Sunday, May 28, 2006

Good bye GuBei

During my last days of Chicago and Illinois I discovered that the landlord could be moving us out, or at least selling the place. We really didn't care, we were happy to move out. Its too far from central Shanghai. After some hunting around using several agents and contacts from friends we finally found another apartment downtown! Woohoo! its in a district called Jin'An and is right in town. Awesome! building is old but the apartment is pretty modern. Some old chinese style furniture, 2bedrooms, 2bathrooms, kitchen, lounge and dining. Only downside is that the building is used for offices on the bottom half. I don't have a problem cos our place is on the 24th.
So we are moving out today. The landlord doesn't know yet. :) We have a feeling he is trying to screw us over so we are just going to jump ship. It means losing deposit, but at least we are out of there!

Well next post will be from downtown.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The story so far..

This whole blog thing is quite a responsibility. I keep falling behind in posts so its time to do some catch up. South East Asia, lets just finish that.

Last time I left you all we were just finishing up Vietnam. That was fun. From here we headed back toward Thailand and the south islands. Unfortunately the only way we were going to be able to head down to the south was via Bangkok. Not happy Jan. The next town would have to be Phenom Phen. The thought was to take the next available bus out or cab it to Bangkok with 2 sweedish guys. Unfortunately the problem was the border crossing would be closed. So we stayed the night. After a night of sleep at a drain smelling hot hole, we headed for BKK. With a 5:30am start it took us a straight across to BKK and then we caught the next bus and ferry to Koh Phangan. In total the trip was over 28hours of travel on a FRICKEN BUS!!!! Naturally we were dying to get in the water.

Koh Phangan - home of the Full Moon party. Along this bus ride we met Jon, a canadian who was travelling SE Asia too. He was meeting 2 other sweedish girls there and suggested we follow him to look for accomodation. The population almost of the island increases about 10 times during the week of this festival and he said we may have some trouble finding a place. After some wondering around we finally ended up at a guest house which was cheap and close to the beach.

The beach. Picture a stretch of beach with 23 degrees water, white sand, beautiful sunshine and chicks. Topless ones. Sun bathing, swimming, drinking even playing volleyball and racket ball. Sorry, I didnt get any photos so you'll just have to believe me. Topeless is almost a rule on the beach. Kindly just about every one abides.

During the days leading up to the fullmoon party there is constant partying going on. There was music during the day but seeing as almost everyone was hungover it wasnt too loud. At around 8-9pm however it was cranked up to ear bleeding levels, and beach activities turned into drunken dancing. Like they say - 'when in rome...' The nights we were there, there were anywhere up to 10,000 people on the beach. It was mayhem. Most people drank buckets. Thai spirits (undisclosed amount of alcohol content) with either coke or red bull, depending on how tired you were from the previous night. At around $8 AUD for a half litre, its not hard to imagine how people look the next morning. Fullmoon night was massive. THOUSANDS flocked and all sorts came out of the woodwork.

Aside from the partying, there was the snorkling. 23 degrees water and coral makes for great snorkling. We all bought some snorkling equipment and decided we would explore ourselves instead of taking a tour. AWESOME. Enough cucumber to satisfy any chinese, tropical fish, coral and crabs. All this was just off the beach! We spent several days snorkling around in between partying. As a result I got a huge shorts tan and lyndon was pretty damn burnt. All worth it.

After the party we headed for an island called Koh Tao on the way back to BKK. Another beautiful place. Here we met two Dutch chicks who decide to come snorkling with us. We headed for an island call Shark Island. How inviting... Literally 20m from shore you were able to see reef sharks swimming around. Kinda freaky at first then you realise that even if you wanted to get close they wouldn't let you. This was just off shore, shark island was still quite some distance. In fact it was a good 15min swim from shore and through waters where you couldn't see the bottom. (Duh its the sea) 3 of us swam across without actually thinking much and it wasn't till later that I realised it may not have been the greatest idea in the world. Needless to say it was a fantastic day.

The bus ride back to BKK was the least painful. Massive bus that had plenty of room. We arrived in BKK with some shopping in mind, and to pick up our suit. Both of us ended buying another suit at quite a good price. We bought some house items and before you know it we were ready for SH. Of course no thailand trip would be complete without a thai boxing competition and some ping pong.

I left out some stories here and there but thers just too much to write and I really wanted to finish the whole SE Asia thing! So now its done!!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Soooo behind

Greetings... so i've spent the last month in Illinois. What have I done? Rotary associated activities. I'm currently in a MAC store in Chicago with Chi-Hoong and thought i'd update my blog. This being so I'll have to keep this pretty brief. I'm in Chicago for a day because the flight back to SH was full!!! Gladly I stayed. United Air paid for hotel, and transfers.

Well I'll be heading back to SH tomorrow and i'll have more to post when i get back to my PC.

PS I need one of these Macs.