Thursday, November 24, 2005

Oktoberfest Bkk style

Back in Bangkok now and the Christmas preparations are coming along at great speed. These last few weeks have been more hectic than usual due to my work in the States being delayed meaning that I flew all that way to simply turn around and come back again! Also all those flights must have caught up with me as I have spent the last few days in bed with a terrible flu not doing much other than sleep, watch a couple of DVD’s (chicken run is great BTW) and generally feel sorry for myself. One thing that has happened since I left and returned to Thailand is that the beer gardens have started to open outside the World Trade Centre (or Central World Plaza as it has been renamed -presumably after 9/11).

The beer garden season lasts from end of October through to New Years and the cool seasonal weather makes it a great time to sit out without air con and enjoy the shows, live premiership football, good food and of course the beer! Hopefully I will have recuperated enough by tomorrow evening as some of my work colleagues have a table booked and I would like to help them out with the towers of beer that will inevitably be involved, you can make one out in the pic.. It will be hard after this week but hey it is nearly Christmas and I am sure I will need the practice for New Years Eve..

Monday, November 14, 2005

Back East to the West Coast

I had a late reprieve at 1:00am the night before I was intending to return to LA so the extra week in Thailand I spent getting a seemingly endless list of things done for myself and also at work. The new office we have moved into is beginning to take shape from the bareshell we started from and it really feels good to have our own place and the freedom that comes with it- I will upload some pics when the floor and ceiling are complete.

It was lovely to be back in my own bed and in the city I now call home for an additional week and last Saturday for the celebration of our company's one year anniversary we hired a wooden boat and cruised up and down the Chao Pyra river at night. Just before we meet at Taksin bridge to start the cruise a tremendous downpour passed over Bangkok and during the evening we had a spectacular lightning display to accompany us up and down the river. Everyone had a great night -even though I was roped in to help a friend of ours sing and play some guitar, the dangers of alcohol!

Now the week has passed and I find myself once again on the West coast, although this time I have decided to stay slightly further up towards LA near Seal Beach. I am hopeful this time that the hard deadline I have to be back in December will mean that all the work gets done so I don’t have to return too soon- this is not a slate on California as the place is beautiful and the people are nice but I seem only to be able to think about Christmas holiday now and diving into a sea warm enough not to need a wetsuit! Roll on Ko Chang that it what I say..

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Getting ready for Christmas

After a painful journey back to Thailand through Taipei and Singapore I have had a crazy week taken up by moving our company's office and waiting in various bureaucratic offices including a high speed motorcycle dash to the police station (don't ask!) to renew my Visa and Work Permit. BTW: For anyone unfortunate enough to manage their legal status alone in Thailand then I recommend for a good place to start, the info there is very up-to-date and the forum site has some good reading on life for expats in Thailand. Luckily for me our corporate secretary arranges the many piles of paperwork and points out exactly where in all the Thai script I have to sign.

Returning to Bangkok after sleepy Orange County is enough to wake up even the worst jet lag and so just hours after I arrived I went out to eat with my work colleagues to celebrate the anniversary and relocation of our company. Walking down to a nearby restaurant from my house I saw that the Christmas decorations outside the Four Seasons hotel have started going up. 'Far too early!' I hear you cry, and usually I would agree but if last year is anything to go by then the guys wrapping the fairy lights around the palm tree's are not going to finish for at least another 3 weeks anyhow!