I hope that I am not boring you all too much with tales of my days in South East Asia. I am back at my lovely room in North Bangkok now after a ten hour bus ride down from Chiang Mai. This morning it seemed that everyone was returning to this vast city after spending family time in the provinces over the Songkran Festival period. The Mo Chit (Northern) bus station was chaotic at seven in the morning and I struggled to find a taxi driver who would bring me the short distance to Ratchayothin. Most were looking for bigger fares.
I come back to Bangkok with many varied experiences, meetings and images to process. I never thought I would ever take a longtail boat across the Mekong River into Laos, never thought I would visit an opium museum in the Golden Triangle itself or meet women with unusually long necks in brass coils or go inside a tiger's cage or get soaked in water play as the colourful Songkran parade made its way slowly down the main thoroughfare in Chiang Mai's old town.
I never felt lonesome but I wish Shirley had been there to share it with me. I guess I have always been quite happy with my own company but as the years go by, I have learnt to feel even more comfortable with the person I refer to as "me". Once there was an eleven year old boy riding into Hull after achieving a coveted eleven plus scholarship to Hymers College. That was lonesome. All my primary school friends from the village were travelling elsewhere that morning. Then at eighteen I was off to the other side of the world as a VSO volunteer on my remote Fijian island. It doesn't get much lonelier than that and looking back I will readily admit that I found myself travelling up a steep learning curve - a process that has stood me in good stead for solo travel through the rest of my adult years. You learn to be resilient, self-reliant and patient.
Listen to me rabbiting on. Back to work tomorrow. How about some pictures from my most recent travels...