kids Club again, so once the walkie talkie was tested you two were allowed to go there alone.

Swimming was next on the agenda, by the time noon came there was no way we were going to have lunch here again, lol. Amazingly it was easier this time to convince you to leave the pool, and soon we were on our way to Jo Jo Seafood. This place came highly recommended by your Uncle Chat... and it was duely well deserved, what a fantastic restaurant, my diet truly went out through the window.

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On the very last second, we decided to visit Rayong Aquatic Animal Husbandry Station which was around 35 Kms away, and we had less than hour before it closes for the day... so I was in my Top Gear mode once more... haa haa haa, We made it with about 10 minutes to spare. However I had made quite a wrong assumption, when it says it closes at 16:00 I had assumed the ticketing office would close at 16:00 but the visitors would have an additional hour to see the various exhibition. Errrr ‘no’, 16:00 is when they turn the lights out, haa haa haa haa haa, so we had literally 5 mins to run around...

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You two decided that we must come back here tomorrow, which was quite brilliant as it was on our route back to BKK. Anyway, instead of driving back straight back to the resort, we’d decided to stop at the huge local market that was next to the aquarium. Run of the mill ‘tourist’ orientated local market, but the choice of street food was bewildering, lol. So instead of trying to find a restaurant near by it was back to basic, BBQ pork (on a stick) and sticky rice... I think your mother bought enough to feed a few thousand, and luckily she did because your mother and I didn’t see any of it... haa haa haa.

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Day Four, Pattaya & Rayong: Best day so far…

Dear Matt and Mar,

For the past couple of years (at least) when we go away for holidays, your mother had always taken her glorious exercise clothes and trainers with her (no doubt influenced gained whilst working at Virgin Active), and in all those time I think she had used it once! Haa haa haa haa haa.

D4 PnR Trip-03067Certainly during these past few months (since around Sept. 16) the role had reversed, it had been me who had stepped up in the exercise department, and your mother had moved on to Baking, lol. So for this trip I had also brought my exercise clothes, which really consists of a pair of lifting gloves, instead of the whole wardrobe, lol.

On this first full day at the resort, I was up before all of you and instead of (in the past) watching TV and zonking out, I’d picked up the gloves, put on a t-shirt and shorts and left the room for the gym, and it was glorious! Did the full push and legs routine, haven’t felt that good in years, this was also the first time visiting a gym as for the past several months I was just using dumbbells in our apartment. The heavier weights and equipment was fantastic, and very much needed, this would also lead to some drastic routine changes at home (perhaps in another post, lol).

D4 PnR Trip-03015Arriving back at the room around seven, all but Mar was up and about, it was time for brekkie. I must say waking up Mar was a real pain but totally adorable! Now for breakfast, your mother and I have travelled extensively both for our profession and personal, and we know a great breakfast when we see one, haa haa haa haa, and this one was fantastic, as it ought to be considering the cost per night, lol. I had a whale of a time, literally I ate as much as a whale, haa haa haa.

You see that cupcake in the photo? Well there is a story behind that. As part of the sweets section of breakfast, the chefs had made cupcakes (small ones) and of course Mar wanted one immediately, however as we were part of the first group to arrive for breakfast, there were plenty of cupcakes on display, but I didn’t want to pick it up, instead decided to wait until Mar had finished her breakfast before picking one up. Haa haa haa haa, by the time I went back all cupcakes were gone, and the chefs were not going to make anymore… can you imagine the look on Mar’s face! It was like I had killed her favourite puppy with my bare hands, lol, to stop the tears situation, my brain was working overtime… Luckily the only coffee shop did sell cupcakes, huge ones… She was more than happy… haa haa haa.

Instead of scratching our heads to try to find things for you to do or see, the facilities at the resort provided more than enough 'fun' for the both of you to enjoy. As the breakfast was winding down, it was time to bring out Santa’s present, for some strange reason (nudge nudge, wink wink) Santa gave you a pair of professional walkie talkie, which fit into my plan perfectly (how on earth did he know).

D4 PnR Trip-03043D4 PnR Trip-03051The days leading up to this Rayong Trip, we have had several practices as well as lessons on etiquette on how to use the radios. Of course we had to choose one's handle, Matt had decided on 'Sponge Bob’' to which I had shortened to just Sponge, Mar started off as 'Pony' but later changed to 'Elsa', your mother's handle was 'Pretty', and mine was 'Handsome' but that was an obvious lie, lol, so it is now just 'Fat Papa' (thanks to you two).

After breakfast we switched on the walkie talkie, checked everything was in working order, and you two were told to go to Kids Club on your lonesome, lol, best present ever! Matt was very diligent, and reported in every time he was at a landmark, lol. Finally it was ‘over and out’ when you two had reached Kids Club. Eventually your mother and I would have enough energy to pick ourselves up and trotted over to KC to find you two having a great time.

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Of course after a couple of hours it was time for the pool, this time we’d decided to try to bigger pool, and it was glorious. The sea was just as good, but only Matt was interested in swimming in the sea. While at the Kids Club, Mar had enrolled on a pizza class (oh, these hotelier people are clever, offering pizza class to young children... who could refuse?), the class starts at around 13:00, so a quick lunch was had by the pool.

While Mar was having a fantastic time cooking pizza (with your mother), Matt and I stayed by the pool, Matt (as always) managed to have found a new friend and was also having a whale of a time, lol.

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When Mar delivered her pizza to me, I’d immediately broke my diet by having a couple of pieces... and it was sublime! There was no way we were going to spend the remaining of the day in the resort, much to Matt’s sulking we quickly washed and left the resort without any destination in mind... Then your uncle Chat came to the rescue, he had mentioned a couple of restaurants and something about the long bridge (Prasae-Sin Bridge) haa haa haa, that suggestion turned out to be one of the highlight of the holiday, thanks Chat!

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Finally it was decided to head to the Prasae-Sin bridge (along the way stopping at the most famous Thai writer museum, Sunthorn Phu (1786 – 1855)) which was even further east, luckily the restaurant that Uncle Chat had recommended was also in the same area. As it turned out the bridge was not much of an attraction, I mean it was pretty impressive but it wasn’t like we could get out and walk around it, but the stone pier close by was something else, lol.

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By passing the bridge, we drove on to the beach, and from going by sight we headed towards one of the pier, it was a pretty good walk, the scenery was pretty good, then to the left we saw a huge retire warship! It turned out to be the HTMS Prasae (PF2) Memorial.

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After a few wonderful snaps on the stoney pier, we drove towards the HTMS Prasae Memorial, along the way checking its closing time... luckily we had well over an hour to enjoy the exhibition and it was fantastic (the weather was glorious and the crowd was light), what a great way to end the day. Finally Matt was glad he had not stayed in the resort after all :-)

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Supper was taken at ‘Krouw Mar Roui’ (a direct translation being ‘kitchen come rich’), overall it was quite alright and an excellent way to end a very busy day :-)

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