Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Not such a fatty!

After two years of being told virtually daily that I was 'very very fat' I am now back in the land of the muffin top and beer gut and am feeling right at home!

While never erring on the skinny side I never thought that I was particularly huge (OK I lie I thought it at least once a month). I knew that a few less pints of beer and more sessions down the gym would benefit my body but I enjoyed my lifestyle and felt more or less content with my wobbly size 12 figure.

However, after 2 years in Bangkok the fat comments were beginning to get to me and I was beginning to obsess about my weight. I was regularly subject to situations such as these:
  • A tuk-tuk driver complained that I weighed his vehicle down due to my size which was why we were going so slowly.
  • Miss Alex is very fat (in one of my students books when we were studying adjectives!)
  • A shop assistant actually ripped clothes out of my hand while announcing that I was too big to try them on.
  • The only clothes I have managed to buy in Bangkok were XXL
  • A Thai girlfriend of a guy I know suggested the reason I was single was because I was so fat.
  • In a nightclub, after chatting up my mate with little success, some girls turned on me and pointed and laughed at the 'big fat farang'.
  • A random in the street even shouted 'eat less' as I walked by.

The straw that broke this big, fat camels back though was when, after parents evening, one my students parents said 'you do know that I am a plastic surgeon, you know, if.....' He didn't get to finish his sentence as he was silenced by my death stare so I will never know if he was offering to fix my unfortunate looks or to suck immense amounts of fat out of my body.

I've always eaten pretty healthily, despite a few ali-the-hutt moments which we are all entitled to from time to time, but recently I have thought twice about everything I ate and have done more and more exercise (unfortunately only succeeding in buggering up my dodgy knee again). The first and last thing I did each day was stand on the bathroom scales - not a good way to start the day.

But being back in the UK has allowed me some perspective. I am and average size and am certainly not obese despite what I may have been told over the last couple of years. It is great not to stand out here and to be able merge into the crowds of similarly sized people. Hoorah!

Monday, 23 July 2007


I am recovering from my two year bout of lazyitis! I have rediscovered the use of my legs and have been walking all around Ealing. No more do I rely on taxis and motorbikes to take me even the shortest of distances. I have also found cleaning products and have helped out mum - my old maid would be awestruck! It has been a bit of a shock to the system but I am well on my way to recovery. However, I am sure I will fall off the wagon as soon as I hit Kuala Lumpur and am looking forward to be ferried around once again!

Thursday, 19 July 2007

The Name Game

Over dinner the other night I happened to mention that my doctor in Bangkok was called Dr. Porn. It has given me no end of amusement when calling up to make an appointments - who needs to make crank calls when the names are as fab as that!

Everyone in Thailand is given their formal name and a nickname when they are born and are generally known by their nickname. There are range of names: some sweet, some English, some Thai and some downright bizarre! Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow may have thought that they were original when they named their daughter Apple, but fruity names have been all the rage here for years. I have taught Orange, Watermelon and Pomelo. Colours are also popular and we have had Pink and Blue! For the lazier parents out there a single letter will suffice: M, P, L and O. Personally if I was going to be a single letter I would want to be Z.

This obviously prompted a discussion about our top nicknames:
  • Mark Hughes and his brother ManU
  • Bomb (just don't lose him)
  • Bogie (poor little girl)
  • Boom Boom and Bang Bang (as apparently that was the sound their parents were making when they were conceived!)
  • Ford, Volks, Porsche and Lambourghini (brothers!)
  • Putter and On-Green (yes their parents were golfing fanatics)

But what would we choose as a thai nickname? How about:

  • Epidural
  • Vasectomy
  • Ouch
  • Whoops

What are the best names you have heard?

Back in Blighty!!

and it's cold! brrrr!.................................but so good to see everyone ..........

Monday, 9 July 2007


The shippers have been. My apartment is empty. I'm packed and ready to go! It has been an amazing two years full of new friends and plenty of travel (not to mention a coup!). I can't believe it is over!

You're relaxing on the beach, sand between your toes, gazing up at the stars, beer in hand when suddenly a thumping bassline starts up - the unmistakeable theme the fire show.

I love a good fireshow and can watch them over and over. I would have to say that the best one is at Ploy Talay on Samet and should be accompanied by their fantastic seafood bbq. Their tricks are amazing as they swirl their firey batons around but the icing on the cake is the introduction by the mock-cockney mc - it is hilarious!

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

My Class

Today I said goodbye to my class. I think this has to be my favourite year teaching so far. This group of kids are fab and there has never been a dull moment. Admittedly, I was a tad concerned on the first day when one of them bared his teeth, growled and howled like a monkey for the first hour and several others bounced around like tigger. They are the duracell bunnies of kids - they just keep going. Everytime I think I've worn them out they find a new reserve of energy from somewhere.

I will miss how one of them will suddenly burst into song and the others will join in one by one - while still carrying on with their work. Last weeks song of choice was "I love you baby" - nothing to do with me at all I promise! As for the dancing I just witnessed at our party - they would give Justin a run for his money.

There are several 'class clowns' so there is normally something to laugh about - and they get so excited about the games (educational of course!) that we play. Most of them are so enthusiastic about their learning and they all try to tell me things or find things out that I don't already know. I am sure they will go a long way! Maybe one day I'll be saying - Ah yes the Prime Minister of Thailand - she was in my class when she was 7.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Fuzzy Vision

Watching movies on cable here can provide more than the usual entertainment. Playing "censorship sweepstake" can just add to your enjoyment. What will they cut out of each movie? Place your bets here!

It seems that smoking and nudity, not to mention violence, should only be shown some of the time. The scene may show a character grasping his cigarette longingly, but as soon as the end reaches his mouth his entire face will be blurred out. Blood, gore and fights are all the rage, but the minute a gun is held against someones head then the smudging machine is turned on. Breasts and bottoms will also be also be fuzzied, although with the porn lighting couple in Love Actually the censors decided just to erase their scenes from the movies altogehter -so in the final scene at the airport you are left wondering who exactly they are!

For more squeamish people such as myself some of this censorship can be welcome. I can now watch ER without wanting to ralph as the patient who has his chest cracked open will be obscured and I can focus on swooning over the sexy doctors. I wonder if Malaysia's censorship will be as much fun?

Scrubbed within an inch of my life

One week to go and I am trying to pack in as much as possible - so last night it was one last Spa visit. A top plan at this point in term - after a couple of hours of being pampered I feel like new. I opted for a new package and was not disappointed.

After being exfoliated with a cinnamon scrub I was then smeared in some kind of cocoa butter / mud concoction and wrapped in cling film. Once covered with blankets I was cocooned. I felt so warm and toasty and was soon drifting in and out of sleep. This was followed by an aromatherapy massage with all my knots and kinks kneaded away, and finally a long soak in a milk and mineral bath with added rose petals.

Not only am I soft and relaxed, but I am also very very happy!

Monday, 2 July 2007

Stick a fork in me I'm done

Sunday was our farewell trip to Trader Vics at the Marriot hotel for brunch. It is now Monday evening and I am still full – not to mention a little hungover. Yes it is all you can eat and all you can drink from 11:30 – 3pm and I tell you now I got my moneys worth! So what tasty delights passed my lips? I’ll share:

· Cheese, mainly Brie. Mmmmm – I started here as it has to be the best bit of any meal!
· A selection of cold meats on the teeniest bed of salad (I wasn’t gonna fill up on greens)
· BBQ Tiger Prawns
· Chicken satay
· Salmon steaks also from the bbq.
· Succulent steak (of the melt in the mouth variety that caused us to make some not entirely appropriate enjoyment noises)
· Aubergine bake
· Double chocolate roulade with a mocha icecream (2 helpings as this was sooooo good)
· Several champagne sorbet strawberry cocktails
· A gallon of wine

End here endeth the diary of Ali the Hutt. Mwahh ha ha ha.

It was a truly indulgent day. Yum.

If you fancy your own brunch experience in Bangkok check out this list compiled by Chris over at Adventure Travel Blog. If I was around longer I would certainly be checking them out.