Killing time, avoiding Songkran and catching up with Jonas

As much as I like Thailand – I love the UK. Wasn’t always like this. But now I have come to learn to appreciate my homeland.

The cold weather? Love it. The dark mornings/evenings in winter? Love it. Springtime? Love it all.

So I welcome the opportunity to get back to the UK when I can. I usually make 3 or 4 trips per year.

Miss Tim joins me for the Summer and Christmas visits. Any other time and I am a lone traveller.

She doesn’t understand why I like the UK, and doesn’t understand why I like visiting if I have no reason to go there.   ‘What do you do there” she often asks?

Well,  I have a fairly decent set-up in the UK.  I am a bit of a petrol head, so like to spend time in my man-cave. One week at a time should just about do it.  Spending a month in Thailand at a time just makes me frustrated and angry.  I need to get back to civilisation every now and then.

So, a few weeks back I popped back to the UK for the old mans B’day – and to collect a load of motorbike gear for my Motorcycling tour over the Himalayas in a few months.

While I was in the UK, the timing was perfect for Jonas to pop over from Sweden for the weekend.

My place in the UK is in Norwich. I am not from there – but I ended up there somehow. I like Norwich. It’s a nice place. I have a very cool, Riverside apartment. It’s right next to a huge pub, cinema, bowling ally, restaurants etc.. it’s the number 1 place to live in Norwich. Not too shabby for Graham.

Home sweet home…

Norwich city is a nice, clean place.  People are friendly and there are plenty of bars and restaurants.

I picked Jonas up at an airport late on Thursday night and brought him home via a kebab house. We LOVE kebabs.  Probably the most unhealthiest food on the planet – there is just something about it.  Mostly enjoyed when you’re drunk of course.

If only they had these in Hua Hin

Why is it I have not seen these in Thailand?  I’ve seen that horrid beef wrap/shwarma shite.. but never a proper Doner kebab.   Maybe that could be my next little project?  The Mango Doner?

Friday morning we headed over to my man cave to swap over some cars and move some stuff around. Jonas likes the man cave. I can spend hours in here – cleaning bikes which are already clean.  I wish I could have a collection in Hua Hin – but the roads are shite and every other driver on the road can’t drive for shit.   One day, when I return to the UK for good, I shall be able to enjoy my toys.

The man-cave.  This is half of the collection.

By lunch time we hit the streets of Norwich and visited as many bars as possible. The trend at the moment seems to be ‘Cocktail Bars’. And why not?  A cocktail afternoon it was then.

It was good to have a drink with Jonas.   He is doing good in Sweden. Has a good job, his Thai girlfriend is now living there – with Jonas and his kid.   Life is pretty good (normal) – and he has no regrets of leaving Thailand.  Yeah he misses some things.  All of which can be sorted with a holiday which may come next year?

Gangsta-Cocktails?

Around 7pm – we jumped on a train for the 30 min journey to a little sea-side town to visit a pal and continued drinking with him. Several drinks later we were pretty hammered from the days drinking.

We had consumed quite a bit.  The UK booze is cheaper than Swedish booze, so Jonas felt like it was his duty to drink more.  Of course, we all know what happens to Jonas when he goes drinking.

Next to the train-station – Is a kebab house. Well, it’d be rude not to right?

Jonas…. nuff said

Saturday morning… after Jonas finished throwing up – we headed into the city again for more cocktails.

One of the bars we came across is an America style Sportsbar. It looked great. TV’s all over the place. For us – the owner of this bar absolutely nailed it.

The walls had some pretty cool artwork on them too. It’s very refreshing to go to a bar done properly.

(have to say, I am impressed with the Camera on my iPhone X)

We hopped from bar to bar pretty much all day – with the intention of hitting the table dancing club later that night. Feeling pretty drunk we headed back to the crib for a little nap, ready for the evenings shenanigans.

Top tip.. NEVER GO FOR A LITTLE NAP if you are heading out later! At 7pm.. we had a little doze on the sofa. When we woke up around 10pm.. we were grumpy and a little hungover. We got our shit together and made the effort to get out.

Just 15 mins and I’ll be ready.

Heading into the city.. it was drizzling with rain. The feeling of heading out and getting (more) drunk had passed.

I felt nothing short of relief when Jonas suggested we just got some food and head back home! That we did.

Sunday morning was an improvement on Saturday morning – as Jonas was not throwing up. He slept good.

A bit of a lazy morning.. lying on the sofa watching Cop shows on TV. I swear that if there were not a height restriction back in the day – I’d have been a cop. Obviously a traffic cop, driving around really fast and chasing baddies. That’s all they do anyway right?

Out for a spot of lunch and it was time to take Jonas back to the airport.

A good relaxing weekend. Some drinks and some good food. I guess this is a far cry from what we are used to (in Bangkok) but still a good time none the less. We spend most of the time in the bar – laughing and reminiscing over our previous escapades in Thailand.

With Jonas gone – it was back to the crib for me. No more kebabs.  – it was also a good chance to give the crib an airing.  Jonas + booze + kebabs = a very stinky toilet.

After spending the morning cleaning the remains of Jonas from the bathroom, covering up everything my  crib with dust-sheets and turning everything off – I headed off out the UK again.

Being a little savvy on flight times – I was sure that a morning flight to Dubai would be quiet. Not sure why? Maybe people don’t like getting up early?

I didn’t bother upgrading myself – instead I chose to save my air-miles for a better occasion. Flying Economy can be o.k in certain situations.  If the flight is not full then a few empty seats puts distance between you and the scumbags.

My assumptions were correct.- the plane was half empty. I had a row of 3 seats all to myself. For me – this is the equivalent of a Business seat. For a fraction of the money.

Dubai was a business lunch with the team. Best behaviour.

Another night in Dubai

I’ve stayed in many hotels in Dubai – they’re all pretty much the same.  My fave at the moment is the Four Points Downtown.  A couple hundred bucks a night – but well worth it for the view at night.

Saturday was time to head back to Thailand. Songkran was coming to an end so I would have missed all the stupidity.

Once again – the flight was empty. I guess no one travels to Thailand for the end of Songkran? And when I say empty… I mean there were less than 30 people. At first I thought I had missed the flight as the departure gate was empty.

On the plane – the cabin crew just said to go sit where we want. Amazing.

Breezed through immigration and was home by midnight.

Miss Tim was back home with her family for Songkran and would be home in the afternoon. I was free!

I purposely went away for Songkran.  I am not a fan.  I just arrived back in Thailand on the last day when all the stupidity had come to an end.  Phew

Sunday saw me head into town to the Irish bar to watch the F1.  Really good (pub) food. The owner is useless though. He just sits there playing on the computer while his 2 staff scramble around trying to serve a full bar.

Probably the busiest I have seen the bar in a long time (during the day). Full of guys watching the Rugby and the F1. All drinking beer and eating food.

It amazes me why this bar has no aircon on during the day? Instead the doors are open and the place is a sweat box. Full of flies too. Why not close the doors and stop the heat coming IN! Put the fans on as a minimum. I can understand he is probably trying to save on cost – but with a bar full of people – there is justification to turn on the AC’s.

It took more than 15 mins to get served. It wasn’t the service girls fault – she was run off her feet.

Even though I had to wait a long time,  I went over to the service girl when I left – and gave here a few hundred baht tip.  She was shocked.  I said that she deserved a tip as she had not stopped running around, taking orders, serving drinks and carrying food.  All on her own.  I don’t recall any of the customers giving her a please or thank-you when I was there.  All they did was raise an empty glass in the air and point to it.  Tossers.

With the F1 over and a belly full of food – time to leave the tossers and head home.  I was still worried there were buckets of water waiting to be thrown at unsuspecting people like me.   Many cars were still covered in white power from Songkran but thankfully it was all done and dusted.

The plan was to have a few relaxing days at home – and then head back to work.  All was going to plan until Miss Tim presented a pile of empty boxes and asked me to pack all my shit ready for the move in a few weeks.

Damn.. I thought I would have escaped that.

After my month at work – I shall be stopping off in Dubai for a few days.  I messed up (again) as it will be Ramadan – so not as lively as it should be.

From there, I’ll be heading to Bangkok for a few days and then back to HH and straight to the new house.

I am hoping Miss Tim would have everything unpacked and settled by then.  Time for me to just kick back to the month and do nothing.

That’s the plan anyway.   But plans change……

 

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