Money Money Money.

28th February 2015.

0400 and up, head into shore, drag the dinghy up the beach and stumble across it in the dark to the hire car, this one is Karen’s private one so feeling a bit priveledged, then drive to the airport, park in the dodgiest spot and about ten minutes later greet our newly arrived guests, The Alison’s.

It has been a pretty laid back time up here, just anchored up in Nai Yang Bay, going to the markets, the Boss Bar, Old mates bar, One Bar and eating out at Heng Heng and Cii’s joint, the Bank, with the Persians.

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Have been knocking a few jobs off, Jens winch shit the tin so pulled that to bits and had the electric motor rewound, the guy at AME was excellent, organised it for us and even though it is Chinese New Year it was still ready to pick up on the day he reckoned which was the day before this mob arrived.

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I pulled the inverter out, it hasn’t worked for a couple of years, so thought I would give it a shot, opened it up, Horror, it is amazing the charger works, all the printed circuit boards are rooted, wires on the main board which is mounted to the base are corroded completely off. Bugger. Big decision, just keep on going as before or chuck it out and get a new one, the thought of not being able to charge the batteries with a battery charger is not a good one, even though we will soon have our new sola panels, so the hunt is on for a newy. Waltzed into East Marine one day and you wouldn’t believe it, a nice new Xantrec 110 volt charger / inverter just sitting there, same size and capacity just the latest model to ours, what are the chances, ends up it was a stuff up when they bought it, meant to be 240 volt and it has just been sitting there, they dropped 26000thb for me and that was that. Hey Big spender, bye bye three grand, plus another couple for the sola panels, geez I might have to go back to work, horror.

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It works a treat, although it took a bit of mucking about setting it up, even read the instructions twice, it came with a remote panel as well which is an option normally so installed that where the other one used to be, bit of drilling and cutting but looks real flash. The first night I thought I had turned it off, derr, so it had a good time sucking the battery’s down until I realized during me morning checks that something was a bit askew, sorted it and then worked out how to get out of basic settings and into advanced, a whole new frontier, which wasn’t highlighted in the instructions, I can now say this expensive grey box is tweeked to the max. We watched a few DVD’s the other day for free and the charger is a ripper, goes through bulk, absorbtion and float charging thingys. Very flash.

The watermaker was the next thing to have a bit of a sook, have cleaned the membrane and it is happy again, which is lucky as five people use a fair bit more water than two. Being in Phuket has been a real advantage as all the brands are catered for here, YSE Engineering has all the Spectra Watermaker gear, and you can pretty much find what you are looking for at Boat Lagoon or nearby. AME is awesome, one of my favourite chandellery’s, plus just up from them is a great little food joint that just pump out the best Thai tucker for bugger all.

Pete took me to Bangkok Hardware, could just as easily be called Alladdins Cave, found the 13mm tube socket for doing Jens winch and some feet for the inverter to get it off the ground. Pretty sure you could find anything in this shop if you looked. On the way back we picked up some Ladies pies for tea, filthy, ate two of them, chockers.

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The last week before we left had waves at airport reef, so hours of SUP action, even dragged the mal out one day, the surf rescue boys joined in with me, Pete and Deane on his two person canoe. Came away with fully sick sunburn to the back and my lips look like I have got shankers big time. Thought I was doing the righty with some sunscreen that was stashed in the bathroom but it ended up being tanning lotion which is pretty much just coconut smelling cooking oil. Sleeping was no fun. Lying on my guts with head at ninety degrees.

Pete and I picked up the winch motor, had a boys day out again, then got back and managed to get it installed and wired up, it must have been on the way out for a while because we can’t remember it being this fast, ever.

We have done a fair bit of shopping for food at the Big C, a couple of fuel runs and all the veges from the markets so we are ready to go on our first look at the area south of Phuket, all the tourist places, I am not sure how it will go as I am not very tolerant to jetskis and longtails anymore.

 

Visa run.

20th February 2015.

Woke up 0330, dragged my sorry arse, love that Fay, out of bed and gave Jen a kick in the guts, Pete rocked up in his dinghy, light rain, it has been pissing down all night which is well needed, made for a hooting sleep, drops us off on the beach where Wit’s scooter awaits, rode to airport in light drizzle, found a parking spot, locked bike, then headed for the Air Asia departures desks.

We waited patiently in line but then realised we had already booked in on line, bargain, guts starts rumbling, Tom Yum Goong spicy will do that to you, hunt out the dunnys, its one of the holes in the ground jobs and it doesn’t look real user friendly, it is not, slipping in my flippers but manage to do the squat thing, no paper, horror, no going back though, horror. Touch the hose thing, revulsion sweeps over me, then remember the roll of bum fodder in my knapsack, unfold out of the squat with a big slip but joy to the world, job finished.

Head back out to go to customs, knocked back, paperwork needs stamp, back in queue, about ten back from where we used to be but wait patiently, offer the big stare to a couple of would be queue jumpers, amazingly it works and they move off to the back of the Queue, we wind our way through the barriers and finally get the all important stamp, now we can proceed through customs, immigration and the duty free shops, then wait, then board, arrive in KL, 0840.

When we purchased the airline tickets, they were 800thb each way, each, came to something like $270.00 AUD, couldn’t believe it then but now understanding it, it is Chinese New Year, 2015 is the year of the goat and today is the big day. Everyone is celebrating not flying.

Our mates Brownie and Leanne grow goats down in Pemberton, good goats, probably a good year to have lots of goats, not sure about eating them though, a bit of a doublewammy there.

The city of KL is closed, the bits we want to go to anyway, Amberon SDN.BHD. our Malaysian Iridium dealer and Hempel Antifoul, so KLIA2 is it for us, I had wondered why the plane was only half full, not a normal occurrence for Air Asia.

KLIA2, as I have mentioned in a previous post, is huge so it can’t be too hard to find stuff to do. First off we hit the grocers for some chili oil, then Dim Sum On The Go, the king prawn dumplings are great, kailan and oyster sauce also, the rest is average but edible and a perfect way to celebrate CNY, as it is advertised all over the place.

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For some reason the keys to Wit’s bike drifted into my thoughts, more to the point, where did I put them, check pockets, empty contents of knapsack and replace, check Jens bag, re-empty my knapsack, check freezer bag, look in my knapsack again, Nah, spew. Go to ring Wit, no service, text, same result. Finish up breckie and go in search of phone shop, Hotlink won, the guy just used scissors to trim the chip to iPhone size, now ring Pete, can’t get him, leave text for Wit. The bike is amongst about a thousand others so finding it is no walk in the park, and explaining where it is proves to be a high jump, I sent a photo of a map to Pete and he has got it through to Wit. I have done all I can, now we have to wait.

All this stress has made me hungry and what better than a Whopper, yeah, Burger King is just there. Bloody good burger and the best chips, sorry French-fries, they were so good Jen, who only wanted a Whopper, ate half of them. A deafening boom boom boom and a crash of cymbals arose and look over the edge of the balcony, it’s the same guys dressed like a dragon, jumping from platform to platform, that we had seen at Straits Quay Marina in Penang. They were the stars that night at the Raja Muda presentations. They are rippers. Another couple of hours gone.

We then go for a wander, Jen’s got her ideas I had mine but finally we start looking for a product that suits us both, thongs, neither of us were successful but we tried heaps of them. Pete got back to me, I owe him 400thb for the locksmith, they had to make another key, oh well at least he reckoned it was an interesting process unlocking the bike and making the new key, another couple of hours gone.

All the walking has my feet aching, especially in my poxy Flippers, so we go hunting for a Thai massage parlour, Thai Odyssey, and both get a foot massage, it was unreal, bit of a wash first then some tea, then more tea, then it starts, thoughts of the last time come crashing to the forefront of my memory, but it isn’t so bad, almost tickled a couple of times and only felt real major pain twice, but he stopped pretty quick when I started kicking. During the massage I had to fight to not fall asleep, pretty good value I reckon. I heard myself snore and Jen jumped in and told the bloke to pinch me, don’t let him fall asleep. Another hour down.

Went and checked the planes taking off and landing, watched one of the A380’s land and taxi to the terminal, huge is not the word, their wings kind of hang down when they are on the ground, makes you wonder how long they will last, all that flexing. Best go on a new one. Another hour down.

Found a new section that we hadn’t seen before, MPH Bookstore was a winner, bought a Malay dictionary and phrase book, and a couple of others by Camilla Lackberg and Kathryn Bonella. The guys, who run the place were wrapped when I asked them to help me out with how they learnt Malay as kids, this led to us all going through each book offering this and that and we eventually came up with one called Everyday Malay. Tida apa, terimah kashi. You should get a pay rise guys. Another hour down.

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By now we had seen all there was to see, so we headed for gate L7, through customs then the walk to section L, then immigration, then hand over our chili oil and tahini, bloody terrorists have stuffed it up for all of us, at least we got to use some of the oil with our yumcha so all was not lost, still spewing a bit though. Walked our way down to L7, the place is chocker, so down to L10 where there is a food shop and a cappuccino is looking good. I reckon if you were going to own a shop in KLIA2 this is one of them, shit food, shit service, shit coffee but bugger all left, they are sold out, except for a couple of muffins, you even had to buy water in a paper cup for rm4 because they had sold out of bottles as well. People just kept on keeping on and the boss just rubbed his hands with glee, if he had any brains he’d have freezers and fridges full of shit ready to go, but hey I’m just a dumb lectrishn. In the end we got a couple of pissy little coffees for rm15, but we scored a table with a copy of The Straits Times which was just sitting there. Sat there and read it from cover to cover, it is always a good read and I couldn’t believe my luck, another couple of hours done and dusted.

Soon enough we are being herded onto our plane, back to Phuket, it is twenty minutes late and the pilot is on a mission to make it up, just taxiing felt like it was a rush, only just waiting for a bit at the top of the runway, lets just get this show on the road. Same with coming into Phuket, we slowed down when we reached the terminal, it was excellent, and in the end we were only seven minutes late. This is when I witnessed something I have never seen in Asia, not one person got up before the seatbelt lights went out, everyone was either sitting there shitting themselves or the pilot hit the button for the lights a bit early, it was like a new world wonder. Still had the argey bargey to get to the door, but then smooth sailing out of the joint.

Scored a taxi, which was passed down the line to Junior as we were such a small fare, 300thb, but Junior didn’t really give a shit and off we went to Nai Yang. Got to the Boss Bar, tried to ring Pete to pick us up, ordered a beer and a G&T, Pete rang back and heading in, Jen had to skull hers with a straw, they let me take my king brown stubby and holder with me on the promise that I will return it today, walked out onto the street and it pissed down. Hid under a Pandannus tree, Pete come and got us and dropped us at Boomerang, the rain stopped, we cracked a bottle of Frontera savy blanc, Chilean and not a bad drop, that and a big day had me nodding off in no time, well and truly rooted.

I don’t know if we chose the right option for our visa run but it certainly wasn’t boring. KLIA2 is an excellent airport, so much to see and good exercise thats for sure, only things needed are a pub and a cinema, then it would be winner winner chicken dinner.