Last October a bunch of friends came to Osaka being Cam, Mark D and his mate all the way from Belgium, Andre.
I don't think they had been in this city for more than 5 minutes when Andre met Megumi. For the remaining 2 weeks, Andre and Megumi were inseperable. In fact Andre was recently here for 10 days, following up on Megumi's 7 week stay in Europe. So to get down to the point, they're in love and all the rest of it.
During my SE Asia adevnture last year, I met an English fellow Nick, who also lives in Osaka. Within 5 minutes of landing at Ko Phan Ngan, he met Lizzie (a different one obviously) - and a similar exchange ensued. They're in love and all the rest of it.
This is what seems to happen to the people around me when I'm travelling - and I think that's fantastic...and all the rest of it.
Let me tell you what happens to me when I travel: Let's examine my stay in Thailand.
5 days of cat allergies that left me bedridden for most of my stay in Seoul preceded a delightful week in Ko Samet, spent primarily hugging the porcelain prince due to unthinkingly brushing my teeth with fine Bangkok water on my very first night. I was then forced to set up camp in Bangkok for a week (6 days longer than first planned) as Kaori got nursed back to health in hospital...she had 3rd degree burns to 90% of her legs. Caused by sunburn. I would never have believed it if I hadn't been there to witness her frying under the sun myself. She pretty much offered herself up as a sacrifice on that beach, determined to bring some colour to her beautiful and delicate Japanese skin, on our very last day on Ko Samet.
This is where the fun really began.
I guess hotel staff easily notice when somebody is by themselves - after Akira came for a 4 day whirlwind tour of Pat Pong that went by in a blur of shopping and Veuve Champers, one of the concierge happened to notice I was on my own. So started the barrage of notes and paper mache flowers left at my room, sometimes even passed onto me via housekeeping. My decision to change hotels and get as far away from Khao San Road as possible was made when I got into a taxi to go to the hospital and suddenely found this particular concierge boy in the cab with me - even though I caught the cab a good few blocks from the hotel. The hotel didn't really care much for my complaints.
So I trudged all over Bangkok to a new place I felt safe in primarily because it said "No Thai People Allowed" - which yes sounds awful, but truth be told, this C.B. scared me. As far as Thai people went, he was quite big and was definitely going out of his way to make me feel ucomfortable.
Feeling like I could relax for the next few days until Kaori was fit enough to fly home and I could hightail it to Ko Samui, I just sat around, catching up on reading and generally staying away from the vicinity of Khao San Road that was until I looked up from my book one evening to find C.B. at the reeption area, looking for me. He of course had my name from the previous hotel and the woman in charge of my new digs was only too happy to confirm I was indeed staying there.
The ensuing night was a long one (more so than my first night on Ko Samui
). Throughout the night were knocks to my door that soon grew to relentless pounding and whispers that became shouts of "Let me in, let me in!" with me filling the night air with screams and the occasional "FUCK OFF!" in response, as well as pushing my bed and backpack against the door and sitting there with an aerosol can of mozzie repellant and a lighter aimed had the uninvited guest gotten in.
As you can guess, the next morning, with a Kaori healed or not, I made plans to get out of Bangkok. As it so happened, that day Kaori was given the okay to fly anyway and I made it to Ko Samui almost incident free...but the story of the small Chinese man who cornered me and told me how he and his friends had been watching me (adding in the places I had been eating, where I had been shopping etc) before deciding he would take me back to China to make me his bride - and all the rest of it - is for another day.