Father’s Day in Bali 2010

Start with a beach, a piece of driftwood and two kids, at least one of whom is your daughter.

Lyla and Tenzin

Add one son.

The terrible threesome

Tell them to get off the driftwood, they say no, and charm you.

Lyla charms

So buy them a kite…

The kite

It will take them a while to figure it out.

Working the kite

And they might not always agree…

Still working the kite


In the end…

It will fly.

It flies!

Yeah ok, it is someone else’s kite 🙂

Happy Father’s day all!

Patting predators

Here me and my mates are at Bali’s Reptile Park.



We started off by patting a turtle. We could have ridden on him if our parents weren’t watching. Look at his huge carapace! (See, I’m learning new words all the time.)


We also had a poke at a little lizard. My mum went first actually, and she dropped it! Honestly, you can’t take her anywhere.


Then we moved onto the BIG lizard. Here he is!


I had to chase him for a little while.


But I managed to get him right where I wanted him!


But my favourite? Well, it still has to be…


Adieu to the Chateau de Bats

So it seems that the bat-cave era is drawing to a close. Word is the block is to be sold in January for a reputed 35-40 million baht (the apartments come for free with the land).

While there’s no denying the place is on its last legs, I’m sad to see the back of it. We’ve lived in and rented it since ’98, and M and J were in it for at least 7 years before that — in that time the rent never changed, we never met the landlord and not one iota of maintenance was undertaken — goes to show if you don’t look after something at all it will last for at least 15 years…

We’ve still got a bunch of stuff in there we need to get rid of — sell, ship, giveaway – everything must go!

I will take the baby over to take a look though…

VIP, Diplomats, Thailand Elite, Pregnant Chicks

Today we got our first glimpse of Thailand’s brand-spanking-new Suvarnabhumi Airport — and all we’ve got to say if it really took 40 years to get this thing together someone needs a real spanking.

But I’ll not bore you with moaning, as once we finished out 20 minute journey from the gate to immigration (that is 20 minutes on electric footpaths, walking the entire time — the airport is ridiculously massive), S was immediately steered across to the sacrosanct VIP area for passport control and so was I – how’s that for a special welcome for pregnant people!

Tick tock tick tock – we’re outa here!

Today was a day of last days.
Our last full day in Jakarta
My last day of procrastination — spent buying 40 more fish for the pots out back.
S’s last day at the office for six full months
Our last exposure to evening call to prayer
Our last evening in Jakarta without a baby

It’s all getting a bit serious now!

Next post from sunny Bangkok!

Birthday burn-out, will a baby do?

So it was S’s birthday today and my intention of replacing her Treo was dashed by miss-communication between me and the Palm store…

“Oh – when I said we’d have the new model after Lebaran (Ramadan), I didn’t mean straight after — I meant a month or so…”

so in lieu of a palm I thought I’d give her a baby — not much of a surprise though!

“I lost my phone and it’s your fault”

Following on with the forgetfullness theme, today S lost her fancy Palm Treo mobile-phone/laptop/WMD/fax/walkman thingy.

It was left in the cab, dropped on the ground, left at the medical centre or perhaps snatched out of her bag from a passing bus — dexterity points for that final method… but whatever the means the phone is gone.

So S gets home, obviously upset about losing her phone and borrows mine to call the cab company to see if the cabbie had it.

The call centre asked for a number they could reach S:

“Stu, what’s your number?”

“I don’t know”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“I don’t know. The number was in your phone”

“You don’t know your own number?” (tension rising)

“No, I don’t call myself much” (a totally un-needed inflamatory comment)

“Why don’t you know your number?”

“Because it was in your phone — I left the number at the shop when I got a new Simpati card.” (Ok I admit that was just plain stooopid)

(glaring) “Ok, well did you fix the house phone? What is that number?”

“No, I haven’t fixed it. I forgot”

(extreme glaring) “I asked you to fix that weeks ago.”


(venemous glaring, paint peeling off the wall behind me)

I leave the room.

So I don’t know my own phone number and didn’t fix a phone S has been asking me to fix for a month or so and suddenly I’m the bad guy — this pregnancy stuff really makes people act crazy!

Going out with Gecko

This evening caught up with old friends M and L from Gecko Travel. M and my paths cross regularly, as M is based in Chiang Mai and travels frequently, but L, stuck over in Old Blighty, I get to see far less of.

We planned on going out to dinner, but never got farther than the closest bar to their guesthouse, where we caught up on gossip and drank too much pastis.

M has a little girl and L an older boy and they both asked almost straight away after S and her growing belly. While I lamented being away from S and battling illness in Saigon, M lambasted me – enjoy your time away while you can — you won’t be getting any more of that once the baby comes around.

Certainly seems like a common refrain this “no more travel when baby comes” line.

Mark’s little girl is a smart cookie — speaking Thai as good as her English and mastering the TV-remote in no time…

“No Daddy, we’re not watching the football again”

Now all he does is to get her onto the dishes.

Our garden the deathpit

I’ve been advised by S, that our once lush tropical garden is a decrepit landscape which she described as a “deathpit”.

The reason?

It hasn’t rained in oh three weeks apparently…

Oh and I’m not there.

Watering the garden using the sprinkler wasn’t feasible because S doesn’t get home till after dark and everone knows you can only water in daylight.

I guess I better be heading back then.

Quail eggs don’t go with fresh beer

So yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the entire day shivering in bed watching bad TV as I tried to decide if I’d picked up bird-flu or not.

I believe the culprit was a bag of quail eggs I’d scoffed the previous evening and washed down with Bia Hoi (fresh beer — 50 cents for a litre). The eggs were fine and they were hardboiled and I certainly didin’t notice any feathers….

Anyways, I feel a bit better today and may even venture outside, but if I do I’ll steer well clear of Bia Hoi and quail eggs.