06.03.2010 - 07.03.2010 30 °C
Having written our last blog entry, we returned to our guesthouse to give ourselves some time to get ready before taking part in our Thai Cookery Course. We realised a "power nap" was in order and so settled down to sleep. Laura was awoken by Thai screams of 'Donna! Donna!' by Jim and frantic knocks on our door. Of course, Donna slept through this, but luckily Laura realised what was happening...our pick-up for the course had arrived and we nearly slept through the whole thing.
The first part of the cookery course, luckily for us, included tea and very strong coffee before a tour of the gardens and market. Just as we were starting to wake up and feel comfortable, 3 obnoxious American girls settled themselves at our table. From then until the end of the course, our ears bled due to their loud and hideous accents...and then the bitching began. As if the accents weren't bad enough, we learnt that they had been teaching in Thailand for 5 months, and therefore according to them they were Thai, and felt obliged to lead the cookery course, inform us when we were wrong and give us information on the whole of Asia, including Laos, which they had spent approximately 12 hours in, and had concluded was "exactly the same as Thailand". We were concerned about the four hours that were to follow in their company. To our delight, an opportunity presented itself on the market tour...we were given exactly 7 minutes (the Thais like to keep to a strict schedule) to explore and take any pictures. Having taken a sufficient four pictures, we were thrilled to discover a 7/11 around the corner allowing us to stock up on our new Babe on Tour, Chang beer. This thoroughly entertained the Thai cooking teacher, who informed us we could bring our beer with us for every small move around the kitchen. We felt that we were superb representatives of the United Kingdom.
Before the beer had a chance to kick in, we found ourselves preparing the ingredients for Pad Thai. We had both decided that in order to avert disaster, our chances would be vastly improved if we cooked exactly the same dishes (there was a choice), at exactly the same time, and keep as near to each other as possible. Once we'd finished the preparation, we made our way to the hobs and woks. To our horror, we were the last in the group to take our spaces and were separated. Panic struck, however, having survived supposed torture and car crash the day before, we survived...Laura was saved by her litre of oil by our teacher distributing it from her wok elsewhere. What a brilliant start. However, once we ate our concoction and opened the Chang, we realised that our pessimism had been caused only by the negativity of our family and friends and that we are actually immensely skilled in the kitchen. It was at this point that we decided to plan a Thai dinner party for our return, yes, Nancy, Mairi and Kat, prepare yourselves.
We then prepared the ingredients for the three following dishes: Khaw Soi Curry,Cashew Nut with Chicken Stir-Fry, and Coconut Milk Soup. A lot of chopping was involved, and we were aghast to confess to one another amidst the giggles of the American "professionalism" that we were both very much feeling the effects of the Chang. Thank Buddha, our new saying (thanks to Rocky), we made it next to each other for the subsequent cooking. All went very well, until the stir frying of the 'easy to burn, hard to cook' cashew nuts. As our teacher rotated the room, she had nothing but praise, until she moved to Laura's exclaiming 'You like them crispy?!' before moving to Donna's, 'You like them black?!'. Nonetheless we were thrilled with our meals and were the last ones eating as the others all asked for Doggy bags. Needless to say, we didn't exchange emails with the Americans.
We woke up early this morning excited to embark upon our excursion. We eagerly anticipated our companions for the tour, and were not disappointed. We both guessed American, when we saw a group of four people, two of which were wearing hideous Thailand t-shirts. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that they were from New Zealand and absolutely hilarious, as was our tour guide for the day, Rocky. We spent the whole day laughing at all of them. When Rocky informed us that we could ask him any questions throughout the tour, the Kiwis (as they called themselves) led the way by probing as much as possible into his personal life, promising to find him a wife in New Zealand. Rocky loves to talk, and frequently commented on his heart...favourite sayings included: 'My heart is empty without woman', everything was 'given from my heart', 'By day I am sweet, by night I am spicy', 'My name may be Rocky, but my heart is soft'. We loved Rocky. On the journey home, Rocky made the fatal decision to ask if we had any more questions. As he had one headphone in his ear, he was asked what kind of music he likes. He attempted to sing, when we couldn't recognise the song he put it on loud. We were thrilled to discover he had been listening to one of Laura's favourite hits, none other than Ronan Keating's 'Nothing At All'. A classic of our time (Donna may not agree). When asked about Thai songs, he appeared to make up a tune with 'Thailand' as the only lyric. Considering his genius, we decided he should be saved not for a New Zealander, but for our fave single gal, Mazzykins Warrington - be expecting a phone call soon (or alternatively a visit).
Back to the excursion, we had a truly amazing day, with and elephant ride, tribal tour, trekking, waterfall, entertaining lunch (where we were convinced not to touch any Aussies, in particular, surfers, but to go for the much more sensible New Zealanders instead). At the waterfall, we were both left horrifed for completely different reasons. Laura managed to slide onto her arse and straight into the water, in front of many many people. Donna acquired a new friend who without anyone else realising, managed twice to approach her from behind and whisper in her ear 'Mosquitoes love you' in a scary and unrecognisable accent. Donna only admitted this to Laura on the second occasion, when she nearly died laughing as the man had disappeared from sight, leaving Donna left very scared.
By far the most fun of the day was bamboo rafting. They took us through some Thai villages, and with it being a Sunday, many villagers were out by the river drinking beers and, we felt, laughing as they tried, and successfully soaked us as we passed by. Oddly, many of them took pictures of us, and instead of being embarrassed, Laura could only conclude that our ginger and blond locks combined with our porcelain skin made them believe us to be English princesses. We are.