Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl seems even more prescient now.
Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Monday, March 3rd, 2008
Siam I am
I’ve always been something of a tropical fish geek. As a young child in Ireland, I would regularly trek down to a place outside town called Cobh Aquatics where I would spend hours looking at the fishes in all their multi-coloured variety from all over the world. I never had my own tropical fish tank—I could never afford all the peripherals—so it was goldfish all the way for me (not that there’s anything inferior about the wonderful world of shubunkin and fantails).
I mention this because during my time in Thailand I discovered the joy of snorkeling. On the island of Koh Tao, that joy was somewhat like sticking your head in a tropical fish tank. The water was filled, filled I tell you, with an incredible abundance of brightly-coloured fish that I had previously only seen from behind the glass of a fish tank or aquarium. Also, the water was lovely and warm—something of a novelty for someone from the British Isles. Snorkeling, then, consists of floating around in lovely warm water looking at beautiful animals: exactly the kind of lazy non-strenuous activity that suits my temperament.
When I wasn’t snorkeling, I could generally be found enjoying the wonderful Thai cuisine or perhaps enjoying the blissed-out feeling that follows a really good massage. It was all very relaxing. That relaxed mood extended to Scott and Cheryl’s wedding which was one of the loveliest ceremonies I’ve ever attended; a truly happy event.
My time in Thailand was bookended with one night in Bangkok at the start and the end. Like the song says, I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine. Specifically, I got a real kick out of the multi-faceted food offerings on every street. By far the finest food I had during my week away was from highly skilled street vendors. I intend to write about that in more detail on Principia Gastronomica.
All in all, it was a relaxing, interesting and fun: the perfect holiday really.
The only downside is that, because of the island rendezvous, it looks like the Oz Squad won’t be in attendance at South by Southwest. Ah well, at least I got a chance to catch up with my Aussie geek friends at least once this year.
Much pictorial evidence of my trip to the orient can be found in a Flickr photoset. Its 272 photos are a subset of the 1099 pictures I took in total. Thailand is a very photogenic place.
Friday, February 22nd, 2008
Thai-ing the knot
I’m about to head off to Gatwick yet again for another overseas trip. For once I’m not going to a conference or other geeky gathering. This is a trip I’ve been I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while: I’m going to Thailand with Jessica for an honest-to-goodness holiday.
I aim to do two things:
- Experiment with the permutations of combining the following activities:
- Doing nothing.
- Lounging around.
- Celebrate Scott and Cheryl’s wedding on Koh Tao next week.
In what promises to be the gathering in the Orient this season, Scott and Cheryl will be getting married on a beach… on an island… in Thailand. I’m honoured that they’ve invited me along. The added presence of my antipodean brothers in arms like Cam, Dan, Lachlan and Tim means that a good time is guaranteed.
I do plan on taking lots of pictures. I don’t plan on checking email at any stage. I believe I have discharged any duties that were incumbent upon me so if you still want to get hold of me, sorry; you’ll just have to wait ‘till I get back.
Now I just need to run through any last-minute checks in preparation for the culture shock that awaits me at the other end of this flight to Bangkok.