Sunday 7 December 2008

And the winner is...

Des has spoken.

The winner of the flight story giveaway (see previous post), is Rhonda.

He seriously considered Braja's bribe offer of a drink when next in India but, after reading all of your horrific flight stories, he made the decision never to board a plane again.

You can read Rhonda's full travel story at her blog, A Day in the Life of Rhonda here.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment. It's a wonder anyone is flying at all! I will be having more giveaways over the next few weeks so come back and check.

Rhonda it may be wise if you give everyone warning of your future travel plans. We may choose to avoid air travel at that time (for obvious reasons when you read her story).

A beautiful Thai silk cushion cover is on its way to you BY AIR when you reveal your postal address (unless you want to run background terrorist checks on me first). I should tell you that when I was going through security to board the outgoing flight I was stopped and told that I had been selected and to walk behind a barrier. I was excited because I thought I may have been the millionth passenger and had won free air travel for life or at least an upgrade. Alas, they wanted to carry out an explosives test on me. There was no backpack anywhere near my person. And no explosives on my person for which I was understandably grateful.

I'm finally getting my holiday photos together (there seems to be too many of me lying on a bed, a deck chair, the beach or under a table - most with a cocktail in hand. What can I say I was relaxed up until the point I found out I couldn't get out of the country). I will just leave some pics in the side bar in the next day or so because all beaches look a little alike as do most cocktails, elephants and temples. We did Thai cooking classes, a Batik painting class, rode elephants etc which was all great but it can get a bit yawnoriffic to look at other people's holiday snaps. Right? I will blog about some more serious issues that stood out for me soon. Mainly about the people and the sex trade, the road traffic and the culture.

I've been going through all the the shopping I somehow accumulated while away. The Thais are expert salesmen or con artists, whatever professional term you prefer.

I always find it difficult to haggle but I got the hang of it after some practice. Who knows it may be a skill we will all need given this current economic climate.

Lower-than-low prices and the sense of getting a great bargain make Thai shopping an addictive activity.The open air markets are the best (although they also have amazing shopping centres in Bangkok). Merchants will almost always give you your desired price if you hold out long enough. They are also very good at talking you into purchasing things you don't want or for paying more than you had intended.

For example, I was looking for a wallet and when I couldn't find one I wanted, the merchant asked if we wanted to look at DVDs. He then opened a door at the back of the shop and led us into an air conditioned room where there were rows and rows of DVDs. We walked out with 50 DVDs (alright, I don't want lectures or a prison term either....). They do the same with designer handbags, watches and sunglasses (except I do not like the real designer bags let alone the fake ones). Like many cities all over the world I guess.

So I ended up with a suitcase full of 'stuff' that looked awfully attractive in the markets but somehow looks a little suspect now I'm home. Its the Kool Aid isn't it? There is something in the cocktails in Thailand or in the intense heat that drives a sane woman crazy (don't you dare say one word...).

I learnt a thing or two about shopping though...I cannot wait to walk into the supermarket or the mall for that matter....with a whole new attitude. I'm never going to pay full price ever again....just watch me!


  1. Congrats to Rhonda!

    I cant wait to see your pictures. Its a country I know I would love but will never see. I just cant fly again or if I force myself it could only be a couple of hours. I would go insane on a long flight and have to be carted off.

    I think its great alot of photos show you relaxing...heck thats what vacation is all about...even if some photos show you up and walking around I hope you had a drink in hand!

  2. Go Rhonda! I'm honored that Des even considered for a moment my offer: it stands :)) Ahh, there's much to say about Bangkok and I'll leave you to say it...:))

  3. Congrats to Rhonda!!

    I just returned from a 2-week trip to China and HK and oh my... the things I lugged back!

    Were you one of those stuck at Bangkok airport? OMG! that's awful! You must tell us about that!
    *get drinks and chips, plump up the cushions, waits*

  4. Love your pictures and hope to see more. Sounds like for the most part (not being able to leave the country being the exception) you had a fabulous trip and I'm so glad! We all need those kinds of break (again with the one exception). Glad you got home safely and I really look forward to seeing the rest of your pictures!

  5. Wow! How cool is that? Thanks Lilly!

    They say shopping used to be good in Mexico too, but I found them quite expensive. I wonder how long until Thailand is priced for the tourists instead of the residents... lol

    As for the back room scam, we were warned about these in Belize when we were there on a cruise. Except there, if you follow them into the back room, you get robbed and could suffer some bodily injury.

    You are so very brave! lol

    I'll email you my address.

    Thanks again, my friend!

  6. "I'm never going to pay full price ever again....just watch me!"

    Yeah? Well, let me know how that works out for you. lol It's a good theory, though. Sounds like you had a very interesting trip. And I know all about coming back home with a lot of stuff I thought I wanted/needed. With me it's mostly T-shirts. I have tons of them from everywhere I go (most of which I never even wear).

    But I don't mind because it sure is fun buying them at the time. Maybe someday I'll turn them all into a quilt of all my travels. Maybe you could do a collage of all your cd covers.

    Anyway, it's good to have you back. Looking forward to the pictures.

  7. Although I haven't read everybody else's submissions, I'll agree with Des. Rhonda's story is hilarious.

  8. Looking forward to your photos. I can't believe you bought 50 dvd's.Sounds like you plan to haggle for your dinner from now
    Congratulations Rhonda.

  9. Congrats Rhonda! The shopping sounds great, Lilly, and I'm glad there are lots of pics showing you relaxing. That's what vacations are for!

  10. I went back to read Rhonda's post, it's hilarious and very paranoid like a lot of us. Can't wait to see your vaca pics, and it sounds like you had so much fun shopping. (except for the bargaining part).

  11. Yep - I got picked for the explosives test too.

    Me!! Crikey. ;)

  12. As long as you blog about your adventures when you refuse to pay full price...

  13. Oooh, I too look forward to seeing your pictures. It sounds like you had an amaaaazing time. I HAVE to see one of you riding an elephant!!!!

    I'm serious. I WANT to see you YOU on an elephant. LOLOLOLOL!!!!!

    Isn't it weird how everything you buy on vacation looks so exciting and thrilling and "new" and different, and you can't live without it...and then you get home and it just morphs before your eyes into a piece of junk!!!! And you find yourself wondering why the bleep you bought it. :) :)

    Now, ME, I'm a VERY discerning shopper. Completely practicle, never swayed. LOLOL!!! (Riiiiight) That's why I have 8 pairs of crocs!!!! Oh gawd!!

    You are more fun than twenty barrels of monkeys....And you and your daughter are sooooo lovely. Like I said you look like twins.

    Thank you for being a wonderful mix of deep sensitivity and unbridled humor. I love it and you. Hugs, Rob

  14. I hate paying full price, and i have never been out of Aus. My friend got me hooked on getting the best deal,price matching at shops and everything like that, she's even unwrapped christmas presents to take back to a store when specials come on - it has casued arguments with the girls dad,he's not a bargain hunter and will pay full price or more for everything.. but who cares, its saving money for me.

    Glad you are back safe and sound!

  15. When I was living in Thailand, I loved bartering. Next time you are going there, learn some Thai beforehand. You get much lower prices if you are foreigner who speaks a little Thai. :)

    Can't wait to hear more about your vacation.

  16. I'm just catching up on my blogging, and on your last few blog posts. Congratulations on getting out of Thailand. That was a pretty sticky situation there, wasn't it? But my gosh, what a beautiful place to be stranded.

    I hate flying. I am the biggest white knuckle flyer - ever! My husband was a pilot and he was killed in a place crash. I hate flying. I envy, envy, envy (!!!) anyone who enjoys it.

    Welcome home!

  17. LOL..suprisingly there are a lot of places that will let you haggle...all though I'm not sure it's gonna work in the grocery store!
    And congrats to Rhonda!

  18. i sooo have thai envy with you right now. i want to be able to travel there some day. ok, on an unrelated note, you had me at strawberry margarita cake...this has to be a great blog! thanks for visiting me today...

  19. Go Rhonda!
    Haggling is so difficult, but it's something I had to learn while traveling. I found that if I walked away, and kept walking, that often on my way back, they'd call me over and settle for the price I'd originally offered.

    I love the photos of all the stuff! I remember coming home with suitcases full of scarves when I was in India! I had so many to give away, it was fun!

  20. I do the same thing. I see all these glorious things, get them homme and wonder what I bought...

  21. Lilly where'd you go, girl? I did your karma thing yesterday and today I blew Xmas out of the village :)

  22. Thanks for your sweet post on my site Lilly. So glad you are back in the blogworld! You are such an encouragement to me sweetie!
    PS - Still sugar free although, I have cheated two times!

  23. Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

    I love your pictures. Can't wait to see more soon. Sounds like a really cool vacation.

  24. Hi Lilly...thanks for stopping by. I'm looking forward to your pictures...and you are's ALWAYS in the koolp-aid! :P

  25. Congrats to Rhonda!

    And thank you for following me. It's an honour and a bit like an early xmas present!

    I am sure you did all that shopping for xmas gifts for your friends, right?

  26. Well, Congratulations to Rhonda for her win! I went into a back room to look at those fake designer purses all the time thinking I was going to get killed, but I couldn't help myself! You'll have to show us what you bargained for! I'm still glad you're back home and safe. I think I might be afraid to go there.
    Be a sweetie and thanks for the visit,
    shelia ;)

  27. It sounds like you had a wonderful time (minus the trouble getting home). I've heard Bankok is a great place to find bargains. Glad you found some good stuff. :)

  28. That happened to me in Israel. I haggled and haggled for this purse, and got home and realized I never liked it anyway. Oye. I love traveling and will love the pics.

  29. Omygosh! Your so reckless! What else did ya do in Thai after a few too many koolaide's?

    Sucks I missed your contest. Damn work and being out of town!

  30. Hi Lilly,
    So much fun haggling with prices like that, huh? It reminds me of how it is in the Philippines and Mexico also. I was very ready to pay what they were asking, but my nieces in the Philippines said that the prices were tagged so high because they expect buyers to haggle with them. So I did as I was told. Got money back and gave the change to my nieces. It sounds like you had a great time.

    As usual, you wrote an excellent humorous post. Thanks for the laughs.



Thanks for your comments.