Was chatting to two American girls and a couple of Dutch guys. One of the Americans said she wanted to visit a waterfall: 'I've never seen one.'
I was amazed: 'Where are you from, the Sahara Desert?'
'No, I'm Egyptian.'
As soon as she said it, it was obvious, as she has those beautiful, dark North African eyes.
The other American girl is in fact, German.
She's the second Egyptian I've met recently. The other girl also had an American accent, but was half English, having been to an international school. She had then been a boarder for 4 years at a school in Vientiane.
'Which one?' someone asked.
It's the McDonaldisation of education; had a friend in Paris who went to Roedean, South Africa.
Selfie. Don't know who the guy in the hat is.
One of the guys I was travelling with in Laos had become obsessed with Elephant pants. There are elephant statues and elephant sanctuaries all over SE Asia. Some entrepreneur has cashed in on this to the point where every market and small boutique has a massive stock of these baggy cotton garments with draw-string waists and elephants parading around the legs.
Jonas's gripe was that they have usurped the more traditional clothes which were once more easily available. You see both men and women wearing these rather amorphous and unflattering trousers.
I mention this because I've just bought three pairs of silk boxer shorts for the ridiculous price of 7.5$ or £5. At least they claim to be silk and probably are. If they were nylon, I'm sure my nether regions would have ignited by now. They appeared to have a small flowery pattern on them, but when I looked closer, the flowers are in fact elephants. I too have fallen for the old elephant pant scam.
Saw a bar last night called Jammers Paradise, or something like that. Feeling it was time for a beer, went in to find an elderly Australian and a thirty something woman sitting at the bar. There were no musicians. The two women behind the bar were heavily made up. When I asked where the Jammers were, one of them told me that it was just the name. I took a seat at the bar and was immediately engaged in conversation by the woman, who was clearly a prostitute. Now, I have no real problem with working girls; a couple of friends are ex prostitutes, but I'm certainly not interested in the sterling service which they provide. I'd said little more than 'hello,' when she jumped off the barstool and began massaging my neck and back. Very good it was too.
'You wan' buy me drink?'
Rather warily, I agreed. She ordered the smallest orange juice in the world and continued her sales pitch: 400Bhatt for full massage, 1,000Bhatt for me. I thanked her for her generous offer and said I wasn't really interested, but she repeated the massage as a final loss-leader.
During the half hour or so that this went on, another suspicion was taking shape. Although a great looking girl, I began to wonder if she might be a man. Some lady boys are very convincing. I started studying her a little closer and thought that her hands didn't look right, slightly too large. At this point the music system started playing the BeeGee's 'More than a Woman to Me.' Was this a sign? I was none the wiser when I paid up and left. The tiny orange juice was more than my beer.
I'd say 90% chance of her really being a woman, but will never know and certainly don't want to find out.
The cleaning order of Wat Dok Euang. Burma has a temple of the jumping cats. Hope I get to visit.
Typical Thai telephone box.
Where I'm staying.