Monthly Archives: May 2015

Next Generation

IT’S HERE

The Cape’s first-ever Electronics and Gaming Expo.

The gaming sector is one of the fastest-growing in the local entertainment and media industry with a growth rate in excess of 9% per annum

It was amazing to see young and old alike enjoy the next generation in gaming, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita and some old school arcade style games were all on offer for our enjoyment.

I’m am not a real gamer but ofcourse who can say no to getting your hand at the new Mortal Kombat come on this is the game we all grew up with and X looks awesome :-D.

Fifa 15 tournaments are becoming ever more popular even with the latest scandals, controlling one of the best players in the World will continue to blow our minds for years to come.

The Cosplay outfits were amazing people really went all out to bring their favourite anime and gaming heroes and heroine’s to life – I don’t know who this guy is but that does not look comfortable hahaha

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Call of Duty and Counterstike were also popular, fingers crushing PC keyboards, orders being shouted while the sound of guns blazing through huge headsets…there may be hundreds watching but once you in the zone it is only you and the PC o_O.

The card and boardgames brought back memories of the Pokemon league years ago at Grandwest but this was next level….measuring tapes and lifelike environments like clash of clans I had no idea what was happening complicatung stuff but for the pro’s this is their life.

CPU, Ram and overclocking were thrown around like the common greeting “Hello, How are you?” – Yes I do know what this is uh overclocking is when you come late for work right o_O

There was so much to enjoy, a family friendly event food and games a gamers paradise 😀 plus some cool comic’s and figurines just make sure your budget can handle it hahaha.

Finally there was the Oculus…next level its like going into the matrix a Roller Coaster ride in the middle of the CTICC putting on those glasses it is like you are in another world…I was scared when it was over the real world would not be the same o_O.

This is the next generation…I’m sure a certain man is playing Clash of Clans as we speak lazing in the lavish pool (you know who I’m talking about right SA joke)…o wait winter is coming 🙂

Sad to say Goodbye..

Back in the busy city of Bangkok for one last ride…

I had a couple of hours left before my flight back home, we went to the weekend market by train where we entertained the locals with our antics almost starting a random flashmob, our craziness attracted a random German guy whom we later lost in the crazy twist and turns of the market. At the market we went in search of a Chang Hat and shot glasses and some last minute souvenir shopping, the market is huge and the heat unbearable (one thing I won’t miss about Thailand).

We decided to take a Tuk Tuk back to the Hotel…bargaining with the driver as we packed it with 5 people, much to the disaproval of the driver. We drove past the Kings house and got to see more of the city albeit holding on for our lives as the Tuk Tuk weaved between traffic. We stopped at Koa San road (a road renowned for its many backpackers), not knowing why we stopped the driver told us to get out…we argued that this was not the place we needed to be and luckily we had a card of the name of the hotel for him to see. Hissing what could’ve been curse words under his breath he relunctantly started the engine and we off…the drive seemed abit longer than expected at this point we were getting nervous looking for something that looks familiar, the gps tracker on the phone not working.

Finally we see the hotel but not before we get stuck in traffic a quick consensus between us all and we decide to pay this guy and jump off to walk – that was on awkward but mad experience.

Farewell lunch in Chinatown, 17 people rearanging the place, we confused the waitress so much she forgot what everybody ordered and just wrote food on the bill.

It was time for me to head off to the airport but not before my last Chang and goodbye hugs from everyone.

8 Days ago I would not have thought I would’ve met such an amazing group of people whom I can now call friends. Lots of memories were made and I am sure some lifelong connections too…..Yes Aisley we are having coffee at Starbucks in Tokyo overlooking that busy street (I’m ordering a venty) – this will give me a huge caffiene boost to take your hand and join in the massive crowd.

Meet the group
Phil – Food/Friend
Roger and Ingerborg – Food/Friend
Carlos and Charlotte – Food/Friend
Samantha, Kate and Dimity – Food/Friend
Kevin – Food/Friend
Alejandro – Food/Friend
Jessica and Jessica – Food/Friend
Joseph – Food/Friend
Dorian – Food/Friend
Alex – Food/Friend
Hannah – Food/Friend
Aisley – Food/Friend

Ps: I am prepared for the whole group to come visit South Africa.

Many thanks ( Kob-khun krab )
Shaun – South Africa

21 Questions

It was almost time to get back to reality but not before one last train ride with  an amazing group of friends.

I got the bottom bunk this time more spacious and had a bit of a view. It was funny as we caught the train gaurds taking sly pictures of us then quickly invited them for a real picture (I think it was the Vietnamese hat I was wearing that caught there attention haha )

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On the train I learnt a new game called Gin Rummy (no alcohol involved unfortunately) – 6 rounds the aim of the game was to get the most points or was it the least o_O, anyways it was pretty funny.

A question book popped up and we all went a little deeper into each others minds the questions were not easy and made us think but was a good way to get to know each other on a different level.

As I layed in bed that night I was abit sad thinking that my trip was almost over, everyone excited about the next part of their journey to the islands but also sad because the group was splitting up.

Still had one more day in Bangkok….have to make the most of it right.

Tour de Chang Mai

The next morning some of us decided to explore the streets of Chang Mai by bicycle.

We rode through the city taking in the many sights, I tried taking video’s on camera but when I checked it afterwards it came out like a mixture of the movies Cloverfield and Blair Witch Project…you can’t blame me though trying to navigate through the streets with cars and people.

We stopped at ruined temple and a leprosy colony (again appreciation set in – humbling experience thankful for the full use of limbs) amazed at the recovery and what they are able to achieve with their disabilities. I learnt that if you ever lost in Thailand find a temple and you’ll know which way is east unless you find the ONE temple in Chang Mai facing north (dammit I forgot the name – guess I’m screwed already).

Next we visited a garden where we ate jack fruit, banana’s, litchi’s and mango – we also got a chance to test our skills with a catapult (I know it as a “kettie”). It was Australia vs Tokyo vs America vs America vs South Africa guess who hit the target….This made me popular with the ladies (in my dreams).

We even got a cool temple selfie with the guide too..

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Back at the hotel everyone went for a Thai Massage, I decided I was not ready for a happy ending so I opted to take a map and explore the old city walking in one direction and that is straight so as not to get lost.

I found another temple and explored it before I got caught in the rain, took a Tuk Tuk back to the hotel ( Tip: Keep a card of hotel or use body language when communicating in a foreign country it works). We all met up at a cozy resturant for lunch before it was time to set off once again by night train to Bangkok…..the journey for me was nearing its end.

Changover

Back in Chang Mai ahhh we get to sleep on real beds tonight, aircon and Wifi hahaha first world problems right Aisley :-D.

Everyone updating the family and friends about our experience and creating a facebook group for us all to keep in contact – thankful for social media….but we still on holiday so I decided to go for a swim where I met two guys from another group who did the Indochina trip (Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia) – yeah I’m sold that is what I’m doing when I return. Swimming in the rain was fun.

Right game plan for the night we going to the market and seeing a Ladyboy show…wait what o_O. First we had dinner where a Chang Tower was ordered, I had a Tsunami yip it tastes like one and ate Squid and prawns. The show was actually pretty awesome (damn you Tsunami haha) we sang with to every song and got excited to take pictures with the Ladyboys.

Next it is off to a Discotheque or club called Soyyellow (I think thats the name – could be the name of a drink too). On our way to the club hanging out the back of the bakkie I grabbed a guys Buritto (which he offered), these people must’ve thought bloody tourists hahaha. At the club we all felt right at home bumping and grinding, first pumping and jumping like there is no tomorrow. We are living a life that we won’t forget right :-D…..We want more were the shouts as the Dj ended his set.

This was another fun night that left us all with a bit of a Changover the next morning o_O

Survivor: Thailand – Day 3

Day 3

The final day of our trek through the jungle this time we were travelling by river on bamboo rafts….these are just a bunch of sticks wrapped together it is like those sucker stick boats we made as kids.

After breakfast and a UFC fight between Chang (Monkey) and Whiskers (Dog), we had to put all our belongings in plastic bags to be tied to the front of the raft. A quick briefing of how to stand, feet apart (this is easier said than done) and we are off down the river. Each raft containing 4 people and a guide, armed with a bamboo stick we helped the guide navigate the calm waters, it was shallow at some points I can only imagine what this river is like in the monsoon season. Left, Right are the commands at one point I almost got knocked over by Roger as his stick got stuck between a rock, what a save though.

The rapids were fun trying keeping your balance was the real test, there were some awesome bails too this is all part of the fun right, man overboard. Don’t worry we had life jackets.

The scenery through the jungle was like a scene out of anaconda, four different rafts floating through the river not knowing what to expect just enjoying the calm before each rapid.

I was expecting monkeys to be swinging from tree to tree throwing us with fruit but I guess I was in the wrong jungle…hmmm need to google this for my next trip, but we did see water buffalo’s just enjoying a lazy morning splash.

2hours 30minutes later we arrived at our destination for lunch and local ladies selling us souvenirs, I wanted to sell the lady my toothbrush but that would be rude right (appreciation set in of how privileged we are).

A bakkie ride back to the hotel to call an end to an awesome life changing 3 days, while we were driving we tried to give out cigars to random people on scooters…..I think this is an offence as the police appeared behind us, the panic on our faces were funny (ok I think it was just me)…Oh wait its not for us shoo.

Back at the hotel, After 3 days, 17 Castaways became 17 friends and guess what there were 17 Survivors.

Survivor: Thailand – Day 2

Day 2

I’m sure you read the first days adventures – everyone is still alive, minor mosquito bites and bruises from falls in the jungle, getting leeched but these are all part of the adventure right.

Waking up to breakfast, scrammbled eggs and bacon…nope rice and more rice. We were briefed on the next part of our journey a 7 hour trek through the jungle but the terrain would not be as rough as the previous day (or so we thought).

It took us about 3 hours to the first village no major hiccups it was actually really smooth except for my waterbottle breaking and stuggling with the stupid sling bag thing I used (yeah I know interesting choice right)…At the village we saw elephants up close and were getting excited at the prospect of feeding and bathing them after lunch.

We went down to the river where 3 hungry Elephants were waiting for us to feed them and give them a good bath, we were lucky enough to get a chance to hop on too ( they were so full that we had to dodge floating shit balls)….later I heard that in the past only the king and his family could ride elephants I guess today we were kings and queens..me, I felt like Mogli the jungle boy.

After that awesome experience, could this trip get any better….yes we get to play football/soccer (a constant battle between UK and America as to which it is, to me it is soccer) with the local kids at the school. The boys were really competitive, we wanted to win but the girls brought us back down to earth so we let the kids score, the final score 4-4, was great fun soccer is a universal language just like music.

The guide smelt the air (this just for dramatic effect) and advised us to get out our rain gear as it started pouring, we were going into monsoon season after all but it was still hot…I won a reward to have my bags taken to the next village by raft for scoring the best offside goal, just kidding the option was given and I took it don’t judge me.

With another 3 hours ahead things got abit muddy as the rain did not make things easier, it was like we were skiing through the jungle. Everyone’s shoes were packed with an extra layer of mud. Looking down was a bad idea as death-defying falls were your destiny, things just got real.

When we got to our next and final overnight ( Mae Tang Tribe) stop I was actually relieved thinking about it now that shit was dangerous. Kicking off my shoes I saw a black wriggly thing on my leg ahhhh I got leeched luckily I pulled it off before it got its fangs into me and they had to burn it off (Don’t worry leeches can’t kill you….I hope).

We settled into Hotel Mae Tang (matress and mosquito nets), and turned the place into a cigar lounge, smoke and Chang filling the air together with some homemade fireworks.

When night fell we were entertained to more local games where in the end all our faces were covered in charcoal hahaha the picture afterwards was a sight to see…

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We watched the stars and enjoyed rice whiskey and local rum before calling it a night….

Survivor: Thailand

17 Castaways, 3 Days, 1 Survi….

This is Survivor: Thailand, when I booked the trip this part of the trip was what caught my eye immediately. All my friends know that I am a huge Survivor fan so the thought of trekking through the jungle of Thailand was going to be an experience I’ve always wanted. I may not be able to enter the real survivor so why not make your own adventure right ( who knows producers might be reading this thinking hmmm we need this guy on our show).

Day 1

Bags packed and ready to go, I thought we were taking our big bags so when I heard we needed a smaller backpack I’m like nah I’ll just take a sling bag and carry sleeping bag in hand bad idea (dammit I should watch more Bear Grylls).

Our first stop was at the police station….wait whaaaat I did nothing wrong I wasn’t that drunk the night before. Oh this is for our own safety just to report the group shooo, the guy gave us some horror stories that he probably watched on some Thai Horror channel or it could be true uh I’m writing this so I survived.

Next we went to a market to stock up on supplies for the 3 days, food, water and other essentials (I needed to get out of this place quick as the smells were too much) were bought before we headed off to the Mok-Fa Waterfall. The beauty of this place is amazing I just wanted to explore the different caves and roar like Tarzan but I didn’t want to be voted off first. We enjoyed a refreshing swim and many group pictures.

Another 40 minutes and we arrived at our destination for lunch, rice and some watery soup which tasted good, for dessert we had (besides pineapple) some banana wrapped in rice. You would think we would have all the energy in the world after that, nope tired and weary we still had some way to go before we got to the start of the trail.

We knew we were close when the road felt less travelled by vehicles as we were climbing higher and higher, this is it we are here….everyone mozzie’d up I’m like uh if I stick with the group nothing will touch me as you could see a cloud of spray around us.

It was about 2hours 30minutes to the first village, the terrain was tough, I thought uphills were bad but walking downhill is a killer on the knee’s. There are no real paths so you just navigating with the sight of the sun (I think that is what the guide was doing)….Tip: Get a Go Pro for things like this as stopping to take pictures can get you lost.

Alliances were formed hmmm I wonder if there is a hidden immunity Idol somewhere oh well let me stick to my social skills and keep to the group before I get lost in the jungle. We stopped at certain points to check our shoes….why?? – Leeches, yip we in the jungle boys and girls these things are hungry for fresh blood. We also saw a Tarantula hole, the guide poked it so we could see the fangs.

Finally we arrived at our first overnight stop, rural village houses built on stilts, toys were given to the little kids and we saw a homemade mousetrap that looked more like a bow and arrow. We also saw how the locals kept themselves entertained by blowing bubbles out of a leaf, yeah wrap your head around that and be amazed.

The shower was a gutter thing flowing into a river I was suprised when everyone jumped in to have a try at the same time – shower hour, I hope there are no camera’s I came for Survivor not Big Brother. The toilet was a hole in the ground, I was amazed at how everything went away once you did your thing ( yeah I took a shit, was super funny holding onto the walls imagine having diarrhea in there, Ok don’t that’s just nasty)

In our room were mattresses on the floor with mosquito nets, everyone in one room, this was far from the luxury we were all used to, talk about getting out your comfort zone.

After refreshing up we settled down to learn how to make spring rolls Thai Style we added two chillies so when it was cooked we could play Spring Roll Roulette.

A banana leaf pipe was passed around for everyone to try whaaat was in that pipe because when I looked again we were eating moths.

Finally it was time for tribal council, we struggled to get fire, once we got it we played mind games with sticks which was fun ( more for the guide Nikki than anyone else), we had to try and win him to get our bags carried the next day…no one won.

We survived Day 1…….what will happened next will suprise you stay tuned for scenes from the next episode.

Welcome to Chang Mai

After a long train ride we finally arrived at our next destination, it felt much better than Bangkok less hustle and bustle and more open and free but still with a bit of a city vibe….I could get use to living in a place like this.

After checking in to our new hotel we were off to another Temple (not good with names comment if you want me to look it up for you)…..Ok fine it is the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Rajvoravihara Temple – here we stopped for a picture of Chang Mai, walked 300 steps to get to the temple, saw lady monks, banged on a huge Gong, Got blessed by a monk and participated in a ceremony where you get a lucky number with an explanation.

Ancient Chinese Prophecy
(Wat Inthakhin Saduemuang #16)
Getting this number means you will be happy without trouble and suffering. Property, dignity and success will belong to you surely. Asking about illness, it’s already recovered from illness. As for lover he/she is very good and honest to you.

Our guide gathered us around in a circle and gave us our day we were born, colour and animal that represents the year we were born, this was interesting mine was a Wednesday, green and the year of the Rabbit.

Next we went to a tiger sanctuary where we got to play with these amazingly dangerous cats, to be honest I was super anxious and scared of the big ones but the small Tigers were cool to play with.

The evening we went to a night market where I drank coconut milk hmmmm yummy, we sang Happy Birthday to Hannah again with the help of a local band, I got my feet chewed on by fish and met an Irish couple who are scared of coming to South Africa….the media just messing up our country damn.

What a full day but felt really blessed….now for the real test the next day was the start of Survivor: Thailand

Night Train

After our brief stint in Bangkok we are off to the next part of our journey by overnight train to Chang Mai (the second biggest city) north of Thailand.

Stock up on snacks and water we wait on the station, 6pm music plays and everyone starts to stand….What is going on? They starting to sing facing pictures of the King and Queen this is interesting, we later find out that this is done every morning and evening whereby the national anthem is sung.

A 15 hour train ride, debates on who is taking bottom bunk or top bunk I guess this was a good way to get to know each other more. It was Hannah’s birthday the next day so we secretly filled out a card made out of elephant dung to give to her the next morning.

It was night time so we didn’t get to see much, the food on the train was not that great from what I heard from friends, I learnt some Nowegian words and spoke some Afrikaans, saw different currencies and we shared stories of our own countries (I realised how little I actually know about South Africa sad, soon to change). Once the beds were set up everyone went into their own space making notes of the previous days adventures.

I took out a book and tried reading abit, could not really sleep, at 3am woke up and saw Carlos also awake we had some donuts and I saw some pictures of England (I guess my travel bucketlist just growing and growing)….This was also an introduction to Temple Run a game on Iphone and The Cheerleader song (writing this it is stuck in my head now ahhhhh).

6am we are awoken by the Orange Juice guy – Orange Juice, Orange Juice is all you hear some of the group dreamt that this guy was walking up and down during the night….or it could’ve been real. We gave Hannah her card and wished her a Happy Birthday.

Finally 9am the next morning We arrive at our next destination – Chang Mai are you ready for us….