Quite a few people have said to me ‘ I could do what you do.’
They are talking about blogging and I’m sure some could do what I do and probably do it better but do they understand the commitment you have to give to this time consuming and financially unrewarding cause. There’s also the tools of the trade and the manner in which you carry them around, whether voluntary or as a means of keeping the peace.
‘ Hus…band, I want you buy this for put everything your dia..ree (blog).’
‘ Wilai it’s a bloody handbag. I ain’t carrying that thing.’
‘ Hus…band it look nice, I see many falang have same.’
‘ Wilai I ain’t walking around looking like a bloody ladyboy.’
‘ Hus…band I get angry if you not buy.’
I paid 200 baht for the thing in the top photo and nowadays I carry it around with all my blogging bits and bobs inside plus a few extras. Camera, notebook, pen, glasses, mobile, cigarettes, lighter and asthma inhaler. In days gone by Wilai used to carry it all inside her handbag, nowadays I’ve got one of my own. Unfortunately the extras on my recent Thailand trip were amoxicillin antibiotics and paracetamol. Do those people I mentioned at the start of the post realize the commitment needed to feed the cause. A blogger is never really on vacation. It’s a busman’s holiday.
The photo right is the forecourt of the Heritage Apartments in Udon Thani and is typical of the kind of spot I’ll sit alone mid afternoon or late night and lay down a post on pen and paper. From there it will be a trip to an internet cafe or hotel to put the post on my WordPress dashboard and when happy with it I hit the publish button.
Wonderful Wi is more into bites than bytes and I don’t tend to spend much time at all in the net cafes whilst on holiday. Us handbag wielding girls tend to stick together as a rule of thumb until we hit the shopping mall because that’s when I cut and run. I don’t need to be told I need any matching accessories for my long strapped multi zip monstrosity.
Our village home and the village itself has no internet at all and so late evening it’s back to pen and paper to write anything I need for reference or future posts. A trip to our local village shop sees me handbag free but always with my camera in hand, the camera I think is the bloggers biggest and most potent tool even if at times I just can’t pull the trigger.
I didn’t pull the trigger but believe me her yellow and blue uniform clung to her well shaped body to perfection but she seemed a very rare breed of Thai girl who didn’t want her curves and natural beauty captured on film. Maybe she was just sultry or perhaps my deep hacking cough gave her that look. I do draw the line at taking photos of females if they’ve got that ‘please don’t do it’ look. Nobody knows you’re a blogger after all.
The journey is a night time trip and so the scope for photographic shots is limited and writing is not an option on the dimly lit coach. I dip into my handbag and view my collection of photos in between 40 winks. I’m going to photographically kidnap the girl next time.
Suvarnabhumi airport is a great place to take a few photos and who knows just one may launch a thousand words. It’s just the goddamn handbag that makes me feel so self conscious.
My flight from Suvarnabhumi to Abu Dhabi is an opportunity to view my photographs, make notes and perhaps compose a story. This time I missed the chance and slept, my chest virus being the major player in my game of choice. Even a blogger has to sleep sometime.
I travelled with my mate Dean and we had very little time at Abu Dhabi terminal, just a quick couple of cigarettes and the purchase of some duty frees. We were virtually the last to board but not without one big pleasant surprise. An upgrade to business class and a rare chance to clock, stock and photograph how the other half take a flight to the UK. This was one of the advantages of being a Etihad Silvercard member. My handbag sat sweetly next to me. Should I order a JD or Babycham.
The compartment was full with people dressed in neatly pressed clothes, expensive hand luggage, laptops and an old hack with a hacking cough and a handbag. About one hour into the flight one of the gorgeous air stewardesses came up and handed me a package, I froze solid. An eye mask, flight socks, lip balm, refresher mist, body lotion, tootbrush and paste plus a clear liquid in a bottle I was tempted to drink. It was all sat snugly inside a Etihad handbag she’d handed to me, unbelievable. I walked on the plane with one handbag and now I’d have to disembark at London with two. The thought of it made my nail varnish wrinkle. I just hoped it wouldn’t flake. I looked at the flight menu.
I wondered if the Branston beef fillet would come in a jar and I could spread it on the cheese. I gave it a go and on my first bite joined the famous mile high club. This was sex on a plate and funnily enough I’d had to leave Thailand to get it. I also quickly surmised that none of our works canteen ladies had ever worked on an airline, mind you a couple were cute enough to do so. Thoughts of yellow and blue.
Flying business class was a luxury, literally an office, living room and bedroom all rolled into one. How I wished I had a laptop. This was an ideal moment to put my thoughts in motion and I once again settled for good old pen and paper. Blogging bliss and champagne at the press of a button. Served by the sweetest of sweet looking girls.
I guess the point I’m trying to put over is one which says my journey back to the UK was a long one but one in which the blogger in you always stays alert even when you sleep. From Udon Thani to my hometown took over 32 hours and was tiring, had its enjoyable moments, surprises and disappointments but my commitment to my blog was always very much apparent.
So to all you non blog owners who can do what I and thousands of others can do then I’d say yes give it a go. You’ll probably make a better go of it than I do but you’re going to need a big bucketful of commitment too. Good luck.
I’d like to finish this post with a mention of a very worthy Thailand charity. The Set Foundation aims to give scholarships and other practical help to disadvantaged youngsters in Thailand. Here’s a piece from the Set Foundation’s website.
‘ The SET Foundation has a very specific aim: to make a difference. That difference is between a youngster being able to study at a vocational college or university, or instead having to labor in the rice paddies, on a Bangkok building site, or in some other mundane, dead-end job.’
Catherine Wentworth blog author of Women Learning Thai recently wrote an article The Set Foundation : A Season for Giving Back and if you can spare a few minutes then please visit the links above and give consideration to a very worthwhile Thai charity which is making a huge difference to many young Thai peoples lives. I will shortly be receiving my first ever Google Adsense earnings and will be donating some of it to this wonderful charity. If you love Thailand then give a little love back.
Best wishes from the Beyond The Mango Juice team of myself, Wilai and the Buffalo Boys minus the rabbit but with its newest member pictured right. A real cute, scruffy looking bugger called Pepsi. He’s small enough to fit into most handbags, now there’s an idea. Wilai……
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