Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas to all… (except those people I don’t like)

Been a busy week.   I met Miss Tim in the Dubai lounge last week and we flew to the UK.  Due to the timings, we didn’t get chance to take full advantage of the bar on the A380 – as we fell asleep for virtually the whole journey.  – doh.  We could have done that in an economy seat!

Heading home for Christmas!
Heading home for Christmas!

Not much time to hang around at home as we were soon on our way to our hotel The Hazlits for our Christmas week (of shopping).

The hotel is in Soho – which I have to say was absolutely buzzing.  The place is always busy.  Ever bar, bistro, coffee shop and restaurant was pack.  Even in December, people were still sitting at the outside tables.

Our first night in London – we met up with my old mate PRP – who happened to be staying in London for a few days too.

As per usual, the streets of London were busy.  I do like walking through the streets before the sun (grey sky) comes up.  Watching the early risers walking to work with their Costa Coffee cups and listening to their iPhones.  Something quite peaceful about it.

One thing I have noticed though, and I don’t want to sound like an arse… but everytime I see a homeless person – they are sleeping.  No matter what time of the day.  Which makes me wonder what these people do when they’re awake?

I guess not too many things need to go wrong which could see you or I homeless one day – but I’d like to think I’d be one who carries a big black plastic bag and picks up litter.  I’d have a sign on my back saying “I’m homeless but not useless.  Give any you can to spare”

If I were to see someone doing this – I’d certainly dig deep in my pockets.

Evenings in London seem to consist of visiting pubs, bars and restaurants.   London isn’t as cheap as I remember it – but then where is?   For all those that say Thailand is becoming expensive – I would argue they don’t know how good they have it.

Out and about in the morning – we checked out a local place for breakfast.  Found one called The Breakfast Club.  I’m guessing the first rule of breakfast club – is you have breakfast?

A small cafe – but what amazes me is that there was a queue outside.  In December.  Now, personally, if there was a queue somewhere, then I’d have it on my toes and go somewhere else.  So why would people queue?  Only one way to find out.

Have you ever queued for breakfast?
Have you ever queued for breakfast?

 

The breakfast club was a hive of activity.  Young, old, people with kids…. sharing tables… chatting and lively music too.  It was like a bit of a party!  So much atmosphere.  Food was good too!  Definitely worth a look and 10 minute wait in the queue.  Not so sure if I’d have said the same if it were raining though.

 

 

 

 

Miss Tim and I do like going for walks these days.  Ever since we got our ‘Fitbits’.  A walk along the Thames to check out the sites.  We’ve been there and done it all before – but the sights really are quite breathtaking.

Seen it already
Seen it already

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Being Christmas – I had to buy some presents for the kids in the family – so headed to Hamleys.  Actually, you don’t really need to have anything to do with kids to go there.  It’s great!  Can’t help but feel all kids these days are spoiled. (the ones that get to go here).

The place is a dream for kids.  Loads of wonderful toys which seem amazing when compared to the bamboo stick that Miss Tim had as a present when she was a child.

With our time in London at an end – we met up with another pal for dinner at a blues bar/restaurant.  Hit the cocktails and stuffed our face.  By the time we got our train back to home – we were falling asleep and worn out.

Christmas day right now.   Had some tea and toast for breakfast, listened to all the naff songs on the radio caught up with the Ironing!   Perfect!

Off to see the parents and family for dinner shortly and then heading back to Dubai tomorrow.

As much as I like the UK at Christmas – I think I am over it now.  Next time, I think 3 days here – in my UK apartment, looking out the window with a cup of tea and a turkey sandwich is all I need.

I miss Dubai.  I miss the weather. I miss my new 911.

Not sure what’s happening for New Years yet?

Any suggestions? What have you lot been upto? Anything exciting?

Carry on…

The Return of the Frank – by Flank!

4.00 am, alarm goes of. I nearly turn it off because I forgot I am travelling to BKK this morning.

Feeling a bit seedy because I had the boys over on Sat avo. We ended up drinking white wine, fucked if I remember why….

Airport…check in. My suitcase weighs a ton and I hardly get it on to the check in conveyor.

Upstairs, I ponder a hair of the dog, but I am too tired so nap-time.

The plane takes off on time. I am sitting with an elderly couple and we start having a chat…in German!!

How Frank deals with passengers who don't shut up.
How Frank deals with passengers who don’t shut up.

The man tells me they have a connecting flight to Vienna. I tell him ‘I hope you have brought your pj’s because this is going to be a long flight’. He says they have 6 hours before their connecting flight and they want to go into BKK, have a look see and shopping…oh yeahhh….they had never been to BKK but I thought this would be pushing it for an elderly couple who didn’t know where they were going.

 

Uneventful flight…eat….snooze…have drinks…watch ‘Just for laughs’

We Land

It is 3:00 pm and the airport is really busy. Nevertheless, I make it through in fairly decent time.

Ok time to spot RC…..looking…looking…looking. No RC. Ok walking around…walking…walking…no RC

So I decide to get a Sim card. Done, activated. Where are you?….I gate 4 sit down. I spare you the rest but we met up.

Now it gets better. Me ‘Ok, where is our transport?’…’No hap’…I am standing there with a 30 kg suitcase and a 12 kg laptop carry case……….Now this is starting well.

‘We take taxi my friend’….’Ok, where is your friend?’ ‘Him not here…him no answer phone’

Now I am starting to look for a return flight already….

‘We go downstairs’…..Well downstairs must have been around 300 people for taxis.

Ok, enough of this. Back upstairs, I ask for a private car to Buriram…I am ready to kill any one who stops in front of me suddenly, pushes their trolley into the back of my feet or crosses right in front of me….(ref. Chinese)

We negotiate and I am surprised….6000bath!!!

Keep in mind, it is a 6 hr trip there and the driver needs to come back.

We hop into a nice SUV…I get out the Vodka and we hit the road.

To be continued.

Catching Up

Wow.. what a hectic few weeks.   It’s getting harder to find time to take an hour out and have a catch up.  How do these other bloggers do it?  All I can assume is they’re too busy writing about other peoples lives and don’t have time for one themselves?!

Meanwhile, back in Dubai…

A buddy of mine got married the other week.  Some of his pals flew in from around the globe and we set off on a weeks celebration.

The only non-alcohol fuelled event (that I went to) was the Desert buggy driving.  That’s 3 or 4 times we’ve done that now. Still doesn’t get boring.

We’ve been hitting the bars – as expected.    We’ve now selected the 360 bar as our regular place now.  The place is awesome.  The music, the view, the women…etc.. It’s not the cheapest bar in the world, but one of the best.

360 bar. I prefer this view than the Nana Plaza...
360 bar. I prefer this view than the Nana Plaza…

Barasti has a Jagermeister ice room – which has a bunch of coats on the entrance for the customers to wear.  Unless your British that is.   Then you don’t need them.

Ice Bar? British summer more like
Ice Bar? British summer more like

 

I have gone right off Barasti as they have a singer – which is absolute shite.

The traffic/parking there is a complete disaster too.  We were at a standstill so we decided to get out the car near the entrance and let the driver go and park.

 

As we did so, some horrible little Nazi parking attendant told us we’re not allowed to get out the car there and we would not be allowed in Barast.   Fool. We just ignored him.

When leaving the bar – instead of queuing up for a taxi, it’s easier to take a 5 minute walk to the main road to flag one down there.  In doing so, you have to walk past a bunch of African hookers on the side walk.

MY GOD they stink!  Outrageous amounts of B.O!   What the hell is that all about? Made me want to vomit.

Nearing the wedding, a whole bunch of us got together and went on a mad drinking binge.  Various bars were visited and we ended up in Ratsky drinking Champagne.  Hot sure how it happened but I ended up picking up the tab on that one.  Nice little bill for 80k thb. Ouch.

Bumped into Rafiq that night.  Thought he’d still be recovering from a party he threw at the Moscow hotel where the bottles of expensive booze were free-flowing.  I know the Moscow has a special place in Rafiq’s heart, but my pals and I are not too keen on it.   It just has that old fashioned feel to the place.

My pal had his wedding at Anantara Hotel on the Palm.  Spectacular place.  The honeymoon suite was on a pier which had stairs from the balcony into the sea.  Lovely.

Anantara Villa. $2.5k per night.
Anantara Villa. $2.5k per night.

 

Probably out-with tradition – but the whole gang was invited to the room on their first day of marital bliss to hang out, swim and hammer the room service.   Great time.

No time to relax – a few days later I popped over to London for a few meetings.   Already mentioned that in another post.   I am looking forward to returning there in a few weeks with Miss Tim.

Love the cold weather of England
Love the cold weather of England

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day after returning home – I get a call from Spats.   He was in town on business – so lets hook up.

As per usual, we headed to Wings and Rings for over-priced fried chicken.  We had a gang of about 8 of us.  For some reason, the more people you have, the more it turns into a drinking competition.  It wasn’t long before we’re on the way to being drunk and thinking where to go?

It’s very unusual for Spats to be out after 9pm.   For years at the Mango we could set our watches by Spats heading home.  We just assumed it was the Missus giving him his orders.  It’s like he was practising for being married or something.

After W&R we headed to Jules bar.  For those of you who don’t know it – it a bar on a hotel complex with a Filipino band – which are pretty crap to be honest.   But then, you’d not go there to watch the band.  You go there to see all the different women this world has on offer.  All colours, creeds, shapes and sizes.   The gang seemed to be focusing on a woman in a long blue tight dress which was absolutely stunning in every way.  To the point where we were all getting angry because she was inch perfect.   Makes you wonder how she ended up in a brass bar.

Moving on.. after several more beers, Spats was getting drunk and slurring his words.  Not seen him that drunk in a very long time.   Off he went into the night – looking for his bed.

We had several more (hardcore us) and called it a night.

I’ve some pals in town for the Rugby 7’s this week.  Shall be hitting the scene for the next few nights.  Luckily I am heading to Iraq in a few days for work.  Great. I need a rest.

In a few weeks I head to the UK for Christmas. Miss Tim will meet me somewhere en-route – the Emirates lounge no doubt.

Christmas will be spent in a rather nice (oldie) hotel in Soho London.  All we need is a little snow and it’ll be like a picture postcard.

Fit for a King...
Fit for a King… and I.

After Christmas – the plan is to head back here to celebrate the New Year.  We were thinking about Bangkok – but we’ve done that many times.   We’ll give Dubai a try.

After all, it maybe the one and only New Year that I will be living here.

Need to think what we can do here.  Must be something going on?

***  Just been sent this picture of the stag party crew.  Can you spot me? ***

 

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More later…..