Friday, 29 June 2012

Was (Not Was)

I'd not heard this song for a long time but it came into my head last night as I walking down the Sukhumvit Road back to hotel passing the usual cheap sportswear and t-shirt stalls, the beggars, the massage parlours, the street-food vendors, the transexuals and the Bangcockney pub

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Last night

It's my last night in Bangkok tonight although my flight home tomorrow (courtesy of Singapore Airlines, via Singapore and Frankfurt) isn't until late evening. My biggest job now outside of packing, which never takes long because the majority of my clothes are screwed up in a plastic laundry bag, is deciding what's for tea later! 


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Same same but different

I've had a couple of busy days working until late (well working until tea-time, then spending two hours in the car getting back to the hotel). On Monday evening I went to Lemocello for an expensive and dare I say it tasteless pizza. It should be impossible to put spicy salami and black olives on a pizza and make something as bland as they did! Last night I went to Mrs Babir's The food (chicken curry, makhani daal and rotis) was great, as was the cold beer. However I noticed what looked suspiciously like large packs of pre-prepared curry sauce in the fridge as I went to the toilet before leaving. I guess I'm about ready for going home now and just being picky

Falling and Laughing

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Dosa King

Well I found an Indian restaurant and I got a masala dosa. The boss of our Thai business mentioned dosa yesterday, which was why it was on my mind and a quick Google confirmed several Indian-owned restaurants are not far down the main road from my hotel, including Dosa King

It didn't take me long to find the restaurant after calling at the ATM and asking a tuk tuk driver where Soi 11 / 1 was. The food was okay (I had a regular masala dosa and veg pakora for a starter, which arrived after I'd finished the main meal!) and because there was no alcohol a bottle of Coke

After I'd done with my food I got chatting with a lovely middle-aged couple from Madras and the husband said, 'you look like you're used to eating South Asian food!'. They were on a great sounding tour of SE Asia with visits to KL in addition to Bangkok and Singapore 

Day off in Bangkok

I've had the day off today and to be honest I haven't really done a great deal. I think the night I was ill combined with a couple of evenings socialising with customers on top of traveling maybe took more out of me than I realised, so I've been glad of a rest

This morning I went down to breakfast and then spent some time reading Paul Boote and Jeremy Wade's fantastic Somewhere down the crazy river book. This evening I've been to the gym. In a bit I'm going to have a walk out and try to find an Indian restaurant. I just fancy a masala dosa and some daal!

I've got a presentation to do tomorrow and then two days of training for our Thai staff so an early night is in order too. The England v/s Italy match will be on TV but kick-off isn't until 1-45am Thai time so I will not be staying up to watch it 

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Cabbages and Condoms

I arrived in Bangkok yesterday afternoon after an uneventful flight from Jakarta. Last night after a couple of Singha beers at the hotel I went for dinner to Cabbages and Condoms with my Indonesian colleague and the guy who runs our operation here in Bangkok. I'd been there once before on holiday maybe ten years ago but it was in the afternoon and I seem to remember being slightly disapointed but last night it was busy and good fun

The food (in my case the first solid food I'd had in 48hours apart from two slices of toast) was good and I had Thai chicken soup, pork green curry and fried rice. My colleagues had crab fried rice, chicken cooked in banana leaves and soft shell crabs. Beer was also taken

The last few times I've been to Bangkok I've flown in, had a meeting and a night in a hotel out of the city and then moved on to Vietnam the next day. I'm looking forward to spending a week here now. I've got some hard work to do including two days of staff training but it'll be great to have a bit of time in one of the world's great cities

The love I lost

What a song: what a voice!

Thursday, 21 June 2012


My trip is turning out to be a memorable one for all the wrong reasons. I had dinner last night with my colleague and his family (wife, mother-in-law, and two daughters), which I enjoyed but I'd not been back in my room long before I had to rush into the bathroom. I'll spare folk the gory details but let's just say I didn't get to sleep properly until around 4-00am and then only for a couple of hours. In 2007 I was very ill after having lobster thermador in a French restaurant in Karachi and last night wasn't as bad as that but it really wasn't very nice. I felt a bit better this morning and manged to get out to see customers but have been glad of some down-time this afternoon

Tomorrow morning I have a flight to Bangkok and I'll be there for a week. I'm staying close to the Sukhumvit Road and I'm looking forward to will be my longest stay in Thailand for probably ten years

'S Wonderful

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Jakarta hangover

I've got the hangover from hell after going out with a customer last night. The guy is originally from Bombay but has been in Indonesia for around 15years. It's a small world because we had many mutual friends in our industry and he loves the Derbyshire countryside!

We started out at his house with two glasses of very expensive tequila (this says it all really), then went to Fashion Pasta for dinner, which was great. After that it was on again to a couple of bars. The second one was fantastic with a band of young local musicians playing. I ended up on stage not long before we left singing No Woman No Cry

This morning I was too ill to eat breakfast but managed a bowl of meatball soup in a cafe near the hotel before I was driven to Jakarta by the local colleague I've been with all week and who sells to the Indian guy. Thankfully I have this afternoon off but tonight I'm meeting my colleague and his family for Chinese food. I don't think I'll be having beer with my fried rice!

I believe in miracles

The Jackson Sisters version of this song is one of my all time favourite records but I didn't know it was a cover of this original version

Monday, 18 June 2012

Sate and gule kambing

We have been out for dinner this evening (me, a local customer and a colleague from Indonesia) to a well known Bandung cafe on Jalan Asia Afrika, called M Harris. They specialise in lamb satay (sate) and curried lamb soup (gule kambing). The sate is cooked over charcoals outside on the street and the meat, served with peanut and soy sauces, limes, shallots and fresh chillis was extremely tender. The gule kambing was really light and tasted of coconut. It would have been fantastic after a winter fell run! There is no beer or anything else alcoholic so we had large glasses of local tea (no sugar or milk) 

It was great sitting outside with the temperature in the low 20s. The climate of Bandung is very pleasant and the air quality incredible for an Asian city of several million people. I often ask myself, 'could I live here?', when I travel and this is one place where I'd answer yes. Bandung reminds me a little of Bangalore. It's green and the pace of life doesn't appear to be quite as manic as some cities

Norman 3

Sunday, 17 June 2012

On the road again

I'm in Singapore Airport my way to Indonesia for work. It's my first long haul trip since going to Vietnam in December of last year and will be my first ever trip to Indonesia. I've got a decent program of customer visits to do this coming week plus two days training of staff in Bangkok next week

I set off from home around 5-15am on Saturday morning and won't arrive in Bandung until 3-45pm Sunday, which I think is later today! I've flown with Singapore Airlines and been very impressed with their service so far

My running kit is packed and it'll be back to my usual relatively high-intensity short sessions on treadmill, cross-trainer etc. I've often come back from trips away with a bit of extra zip in my legs from the treadmill, which would be handy after the hill walking we did in Lakeland on holiday

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Bradley club run

We had our first Wednesday evening run out with the club in what seemed like ages last night. The run was bit disrupted with a high number of seemingly lethal slippery stiles but 17 of us avoided the showers and enjoyed ourselves. Afterwards it was into the Slaters for a pint or three (Stef was driving) and a catch-up on all the gossip with the usual suspects. I felt tired and heavy legged after two weeks of hill walking and a bit of running in the Lakes (quite a few 6hours days and c 35,000ft of climb in total), but it was good to get out

Cal Waymon

Heartbreaking vocal, beautiful organ playing 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A 50@50 Bob Graham Round?

We watched Dave Makin finish an extended 53 peak Bob Graham Round on Saturday evening. He looked as fresh as if he'd taken his dog for a jog round Fitz Park and after I'd spoken to him about which peaks he'd done one of his Achille Ratti friends asked if I fancied an extended round. During the previous two weeks Stef and I had been out  several times on the fells and we'd been over Pavey Ark, Loft Crag, Great Rigg Man and Allan Crags, partly because they were new and baggable Wainwrights for Stef but also to look at them as possible extra peaks for me, so I guess the answer should have been yes

Not long before I was forty I was out of shape; fit by most folks' standard but overweight and not as fit as I should have been. I started then what I jokingly called my 'Fit for Forty' campaign. On May 16 2014 I'll be fifty. I was awake at 5-00am this morning reading Wainwright's Central Fells. Perhaps my 'Fifty at Fifty' campaign has started early?

Black Velvet

A deep soul classic going out for my mate Martyn who had a brave go at the Bob Graham last weekend without success. You'll crack it next time I'm sure!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Big Star

Stef and I got back from a brilliant two week holiday in the Lakes last night. Back to work today and I needed something upbeat and optimistic sounding to lift my Monday morning spirits!