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29 January 2006

Gong Xi Fa Cai [Gong Hee Far Choy]

Happy Chinese New year from Malaysia

I'm back in Penang! I don't know how but I am.

It's Chinese New Year! I got me a lovely silk suit with nice button things on the front and an embroidered dragon on the back - it's great!

Today i've already been to the temple to pray and i've been to see the noisy lion dance too - and it's only 11:30am.

Along with praying and lighting incense sticks every five minutes, i'm having to eat loads of chinese food too.

Dunno how long i'm staying here for but i'll let you know when I find out.

Hokkien Mee

Hokkien Mee

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22 January 2006

Respect to Master Control

Maccasoft Prototype model D:K-Mc080881

This is me little brother, Our David [aka] Kidda or www.davymacca.com

Otherwise known today as Master Control.

One hundred feet tall and made out of an Adamantium-effect Polycarbon alloy, coated with a quasi-human exoskeleton of his own design made from Floppy Diamond®™, he is practically invincible to all known stuff and knows it.

Hardwired into a zillion computers through a usb cable in his nose, he is controlling most of what you see when you look around you everyday – although you wouldn’t know it because he plays a subtle game.

He’s more machine now than man but still manages to get by without moving too much like a robot – it’s only his gargantuan superbrain and circuitry of epic proportion that make him stick out – oh, as well as being one hundred feet tall. Well, he’s more like 5 feet 10 inches but he looks that big when you’re kneeling on the ground before him begging for mercy.

I live with a healthy fear and understanding that My Master has godlike authority over me and my shenanigans – or at least my means to relay them to you, my adoring public.

Not only does he have his finger on the pulse, he also supplies the blood, cleans the aortae and flicks the switches to the defibrillators that power the beating heart of jayemmcee.com.

Without him I’d be a lost soul floating helplessly across these exotic lands. It is he who makes all buttons pressable.

Also, he does it all for nowt – love it!

I think it’s about time that homage was paid to this young master and his techwizardry.

Cheers Kidda – you’re the best little brother that Mam n’ Dad ever had.

controlling the world - from a field!

controlling the world - from a field!

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22 January 2006

Hälsningarna från Svensk Køh Låntä

Welcome to Thailand's Viking Colony...

Ok, so I left Bangkok with lots of aches, pains and a bit of a sniffle [everyone in Bangkok was coffin' n' sniffin' - I think I got some germs]. I then flew to Krabi and spent one night in Ao Nang on the mainland then shuftied over to Koh Lanta - Sweden's premier holiday island.

On the ferry, I was the only English person to be heard, and on the island, I [Englishes peoples] form 1% of the cultural diversity of the island. I believe maybe 14% of indigenous Thai reside in the shadow of the 85% of Scandanavian winterdodgers on this, the Viking Paradise.

I'm only here really cos Phi Phi is a bit too expensive - and I heard that this place is a tad more chilled. Absolutely nothing happens here - not a sausage [nor even a Swedish meatball].

Everyone is, as you would imagine from Swedishes, innately 'pleasant'. All the tall blondies' with their Smorgasbord of respectable clothing and Scannie minimal chic, behaviour all civilised and well mannered. These are young people who come to Thailand to act like old people - with their organised beachwear and all important Thai SIM card in their swanky mobile phones.

They're ok though, don't get me wrong - it beats lager swillin' agro hooligans on the Razz for the lads like - any day of the week. My beef is just to what extent the invasion has reached.

From the ferry port to my place [about 15 minute drive] I have seen maybe 5 Swedish flags by the roadside. There are two specifically Swedish restaurants, plus one "Viking Steakhouse" serving 'Scandanavian, International & Thai food' as it tells me.

Some people I met were getting married on the beach and they even had a Swedish priest for the ceremony. I went for a massage on the beach yesterday and my Thai massage became a Swedish massage [by Thai ladies!].

All of the diving schools i've seen offer Swedish, English or German and in Klong Dao there is even a Swedish language school to "educate those savage natives!!"

I found out the yesterday that there is a direct Stockholm/Phuket flight twice a day...[So that's where they hide the longboats.]

Enough about them.

I have a nice little bungalow by the sea. I really wanted another shed like the one in Koh Chang but i've had to settle for a tasty pine-effect bamboo number with a real bed, big pillows, a real toilet and a shower that's not just a bucket full of dirty water. [All flatpacked from IKEA maybe?]

I also have some new 'friends' that live in my hut with me. Well, actually I think my hut is a living being in itself. Every part of the hut heaves, buzzes or pulsates - creating a strange breathing sensation - ALL THE TIME! Strange whispering creaky noises in every corner [ghosts of the washed away people, perhaps?].

In the bathroom, there is always a faint sound that makes me think there is a giant hornets nest nearby. Haven't seen anything yet though. My very favourite though is the New Geckkko. He's great. He's just like a comedy impersonator of the original gecko I had in Koh Chang - only with a bit of a sore throat - and sometimes he forgets how to sing and messes his song up half way through and just ends up saying ...Ohhhh - amusing every time.

The local people on Lanta are mainly Muslim and they're a rather frosty bunch compared to the Thai Buddhists i've met so far. Old women in shops still don't answer, even after i've asked them a question for the third time. The two palms together gesture doesn't do me any favours either. I've been really enjoying Sawasdee Krap'ing Buddhist people with the prayer hand technique - it's great to see that they respond every time and then smile. No such luck here.

The only saving grace for me here is that all the fellas love Muay Thai - so when I rolled in for breakfast with my satin shorts on, I was everybody's best mate - hooray for me, cheap motorbike rental and free breakfast!

I've decided that tomorrow I shall take a day trip to see Koh Phi Phi in all it's splendour and then maybe go diving again the day after that [as long as I get rid of my germs first].

Today though, i'm off on me bike to take some fotos - and go for a swim in the sea.

Adjö, fåravel



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22 January 2006

He he he...

Two quid - stamped, laminated and embossed.



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18 January 2006

Ping Pong Show

Seedy Bangkok at it's best/worst - you choose.

So as i'm in Bangkok, I felt obliged to see some filth. I thought the best place to go would be to a 'Ping Pong show' in some nameless, faceless club somewhere.


The 'Club' was literally a blank door on a blank street and as you're ushered in, the place is reminiscent of a works canteen with some old men half asleep watching TV.

Another old man then escorts you upstairs where you have to shell out THB800 [about 11 quid] and then get taken into the club proper and shown to your seat.

Inside, it was nothing more than a dingy room with some disco lights and a stage in front, surrounded by two tiers of leather sofas.

As you sit down and your 'complimentary drink' is brought to you, two skimpily clad girls drape themselves across you flitting their eyelids and flashing their duds. I learned quickly that much like tramps, or wasps, if you simply ignore them then they quickly lose interest and leave you alone.

All the while, on stage were a man and woman 'getting jiggy with it' in a rather uninspiring way. Both of them with deadpan faces, following a badly choreographed routine. Scanning the room, I noticed a fair mix of people in attendance, including the super-chuffed middle-aged Japanese men each groping two bikini-clad girls as they were slowly being milked dry. Also, there was the 'i'll never get a girlfriend' kind of bespectacled computer nerd who - although he'd obviously just settled for whatever he was given as he walked in - thought all of his crimbos had come at once. His pockets were being emptied just as fast as the Japanese men's.

There were also a few rough looking 'Little Britain' Kev & Tracey type couples [with matching Bulldog tattoos] and then some normal kids who like me, were just there out of curiosity.

My favourites though, were the line of 8 Turkish looking chaps - all around 50 years old, all with heavy brows and matching 'taches & curly mullets. Every time a new show would start, they would all move seats to try and find a better viewpoint. I was sat in the back corner by the way - in between two computer nerds and their four bar girls.

The shows themselves, although entertaining and unusual - were hardly 'erotic' and by no means sexy. Bored looking girls in bikinis would come out, dance for a bit, take off their knickers and then either pull something random from their 'lady bits' or stick something random into it and then fire it back out again [about 15ft through the air!] There must be a lot of pelvic floor exercises going on in their spare time I reckon.

Anyway, I wrote a list of the stuff they did - here goes:

Things going in:
smoking cigarettes [2 at a time]
Coca Cola bottles [opening the bottletop!]
Marker Pen [then writing 'welcome to Bangkok - ha!]
Honking horn & whistle [more comedy than anything]

Things coming out:
5 metre string of razorblades!!!? [then using one to cut out a paper hat to put on the head of a Japanese man]
5 metre string of artificial flowers
10 metre flourescant ribbon

Things fired:
Ping Pong balls into a glass
Darts from a blowpipe [to burst balloons!]
a piece of banana [which was caught in the mouth by one of the Japanese men - Eurrrrrrrrrrggh!!

That was were I drew the line and swiftly did a runner.

If you've seen it then you know, if you haven't and you don't believe me then go and see for yourself - you'll be thoroughly disappointed - guaranteed.

No cameras allowed i'm afraid - sorry.

No cameras allowed i'm afraid - sorry.

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17 January 2006

Messed-up plans

...Ain't gettin' on no bus.

I was gonna go to Chiang Mai tomorrow but all the plans are messed up and I ain't getting on no damn 18 hour bus ride - no sir. Now that i'm 29 I just can't take it anymore - so instead, on Thursday, i'm off to Krabi and chillen on Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta for the last ten days of me Thailand trip - wooooooooooo! [but a bit gutted really].

There just isn't enough room to stretch me legs.

There just isn't enough room to stretch me legs.

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16 January 2006

Muay Thai Training

3 n' a half hours of kickboxing in 30°C heat - 4 days in a row!

Muay Thai - Day 1
Aaaaaaaahhh...It feels soooo good to have done some more exercise again. Even though i nearly passed out and got clouted in the face.

There's a gym just at the top of Khao San Road called Sor.Vorapin. It's realtively pricey [THB400 per session] but the good thing is that each session lasts for 3 and a half hours.

It's great, there were about 10 people training [some of them who were already really good] and everybody was having fun. Well, I say everybody, there was one fella who either couldn't handle the pace of the class or couldn't handle the heat. Either way, he just hit the deck half way through and had to have some cold water chucked over him - ha!

There were four trainers, all wiry little men who were obviously all hard as nails. We did a warm-up and lots of stretching and then stuck some gloves on and did some pad work.

The sweltering heat made it difficult and super sweaty as it's pretty much non-stop training for the full time.

After the initial warm-ups and the trainers sussing out who's good and who's rubbish, some people get to go in the ring and have a scrap. Cos I pretty much knew what I was doing, I got to have a fight. Lucky me, the fella I was fighting was about 6 foot tall and weighed 15 stone - yay! I kept forgetting to use my knees and most of the time kept my distance from him. Whenever he tried to kick me I was remembering my jumping back piercing kicks to keep him at bay [cheers Mr. Moreno].

Anyway, long to the short, I got punched in the face a couple of times and kneed in the ribs and the other fella got plenty of kicks in the ribs, stomach and one beauty high turning kick in the face.

The trainers were suitably impressed with that and they were all laughing at the big fella because of it - ha haaa!

It's pretty brutal but controlled so I didn't mind so much. I'm going again tomorrow which should be great and hopefully i'll learn how to elbow somebody's face off and i'll try and remember to use my knees more aswell.

Also, i'll take some fotos for you all to see.

In the meantime, check out the site of the gym - it's good.

Muay Thai in Bangkok

Afterwards, I went for a two hour traditional Thai massage which was about a spainful as the training - all good though. Now i'm looking forward to a good night's sleep...zz.z.zz.zzz...zzz

Muay Thai - Day 2
Yay! today I really got to use me elbows n' knees. It was quite technical today with lots of footwork and combo stuff. Again, great for me with my TKD background, I picked it up no bother.

No fighting today though but loads of padwork and I got a stitch and nearly fell over again.
Most of the people training were the same as yesterday and there's even a 50 year old fella who's only got one leg! He's got some kind of space-aged prosthetic which he uses better than the real one - nuff respec' to him.

All in all another good training session and today not as achey as yesterday. I got me some of those snazzy shorts too so I look the bizness, me.

Another Thai massage afterwards and now ready for another good nights' sleep. zzz...

Muay Thai - Day 3
Not much new to tell you today except...Arrrrrrghhhh it hurts, it hurts so much! I've got bruises all over - on me ribs, on me shins, on me elbows, knees, feet, forearms - in fact the only place I think I haven't got a bruise is on the top of me head.

When I had to take my gloves off during sparring to show the man the blood that had seeped through the wraps, all he said was "Ah, you punch power...good!" My knuckles are a state.

The good news for me is that I leave Bangkok tomorrow so only one more training session left. Honestly, I don't know how much more I can take. Today my arms were dropping and every time that happened, I got a punch in the face. I guess it's a good way to learn, but a pricey one. I've got a bit of a shiner too. Oh well...

The strangest part of the session was a full five minutes in a neck hold with another sweaty man, having to do continuous knees in the ribs to each other. Obviously, if one person does it hard then the other does it hard in return [to repay the favour] so after about 20 or so it gets too much and you have to go back to wimpy knees in the ribs instead.

As i'm leaving in the afternoon [tomorrow], i'm going to the early training session [from 8am - 11:30am].

I just hope I can make it through.

Muay Thai - Day 4
Thank god for that! I went there for 8am this morning and was regretting it pretty much until it was time to go. Again, there was lots of sparring and non-stop drills and just my luck, I got to have two fights in the ring - with local boys.


I have to say that I didn't do very well. The first fight I did sort of alright but I know that the fella was taking it easy on me. I got some kicks and punches in and felt pretty good.

The second fight was with one of the trainers and he just kept pummelling me constantly. I was glad that there were only 5 people training cos it was a bit embarrassing. I got fully knocked to the ground after a lightning combo of about 8 punches, 4 kicks and a [soft] elbow to the back of the head. That was enough for me. I was dizzy on the floor for a bit and then didn't really want to fight any more.

I still had to carry on training though. Thing is, I didn't even have to be there. I had no obligation to them and I just paid my fees by the day - stoopid. I just wanted to test myself and now i've proved that I can be a nutter if I want to be.

But...it's all in the past now and I have the memories [and partial memory loss] plus a wealth of bruises and aches to take away with me.

Off to the airport again now where I fly to Krabi Province and go and nurse my wounds on Koh Phi Phi.

No more fighting for me for at least a week.

Sawasdee Krap Johnny Sor.Vorapin!

Sor Vorapin Muay Thai Gym

Sor Vorapin Muay Thai Gym

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14 January 2006

Happy Birthday Sophie!!

Dr. Mrs, don't you know

I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to my mate Dr. Mrs Sophie Johnson [nee Hogg]. She's my old mate from Hartlepool and she turns 29 also today. That makes her two whole days younger than me [but i'm not a doctor and also i'm not married].

Sophie [and her sister Lucy] are definitely the coolest pair of sisters ever to grace the planet - and easily the bestest in Hartlepool for their age.

So Happy Birthday Sophie, have fun n' that.

mwah mwah mwahxxx

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14 January 2006

Made it...

But now i'm in sweaty Bangkok and it smells.

So I finally made it off the island. I was stashed on the porch with my bags all packed and then the sun popped behind a cloud so I did a runner to the road and the taxi took me to the ferry port.

At the mainland I had to get a 6 hour bus to Bangkok which was a nightmare cos just my luck, I was sitting next to a really annoying american girl - it always happens to me.

Even though I had my headfones in, she would still talk to me and when I took them out and said what?, she would say - never mind, you're not listening anyway. Aaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhh!

So I got dropped off on the Khao San Road which is a big dirty street just made for scruffy travelling types [which I try not to associate myself with].

I got a room anyway for 2 quid a night - it actually has running water and a real toilet - a rare treat!

Being the complete sellout that I am, I went to Boots [the Chemist] and bought some pit spray and then I went to wait for it...Burger King!

It was good.

I haven't found the Tesco yet but when I do i'll let you know. I wonder if the Value beans are only a penny a can???

tomorrow I have arranged to visit Khun Yai [Elysia's Thai granny] which should be great. It was Khun Yai who went to see the old skool Buddhist Monk in Chang Mai and he said that I was alright [although I was miles away in London]. so I reckon she'll be kool n' the gang.

Then it's off to Thai Boxing school for me unless I go to Chiang Mai myslef and do it there instead.

One thing is for sure, i'm back to my old self and ready to do some more adventuring. I've just got to stay away from those beautiful islands again [for a bit] cos they're so nice they suck you in and it's extremely difficult to leave.

also, i'm gonna try and not write any more sweary werds on me website cos me mam told me off for it.

So welcome back the old, sensible [sort of] Johnny.

...and good luck to me for the rest of my travels.

Bye then.

The Khao San Road - dirty and stinks

The Khao San Road - dirty and stinks

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13 January 2006

Still in Koh Chang

Help, i'm stuck!

Arrrrr...still didn't manage to make it off the island again today. The ferry port is a good 10 minute taxi journey and it's too sunny to carry me bag.

I might need someone to come and get me. If I haven't left by the beginning of February then can you please send a recon team to airlift me out?

I'll just be in the hammock cos it's fixed again now.


I'm just there at the end of the arrow

I'm just there at the end of the arrow

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12 January 2006

Big up Deano...

Just wanted to give a shout-out to the Man...

Here is Dean Friedman.

The man is a genius of song.

Big up y'self, Dean n' your silly songs!

Check him out - or don't - and then die in ignorance.

Super Deano Website

Silly, silly man

Silly, silly man

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12 January 2006

Ah yeah, it's me Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to meee-ee-ee...

Arrrrr...I couldn't face leaving Koh Chang this morning - so I stayed in bed for a bit. It is my birthday after all. Did you know it was me birthday today? Well it is. I am not 30.

So I got up and went to the hammock. I figure that one more day here won't make too much difference - especially as it's me birthday - did I mention that? Oh, I did? Oh well...

It took me a good hour [of me birthday] to decide what to do [for me birthday] until I settled on hiring a motorbike and scooting to a different beach [to get meself some birthday tanning].

Honestly, on a day like today, regardless of being me birthday - happy birthday to me by the way - I couldn't face getting on a bus and ending up in Bangkok so i'll just spend the rest of me birthday here doing nowt.

Can't wait...

Actually, I might have a bit of a party tonight if anyone's interested? I'll be on the beach outside me shed in the hammock just down from the big palm tree with the green leaves and coconuts hanging off - the one that sticks out over the sea a bit.

Me having a birthday - today!

Me having a birthday - today!

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11 January 2006

Lovely Stuff

Charlie chillen his chops with the sun going down...

Mmmmm...So many nice sunsets. And the camera always a good six feet away from where i'm lying, hence no real sunset pictures - except maybe this one.

Man from Del Monte? Just Charlie from the Midlands

Man from Del Monte? Just Charlie from the Midlands

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11 January 2006

Koh Chang - Thailand

Me n' my friends near the beach

So here I am in Koh Chang Marine Park in the North-East of the Gulf of Thailand [near Cambodia]. This is a super island that is really underdeveloped as Thai islands would go.

When I left Penang and flew to Bangkok, I was so used to living it up that I couldn't face getting a coach journey [even though it was only 5 hours] so I bought a flight to Trat. I would have hired a limo but it cost $100 and that's just silly. So 50 minutes later I was in Trat airport - definitely the coolest airport i've ever seen. It's literally four wooden posts and a straw roof - ha!

oh man suesse, es ist n traum, das haette ich nie fuer moeglich gehalten. alles ist wahnsinnig schoen hier mit jan und seinen eltern. seit gestern sind wir auf koh chang. 2 tage in bangkok in einem hotelzimmer mit blick ueber die stadt - ein traum! ich bin sehr gluecklich. jan und ich verstehen uns super! alles klappt bestens. gestern unser erster trip von bkk nach koh chang. ging alles super, ich bin die navigateuse und jan der fahrer ne, wie es sich gehoert.

allerliebsten dank fuer dein abschiedsgeschenk. ich werde es immer bei mir tragen. i miss u so much binecake! ich knutsch dich feste und lass bald wieder von mir hoeren! hier ist noch nicht soooo viel passiert und wir bleiben auch erstmal auf der insel und machen urlaub. meine suesse, bis spater, dicken druecker, deine claudi

Wierd, I just pressed 'paste' on me keyboard to change paragraphs and this whole German thing came up. I'm gonna leave it on here now cos it's funny [dunno what it says though].

So where was I?

Oh yeah, Trat Airport - ha! The security guard had a hawaiian shirt on and drove a golf cart - it's great.

When I finally got onto the island [after a quick boat ride] I met me mate Charlie, some kid I bumped into in Phnom Penh - he's alright [looks like Tom Jones though]. Me n' Charlie then hired some sheds on the beachfront.

It's just a wooden box with a sort of bed in it, a fan, a mozzie net and I always have to say hello to every kind of bug, ant and spider, other things like spiders and their mates and their mates' cousins too - just when I want to go to bed.

The worst is when I picked up my toothbrush holder and it was literally jam-packed with little ants that had climbed in through the little hole and were all cleaning their little ant teeth on it. Now i'm usually alright with just a couple - but I thought that between 200-300 ants in one toothbrush holder was taking the piss a bit - so I kicked them all in. One by one they perished; and for what? For being greedy. If just 10 or 20 were there then I would have laughed and cuffed them all round the head and gave them a question to ask themselves but they crossed the line and now they'll never know what clean teeth really feel like.


Oh yeah, Koh Chang - my little shed. It's really nice actually, the first thing I did was buy a hammock [a red fishnet one, oooh] and strapped it onto the porch.

Whole days have been know to pass where the furthest I will make it from the bed is merely to the hammock - to get some more sleep - undisturbed by the bugs. Another 'friend' in my shed is a giant leopard gecko that lives on the roof. He sings a curious song every half an hour or so which begins with a rasping kind of siren noise and the after a short pause...he belts out his "GECKKKO" call. It really sounds just like gecko, honest. He does it about five times in a row and on the last call he can't be arsed anymore and kind of just goes "GECKohfukkit. What an amazing coincidence though, that he happens to be a gecko and his shouty affair sounds just like it - Eeeeh, who would have thought of it?

So yeah, it's about 33-35 degrees here everyday and with nowt to do other than sit, sleep or eat, you could easily just go mad.

this is the reason that [as a birthday prezzie to myself] I shelled out on a 4 day Open Water Scuba diving course.

It was good, I passed my exam.

I've had six dives now seeing lots of BIG & little fish and coral and stuff. The only thing is when I finish m dive, I keep thinking i'm still underwater and bob up and down everywhere - also I think I have nitrogen narcosis which feels good - i'll have some more please thanks.


Erm...What else has happened??? Oh, I got a motorbike and risked my life once more on some dirt tracks but managed to find a pristine beach that was 99% deserted. There was only a scruffy dog there who nicked Charlie's shirt and did a runner with it. Oh how I laughed. Oh how Charlie didn't.

Then I got a traditional bamboo tattoo on me foot. That was quite interesting cos we went to see the artist and had dinner with him, then got stoned with him and then got really drunk too - and then got the tattoo...hmmmmm... [again, just kidding mam, i'm making it all up] hehehe... [not really everybody else].

...And now it's the day before my birthday and i'm about to leave this wonderful place [12th Jan me birthday - if you want to send me money then i'll give you my bank details in an email - quids, dollage and all moneys accepted - ta]

So i'm on the bus all day on me birthday going back to Bangkok. When I get there, to counteract the relative inertia of the last 10 days and to stop my muscle atrophy, i've decided to do some Muay Thai training for a week. apparently there's some place where you pay fifty quid for a week and some little men kick the shit out of you, and then knee you in the ribs and then elbow you in the nose. Sounds good to me.

So wish me luck and happy birthday to me! on a fukken sweaty bus all day tomorrow with loads of dirty tourists saying áwesome'and 'far out, man'.

Can't wait.

Sawasdee Krap

Yay - there's nobody here!     Woooooooo!!!

Yay - there's nobody here! Woooooooo!!!

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