Katja and Arne's travel stories

22.04.15 Break in the routine

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I wake every morning from the alarm, or rather Katja’s continuous talking now that the alarm has gone off. Today is no different, but for the fact that she’s not in bed. She’s cross legged on the floor having mediated for a while. But when the alarm goes off she’s back among us mere mortals and go:”blah blah blah I’ve meditated! blah blah blah. Wanna hear what I’ve planned for the day? Yes? Yes? Yes? Blah blah blah.” I just try not to fall asleep again. 

Getting near the end of our stay here in Phuket, combined with limited training opportunities, made us go outside the box this morning.
We rented a motorbike out in the street and set of. The man we rented from used no paperwork, didn’t want my passport and only know that we live at Signature hotel. Not that we’re gonna steal it or anything, but I would have made some paperwork if it was my business.
We drove to a place we’ve passed by several times to get breakfast. The Coffee Tribe. We’re surprised by the food and the coffee. We hoped it would be good, but it’s great. It seems to be a popular place among expat’s around the area.
An expat is a foreigner living in a country outside of his or hers country. It’s made from the Latin words of “ex” meaning “out of”, and “patria” meaning “country, motherland”. It’s often used to name white people leaving in other countries. Let’s just be honest about that. Kinda, I don’t know… not racist maybe, but a bit colonial? All the while we call people moving the other way for immigrants, it’s least a part of the segregation.
We chill a while at the Coffee Tribe waiting for the day to start. We’re also on a mission for the extra wrist support for Katja today. We found late last night that the mall don’t open until 10:30, and Katja’s private is at 11:30. To close for comfort. We’ve searched for other sporting goods store. If we’re lucky there’s one just up the street from here that will give us what we need. The waitress here tells us it opens at nine, but that we’re better off coming there a little later. We’ll just hang here a little while longer then.
We drive up and are at the center 9:15. Everything is open except the sports store that opens at 10. Right. We walk around and look at the goods and check the prices. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: A lot of the goods are not for the local Thai. It’s expensive, even in Norwegian standards, for some of these products.
Finally it draws toward ten and we can go into the sports store. We find what we came for and head towards the hotel. Katja got a few minutes indoors before going over to Tiger for her private lesson. I follow a bit later and take video and pictures like yesterday.
I do my own warm up and try to stretch the old man’s hips. If I were a dog I don’t think I would be let to suffer any longer, but given time, movement and warmth I thaw like snow in May.
It’s my last session at Tiger. I try to heal my rashes, but every time I train they flare up like the face of a hormone ridden teenager on sugar rush.
Moo tells me he’s sorry before we begin and when we end every round of pad works with ten kicks on each foot I get it. It’s the end of a road. Our at least a pit stop. We’ll do Muay Thai at Mandirigma camp also. But it’s the end of the line here at Tiger. I do a lot better than when I started, and I’ve learned some cool tricks. Maybe you can learn old dogs new tricks after all…
We hasten back so we can go for lunch. Katja got a thing for this morning’s breakfast place and we head over there. They serve us good lunch and we chill as little before deciding to drive up to the Big Buddha.
There’s a run up the hill to the Buddha organized by Tiger, but since Katja’s foot is shot and my left knee only gives me about 3 km before  the pain starts, we’ve passed on that. Eirik, our friend who was here I August – September and who recommended the hotel, did it several times on his stay here. I’ve seen the picture on Facebook. I know his is good shape, but damn! That’s one steep hill to run up. The motorcycle barely made it up. Kudos to you, Eirik.
The Big Buddha is a project where the goal is to have Thailand’s biggest Buddha image. It’s huge. And there are donation boxes everywhere. I mean it, everywhere.
Katja wanted to get blessed by a monk and receive a thread tired around her hand. Money in the bowl, and the monk who lost this morning’s draw about the most boring job of the day, routed a string around the left wrist, splashed a lurker holy water and voila! You’re blessed. A continuous stream of people that wanted this blessing made for a decent income.
Up by the Buddha itself there were prayers being said, and they were broadcasted through poor quality speakers. And at volume that would make any prison guard at Guantanamo proud. There were kid monks in there that probably never will hear crickets play in the grass again.
We walked around it and it’s absolutely grand. It’s still a project so there’s a lot of construction going on, but hey, that’s just like the main roads around Oslo.
We bought a bell and hung out with the others. It’s a good way to support the project and who don’t want to leave a mark wherever you go? The writing reads:
love and
Universal in value, strong in belief and worth fighting for.
We passed both elephants and monkeys our way up and down. It doesn’t really look good with monkeys on a two meter chain. Or elephants walking on concrete and not on dirt roads. We shortly debated wether or not to put pictures of them on the blog, and decided against it.
Back at the hotel Katja went to the girls in the restaurant and had made a mix for her hair. No poo for the win. This time it’s banana, avocado, limeand honey. I get to pour it as she rubs it in. It smell like a nice fruit juice, so there’s little to complain about. Did I mention the No Poo is a family project? Then again I don’t remember when I used poo last.
No Poo

No Poo

We dried up and spent a little time in the room before heading out to dinner. I tried to return the motorbike so I wouldn’t have to do it in the morning, but the dude had closed shop. Dang! That means I still have to use alarm tomorrow morning.
We take a couple of t-bone steaks and a couple of cold beers. The first beers since we came, five weeks and the days ago. ’bout time for a beer, then.
The friendly dog… This might need an explanation... Katja is a cat person that likes puppies only. But then again, who doesn’t like puppies. I am a dog person that cats find adorable. The local dog has been around us since we came, but we have not spent any time cuddling with him. Today he got two bones from our steaks and Katja is now officially dog person. “We need a good picture of him”, she exclaimed. Then the dog barked at another dog nearby, Katja jumped, and we’re reset to Katja’s love for puppies.
The rest of the evening is nothing special before we turn in.
Complimentary cat picture

Complimentary cat picture


A puppy plays with every pup he meets, but an old dog has few associates.

– Josh Billings


Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

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