Merry Christmas and a slice of Xmas quirky

Season’s greetings from Khao Lak, Thailand.
A blog isn’t very personal, I’m afraid, but it’s the best way for me to send out my compliments of the season. And it’s from the heart.
I wish family, relations, friends, old and new, a very Merry Christmas and a new year full of happiness, health, fun and inner peace. I hope 2014 shines brightly on you and your loved ones.

I’ve received a huge amount of kindness in my eight and a half months travelling so this is also a Christmas thank you card.
If you’ve given me a bed, or a meal, or shared a ride or swapped a story, my sincere thanks to you. Whether you’ve commented on the blog or simply just read any posts I appreciate it.

A lot of pictures and incidents never make it into the stories I write so in the spirit of Christmas fun here’s a few little quirky moments that I hope bring a smile to your face.

Life in Albania can be a little tough. So when the chance for a spot of relaxation comes up nothing gets in the way. I watched the lady tanning herself just to the right of the digger. She never raised an eyebrow.

In the dead of night on the Indonesian island of Sumba I was woken by a loud crash. The noise came from the bathroom, an indoor outdoor affair.
I went to have a look and found the culprit, a mouse. I took him outside and headed back to clean up. No damage but the mouse had eaten into a packet of medicine. This was a mouse with a serious problem. He’d eaten through three capsules of diarrhoea relief tablets!

Many shrines, pagodas and temples have names. There’s usually a religious or spiritual element to them. One pagoda in Bagan stood out from the rest. I’m afraid I don’t know the story behind it. Did the world almost come to a catastrophic end in Myanmar and I never knew about it?

In the remote Indonesian island of Sumba my hotel served up the world’s toughest chicken for lunch. The menu was almost as bad, totally indecipherable and only in Indonesian. Nobody spoke English and there were no other restaurants.
However, I worked out they had a vegetarian section. So in the evening for dinner I randomly chose four options, confident one or two would be fine.
First course – two fried eggs. Not what I had in mind but fair enough. Second course – soft-boiled egg. Oh dear, quite a lot of egg. Still, I’m confident in the third course. It duly arrives – an omelette. Fourth course – I never found out, I left. Probably my loss, I’m sure they did a lovely soufflé.

They start their novice monks very early in Myanmar. At such a young age the idea of religion and spirituality can come a long way behind the fun of playing with a puppy.

Travelling with a backpack? Take my advice and get a small lock and two keys. Even better advice, don’t put the two keys in the same place. You lose one you lose both.
I turned up at my lodgings at Kotor, Montenegro with neither key. I explained to my landlady. She went into her kitchen and in a few seconds turned up with a hacksaw and her teenage son. Within minutes they had cut through the lock.
Great…..but I chose not to ask how she became such an expert.

Done any of your Christmas shopping online this year? Well before the advent of the internet Yangon pioneered online shopping…..with a difference.
Many old apartment blocks don’t have lifts. For residents and the delivery people this meant exhausting inconvenience. The answer? Dangle ropes with hooks, bags or clips attached down the side of the building. Payment is in the bags and I’m told money is never stolen. All manner of goods or postal packages are then hooked or clipped on.
But there is no escaping one of life’s tyrannies…..junk mail is often attached.

It’s not quite what I was looking for but Christmas trees are a little rare around here. So this picture from Bagan with a tree shaped monument will have to do.

Categories: Quirky, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Merry Christmas and a slice of Xmas quirky

  1. Satu

    Kiitos mukavasta Jouluaatosta 😉
    T.Satu ja muut

    • Dear Satu
      Pahoittelut pitkä viive vasteaika. Vastaukseni oli tukossa
      Toivon, että olette kaikki hyvin.
      Kyllä, jouluaatto oli suuri. Olet erittäin hauska
      Toivon tavata teidät kaikki uudestaan​​. Lämpimät toiveita.

  2. Arthur, we have so enjoyed your blogs and have had so many laughs at your ventures. We have just returned from a cruise and 4 days in Thailand. Missing you. Love Brian and Joan

  3. Eif and Ior

    Hi Arthur hope you had a good Christmas and you are keeping well!! We wish you a very happy New Year in 2014 and hope to see you soon!! Love reading what you are up to!

    Take good care of yourself!

    Lots of Love From

    The Eifion and Iorwen Sgeibion Farm and all the Family xx

  4. gaynor

    Seasons greetings to you Arth, hope you’ve had a lovely xmas? You look like you’re having a great time xx

  5. Guy

    Merry Christmas Arthur
    It was great to see you when you were back in Wales.
    Hope you return soon.

  6. Helen

    Hi Arthur.
    Merry Christmas to you too!!.
    We are all enjoying your blogs, and having a right laugh reading them. You are in the best place for Christmas, the weather over here is absolutely terrible. We will be thinking of you tomorrow and will drink to your health.
    Keep safe.
    Lots of love
    Helen, Brian , Keith and Enid.XXXXX

  7. Aunty Eileen

    Hello Arthur, Happy Christmas and all the very best in the New Year. Have a safe journey, enjoy your travels, hope to see you next time your over. Love Anti Eileen and the family.

  8. Vaughan and Trish Rostron

    Fantastic Mate. Have a really beautiful relaxing and peaceful Christmas and a terrific New Year. We look forward to the continuance of your adventure and of course your wonderful discourse of what you are experiencing. Wayne is home with us for Christmas – we have 22 for Christmas lunch this year – we will be thinking of you.

  9. Marea and Dave Ryan

    Merry Christmas from Cambodia where we are visiting my brother and his family. I’ve just completed the Christmas shopping. No hustle or bustle, certainly the way to go. Happy travels, Arthur from Marea and David Ryan

  10. Merry Christmas,, Very funny blog. Glad you survived the nuclear catastrophe and feeling very sorry for the mouse.
    Now you know it’s not all fun being a veggie. Have a nice, if quiet day, we’ll be thinking of you

    A xx

  11. Sandra Kiely

    Arthur we are really delighted to be able to share this journey with you, and really enjoying your colourful and descriptive account of the many and varied situations you have encountered.
    We wish you a very happy Festive Season and an adventurous and safe New Year.
    Love Pete and Sandy

  12. Satomi

    Merry Christmas to you, too. Xx

    What a lovely message full of funny small stories…my favourite is the mouse with Gastro Stop…he’ll learn the lesson hard way.
    And my top favourite photo is a young monk and a puppy…what a beautiful picture…makes me want to give both a big cuddle! …but his rank will fall down to the very bottom if I do such a thing, if there’s ranks in kiddie monks!

    That ‘Made in Japan’ poster behind the ropes and bags is actually the leading brand of Japanese baby food but somehow the Yangon version makes them look like at least 50 years old…very funny.
    Hope you’re in a place where you can have happy interaction with locals and tourists to celebrate Christmas together. Xxxx

  13. Avril

    A Very Merry Christmas to you!!! I wish you were here with us joining our mad house of merriment but You will be in warmer climes away from this rubbish weather of ours. I loved reading all your tales they made me laugh. Great to hear from you the other day and so I look forward to talking to you on the big day itself. Love Avril xxxxxxxxxxx

  14. Ceri

    Merry Christmas Uncle Arthur!! Look forward to hearing from you on Christmas Day if you get a chance xx

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