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Diary Entries

Saturday, 03 December 2005

Location: Thailand

Sawadeeka!

It's all smiles from the city by the water (a.k.a. Bangkok) after 2 weeks of touring the north and I can happily say I've slipped into backpacker mode no sweat... my wild hair has earned me the nickname of Mufasa, my clothing is lined with sunscreen, I wrestle with monkeys for pad thai scraps that the street vendors hurl to the ground (well not quite yet but maybe in a month) and flip flops have become my all-purpose footwear - from a 6km hike through hilltop villages to dining in top-notch establishments.

Northern Thailand is truly a gem that glistens for all who venture beyond the beautiful coastline of the south.

3 days were spent trekking between the hilltribe villages of the Akha and Lisu people, located 50 odd kms beyond Chiang Rai. Besides cable TV and Intrepid visitors with whooping 15-inch camera lenses protruding from their noses, the tribes remain untouched by modern society. Brimming with colourful, unique characters, each tribe was welcoming and intrigued by our arrival. The giggly kids climbed all over us and the elderly ladies (adorned with traditional head attire) observed the strange behaviours of the beefy white folk whilst munching on beetle juice that stained their mouths blood red.

We slept on bamboo floors, dined on the fat of the land under the Southern Cross & sauce pan (which I didn't realise were visible in the northern hemisphere?) and participated in tribal dancing performances. One morning was even spent teaching a school class. Without instruction I was handed 6 "senior" class members so after introductions I launched into teaching all things Australiana. However, after Skippy, Steve Urwin and Kenny the Koala (you remember him and Belinda from Dreamworld?) impressions I was dry so I got my students (hey they called me "teacher") singing and dancing to my version of Under the Sea. I spiced things up with a shark attack and hanging 10 on a surf board. My finale was Waltzing Matilda... a stirring performance reminiscent of our Nikki Webster's Olympic Opening Ceremony efforts... although I don't recall a Buddhist monk ushering her off stage mid-performance due to causing a stampede amongst the village animals.

Upon returning to Chiang Mai I recovered with a massage at the prison (the language barrier prevented me from ascertaining why lovely Noi was behind bars), a Thai feast prepared under the watchful eye of my cooking instructor, a cruise in a grand old rice barge and an elephant ride. Before returning back to Bangkok we stopped by the seedy town of Kanchanaburri and saw a spectacular sound and light show over the River Kwai to mark the 60th anniversary of WW2. We also dropped by a backyard Thai boxing session and I was completely mesmerised (I think my Dettol flavoured daquiri played a part)... the country's elite are heroes (only second to English Premier League Liverpool striker) and after watching their bouts up close you can see why.

If you have made it this far of my diary entry you are obviously incrediby bored - back to work!

Popcun Mai Ka!
K x


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Recent Messages

From Ken Luke
Hey Kate,
Good to here your alive an well.
How good is authentic Pad Thai, and cheap.
Just over a week to xmas and we are working our buts off as usual. Tom got his major work into artexpress (NSW version of Top Cats) and has had three first round offers for 3 uni couses in Melbourne and Emma has been nominated and published in Monument magazine as one of Australia's top 40 graduate designers.
While Vicki and I are shlepping away as usual.
Tom got his driving licence last week and is swanning around in my old Saab convertable with the roof down, what a wanker! Our garden looks green for xmas for a change. Have fun and take care.
Love from the Luke family circus.
"Ripen Rie" (I don't remember what it means but it is a Thai phrase? Find out what it means will you . . . it's somthing cool like such is life? oxoxox
Response: Geez Louise it is all happening in El Rancho Tabletop... tell my boyfriend to curb his swearing and road rage!!
From Andrea
hi kate,,,
i am so happy to hear your travel stories. I wish i could have been there to see you teaching the school class!!!

i am now a week into winter...have spent the last 4 days in st moritz and now i have travelled to the red bull training centre in austria.... i have a tough couple of days ahead of me..lots of testing!!.....I look forward to getting back to chamonix at the end of the week....

i look forward to hearing more about your adventures.

Response: ohhhhh and the results?! Ondi you and Stian would LOVE Rai Lay in Thailand - apparently it is one of the best places in the world to rock climb. I'll shout words of encouragement kicking back in the 20 degree waters x
From josh
Hey Kate,
thanks for the email, sounds like you are having a great time, have to watch out for those dettol daquiri's... have a great xmas and new year if i do not hear from you again... stay safe. Josh
Response: Jo is in ripping form Josh - I saw her on TV just before I departed... will be thinking of you both in the lead-up to Torino - GO TEAM!!
From Heidi Leonard
Hi Kate,
Sounds like your having an awsome holiday, keep sending the emails I like to pretend I am also lucky enough to still be holidaying in the sun instead of back working in the cold. Great to hear from you, Heidi
Response: 3 days sea kayaking in Halong Bay and off to Sapa tomorrow... in Hanoi now and I haven't been run over yet Heidi!! Cheers to Jeff!
From Jacquie
Hi there, sounds like life is full of adventures for you. I hope you told the children all abut the kangaroos and koalas that roam our streets all day!! The boys and I have been enjoying the beautiful weather of Melbourne and making the most of the beach scene. We are lookling forward to some fun in the snow whilst visiting Ness, Karly and Madeleine. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and look forward to hearing more about those whacky adventures. Jac
Response: Such a pity our timing doesn't workout Jac - 07 perhaps?!
From Julia(Fiji)
dear Kate,

Your trip sounds ace.... heaps of fun. And you write emails really well. How is Eve and how is your Mum? I dont quite understand the note book thing...does everyone read this or just you?

Have you had pash with any sexy guys?

I am good.... really excited about Christmas break and all the special do's on this time of year.

If I don't get to speak to you pre Christmas... hope it's wonderful and very exciting travelling.

Lots of Love Julia xo
Response: You are a gem - Evie Baby and I spoke of you often... will send you a hotmail x
From Kristin
Hi there Katie!!! SOrry I haven't written as yet. I didn't have your email address cos I think if you had sent emails earlier it was going to my junk email, i only got the last one by chance. Anywho, all is good again for me. I'm back to being my happy self which feels great! Sounds like your having a wild time u lucky thing! Talk to you soon. take care and cheers.
Response: Are you keeping the Genny boys in business? Hotham would be lost without you K so am thrilled you're sticking around...
From hawkesy jnr.
hey kate,
can you put up some pictures of that backyeard mui thai thing you went to?

oh, and did you have a hit of that old guys crack pipe?
Response: Marge ripped into it - hippy of old returns. Have you decided how you will spend summer KICK?
From Sharon
Hi Gorgeous Kate,

Alls I can say is that I am so amazingly jealous of you adventures. It seems as though the tables have turned as I work 10+ hour days and daydream about a life that seems like such a didtant memory.

Nothing to report, I did get the job with the police but think I'm going to stay here for now as it's getting more interesting and challenging by the day.

I will miss you so much at Christmas time but can't wait to hear lots of your stories from Marg. All my love to you both from sticky Melbourne town (35 here today!)

xxxxxxxx Sharon
Response: You are on fire Mini Dyson! No regrets - the opp will come to you again should you decide down the track the Discount Suit is for you - Love you looong timex
From Kathy
You are hilarous Hawksey. You should have been a story teller. Keep them coming. I'll email you soon. Love Kath
Response: I am pumping the locals 2nd Mum - PUMPING (and to everyone else this is not a rude reference so get your head's out of the gutter). How is John? M & I are thinking of him & M is praying to Buddha (naturally!) xxx
From belinda
Hi Kate, it sounds like you are having quite an adventure! Love your work!!
Belinda
Response: Where are you?!?!
From Liv
What a beautiful adventure you're already having!
Thrilled to see the gorgeous photos and read some Katie words.
LOVE LIV.
Response: Lackey Lackey u babe stoked that you and Lackey are reunited xxx
From hawkes kate
Great reading,very amusing in good Kate style.
All well with us.l Christmas greetings,Simon & Philippa
Response: Ditto Simon & Philippa - I hear it is the going to be the coldest winter in 40 years - can only imagine the awesome WM footage for 07/08!
From Jason pringle
Katie
Glad to hear you are OK and by the sounds of it having a great time, love your style of writing and cant wait for your DVD release :-) Have a great Christmas and new year, I look forward to the next read.
Response: Send me the girl's Santa photo and give the spunks Scooter and Sauly a clip across the ears & smooch!
From George
Hello gorgeous, i laughed and cried (well just laughed really) at your diary, what a fab idea. Hotham all good, moved to Harrietville on the weekend all good. Christmas is looming, mum has decorated and I have 10 days off so intend to have a "beach holiday" on the peninsula.... However, have been chatting with Kassie bout a week skiing in Europe (maybe austria or switzerland) end of Feb... Are you up for the challenge?? I still am checking out details we'll be doing it on the cheap! Great to hear from ya enjoy Miss ya heaps... Love George
Response: Hooterville a-hoy! Plan is to hit UK mid-Feb when I tour Spain with Susannah... hit me with carving plans! xx
From Katie
Hi there Hawkesy,
You are an absolute classic hawkeye - always had a way with words didn't you? You sound like you are having an experience of a life time. Take care and happy travels. Speak soon.
Firthy xoxxo
Response: Love your gutz
From Marcus
please try not to scare the locals too much and spoil it for the rest of us aussies that want to travel, go hawksie,
Response: Shovett you're a you know what and I love you for it!
From Nick
Hi Katie, thanks for the email. Looks like fascinating countryside, and I bet the food is pretty special too. Keep up the good work and look forward to hearing more...
c'ya
nick malkin
Response: Am thinking India could be on the cards Nick... keep thinking of your initial reaction and wonder whether I have the courage!!
From fossy and addie
you sound like your haveing the owrkout of your life-good to hear from u and keep up the update-we hope your safe and still cheery-we miss u down here in oz-fossy wants to konw if you have had any hot sweet monkeying around-boys??? takje and have a great christmas-what are you up to for x-mas and new year-what ever it is we hope your safe and happy-all the best for 2006 and may it bring you more good times and many laughs-love, hugs and kisses-
addie and foss
Response: Beautiful bride to be and WA's last time Bachelor of the Year how's plans coming together? xxx
From Bianca Murray
You are hilarious. I think your next job should be writing for Lonley Planet!!
Response: have you popped?!! x