Friday, March 31, 2006

The rest of the SE Asia trip.

So we finally setup internet in our apartment and I figure great! Now I can keep my blog up to date. However, upon trying to view my blog, it dawned on me where I was. Well, I have nothing to substantiate that my blog has been blocked. For all I know it could be my inability to configure my firewall or proxy correctly, but thats no where near as controversial so I'm sticking with the first story.

Now where were we? ....AHH yes the delights of South East Asia and its ongoing plight to bargain EVERYTHING. In case you didn't know, nearly everything in South East Asia is negotiable. Sounds great right, you get a great deal on everything. But when you take in to account the time needed to negotiate EVERYTHING, it becomes quite a uneconomical not to mention a down right pain in the arse. Why can't they just give you a reasonable fixed price and we pay it. (This is what a months worth of bargaining does to you.)

So reviewing it all... the trip started in Thailand. Bangkok, the only international airport in Thailand. We landed there with the intention of staying a day or two and then leave for Cambodia. Didn't work. Our visas for Cambodia and Vietnam took 5 grueling days. Apparently one day extra was due to fighting at the embassy, theres a comforting thought. In the mean time we stayed at our youth hostel and ventured the streets of Khao San, the chinatown of backpackers. Every major city has one and its full of backpackers. During this time we managed to get measured up for a suit and an overcoat plus 3 shirts and extra pants. Again, we were bargaining for about 45mins trying to get a "good" price. The stereotypical indian taylor assured us he was not making much profit on this sale and that he did it because we were "friends". Bitter as that may sound it wasn't too bad. We picked the best materials and our overcoat was made from this gourgeous soft, warm and light material. Worth every penny.

We finally left for Siam Reap, Cambodia. Travelling by bus was quite the experience. From bangkok to the border was fine. Well aside from the rear tyre blow out and one of the girls saying last time this happened the bus couldn't brake. The border to Siam Reap however was crazy. Picture a mini bus PACKED full of people and bags. Now, its not a NEW bus... take that bus and stick it in the outback for a couple of years, throw in a few dents, some weird smells and remove some of the interior and you have something similar to what we had. Now if the bus were travelling on a sealed road, that would still be quite passable. But no, this is Cambodia. The main road from the Bangkok border to Siam Reap (home of Angkor Wat) was unsealed. Now not only was it unsealed, it was uneven and unlit not to mention full of buses and cars and bikes. Some parts were only just wide enough for 2 buses. We travelled during the night so looking out the front windscreen all you could see was the haze of dust the headlights lit up. Some how the bus driver managed to manouver past holes in the ground, boulders, cyclists, scooters with no lights, other buses an cars not to mention the crazy predestrians. The ironic part is that upon reaching Siam Reap, the first sight you see is MASSIVE hotels that can cost you anywhere up to $1500 US a night. Go figure?!? What happened to infrastructure....?

Next blog: Cambodia - the enormity of Angkor Wat. (Picture on left is the Cambodian border.)

Oh by the way people... we have an apartment in Shanghai now. In the GuBei District. We have internet and the apartment is furnished. It even came with a 120cm toshiba TV?! Now we are just starting to look for jobs. More on all this later. Catch you all then. One more thing, I managed to get around that firewall issue for those still reading at this point... :)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Picture paints 1000 need for much explaination.

Rocket going away + Ez Bday

Below is this fatty pork dish we ordered from MBK Shopping centre. TASTY!!

Lyndon eating grasshopper.

Me eating grasshopper.... tastes like crunchy.

More photos to come As soon as i can be bothered resizing them.

The night before last we met a couple of english chicks. Not only did I manage to teach them the locking handshake (Poon you'll know what I'm talking about), but I managed to get them to say " Yor marder soooo fhet, dhhaaaaaaaat when she jarm for joy, she gort starck!"

It was HEAPS FUNNY. And Lyndon got it on video too. We'll upload it somewhere as soon as I've figured out my ftp url. :)

Ok people... thats it for now. I've still got photos of Iron Chef and china we havent uploaded yet. So stay tuned and do not attempt to adjust your stereo!!!