Friday, January 30, 2009

home frigid home


We are back in the flat, trying to get it set back up and livable. Basically, it’s just like when we first moved in except the furniture is already there. Pretty much everything else has to be hoisted back into shelves, cabinets and onto the walls. My whole body hurts from re-hanging curtains, moving books, changing and washing linens and re-establishing the kitchen yesterday. Rich wanted me to come home early from work today to ‘help him’ work on the house, and I must admit I laughed rather sarcastically. What the hell was I doing all day yesterday? Help him indeed. It’s all I’ve done for two days.


Of course, right now, we sort of have to keep moving in the flat otherwise it’s too cold. The floor heat is not working, so it was 61 degrees in there all day yesterday and last night (with a brief bump up to 65 after constant borrowed electric heater usage). When I stopped moving I froze. So I danced and organized.  A plumber came to inspect the heating pipes (it’s under floor hot water) and some of the pipes were low on water, so I hope that helps. Otherwise, I don’t know WHAT to do. (Seems like a good evening for the pub.)


This week is coming up to be very, VERY cold. Highs of 10-14 fahrenheit, lows at 6. Brrrrr……. So obviously we need heat. This cold weather is scary for another reason…all this snowing, warming, snowing, melting and refreezing has ended up with some people I know getting fairly badly hurt when they fall on the ice. And these are not old people, these are incredibly athletic people. A woman I work with, a former stunt person for films you have definitely heard of, fell crossing the street and broke her ankle. So, yeah, people, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


The good news in all this is that we FINALLY get to unpack and look at all the goodies we bought in our recent ravels. I eagerly, and with great ceremony, unwrapped the Dakon game I bought on Java yesterday. It’s so beautiful. I forgot how gorgeous it is, as it’s been wrapped in newspaper for a month and looked like a lumpy two headed mummy of a cat. But unwrapped, all the gorgeous color and gold leafing and dragon heads glow and I found myself saying ‘ah’ with pleasure when I got to see it again after so long. I remembered why I fell in love with it, HAD to have it and why I schlepped that damned cumbersome thing around for so long! (before and after pictures to follow.)


I’ll also get to hang all the gorgeous textiles, paintings and hangings I got as well. Since our flat is 75% windows, it will be hard to find the wall space, but believe me, they are all getting put up and displayed. Rich has about a metric ton of stone stuff he bought for which shelf space will need to be found as well. He always comes back from travels with rocks, carvings and things that are very heavy yet strangely fragile. Makes my shoe habit positively sensible. (Yes, I did buy 5 pairs of shoes in Thailand and Bali, including a pair of painted and etched leather dragon sandals. Yeah, dragons, even spitting fire from their little leather dragon mouths!)


All the shoes I bought? Sandals. Somehow it’s just not as much fun buying boots. Hey, only 5 more months till I can wear them!






After, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Thing of beauty freed from its shell!


Before, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Dakon game from Java as I have looked at and schlepped for a month.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

No Place Like Home

We have been given back the keys to our flat and we are moving stuff over.

Well, Rich is moving stuff over, he's kind of in a frenzy right now. I'm packing up and grumbling. The builders said they'd help me move stuff tomorrow, so I have bagged/packed/boxed up everything I could find and will get the rest over tomorrow with the help of a couple strong Norwegians. I had to take the day off work, they want us out of the temp flat by tomorrow night (our place having been finished today) and we just could not do it in an evening. Amazing how much we managed to get over here even though we've only been here for 21 days. Rich went sort of crazy and brought over everything he ever thought he could not live without, which ended up being a lot. I, on the other hand, have learned how very little I actually need, in general, though apparently 4 different kinds of shampoo, face cream and shower gel are still a necessity for me. A gal needs her variety.

It's none too soon for me to get the hell out of this temporary flat. While it's not a bad place, it's nowhere near as nice as our own place. This was brought fiercely home to me tonight, when, as I was loading the dishwasher, it tumped forwarded and everything rolled out. I mean it just face planted right out of the cabinet onto the floor. A whole damned dishwasher. Talk about a "What the fuck?" moment. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I was rather stunned. I just sort of shoved it back into the cabinet and rolled the trays and such back in, and it seems to be working ok. Maybe someone ought to look at it.

After we are gone, of course. I'll be back home, in my bathtub, with a dishwasher that stays put.

Monday, January 26, 2009

25 things about me

This meme is making its way around Facespace, so I decided it made a good blog post as well. (OKok, I'm lazy. Whatever. Bite me. I'm still trying to get my hair out of its pins from Saturday night!)

1) I'm not afraid of heights. They just don't bug me.

2) I am afraid of: things with exoskeletons or more than 4 legs, monkeys, simians, apes, etc. (Monkeys are seriously evil.) I also don't like crowds.

3) Unlike many women, I don't generally crave chocolate and if I do, I just want one bite.

4) I'm 5'10". I don't know what that is in centimeters. My shoes usually hike me up an inch or two, to hover around 6 feet...I like that.

5) I don't wear stilettos. EVER. In fact, I don't understand women who do. Why would you subject your feet (and, sometimes, the feet of others) to that?

6) I'm still not sure about being 40. I don't think I like it.

7) The older I get, the easier I find it is to do things. Fear? No longer applies.

8) Modesty, shyness, self-consciousness and, maybe unfortunately, self censorship also have fallen by the wayside.

9) I curse like a fuckin' sailor.

10) I was very restless and angry for a few years, trying to work out what I believed in, who I thought I was, what did I want out of my life, what was expected of me., etc. I'm more mellow now. It'll all work itself out, I'll just enjoy the ride.

11) I believe that I am a very lucky person. A Buddhist monk told me I am one of "Buddha's chosen".

12) I've gone from being a big worrier to not worrying at all. It's very refreshing, not worrying.

13) I wear a 9 1/2 shoe. Not 10, not 9,... but 9 1/2. My feet are bony and skinny. (Wonder why that doesn't carry to the rest of me?)

14) I do not eat cooked fruit. At all. Not cobbler, pie, baked, in ice cream, boiled, anything. Fresh (slightly underripe) or not at all.

15) I am a WHORE for yeasty bread. Buttered yeast rolls, Norwegian boller, oh man I just CAN'T resist them.

16) I'm really damned nearsighted. Now I also seem to be getting farsighted. I am dreading using reading glasses.

17) I've been to London over 35 times in the past few years. I can now get around a large portion of it without a map and know it better than many natives. Someday I will live there, I promise.

18) It took me many years to like Norway, but I do now. Except the winters/early spring. And late fall. Summers are good.

19) I am the family black sheep liberal. They still love me, though.

20) My family on my Dad's side were involved in the founding of US Steel. They also had the largest mule dealership in the country in the 19th century and invented a car in the 19 teens. Mules obviously were not a long term transportation option. Neither was the car. My last name is not Ford, so there ya go.

21) My Mom's mom's family (she's German) were wealthy brewers in Eastern Germany who lost everything when the Iron Curtain came down. They finally got some reparations in the 90's.

22) My mom's dad's family were French German (Alsace) and were court musicians in the 17th and 18th centuries.

23) I can't handle hypocrites, religious or political zealots, and pretentious people. Pretentious people are just people with low self esteem who talk themselves up too much. The only way you convince me of your worth is by your actions, not your words.

24) I could eat Vietnamese food every day.

25) My favorite parts of me are my hands, eyes, waist and sense of humor.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Me in me fancy dress

Me in me fancy dress, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Why I love the English...they live in such silly named places!

“In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high. But Britain is full of them. Ask the residents of Titty Ho, North Piddle, Spanker Lane or Penistone.”………


I totally want to live on Butt Hole Road!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

the Onion is scarily prophetic

My friend Grant sent me this article. (Well, ok he posted it on his blog and I am now reposting it.)

It's from The Onion, from 2001, about George W Bush.

Read it and wonder at the scarily prescient predictions. Did they have a psychic on staff or something? Wow. It kind of freaks me out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Auspicious beginnings

OK, it's making me very happy to check the news today.

In Obama's first 5 hours on the job he has already:
  • Frozen all George Bush's "midnight rules", including one that would allow the carrying of concealed weapons in national parks, and one that would stop "discrimination" against docs and nurses in hospitals to refuse abortions or contraceptives on religious grounds. .
  • Frozen salaries of White house aides who make over 100k.
  • Instituted strict new lobbying rules.
  • Instituted new ethics rules.
  • Suspended trials at Guantanamo.
  • Instructed military chiefs in Iraq to find out how to stop the war.
Seriously, in a 5 hour period the guy has done more good for the US than Bush did in his 8 years.

He's so worth his salary. Have you ever heard of anyone who ever had a more productive first day on the job? It's all I can do to get my pencils sharpened and find out how the coffee machine works!

Random post

I haven’t done a random post in a while, so, as I have a few non-related topics to write about, might as well throw them all in the basket here!


  • Inauguration. Was that great or what? I went to a Democrats Abroad party at the Hard Rock Oslo last night. The party started at 8pm, they were showing a rerun of the event. I got there around 6:30 so was able to catch the very end of the ceremony live. The national anthem? Made me cry! I couldn’t believe I was being such an emotional freak, but, damn, it felt like release, and it felt like home, and it felt like a tie with an America I remember and grew up in, not the one that it has become. So, yeah, I cried. I cried harder when I realized I was getting filmed by the local news, and I can’t sing worth a damn and they were recording me, so that was embarrassing. I met my friend Elaina there and we wolfed down nachos (still tasty but a bit undercooked, all the cheese slid down on one side of the pile of chips and was not melted, which was a bummer. I like evenly distributed nachos!). There were lots of Americans there, especially what seemed like loud New Yorkers and New Jerseyites, but it was nice to be with people who I understood intrinsically and we could share the excitement in a truly American way. I also talked with a couple of other bloggers there, Tressa, from American in Norway, who I have met before, and Corinne, from Northern Natterings, who is pretty new to Norway and seems very cool. I think we might want to plan a Blogger Gather some time, for all us expats, American and otherwise, in Norway. Anyone?


  • Blogs. Speaking of blogs, I’m always impressed with other people’s blogs. I am a lazy blogger, it’s more of a writing exercise and a diary than anything, so when I see other blogs where the bloggers have really put in time and effort on boosting their readership and making pretty backgrounds, and stuff, I always sort of wonder, why am I not doing that? Then I remember, oh yeah, I’m lazy. I don’t think I want 1 million readers, that seems like work, I’m happy with a couple hundred thousand (eek!). I’m one of the older (since 2004!) expat bloggers in Norway, I’m so proud to see new ones coming in and really making a go of it. (But I am also a little been there done that, if I can admit that, as I felt exactly the same as them when I got here, sort of confused and curious and a little lost, but eager to get going on the expat adventure as well. It’s like rereading my thoughts when I got here, reading their blogs.) Maybe I should network more, but it’s all I can do to keep up with my blog reading, I just don’t have energy to comment that often. Plus I am blocked from all blogs or networking at work, and only have a bit of time in the evening to do my blog catch up/writing/reading, as I have to also let Rich use the computer at some point. So I will just motor on with my little blogspot, and keep it small and simple. I did add Tressa and Corinne to my blog roll on the side bar, though. Welcome gals!


  • Snow. Holy shit! We got pounded with snow this week. I mean, wow. Snow after snow, it took days for the snow plows to work through it all and even then a lot of people just couldn’t get out to work on Monday. And then it snowed again all night Monday into Tuesday. I’ve never seen so much fall all at once. As so often happens, though, after a big snow fall it warms up just enough to melt a lot of it and turn it mushy. Don’t get me wrong, there are piles and piles left, but now instead of walking on fun crunchy light snow, we are walking on wet icy mud and water. Really hard to wear cute shoes when there are three inches of snow sludge on the sidewalk!


  • Travels. Got some travel lined up. Rich and I are going to Paris for Valentine’s day. Paris is not exactly balmy then, but hey, it’s Paris for Valentine’s day. I am already tasting the steak frittes. Mmm….beef and wine. And I think I am going to spend a lot of time in the Marais and in St Germain this time. We’ve got a hotel in Montparnasse. Just call me Kiki.  Later in March we’re booked to go back to Munich for the Starkbierfest, we had such a good time last year, we’ve managed to cadge some more friends into going and maybe we can get pictures of people other than me dancing on tables! And for Easter I am going to the US to visit my parents, haven’t been there in a while (my parents’ house) and it seems time. Usually it’s so expensive to travel over Easter from Norway, as everyone leaves the country then and everything is closed for five days, but for some reason flights to the US are extremely reasonable, so I thought, what the hell. Target, here I come!


  • Life. My hives have mostly disappeared. I still have some red spots but they are fading. I have some scratches on the skin on my arms and back where I just couldn’t help itch, I hope they fade by this weekend as we’ve got a party to go to where I am wearing a slinky backless dress. A scarred back would not look nice. As you saw from the photo, our apartment is still all torn up. Some progress is being made, the bedrooms and laundry room were just newly repainted, so I guess they are done in there? I still don’t have access to anything. I am SO SICK of the skeleton wardrobe I have right now. Gah! They told us it will take a week longer than they planned (I expected delays) and that there will be some other work ongoing even when we get back in to our flat that will take another month or so, but from the outside. Damn. I just want to unpack all my goodies from Thailand/Java/Bali, and get sorted again. I also want to go through my 1600+ pictures. The internet in the temp flat is a bit wonky, so once we get back to our own fast connection I can upload pics to Flickr.


I think that is all for now in Random Land. Overall things are pretty boring right now. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Obama Day!

Just want to wish everyone in the US a happy inauguration day. May you have some time at work to watch the festivities. Or if you are in Washington, stay warm and safe and enjoy your living history!

We'll be watching from here, I promise.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Now, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Here is our flat now. Sigh.


Before, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Here's our living room before the work.

Deep snow

Deep snow, originally uploaded by karlakp.

See how deep the snow is at the train platform? Check out the girl seated on the snowy bench! She's wearing tall boots buried up to her calves. I've never seen this much snow fall in one go.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Today, originally uploaded by karlakp.


Poof the Magic Karla

Not much to report, really.

The hives seem to be fading, though my upper lip is swollen and puffy. It happened to me once that I broke out in hives, but it only affected my upper lip, so that it swelled to 4 times its normal size and I looked like Melanie Griffith. Not nice.

This time it's only mildly swollen, which honestly looks kind of nice. I have never had much of an upper lip so a small enhancement is a bonus. However, my lips are so chapped they are cracking, so my new upper lip just looks a bit sordid.

Last week was NOT a pretty week for me. One friend suggested I call in gross to work. I was thinking either that or call in ugly. Wonder if that is covered under my sick pay plan? Calling in ugly?

Went out to the pub Friday night and had a bit too much red wine. I was the only girl with all the usual boys, so the red wine kept comin' and Karla's no's turned to yesh's. I usually limit myself to 2 glasses there, as somehow booze from that pub causes much worse hangovers than drinks anywhere else. I let my guard down, though, and that wine just went down easy. It was an odd night, there are some strange characters who haunt that place, sometimes it's entertaining and other times it can be wierd or even scary. Friday was just strange.

It's been snowing for three days now, and though usually on snowy days I use it as an excuse to stay in read a book and be a slug, I have plans today so must motivate. Happy Birthday Elaina! Yes, I am braving the weather for you! See how much you mean to me?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Seriously, what fresh hell is this?

I am covered in hives from head to toe. I think my forehead is clear, but that is about the only place that is not covered in itchy red spots.

I got to go to the pharmacy AGAIN, for prescription antihistamines, after a visit to the doctor, who thinks it's a reaction to antibiotics I took a week ago. Whatever, I am a red itchy fiend. The pharmacist rather half-heartedly read out the instructions to me, she obviously was not that excited as this drug was not ass/crotch/mushroom/sex related. No loud voice, nothing like that, just a muttered, "Take up to three times a day as needed, may make you sleepy (yawn)".

Meantime I am standing there like an anxious monkey doing yoga, trying desperately to scratch all the itches on my body, most of them being in places like my chest, the back of my thigh and that little place you can never quite get in the very middle of your back.

My right arm stretching awkwardly to scratch my back, the right toe locked into the back of the knee scratching back there, and the left hand scratching the front of my right leg. In Yoga this is called "Monkey Pretend He Is Flamingo Pose". I call it, "Karla Wishes She Has 6 Hands Pose".

Heh, and guess what the doctor also said? "Take baths for relief". Huh. Yeah, I would do that except my bathtub is presently under about 50 yards of plastic and plaster as my apartment is shredded from the inside out. First time I ever had a medical reason to lounge in the tub, and I don't currently have one. There is irony here, somewhere. I can feel it.

Is 2009 over yet? So far I am not a fan!

Monday, January 12, 2009

is it just me?

Ok, so has this happened to you......

You go to a pharmacy to get something of a personal nature for an embarrassing problem. (Ass cream, itchy girl bits cream, wart cream, birth control of any kind, Midol, things to make you either go to the bathroom or stop going to the bathroom, athlete's foot cream, etc etc, you get the picture? I'm not gonna be specific here, ok?)

Depending on the country you are in, you manage to find the item you are looking for after a bit of trial and error ("anus" is pretty much "anus" in every country, fyi, not that THAT is what I was looking for, I was just curious. Oh, AND, in an interesting sidenote, the Norwegian word for a fungus (as in yeast infection) or a wart is "sop", which also means mushroom. I see this all the time in ads, so now I think of warts and yeast infections as mushroom infections, which you really don't want those images in your head, trust me. But I digress, and once again, I do not gives specifics on my purchase of a personal nature of today.)

Ok, anyhow, so, you find the item you need, after much time and embarrassment looking at all the naughtier parts of the pharmacy. You manage to avoid the helpful roaming pharmacist (always there, helpful, like a buzzing fly, when you really just want to hide and not be seen, why is that?) and grab your item. Items like this are always named Anusol, Vagitol, Wartalicious, Proctosol or Fungistin, by the way. You just can't mistake what they are for. No matter how hard you try.

You go to pay....head down, trying to act like maybe it's not for you, it's just a random purchase, along with some lotion, some gum and a bottle of vitamins. You know, just in case you might need it SOMEDAY..... hmm, your carefully planned facial expression says, doesn't this look interesting from a cultural perspective?

The pharmacist rings through your other items, gets to the thing you really want to pretend you don't need though you desperately, painfully do, and holds it up to the light to read the instructions to you, OUT LOUD, while detailing which AFFECTED AREA it should be applied to, and HOW MANY TIMES A DAY using WHICH METHOD (usually finger, which should be obvious and unstated yet they ALWAYS STATE IT). This is done in a LOUD AUTHORITARIAN VOICE that can be HEARD FOR BLOCKS in the very small community you live in.

They all do it. I think they are trained to do it in school. In every country in every part of the world.

I can just see them:

(Pharmacist sees person holding, say, ass cream, not that that is what I bought).

Pharmacist inner monologue: Oh, here's a good one. Ass cream! I love ass cream! Hmm, ok, so, how can I best educate this person on the usage of ASS CREAM? Oh please oh please come check out in MY lane so I can tell you all about ASS CREAM! Yeay, she's coming my way! I get to tell her about ASS CREAM! Woo!

I'm sure I made her day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Me too!

Me too!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I was much nicer today

I always protest vociferously (love that phrase by the way) upon return to Norway from a winter holiday. It's my thing. But I usually bounce back pretty quick. Too much effort to be mopey, you know?

Today I was almost on the verge of pleasant at work. This was helped, of course, by my being able to prank my boss bigtime. I love photoshop. Well, I love my co-worker's usage of photoshop with the pictures I provide her, as I don't actually need photoshop with my job. She and I however, come up with some damned good photoshopped pranks on coworkers. Today's picture was putting my boss's head on Robbie William's body. It worked a treat. (He told me he was going to a party this weekend where he had to dress up as a rock star.) We put it on his office door. He took it down pretty quick, as Robbie was pretty much shirtless and all, but we got him pretty good. We laugh a lot at my office, I must admit. Mostly because we are all just giant kids who also enjoy each other's company. I now have to find a victim whose face I can place on Hugh Jackman's amazingly beautiful naked torso.

I was also nicer at work today because it was tacos for lunch. The food at lunch can be pretty dismal, but once a week or so they have something I like, and the crispy beef tacos are on top of that list. Mostly because they put all sorts of sides out, like sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and corn (I now accept corn as an ingredient in Mexican food, it was too hard to fight it so I gave in). I can make a big sloppy crispy taco salad. Everyone else likes it too, even David the Brit who hates everything at lunch. He went back for seconds! I think we all did.

There was a gorgeous sunset today. And tomorrow, that sunset will be two minutes later than it was today. By the end of the month we'll have almost 90 minutes more light!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

crappity crap crap crap...a rant and a whine

It's all crap. Crap crap crap.

Crap being back in Norway. Crap being back in the cold. Crap slipping on the ice. Crap being at this temporary apartment. Our real apartment is so torn up it's unbelievable, that's crap as well. Crap that I don't have any clothes here that I want to wear and crap that I can't get at any of my stuff in the other apartment as it's such a mess.

Crap crap crap.

I'm a member of a book club, and attempted to go to the meeting last night, but was so tired that, after having a meal and a glass of wine (we meet at the pub) I realized I just couldn't add anything to the conversation besides grumbling, muttering, and the odd explosion of disgust at being back from vacation, so I decamped rather suddenly, confusing everyone at the meeting. (Sorry guys.) Went home (home being a relative term here), attempted to stare at the tv for a while, gave up, went to bed and was asleep by 7:45. So was Rich. We both woke up around 6 am, after a night of almost death-like slumber. I was the first one in the office this morning. Granted, we are not an early morning office, so if you are there by 8, you can be the one who gets to turn on the lights! It was fine being back at work, my coworkers are great, I feel bad they have to put up with misanthropist me while I recover from heaven.

My biggest frustration is that I really didn't anticipate how hard it would be to go back to our apartment and get things we needed. I mean, even for me to get underwear or a sweater means moving masses of plastic draping, untaping everything, moving furniture to get at other furniture, and trying to avoid getting everything dusty or letting it touch anything. It's HORRIBLE. I can't find my key card to get into work, so had to get a temporary one. I think I know where it is, but to get to it is a whole 'nuther story. Today, instead of trying to get more clothes out, I just bought some (on sale, of course) because it just seems easier than trying to access anything in the chaos that is our home. It's such a mess. Men working all over, ladders and traps and dust and paint and holes in the walls, ceilings, floors, in corners, even on a wall in the kitchen where they removed a cabinet. They said they'd clean it all up like new, but I honestly don't see HOW they will do so. I was hoping to be able to sneak in and have a bath at night, but that is patently impossible, what with plastic draping, no curtains on the windows, the heat being off, and the flat being a destruction zone. ALL I WANT IS A BATH!


I hope I get more acclimated in a couple days. There should be some sort of pill that removes the "holiday fallout".

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Reminder, originally uploaded by karlakp.

A little restaurant in Bangkok that reminded me of home. Oddly it was on the grounds of a gas station.

it's gonna take a long time to get home

Greetings from Bangkok's Suvarnubumi Airport. I'm in the SAS lounge, using a wierd little computer. The keyboard is freaky, each key has 4 or 5 characters on it, luckily it seems set for English.

Well, it's gonna take a long time to get home to Norway. Our flight from Bangkok is delayed, which means we miss our connecting flight in Stockholm, and as it was the last one for the day to Oslo, we get to spend the night. Seems like SAS is footing the bill for that, at least, that is what the led me to believe. We'll see. So far so good. Our luggage was so overweight it was insane. We are allowed 30 kilos each (yes even in business class they only allow one suitcase!), I know mine was more than that and as Rich is literally carrying rocks in his suitcase, his weighed more than mine. However, seems like the nice people at SAS in Thailand make the scale stop at 30 kilos, as both of our suitcases weighed exactly that...what a miracle! And they even let Rich check in his other suitcase that he was going to carry on, and it weighed a whopping 16 kilos on its own. I'm thinking our luggage overage more than justifies the price of our tickets.

It is 24 degrees in Oslo today. It's 90 in Bangkok. I have only a light sweater and little leather jacket. I am going to FREEZE MY ASS OFF when I get to Scandinavia. I really really really really really really really REALLY don't want to go back. Life in Bangkok is so easy, there is always a way to do something, there is always a yes option, everything is cheap and there is a facial or a massage available every 30 feet. I had a nice facial and my eyebrows done yesterday, after laying in the sun by the pool in the morning, and having a Starbucks mocha. I had a nice leisurely day where I packed all my stuff and lazed around and was warm and pampered. It will be hard to go back to icy cold Norway where facials and massages are so expensive and so "special" as opposed to Bangkok where it's just part of the upkeep of life.

What a trip we have had. In random order I: swam at night with phosphorescent algae that sparkled like stars (and jumped off the second story of the boat to get into that water, mightily impressing the whole group I traveled with), ate dinner at sunset on a semi-deserted island accessible only by boat, and wished like hell I had had my camera; spilled a table full of water and wine all over an imminent doctor in Siem Reap and as the liquids tumbled, yelled "FUCK", as I was all flustered and embarrassed and that word just flies out of my mouth at times of embarrassment. The doctor looked at me, (dripping) laughed and said "It doesn't FUCKING matter!" He was cool.
I swam with all sorts of pretty fish and saw barracudas, which I swam away from.
I swam in the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean. I went south of the Equator. (My first time!)
I visited some of the holiest Buddhist and Hindu sites in SE Asia, and watched as a temple monkey stole Rich's new glasses right off his face (I really hate monkeys now).
I swam in my own private pool in Ubud and ate my weight in calamari and drank as much in Mai Thais.
I got a tan, 2 facials, two massages, a pedicure and, most memorably, a foot scrub while lying on the beach at Railay. I traveled in longboats, shortboats, taxis, tuktuks, golf carts, planes, busses, minivans, and avoided the Elephant ride. (Been there done that.)
I bought textiles, jewelry, more jewelry and some more jewelry. I also bought small statues, beaded baskets, wall plaques, a wooden painted and gilded two dragon-headed Dakon game that I have been hand carrying since Yogyakarta; 4 hand painted wall hangings depicting the birth of Buddha, his angels and himself; 6 lengths of batik (three already made into a dress and a skirt), three sarongs, two bed sets, 4 pillows, assorted beads, 150 grams of hill tribe silver and some hair clips. I also have a hand pierced leather shadow puppet and a gorgeous length of hand woven and batiked silk.


I filled up one 4 gig memory card on my camera (1200 pictures) and have gotten well into the 8 gig card. I named my camera Skippy the Wonder Camera as there is nothing it can't do and it takes the most gorgeous pictures. Go buy a Panasonic Lumix, trust me on this.

I saw a movie in Bangkok that had first class airline-style seating that you reclined all the way, complete with blankies and foot rubs. The popcorn was fabulous. We saw "Australia", a fine movie that was one half Western and one half War Movie. I would like to eat popcorn off Hugh Jackman's chest. Hell, I just want to lick his chest, forget the popcorn. I think Australia should be recut with Hugh Jackman nearly nude the whole way through. I think Hugh Jackman's torso should be on US money, forget those boring old presidents. Hugh Jackman should be a UNESCO world Heritage site, just him, himself.

Um, what was a I talking about before Hugh Jackman?

I forget. Oh well, That's probably enough blog for today anyhow. My next post will be about how depressed I am, get ready for it........

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Big, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Drinking a Mai Thai that is so big it takes 2 hands to hold it! Costs $5 and it's happy hour, 2 for 1! Me happy! Drink #2 just as good as drink #1. Can't I stay here and not go home?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Happy New Year! May your hopes and dreams see fruition and 2009 be the best yet! The picture is from The Golden Mount in Bangkok, a sacred Buddhist site. I posted a wish.