The South East Asian Haze Strikes

Hello everyone!

SO. It’s been an eventful few days to say the least. Last time we spoke, I was chilling in a cafe in Kuala Lumpur contemplating our imminent trip to a Malaysian island called Langkawi, where the Kids had reserved us a beautiful guest house close to the beach with a spacious garden, hammocks and lots of pussy (give yourself a slap, I’m talking about kittens).

Now I’m lounging on a hostel terrace in Bangkok. In between, our flight to Langkawi was cancelled due to the vicious smelly monster known as the South East Asian Haze. Basically, it’s the horrible smog I was complaining about previously but it has a name and doesn’t just affect KL, but also other parts of the country (LANGKAWI!!) as well as parts of Southern Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

The Kids aren’t exactly known for their timing, but this really took the biscuit. They couldn’t possibly have chosen a worse time to go to Malaysia. The haze originated in Indonesia due to idiot/corrupt/greedy plantation owners burning forest areas to clear land for cultivation and the fires then spreading out of control. Schools have been closed, people with breathing problems have suffered and visibility is reduced to almost nothing.

Worst of all, it made my fur bloody stink.

I overheard Girl raise the idea of putting me in the washing machine. Well, my brother Frantisek back in Olomouc has been through that form of water torture before and I’ve heard enough to know that it has to be avoided at all costs. Luckily I distracted Girl by making my ‘vulnerable’ face and got a large kiss instead of a drowning incident.

Anyway, I know you’re burning to find out how we went from plans of a paradise island to incredibly busy and smelly Bangkok… well SO AM I!!! Girl always packs me in her suitcase because she’s scared I’ll be caught carrying drugs in her hand luggage (damn right), so you can imagine my horror the first time I was released from my bed of dirty clothes and endless cosmetics to find myself still in Malaysia!

Thankfully the Kids had the foresight, this time, to book a hotel with a window and enough space to spin a decent sized teddy bear. Just a shame about the very smoky “no-smoking” corridor making a potent mix with the haze and car exhaust fumes from outside. I won’t repeat the word Girl used to describe the smirking hotel staff after the Kids had unsuccessfully complained, because it makes me blush just thinking it.

I had my suspicions that we were heading back to Thailand when the Kids took me with them back to the Thai embassy to finally get proper visas (turns out teddy bears don’t need visas, though). I heard words like ‘Phuket’ and ‘Koh Lanta’ and was rubbing my paws in anticipation of salvaged beach and sun. How naive. Pulled, battered and bruised, out of the suitcase once again I soon realised that we were as far away from the ocean as ever, we were in a hostel in Bangkok! More worryingly, the Kids were talking about staying! Both Boy and Girl were diligently compiling lists of places to live for a month before we ventured out to view potential apartments.

We viewed four places in total. The nicest was about a 30 minute walk from nearest local Skytrain stop (“I give you good price if you sign contract now, aha?”) and the other affordable one was next to a highway. Dispirited (and possibly affected by my desperate attempts at telepathic persuasions), Girl uttered the magic words: “why don’t we go to the beach?” Thankfully, Boy agreed wholeheartedly and we’re now booked on a five and a half hour bus journey leaving Bangkok tomorrow morning to go to Ko Chang. Typically, the Kids spent approximately half a day searching for suitable accommodation and still didn’t manage to find a place with a pool.

To give the Kids some credit, we’ve made the most of our stay in the capital. In spite of my initial reservations, I actually quite like it here. We’ve spent some time around the centre of the Sukhumvit area, which is certainly an experience, with non-stop activity and a huge range of hotels, bars, restaurants, malls, street vendors and old white men clinging to Thai girls young enough to be their grand-daughters. Last night we hit the town and Boy got sweet talked by a ladyboy into checking out happy hour (I reckon he heard “ending” instead of “hour” but don’t tell him I said that) in a cocktail bar. The mojitos looked dee-lish but I’m not a big drinker so I gave them a miss. Today we went to a mall (surprise surprise) to get lunch. There were a scary number of people but the view from our seat was impressive and I’m told the food was really good. There is an ongoing conflict between Boy and Girl on the subject of Pizza Hut. They’re all over the place and the following keeps happening: Boy sees Pizza hut and expresses desire to eat there. Girl point blank refuses. Boy protests. Girl point blank refuses and distracts Boy by taking him somewhere else that also does food. Boy forgets about Pizza Hut until the next time they pass it. Repeat. It cracks me up. Boy is never going to eat at Pizza Hut in Asia.

Ok, I’ve rattled on enough. Next time we speak I’ll be writing from the beach (I hope!).

Enjoy the weekend!

Kluk

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