Sunday, February 18, 2007

Checked out

I was lying, floating and day dreaming in the placid green water outside our bungalow the other afternoon when three little thai girls paddled up to me. They all looked quite serious and circled me like three little sharks staring hard, discussing me in Thai and frowning. Finally one of them ducked under the water to take a closer look at me and then reported back to her friends with a confused shrug and a quickfire burst of Thai. Finally the older girl looked at me and gestured upwards saying "up, up". I stood up out of the water and their eyes pop out when they see my belly. I touch it and say 'baby'.

The lights go on and they break into big smiles. "Ahhh baby, baby" they giggle. Then they each come over to pat my stomach, leaning forward whispering hello and then putting their ears to my belly as if expecting to hear someone reply. I hate to think what they thought of me before the explanation.....the worlds greediest tourist perhaps?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Belly Laughs

Back to beautiful Thailand - not much has changed which is nice. Except maybe the amount of Thai people getting around in bright yellow t-shirts (the favoured colour to reprent the thai king) celebrated his 60 years of rule.

We arrived at the brand spanking new airport - picked up our bags and made our way through customs. A stern looking man in a uniform gave me the once over and I got that nervous Nicole Kidman in Bangkok Hilton feeling, oh no what did he want? He then waved his hands around me, pointed at my belly, exclaimed, giggled and then gave Ed the big thumbs up. Family is revered here and apart from having a cute little baby I've discovered the next best thing is to have a pregnant belly. Quite a few times we've had excited reactions (specially from men) which always results in the thumbs up to Ed. Can't wait to bring the little person back here when she's born - it's such a great place for kids.

Back on our beach in Koh Phangan - Jan was the first person we ran into when we climbed out of the back of the pick up truck. All the same people seem to be living and working here, no major changes. Even the local dogs are still here, roaming the beach, befriending tourists, sleeping under the coconut trees. The beach is looking more glorious than usual - impossibly bright turquoise water, white sand, palms trees and little waves breaking on the shore. Apart from burning my arse off on a snorkelling trip the other day which has resulted in me having to sit down carefully, wincing all the way, the days have slid peacefully into one another. Swim, eat, sleep, lie in hammock, read, eat tropical fruits, get massage, swim, head up to one of the fairy light lit bamboo huts for dinner, sleep, repeat 6 times - and we've got at least five more times to go. Bliss.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Strange things have been afoot since madame sprog took up residence in my body. I'm not talking just getting bigger in the boob / gut department or the horrifying fact that shortly I will get to see what the inside of my belly button looks like as it slowly but surely gets inched out thanks to lack of space.

Oh no, it's the more subtle things, hair. I used to have to wash my unruly, quick to get oily hair about every two to three days or it would look like an greasy, woolly mop. Now my hair sits on my head, clean, unoily, sweet smelling and well behaving for up to SIX days.

Other hair is behaving odly too: the hair on my legs just seems to have gone away or at least stopped growing. My beautician / waxing lady must be missing my fairly regular business.

Fingernails: my soft, flaky bitten down stumps have turned into rock hard, smooth white talons that grow so fast I have to CUT them...they are so hardy I can't even manage to bite them off. I look like I have a permanent french manicure without the effort - ooh la la.

On the downside my tastebuds seemed to have regressed back to those of a five year old from 1976. My former loves of asian food, green vegies, salty things, hot, hot spicy chilli things, tofu, eggs and our Kylie Kwong cook book have been replaced by an alarming enthusiam for stodge, potatoes, cheese, white bread, chocolate milk, yoghurt, cans of coca cola yet more milk and recipies from my Mums 1970's Womens Weekly Cookbook.

Will things ever go back to the way they were? Would this be a good or a bad thing? I mean I would love to cancel my visits to the waxing lady permanently but can I live on coca cola and white bread without losing all my street cred and all semblence of a healthy diet? I'm kind of tempted....but then again it's a tough call.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The reliable europeans

Eddie and I are soon to hit the shores of Thailand for a week or two of relaxation before the weight of the responsibility of new parenthood bears down on us in June. We decided to go back to Koh Phangan to a particular beach where we spent 2 1/2 weeks over Chrissy and New Year last year. While we were there last time we met these two very funny brothers from Sweden who we spent most nights with cracking jokes, drinking beer, smoking spliffs, lying around in hammocks and generally having a good time.

Cause we're going back to the same place Ed shot off an email to the brothers a while ago inviting them to come and meet us, because it would be fun to see them again but also partly as a challenge and to torture them a little as they plow through the cold and dark of a long Scando winter.

Anway one of the brothers Jan, wrote back and said he would come. Simple as that. Being unreliable Aussies we didn't really think he would be coming cause we didn't hear anything again. Ed sent an email again the other day saying are you really coming? Back came the reply along the lines of - "of course...see you there." Simple as that again.

Apart from being great news it really got me thinking about how unreliable and high maintenance us Aussies are. Jan is coming halfway across the world and it's needed just two emails to arrange to meet up with him. I have dinner parties with friends that live up the road that take more doing. Invites are issued, then there is the inevitable argy bargy about dates and who's 'available', then there are follow up emails reassuring the invitees it's still on and then maybe later or even on the actual day there will be a flurry of calls or texts to check once again that the said event is still, really on. Even at this point it also seems to be acceptable to pull out or cancel on people (cause it seems you're never really committed until you're walking through the door.)

According to a German friend of mine this neurotic checking is a peculiarly Australian affliction and it infruriates her. Particularly the fact that even though a date has been set, no-one seems to be prepared to commit to it until the 11th hour which of course means a quick text can wriggle you out of most engagements. She reckons one time an Australian friend cancelled on her a few hours beforehand and her excuse was 'I need to go shoe shopping' and seemed to think this was an acceptable excuse. One time Ed and I had said to her we might come over on a certain date for a visit a few weeks later. Being Aussies we asssumed it wasn't on because it wasn't discussed again, confirmed, reconfirmed so we didn't show. Being German she assumed we had discussed it once, agreed to it and so of sourse it was on. Whoops..

It is a pretty awful way to socialise. I have another friend who is notoriously unreliable and who as a result I almost never see. We make dates to catch up but I have to work on the assumption that at least 70 percent of the time the day before or in some cases a few hours before she will text to say 'sorry can't make it'. It means that I never really commit to the arrangment either and usually have made a back up plan of some sort because I know she probably won't show. I say things like "oh well I'm meant to be catching up with XXX but she probably won't show so I'll probably be free.."

Another Aussie friend living in Germany has noticed the difference as well - it seems with Europeans you could make a date 15 years ago and unless someone dies or a tornado wipes out your house you will be there. There is no checking, no calling and certainly no last minute texting to wriggle out of it - it's just on.

So Ed and I are thinking like Europeans for our Scandanavian meet up - in fact the three of us haven't even bothered to make a meeeting place at our small beachside village. We've just said - see you there. Nice and simple.