Sunday, 29 April 2007
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
Keep those other faraway places. I got the East Rand almost all to myself.
Here is the skinny so far...
So after the wet (and frankly quite annoying after a day or two) festivities of Songkhran, we headed down to Koh Tao to spend a few days chillin' like villains. We first stayed at a very cool, but quite remote place (only accessible by longtail boat taxi) owned by two brothers who were pretty cool, and reassured me when i jumped into the water for the first time, right onto some spikey fucking thing that left black needles in my foot. Anyway, i wanted to do my open water dive course (Koh Tao is the busiest diving training centre in SE Asia) so we moved to a busier beach where i signed up to do my open water with Lizzie Bosman from Big Fish and was pushed out in record time (2 and 1/2 days).
We then went to see what all the fuss about Koh Phan Ngagn was about, and frankly, i still dont understand it. Sunrise beach is pretty cool, but the place is full of Israelis, who are mostly dickheads (sweeping generalisation, but this time its TRUE!) and pretty expensive. The complete lack of thai food and abundance of fire jugglers ("its my light staff, maaaaan") should have been a sign... Anyway, so we wanted to see what the Andaman coast looked like, so we moved across the peninsula to Koh Lanta and saw that it looked much the same as the other side, except it rained. Anyway, koh lanta was pretty cool because there were some exciting caves and an old fishing village to explore. The caves were quite unspectacular, but shuffling across slippery, narrow beams above 20 metre drops with little-to no light was pretty damn exciting. The real "3rd world" experience, neh. Our guide was pretty cool too. He was a Muslim, he told us many times. He has a Muslim friend from South Africa called Imran, or Ron, for short. Imran hasn't visited for a while and he misses him.
After the caves we went to explore the old fishing village which was pretty cool, but damn hot, although we found some woman selling the most awesome prawn fritters for 5 baht each! thats 1 Ront 20! Crazy! Al was feeling a little chewed up by the sun, so we stood by the side of the road like helpless farrang and waited for a taxi. Luckily a kind chap in a van with tinted windows found us and offered to take us back to our hotel for the princely sum of 300 baht. No worries. So we get in the van, Al in the back and me in the front. Then Al starts laughing and says "you're a policeman!".
"No, no, no" he assured us, this was his friends car, and he was just using it. Apparently his friend had lent him his gun belt and walkie alkie too. Cool friend. Anyway, the guy was super sweet and gave me a little gold buddah amulet which i havent lost yet. The same cannot be said for my guido sunglasses that are in the possesion of one of the cleaners in our hostel who assures me that she saw Alex pick them up (between you and me, i think Alex stole them too). Anyway, what is a farrang in Thailand to do?
We spent the last few days seeing stuff in Bangkok (and getting involved in an attempted travel scam, too much to explain here) and just eating the best food i have ever had in my entire life. And the cheapest. Who knew there was a whole nation out there who also thinks that chilli for breakfast is a good idea? This place is amazing.
Tomorrow we start the trek up north, Kanchanaburi, Ayuthaya, Sukothai and then Chiang Mai which i am particularly looking forward to, as the food is apparently hotter than it is in Bankok. Fuck, I cant wait. I have uploaded a few pictures for your viewing pleasure, but as soon as i find a computer with picasa i'll put all the good ones up, with explanations, although this may only be once i am back in Saarf Efika, chillin' by Germiston lake, tunes boomin' from my chorrie, and my china, Jan Youens manning the braai. I'll bring the chilli sauce...
Keep it real,
The beach other beach we stayed on, on koh tao:
Alex the Spelunker (spelling?):
A bin at the Big Fish resort on koh tao, wtf??? :
Me chillin' like a villain on koh lanta (notic ubiquitous thai rasta in the background, he was good at connect four though) :
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
Monday, 23 April 2007
Sunday, 22 April 2007
I write to you from the "mall of America".. the biggest mall around aparantly.
I'm on my second last day here and have come back to Minneapolis from New York. I fly out tommorow and its been such a journey. This place is mad btw. Imagine reflective surfaces, escalators, kids screaming in the distance as they ride the rides in the amusement park, hats and strollers and straws the size of little pipes. People with bags ad more bags and a lego land to my left, an aquarium to my right, a broadway entertainment centre to the north and maps to tell you how to get around.
I wrote down my train station so I know how to get back!
I'm here picking up my last bits of shopping. And I mourn the loss of nyc already. That place is so damn cool. And i know that I am going to have to live there in the very not-too-distant-future.
Anyoone know of nice US boys who would like to share in an Australian and South African passport?
My two weeks in nyc was spent meeting with crazy theatre directors, artistic directors for venues, heads of arts schools and young exciting theatre companies that are doing fabulous work. It was also spent with Jo, getting drunk on double shots, walking endlessly across town, exploring random buildings and imagining myself living it up there. And word: Brooklyn is cool. I spent my last night in brooklyn in a bar with far too many cute boys, getting drunk on brooklyn ale and getting way excited when the track "no sleep till brooklyn" came on. Ahh, it just felt right ;-)
Alright people, all my love from this weird side of the world.
Allora! Italy cooks. It then eats. It then talks about what it just cooked and ate. It then begins all over again. This is why Italy has some of the best food on earth, and is also one of the worst performing economies in Europe.
Nazz and I went to Italy last week. We each ate enough great cuisine to feed a hungry nation. Man. The food! Aubergines bigger than Greg's head.
Anyways - a little about our trip. Nazz's boetie Ivan is Italian and lives in Udine, up north. His partner Claudia lives in a little dot of a town called Palmanova, 20 minutes from Udine. Little dorpies in Italy are not kak like ours. They are ancient and beautiful. So we ate in these places. And saw some sites and learnt some interesting history from Ivan, who happens to be both an excellent cook and a fine tour guide. Grek, Ivan and your pops would get along well.
We also travelled to, and ate in, Grado, Monfalcone, and Cormons, three more little dots with great old buildings and big churches and rad little (piccolo) piazzas (squares). Monfalcone's food was particularly mad. Four antipasto (starters, one after the next), one primi piatti (pasta course), two secondi (usually meat but this was a seafood place, although I of course got special treatment as fish might kill me. I ate tripe for one of my secondi. And thankfully Dabide the blotto chef didn't have anymore carne dishes, so I got away with just one secondi. Then dolce, grappa and cafe. Awesome! Tummy hurt after that one. Not just from eating though. Turns out Dabide likes to entertain his guests with poor taste jokes, much gesticulating, and a deep passion for Deep Purple (and air guitar). Best restaurant night out ever.
We then hit Trieste, a rather more substantial town right on the Slovenian border. It was the major port for the Austro-Hungarian empire, and thus has a strong Viennese streak. The meats are more often served warm, the beer is better, and the wines are just that touch sweeter. The coffee and ice cream are the same - fucking good. Ya so three nights here, lots of walking, old buildings and history, and food.
We did Venice for the day on the way out of Italia. Venice suspends belief. It looks just like Montecasino! Jokes. But ya it was super cool to finally see up close what Venezia is all about. Ancient buildings, teeny alleyways, no roads anywhere, only boats to get around (or feet - we used feet mostly cos we were poor and dirty by this stage), annoyingly few bridges across the main canal, great little shops everywhere selling all sorts of arts and crafts, and so on etc. Venice is full of artists. Talyas everywhere!
So ya, go to Italy, stay with Ivan, and get fat. Onetime.
The Doctor (and Nazz!!)
Saturday, 21 April 2007
Anyway, we now find ourselves in koh phan ngang, which is actually kind of shitty and expensive (and whats with all the israelis??? all the shopfronts have hebrew translations???). Sunrise beach (where the full moon parties happen) is kind of cool, but the sun is so harsh, you cant really spend too long there. So, tomorrow we're of to Koh Lanta on the Andaman coast (near-ish to phuket). Should be a bit quiter and a bit more to see. Stay tuned for picture update, AND my new column (replacing the unpopular SMR) "Exotic Fruits of South East asia - A pictorial journey through the sickly sweet treats of the orient". First installment - mangosteens...
Apologies for any spelling errors, i am in a bit of a rush.
Thursday, 19 April 2007
Anyway, the first part of the trip has gone well. Vegas is another world. We stayed in a hostel down in the ass end of the strip next to the tattoo parlors and the Say I Do Drive-Through Chapel. It really is a city of indulgences. A lot of fun, but I was happy to leave. Unfortunately Molly Sims and the Jackpot both managed to ellude me. Yesterday we had to pick up our rental car after not sleeping the night before, and still being a little bit drunk. Needless to say that the 5 hr drive to where we are staying in Flagstaff was pretty painful after that.
So tomorrow's stop is Yosemite. It's supposed to be really beautiful.
My camera's battery is dead at the moment, so I can't add photos, but will soon.
Hope you're all well.
Saturday, 14 April 2007
Ahoy hoy from a very bloody wet Bangkok. Its the Buddhist new year (Songkran) and the whole city (its especially bad in the farrang neighbourhood) is one enormous water fight. Seriously. Its incredible though, its all good natured, no fights, except for the odd chav farrang from Ingerlund who is pissed off at being wet because he was off to see the lady boys of patpong. Anyways, we have to make it across the neighbourhood to the bus stop in about an hour, so we had better go find some black bags, otherwise our overnight bus trip down to Champhon will be pretty uncomfortable. Koh Tao and snorkelling and diving from here on out, but likely no internet. Sorry no pics this time becaue we dont have a cable for Als camera, but i promise next time...
Al says : I am soooooooooooooooooooo wet.
Greg and Al
Tuesday, 10 April 2007
So I've spent a week in minneapolis
and now I'm in new york. Downtown, on Mcdougal street. At a caf with wirless round the corner from jo miller's apartment. I've spent the day walking, getting lost and taking pics. And I intend to do that for the next two weeks!
I did stop by NYU and see who I could talk to in their drama department. And stopped by PS122, a performance venue downtown run by a Melbourne guy.
Ayhow posse, just thoguht I'd post some pics so far.
All my love,
Thursday, 5 April 2007
Tuesday, 3 April 2007
just thought I'd send you some love from the midwest marriot lounge. I'm down here enjoying a quiet (or at least trying to, whilst a basketball game is on the telly!) glass of red before I retire upstairs. oh the life!
so i had my 1st presentation today. It went really well and I ended up chatting with group for two hours! crazy. but it was good and really affirming! Now to get through Wednesday's talk and workshop I'm facilitating as well as Friday's large presentation!
also.. on a side note.. it's going to be snowing! blizzards expected with max temps of 2 degrees! What the?
I was told we could maybe rent a sled for the day if it happened!!! wow! I'll do snow angels and take piccies!
Monday, 2 April 2007
I'm writing this from an apt in midtown Manhattan, in the 2nd week of the longest holiday I've ever had. Well in all honesty it's really indefinite unemployment, but i like to call it my holiday. My 3 years of articles are up, and a week ago i finished my 3 months secondment in Philadelphia so I finally get to exit the world of auditing.
At the moment I'm lazing around New York, waiting for Stu McChesney's contract to finish before we set forth on our adventure around the America's. Admittedly we're not so organised. Instead of plans and itinerary's we have bold intentions and instead of budgets (or in fact any idea as to whether we can afford all of this) we have the e-mail address of investec in case we need to raise that o/d. Our backpacks and Learn-Spanish-in-a-week books are in the post. All in all the the perfect ingredients for an eventful couple of months.
I'll be getting back to SA in July, so I hope to see most of you then. For those in the UK I'm hoping to get there for a while in September. For those in oz...... might be a bit harder to get there. And for that lonely sod in Kimberley.... don't know if i want to go there.
Keep well julle
So I'm in minneapolis for a week. I've been invited out here to talk at a symposium titles "heritage sites, political spaces and rethinking belonging"
- should be fun ;-)
So I'm presenting "site" the show i did last year. I'll let you all know how it goes on friday!
In the interum, I'm also presenting on Monday and Wednesday to various graduates etc etc
Minneapolis.. well it's freezing, grey, drizzling and from what I've seen so far; the marriot hotel, downtown skywalkthroughs and uptown for a brief moment, its cool. I'm a bit frazzled from the 15 hours of time difference. And am going to give the city more time and attention, love and care, when I'm a little less confused!
in the meantime, here's a pic of me against my window!
Sunday, 1 April 2007
Oi vey! This recipe looks so good, it should be posted on the Global Soup Kitchen. It is actually a soup after all.
Happy Pesach to the Jews! Have a good seder if you go to one, but whatever you do, please remember your prunes this week.
(no I don't really know what the stuff in the picture says, but it was about the funniest pesach picture i could find. Jews are less funny than you might think).
So anyways, I'll be going with Al to Thailand and Cambodia for a few weeks and then back to SA for about a month, and then possibly back to Sydney for a job. The job was looking really good a few weeks ago, but all of a sudden the people aren't contacting me anymore and i think it might be going down the shitter, which i don't really care too much about. There might be some opportunities in Cape Town to work off my time with Sasol, and i would just as happily do that. I wont be moving to Sasolburg or Secunda under any circumstances though. Ever. Not for all the money in the world. If the past four years have taught me anything its that you have to take responsibility for your own happiness (Life Coaching Rule #1) and part of that is being in a place that makes you happy. It astounds me that ANYONE could actually choose to live in a dump like Sasolburg or Secunda, but then I'm from the parts of South Africa were Apartheid actually ended.
So that's kind of my life for the next few months, and this blog post isn't nearly as creative as i had hoped. In fact its quite boring. Anyhoo, hopefully i will have lots to write about from thailand.
Keep it real homies, and see most of you in a few weeks (including Nas who will be meeting us on a beach in Thailand for many beers!)!