Pete and me

My definitive travel tip no.3 – if travelling solo, ensure you have a personal stereo stocked up with several thousand songs, and a good book, at all times.

I was about to spend my second night in the hostel on my own, and wasn’t happy about this, but created the situation for myself in the first place by deciding I didn’t like Bangkok and hiding in my room. The choice was made easier by powerful air conditioning that made the room the most comfortable place to be in the heat.

Anyway, just when I’m about to settle in for a night of feeling sorry for myself, and a bit homesick, I’m reading The Road to McCarthy, where Pete McCarthy is describing a trip to New York for a recital of his writing in front of a bar full of paralytic Glasgow Celtic supporters. I realised that all of Pete’s excellent stories so far had been based on encounters he’d had on his own, meeting people along the way. At this point I decided to stop being such a berk and go out for something to eat (I was going to make instant noodles I got from the Seven-Eleven).

After strolling up Salom Road for a while looking for an Indian place, missing Aloo Gobi and chapatis, I settled upon a nice-looking restaurant with an outdoor bit and a mixed menu of Thai and western dishes, so I could decide on impulse whether to eat local or comfort food. The food turned out to be great, a grilled salmon Caesar salad and stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts. Pete kept me entertained with an increasingly amusing account of his time in New York, and the restaurant kept me entertained by playing the Scorpions’ greatest hits – I wasn’t sure of the band until ‘Wind of Change’ came on, and then I knew. At one point a family came in, Westerners, where both the teenage daughters had unfortunately inherited their father’s bushy eyebrows, one of whom having decided to disguise this by a combination of plucking and heavy eye make-up that ended up making her look like a Maori about to perform the Hakka. She was very pretty and it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but I liked the Maori comparison.

So I came back to the hostel just now to write this much happier than when I left, to find the staff all laughing their asses off as they’ve been on the Bacardi Breezers. Also, a funny thing happened – a photo I took of Hong Kong on Flickr has been commented on by the chap who played Gary Coleman’s best friend Dudley on Diff’rent Strokes. You couldn’t make it up.

3 thoughts on “Pete and me”

  1. If first impressions can put you off a country, such as Delhi, think what you might have thought if you were visiting England for the first time and arrived at Luton airport? Not that I’ve ever been to Luton airport, but don’t imagine it’s very inspiring.

    The actor on Flickr who wrote the comment has a profile written in the third person. Seems a bit strange, but maybe he’s hoping some producer or other might be a Flickr fan too?

  2. Hey coz! Can’t seem to remember my password to get in as a blogger (too many passwords and pin numbers to remember in this world). Anyway, have to admit to being a tad under-impressed by the Diff’rent Strokes connection, but I was absolutely impressed by your ability to name any character from that show (let alone a surname, if you please)! Have to conclude that; either you have a stunning memory that belies your lifetime beer intake, or, that you spent far, farrrrrrrr too much time glued to the telly as a youth! Thank goodness you are out seeing the world now and not stuck in on some crummy sofa, watching “My Two Dads” or some such crud.
    Remember how much telly people watch in general in the UK, and maybe thinking of dull things like that will make you a little less homesick!
    I am a little tipsy and pretentious tonight, but please let me off for saying, “Carpe Diem!”, sieze the day! And make sure you keep your pro-active attitude.
    I so want you to look back on this trip and have as few regrets as possible, and that means more ventures into the unknown and less instant noodles!
    Really, I don’t want to preach, but really make the best of this dream and keep up the adventure!
    So far so good, I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo proud of you!
    Mega kisses from a cousin who misses you loads,
    Jen xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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