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!