7th March 2017

Dear Peter,

I’ve arrived in Phuket Town to a new hostel. I’ve opted for a private room after listening to two twenty-somethings attempt to have crappy, not-as-silent-as-they-probably-thought sex last night. There’s a double mattress on the floor, a mirror, two plugs and curtains. Luxury. Everything is coloured white. Including me, lying on the bed covered in Sudocrem, I’m hoping to eliminate the poison from the 40-odd angry bites I have all over. “It’s not Mosquito season” they said. They lied. Do mosquitoes even know what a season is? Do those little bastards even care?

You and I are going to be spending a lot more time relishing Sudocrem’s thick, pasty goodness over the coming months. I can’t decide who has the better deal. Bum or bites?

My last couple of days in Bangkok were just as mental as the first. I took a trip to Chinatown… Or more commonly known as the belly of the beast that is eBay.

DSC00104My Mum sometimes buys naff shoes from eBay. The last pair she got were meant to be size 5, what arrived was a size 3. “Where does this crap come from?” well, I know now.

Rows upon rows of shit shoes as far as the eye can see. There are sex toy stalls galore with giant bags of viagra that look more like dishwasher tablets from floor to ceiling. There are guns. There are toys, albeit terrifying ones, choking hazards right here.

Tiny winding streets of electronics I would have thought went extinct a long time ago, enough tiger balm to eradicate headaches for eternity.

“Who is buying all this crap?”

And then I saw it – plastic ferns. How could you Pete? I mean really? Really!?

I met my first long-haired dreamboat. You’d have loved it. A scuba diving sun-kissed, sea hunk from Switzerland. We drank together whilst commentating on the various “dates” happening around us. A Californian guy joined our table with his Thai lady. They barely spoke a word to each other. It turned out he’d met her at a massage salon, she’d attached herself to him pretty sharpish and he told us “It’s great, I get to buy her drinks all day and then bang her all night”. It bought Mr Swiss & I much amusement “How romantic!” we thought.

I’m learning English is a little tricky to follow. When I tell Scuba-Man “When in Rome…”, he looks at me funny, laughs and says “We’re not in Rome, we’re in Bangkok.”. I like the Swiss.

I also met a giant. A golden one, with a face as big as the moon in the sky and Alabone galaxies, inlaid on the end of each toe. This was at Wat Pho temple. I know you asked me to strip it back to bare bones right so here goes.

I know you asked me to strip this culture jargon back to bare bones right so here goes.

Wat Pho is one of the Buddhist temples in Bangkok and it’s got a giant golden reclining Buddha cotchin’ inside. He’s 15 m high and 46 m long. Size isn’t everything, though, this place is nowhere near as popular as the Emerald Buddha I went to see the day before.

Buddhism bare bones.

There are about 300 million Buddhists in the world, that’s only 6% of the world’s population and minor in comparison to Christianity which storms ahead in the religious leagues with 35% of the world following. A chap named Siddhartha Gotama started Buddhism couple of thousand years ago when he realised “Holy balls of Buddha, life doesn’t have to be this way” and he was then enlightened.

He told other people how they could live this way too, they just had to follow 3 basic rules, the ways of wisdom shall we say. They are to:-

  • Live a nice moral life,
  • Live consciously, think about your thoughts and actions,
  • Be full of wisdom and learn lots so you can be super wise.

Do all these things right and it will lead you to true happiness – how awesome’s that?

It’s all about understanding that you don’t need money or wealth. You just need to be a good person. Be a good person, always carry a £1 pot of Sudocrem, and true happiness can be yours forever. Promise.

Much love,

Catrin x



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