A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand, KL & Singapore

Soooooo, first of all we landed into Bangkok. Hmmmm, what can we say about this city that is PG/Universal?? It's a pretty unwholesome place generally but the food was AMAZING! Valentine's Day just so happened to land at the same time as we did, so had a wonderful Thai meal followed by lots of hassle to see certain 'shows'... Although it has a population of over 8 million it seemed quiet and serene at times in comparison to the general bustle of India (which we missed dearly). The best part of Thailand was visiting the Islands; Koh Samui for the beautiful beaches, £4 thai massages where they treat you like laundry by rinsing, rubbing & folding you until they are satisfied with their work. You tend to come across some unusual offers too whilst sunbathing. For example, I'm laying there on the honey sands listening to the waves when I hear Euan smirking & saying, "No, thank you, I'm alright, really". I look over to see a baby monkey sitting perched on his chest & behind him, a rather eager looking Thai man shuffling on his haunches to take a photograph. He then picks it back off him & walks away. As we're still giggling about it, the monkey is placed from my blind spot onto my stomach. I shriek, naturally. And the monkey looks a little startled before lifting its hands, asking 'please pick me up again' to his Thai companion. Over the next few days, every now & then you would hear more yelps & yips from people who were also snuck upon unawares... I can't imagine the element of surprise was doing a great deal for his monkey-photo-taking business!
We decided to help a bit at the Dog & Cat Shelter (where dogs had been attacked by gangs with machettes giving them a signature injury to the head), then headed to Koh Tao where we fulfilled an ambition of learning to scuba dive!!! It really was amazing. The feeling of exploring an entire other world of corals and fish and everything that comes with it where you can do only hand gestures to your 'buddy' to let them know you are OK or quite frankly annoyed with them for swimming off to see what's behind that rock in yet another fit of excitement! The massive hawksbill turtle was definitely the highlight and playing tennis with an egg yolk at 30m depth was pretty fun too, especially when the nitrogen narcosis sets in! You really feel like you can add 'Dominican of Under The Sea' to your list of countries you've been to, especially after doing a Night Dive when you go down in the pitch of night and shine lights on the corals and fish to see them glow, and the plankton shine neon when you turn out all the lights, kinda like your own little rave in the ocean!
Next, came Koh Phangnan where we hit the Full Moon Party to see what all the fuss was about, and yes, it is a fun party on a beach! Our hostel however, was basically an extension of that & so one night we took a walk along the beach in search of somewhere without lasers & subwoofers and set up camp with our hoodies & some flanel PJs, far enough away to get some sleep! Not so rock & roll, but hey, some German guy also thought it was clearly a good idea as we woke up with him only a few metres away! We rented a scooter to see more of the island, after a bit of a rocky teething period with the machine, we ventured further to the more hilly parts of KP and came across monkeys, elephants & people generally living a chilled-out island lifestyle.
KUALA LUMPUR was a brief 1 day visit to see the Petronas Towers.
SINGAPORE was brilliant. We went on a Night Safari (FUN) at the Zoo & stayed in a terrible little hostel for 2 nights, with bunk-beds (that's right) which touched walls on 3 sides (oh yeah) and allowed room only for a bag on the floor (ugh) and broken air-conditioning (not cool) so decided to treat ourselves to a ridiculously un-backpacker hotel called Marina Bay Sands - It was possible to do 4 and a half cartwheels across the length of the bedroom, we ate food wearing dressing gowns in our room (because we didn't want to leave it, EVER.) went to the gym on the 55th floor & swam in the infinity pool on the 57th floor where you can see a view of the whoooole city. Pretty special for 1 night, and now we are super-poor. Ha!
.........Onto OZ!!!

Posted by anjela 00:54 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

New Delhi

Often we would be referred to as either A..J and Uni (Ooni) or just Doctor or Madam/Sir during our time at the Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre (SGACC) in New Delhi, our first and certainly an eye-opening stop on our journey! Our days were shared between operating theatre (with Abi, also a previous Edinburgh Dick Vet) where we were always entertained by cheerful mobile phone ringtones and enthusiastic grinning staff who did their best as we all tried to communicate using familiar gestures and smiles, checking post-ops (in the renowned 'K10' where the street dogs go both to recover, lick their wounds and fight one another, all in equal measure!), help out in the 'intensive' intensive care unit (with Anna & Allen, also Dick Vet survivors!) lots of broken legs, distemper, rabies...you name it, see to the farm animals (hundreds of sheep, goats, buffalo & the odd pig) with an array of tropical problems & the of course the overflowing puppy unit and wards for dogs in heat (where they are kept serenely and safely away from the males to prevent further pregnancies).

We came across many strange and foreign cases, such as a cow who had gun shot wounds(!!) after being caught in a cross-fire between the Delhi Police & illegal slaughter-house workers....only in India! A wee monkey who was caught in the bonnet of a car & was saved. Also, lots of railway injuries, but all of these would teach and remind us of the sheer bravery and survival instinct of these animals, such as endearingly named 'Stumpy' the Labrador pup who would happily munch on her own radius whilst awaiting amputation!

We spent a delightful morning in the sun on the way to work trying to catch a timid street dog - took 5 vets, 1 family and the charity owner. Had to push the car along a few roads every morning to get the engine running. Went walking along the streets during lunch-hour and would get followed by an entourage of 30 children wanting to have their photos taken and were very sweet.

Venture into Old Delhi -

We took a day off to explore the twisted and turning alley-like dust-track streets of Old Delhi's 'Chadni Chowk' where we hopped on a cycle-rickshaw to join the bustling atmosphere. After getting suitably lost in the maze of the markets we decided to follow the sounds of some Indian beats coming from round a corner & before we knew it were whisked into a family gathering to celebrate the birth of a child - we threw some coconut in a holy fire, had a fingerprint of red bindi placed on our foreheads and danced around in joy!! The granny looked super happy with us!

Agra and Jaipur were awesome, the Taj was stunning and saw tons of sights in Jaipur.....rode an elephant (Euan's first).

Landed in Calcutta which has been awesome.. Dad's been showing us around - the Ganges, the fish market, Victoria Memorial, Mother Theresa's Hospital, Kali Temple where they feed the poor everyday, Howrah Bridge, the Zoo - white tigers & hippos. Visiting the family - Euan seems to be going down a treat!! My uncle very enthusiastically and with a toothy grin would call him 'Calcutta Boy' whilst holding his hands in his. He also read his palm...was pretty funny! One aunty whom we visited in Chandannagare also seemed overjoyed to meet him, asking him to even dance for her (rumour had it he could dance....). The family are all so loving and there's been plenty of affectionate face-squeezing!

Also LOVING the broken auld English you get here, "What is your good name Sir?" and "What is your mother country?" It's brilliant!

OK so that took a veeeery long time to write on this old-fashioned computer in Calcutta so will add more news another time, still not able to upload photos yet though! Missing you all. Lots of love from far away!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by anjela 02:24 Archived in India Comments (1)

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