Friday, April 17, 2020

Coronascape from Thailand!

THAT was an adventure... This may be a long post as it covers a whole month...

Once we arrived in Penang we realised very quickly that Coronavirus Craziness was taking over the planet and there was a real risk we might get stuck in Malaysia alone with no flight home and no place to stay and also without the option to travel... suddenly Sh&t got real and I had to make a snap decision. So I decided to go back to Thailand to meet my friend and see if we could all find a place to hide out. We had no idea what was about to happen...  We donned our masks, got across into Thailand after two medical checks and countless temperature checks...

We decided to go to Koh Lanta and we found a great residence with an awesome pool. We were pretty stressed out but excited to all be together.

The kids got back to their home education and we all began to relax and have some fun! There were moments of panic and this ever increasing fear of not knowing what was going to happen but we all managed to have fun and live in harmony nicely together.


The kids playing in the pool with Martin. 

This was one of many monkeys we saw in the trees at Ao Nang, Krabi, just prior to making our way to Koh Lanta. This was Miles on his iPad (again) at the restaurant we crashed at after a long journey from Hat Yai to Krabi! The taxi at the end seemed to take the longest as he took one hour for a 20 minute journey and didn't care how much we complained about it! 

These photos are a bit disordered, here is the ferry from mainland Thailand to Koh Lanta.

Me and Wadies somwere in Koh Lanta. 

The kids found many interesting things on the beach... Martin and I loved walking/running on there and we were lucky enough to take in a few beautiful sunsets before it had to end....

There were shells, jellies.... 

Seaweed, cuttlefish bones.. and porcupine fish.. we saw a few of these fish washed up on this beach... and there was loads of plastic... :( we did do a trash pick-up on one of the days. 

There were many lovely memories from this time, although in the end the stress of all the changes going on in the world around us got to us too much and we had to bail... we just got too scared. 

Martin and I split up in Bangkok and he went off to live his life and we went off to live ours. 
It was sad at the time...

 The kids were interested in the cool displays at the airport. They were both very excited to be going to their Dad's. 

It was pretty weird to see the whole airport empty almost and everyone who was there, wearing masks or masks and glasses. Almost every flight was cancelled.. it was tense. 

We got back just in time for Easter and Caden's 12 birthday. The kids did a small easter egg hunt in the garden. 

This month will always be remembered as the one we spent in Thailand with Martin under pretty extreme circumstances. There are mixed feeling memories from this time but it was a BIG adventure for everyone and it was worth doing...

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Penang awesomeness - Day 1!

You know you made a good decision about where to stay when you walk out of your Air BnB and you are opposite Malaysia's finest chocolate house... What luck! We thought it would be rude not to visit.  Needless to say, the children were pretty chuffed! 

What was really good about this place (apart from that it has some of the finest chocolate known to humanity) was that it had a little timeline in English of the story of how chocolate is made. The cacao is grown in Malaysia and there was enough information for it to be interesting, without being overwhelming. It was really fun to hold a cacao pod and see the beans inside... 

We read together all the processes of chocolate production from field to shelf...  

Then we went to go consume some chocolate. Well, I had a coffee... of course. 
and Miles had a good laugh! 

Caden had a hot choc! It was mighty fine! 

Miles chose an apple crumble cheesecake... I ate a bit, my God it was good! Really good! 

We found a shopping mall very close to our place and Caden was delighted to add to his horrible histories collection with three books that he doesn't yet have! The topics he will now be reading about are The Blitz, WW1 and all about Pirates! 

We saw a few amusing little things like this Shut Happens sign! He he!  

Since it's Coronavirus time, we were scanned for our temperatures twice on entry to the mall and made to disinfect with hand gel at various points around the mall. So many people are wearing masks. We are not wearing them, I only have one mask each and I don't know if it's actually worth it. If we end up in a crowd/airport or something bad where there is a lot of people I will get the masks out then! They will be most effective at that time! They cannot be reused. The virus can get in through the eyes too... I'm telling the kids to just wash and wash and wash their hands but also trying to live normally and not in fear! I am pretty worried though if I am honest. It's becoming increasingly clear that we aren't going to make it back to Europe in 4 weeks with the way things currently are! The question is going to be more, where do we stay, do I go back to Thailand for a month with my partner and sit it out or stay in Malaysia for as long as I need to? It is hard to know right now because I don't have enough information. My decision will be based on how likely we are to be quarantined, put into another country or catch the virus, which despite feeling robust health-wise, I don't fancy having to deal with!! There is also the concern of the measures that the country we are in takes if the SHTF (shit hits the fan!)... what may they do if things are very bad? So hard to know.. I trust France about as much as I trust Thailand or Malaysia so again, no idea! I am in the process of upgrading our travel and health insurance! 

Meanwhile back at the ranch... Miles was enjoying a chicken burger for lunch! This kid! Noone would ever believe he used to be 100% raw and loved avocado and green juice! He LOVED my green juice smoothies... even the really dark green flavours.. now he recoils at the sight of lettuce... 

More amusement.... 

They were so happy to find a lego shop... This is Kai apparently... 

It was important to mention that Lego has made stranger things and they even have little lego aliens... kinda cool! 


Caden gave me hell last night when our taxi dropped us at the wrong place and we had to walk a blisteringly long way (12 minutes !!!) So I agreed to buy him new shoes. I have invested in Birkenstocks for him! He is delighted! You can't tell from this photo but he really does love them haha! 

We saw a Japanese shop selling all kinds of bird's nests for bird's nest soups 
and other delicious (!) meals! 

Then they went to the cinema to watch Trolls! They are pretty happy! We are so excited to be travelling together. Whatever happens with Corona, they have me back and I have them back and we are so happy about it! It's been a joy to be together all day today and just focus on each other! 

Travelling from Koh Pha Ngan to Penang

I'm writing the blog in a topsy turvey way! We have been on Koh Pha Ngan for about 10 weeks but in that time, I haven't spent a lot of time with the kids. They were with a nanny to begin with and then with a Thai babysitter for the last two weeks in the day, all day. We have had a few days together. Actually I found it hard to be away from them. They have had a Thailand experience all of their own but I wasn't really there to document it much. I have been training in Bodywork and taking a self development course that was not worth the effort but you live and learn. The good thing is that I now have bodywork to add to my skill set as a naturopath and that can only be a very good thing. 

So we left Koh Pga Ngan on the 5am ferry... this is how they travelled to Surat Thani... 

We were pretty excited to reach the Thai mainland... we saw dolphins in the sea... it was SO exciting! I was expecting a hellish journey by bus across the Malaysian border. We took the bus from Surat Thani bus station to Hat Yai.. it was a bit crammy but actually it was fine, we all had (just) enough space each, we had snacks... it was good enough. There was even air con! That was the saving grace! 

We all felt a little surge of excitement as we reached Penang and crossed over the sea bridge... we are all visiting Malaysia for the first time! We have high hopes because there are so many things to do on this island and we are all in great need of museums, architecture, good conversations, walking and talking and soaking up the culture. We've missed home ed! 

Coronascape from Thailand!

THAT was an adventure... This may be a long post as it covers a whole month... Once we arrived in Penang we realised very quickly that Cor...