Holidays….where to go if you live in Hong Kong?
As those of you with children know (especially children under the age of 14 months), trying to go away on holiday like you used to (before you had kids), is near impossible. In fact, it is impossible. Gone are the carefree days of packing a few bikinis, a sarong and a couple of books…. fuck…. just to read a book without interruption would be bliss (and that’s because of The Captain, not the kids). The Captain used to marvel at how light I used to travel while all his things were pressed and packed in order to ensure minimum creasing with all the white linen clothes (to compliment his tan) he had ready for our nights out. Now, preparing for a holiday, I feel like a mad crazed woman trying to plan some sort of military coup, while my husband stares on in sheer disbelief as I pack food, nappies, baby wipes, medicine (they’re teething at the moment…oh how much fun is that?), teething granules, etc for 5000 days. When you review the amount of shit you actually have to take on holiday, you’d rather just stay at home. Its waaaay easier.
Was packing for this holiday any easier? Errr, NO! We have just got back from a few days in Koh Samui, Thailand (2.5 hour flight but with a screaming child, or two in my case ….it may as well have been 15 hours of torture). Itchy and Scratchy were in tow, along with our Domestic Helper (or ‘Domestic Goddess” as I like to now call her). Before leaving Hong Kong, we had to review, over and over again, which Hotel were we staying in? Which flight would have the least impact on the kid’s routine and therefore hopefully minimize crying on the plane? Could we take a buggy around with ease or would we need our baby slings? Do we use the crappy travel buggy or the posh one (Phil & Ted’s) I had to buy on arriving in HK because my Out N About wont fit on any of the bloody pavements?! The temptation to stay home with the twins and ask The Captain and the Domestic Goddess to go on their own was HUGE! The Captain did not agree with my thought process barking, “How fucking hard can it be woman!? Everyone goes on holiday with their kids!!!” and talked me into what was meant to be 5 glorious days of sunshine in Koh Samui.
Now, what I’m about to say will piss some well established travelers off big time, but, I’m going to say it anyway (that’s the beauty of being anonymous after all). I HATE THAILAND. Yes, it’s true….. and although it deeply upsets my Husband, I’ve said it now.
I’ve never been a fan. I have always had crappy weather, shit food and a dodgy tummy. The class A’s are not very good either, and we even arrived the day before the Full Moon party kicked off. Did I see one dodgy magic mushroom omelet? NO!! Did anyone offer me drugs of any kind?! NO!! Was I disappointed once again?! Err…. yes. You can’t even purchase a Valium anymore without the Pharmacy wanting some sort of prescription. Damn it all.
Sooo…. going away to a place I’m not a fan of pissed me off, especially when my husband is one of those annoying breeds of people who not only LOVES Thailand, but would probably live there if he could. He also traveled the world 5 times over by the time we met, so people who travel annoy me generally and the more they say “When I was traveling….bla bla bla…..” it fucks me off no end and I feel the urge to either stab them with my fork (if I’m eating), or stand up and urinate all over their rainbowed, “we sang Kumbaya my Lord under the stars, while wearing our tie dye shirts because Daddy forgot to send us more cash, after hours of yoga” story (if I wasn’t eating). I hate hearing the stories. I dont want to see photos of you jumping out of planes in New Zealand either. It all annoys the shit out of me.
I have to stress, this is not because I am an imbecile with no desire to see the world. It’s the complete opposite actually. Its utter JEALOUSY. While everyone and their dog was off doing Gap years, or had a chance to go traveling in their late teens or early twenties, I could not. I couldn’t even visit France (had I wanted to) and that was only across the pond for us Brits. I WANTED TO TRAVEL!! Boy, did I fucking want to travel, like a dog needs to sniff its arse, but I couldn’t afford to.
No money equals no holidays, as Mum & Dad (the tight gits) were not going to just give me money to piss off for a few months or a whole year “to see the world and find myself in India”. Unless you count a week in Falaraki after finishing up at University, which to be honest, doesn’t count. Plus for those of you who have actually been there (& lets face it, probably caught crabs off some very hunky tall Northern bloke with tattoos), you cannot argue for one moment that it is not anything other than a complete shit hole. And yet it was the only holiday I could afford to go on to celebrate getting a Desmond (2.2 in my degree). Plus Mum & Dad chucked £100 my way towards my £200 holiday. I was chuffed to bits at the time!
Since then, I have to admit, I have become a huge traveler but as I’m older, and lets face it, can’t be arsed with the usual shit I’d put up with in my twenties, I like my surroundings to be 5 Star all the way. I call it “Flash Packing for the 30 plus generation”. I couldn’t go away to anywhere decent until I got a job, paid my mortgage and started saving a bit here and there. It’s very simple really. I mean, how the fuck do these kids who have just finished University, or College, afford to go traveling without in some small way, being a spooner?? It’s just impossible. I could never do it myself and had to prioritize. Move out of my parents home, or go traveling? I knew right away which one I had to chose, plus I couldn’t smoke my bong at home without a few tut tuts from my parents (no they were not joining in on my daily appreciation of Skunk…. which is a shame really as we would have got on soo much better).
So…. off we all went to Koh Samui and what happened (aside from my son having a mini lose-it throughout the entire flight there, which involved holding him in a friendly headlock for the journey)?? The Captain surprised me with a few extra days holiday there. Oh Joy. Not only that, but we had no sun which was no great surprise to me (ok, an hour here or there) which is fab for the twins but shit for my now gaunt, pale and spotty complexion. Also, I got sick. Proper puke and shit sick (I’m not even being that graphic here). I was staying at a 5 star resort so really, I should have gone and shown the lovely smiley “Sa Wa Di Kah” girls in Reception how sick I was but I couldn’t pin point if it was the afternoon cocktails that had done it, or the ice cubes my drinks were saturated in. Hmmm…..
Anyhow, the kids had a great time although getting around is near impossible with two very different little people. Plus, while they both loved to swim before, my daughter has now taken to screaming every time she sees the big orange rubber ring appear (her floatation device for swimming in, not a condom), while her twin brother now jumps into the pool with delight and humps anything near him. Now other Mums of twins will, I’m sure, nod knowingly to how different their kids are, but seriously?!? This isn’t just different; I’m starting to wonder if they really did share the same womb at the same time? Aside from one being blonde and the other dark, these two kids are complete opposites. They actually try to bite each other and my daughter doesn’t even register her twin brother is there. Very odd. If they didn’t look like mini clones of The Captain, and myself I would put money on the fact that their tubes had been switched in the IVF clinic.
So, I’m back from my brief stint, I mean, holiday, in Thailand. Back to trying to fall in love with Hong Kong. Back to being home sick for my friends, and yes, family too…at times anyway (until they all arrive at once to visit…. they are in fact like London Buses. None for ages and then we have loads show up at the same time… how splendid).
I’ll keep you posted on my state of mind, once I see how next week unravels …