Monthly Archives: January 2010

29Jan2010

Welcome to Cambodia!

pigs-head-trat-market-thailand

There is something particularly unwelcoming about the phrase, “You give money now.” Particularly when spoken in a Khmer accent. The language isn’t tonal, so you lose all the mellifluous softening you’d get in Thai, there’s a different set of vowels and consonants, a lot of plosives, and, what with the khaki and the nurses waving […]

28Jan2010

First Day of School . . .

First Day of School on Bang Bao pier

Taking Z out of school for a year to travel proved less problematic than I’d thought. The headmaster and attendance officer basically said, “Where are you going? Brilliant! Keep an eye on the Maths and English.” The Learning Trust, which administers education in our borough (Hackney), sent two people round the house with concerned expressions […]

27Jan2010

Scampering Lunches and Fresh Coconut Milk

So… Will we regret starting out in Thailand? The food, even before we head to the south and the north, is phenomenal, and Z is asking ominous questions about Cambodian cuisine. He is developing an addiction to Tom Yam soup, made here with coconut milk fresh from the tree, which brings the flavour much closer […]

27Jan2010

Koh Chang

Sunset at Treehouse, Long Beach, Koh Chang

So… we spent our first few days of our big adventure at Treehouse on Long Beach, Koh Chang. More by luck than design, it’s virtually at the end of the road which will, ultimately, circle the island and connect everything up, and the generator clicks off at 1am. So, when you wake all you can […]

25Jan2010

It's not the Destination, it's the Journey: on Trucks and Stuff…

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Z, being male and nine years old, actively enjoys the experience of moving from place to place. He did when he was little. But people change. And children change fastest of all. The beam on realising that Qantas had provided a 747 (Brit-speak) or Socceroo (and, yes, it appears they do actually call it that […]

25Jan2010

Mains Electricity: a Good Thing, Clearly…

So the theoretical immediacy of this medium has been slightly kiboshed by the near-total absence of electricity and mobile reception in our first tropical idyll, Long Beach, Koh Chang, which is, on balance, a beautiful thing, and surprisingly rare. It will be a shame when the change comes, although I guess, as with so much […]

18Jan2010

On Binbags and Plastic Crap

Just under 48 hours to go to takeoff, and I am ploughing through the leisurely accumulations of two lives. Endless bits of plastic to be sorted into cherished, to-be-inherited, and junk. It’s a form of fine archaeology sifting the Bionicles from the Lego Technics, the cracker crap from the Kinder goodies, the Beano bits from […]