Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Irish Rover - Part 5

....continued from Irish Rover Part 4 - Part of a series of posts recalling my wandering ways.

After my exodus from Oz I decided I'd catch a few highlights on the journey back to Ireland. First I spent 2 weeks in Thailand for some R&R and traveled on the cheapest bus from Bangkok to Phuket (non air conditioned - non reclining seats) which is highly recommended if you're into a 12 hour self inflicted S&M session. The locals traveled with all sorts of goods they bought or wanted to sell including massive refuse bags full of WTF and live chickens so there's not much room to spare.

It was a beautiful beach spot, but also very disturbing due to the number of local young girls who worked as prostitutes. I took a wrong turn one night and walked into what I thought was a nightclub. There were about a hundred girls behind a glass screen holding large white cards with a number. Quite a few old fat ugly tourists were drinking and chatting in a lounge and deciding which number they'd pick. Very seedy - not my scene - I exited stage left.

Next, I spent a week in Nepal and traveled a ridiculously dangerous and memorable hair pin bend road from Kathmandu to Chit Wan national park for a 4 day safari and a close up view of rhinos (not to be messed with), elephants (ditto) , crocodiles (ditto x 2) , monkeys and even a tiger (ditto x 3) - Absolutely amazing trip.

Next stop was India and the hustle and bustle of Delhi and on to Agra to see one of the 'seven wonders of the world' the Taj Mahal - spectacular! - an amazing structure that defies belief and beyond the descriptive abilities of this blogger. You need to see it to believe it!

Next stop London to catch up with old friends for a weekend and finally Dublin. The date was Dec 24th 1993.

I hadn't told anybody including the parents I was coming home for Xmas.
I hadn't seen them in almost 3 years so wanted it to be a big surprise. As I pulled up in a taxi, I started to imagine the wild reception I would get - Jumping, rejoicing, fireworks, beer! After I rang the front door bell - I could see the silhouette my Dad making his way to answer the door. I started to shuffle my feet in excitement. The door swung open and as he eyed me and then the taxi pulling away he said....

...."Yeah I thought it might be you alright - Gobshite - why are you wasting your money on taxis when I could've picked you up at the airport?"

Not quite the warm Irish welcome reception I was expecting - but good to be home nonetheless!

Tags: ..Irish welcome, Irish hospitality, Irish humour..

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wandermom November 25, 2008 10:45 pm  

rofl at this one. Can almost hear your Dad. Just like mine: "Oh, so it's you, is it? Well, you'd better come in I suppose. Cuppa?"

Thriftcriminal November 26, 2008 4:08 am  

Taj Mahal is well cool. I love the fact that the minaretes lean out from the main structure very slightly so if an earthquake make one fall it will not damage anything else. I love the fact that the writing from the Koran around the main entrance gets bigger higher up so that it all looks the same size when you stand on the ground and look at it. I had one of those bus journeys from Agra to Jaipur, luxury tourist bus me hole. Still it did only cost 80 rupees (£1.60).

Nick November 26, 2008 4:47 am  

That's a very Irish thing, isn't it, that insistence on collecting someone from the airport? It's the height of rudeness to expect them to make their own way. Well, they might get lost in the bogs of East Belfast after all....

Sounds like it was a great trip - apart from the bus torture.

Baino November 26, 2008 6:00 am  

Oh Enda I envy your travels I really do and wish I'd done so much more of it when I was younger . . love these travel posts. No such solemnity on Monday when she-who-travels-a-lot comes home . .there will be hugs and tears and hair ruffling and more hugs and tears . . .I wouldn't dream of letting her find her way home from the airport! And if ever you venture back to Oz, I would be happy to pick you up! (erm metaphorically speaking!)

Quickroute November 26, 2008 7:25 am  

@ Wandermom: laid back horizontal seems to be the description of many an Irish dad

@ Thrifty: yeah cheap as chips - My hotel in the centre of Delhi cost $8 a night (it was a dump but). I'd love to back and there's so much more to explore in India

@ Nick: my parents have been known to reschedule holidays so they'll be able to pick us up or they'll call an Uncle to make sure he does. It's a 14 euro fare!!!

@ Baino: Not long now till your wee one is back in the nest. I'm sure there'll be quite a festive mood in your hood this Xmas

Broke But Still Drinking November 26, 2008 8:30 am  

Your father is a wise man who knows how to save a nickel. A pocketful of nickels goes a long way, especially when hailing a cab.

Anonymous,  November 26, 2008 9:41 am  

I have decided to scratch my travel itch next year - reading your posts just make me more and more impatient

TCL November 26, 2008 10:15 am  

My mom is the same way. I actually like to sort my way home from the airport myself. Gives me time to decompress and think about what being home means.

Quickroute November 26, 2008 12:29 pm  

@Broke: Wise words from a financial wizard

@Conortje: Do it before the roof leaks again

@TCL: I guess it's a good thing but sometimes it's just a pain in the arse

Xbox4NappyRash November 26, 2008 1:12 pm  

Gotta love returning to the bussum of a welcoming Irish family...

NicoleB November 26, 2008 2:05 pm  

This one has me in giggles again :D
I could just see the chicken in the baskets, smell the Odor and see your Dad in front of you, grin :D
What a lovely Chap ;)


Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 5:40 am  

You have been tagged Paddy, check my blog for details,


this is not some form of revenge, you've done nothing wrong (that I know of), but it's a great way of expanding your readership for the sake of a few moments. Please leave a comment on my post when you have put the Meme on your blog.

Thanks for being such a good sport.


Quickroute November 27, 2008 4:30 pm  

@Xbox: It's forbidden to show emotion in our family

@:Nicole He's a good egg but was reared to show a poker face all his life

@Argentum: Thanks for thinking of me I have a bit of a back log of memes to get thru so this is going to have to go on the back burner

Anonymous,  November 27, 2008 4:40 pm  

Gobshite! heheh well written, I could hear it and see it, too.
I haven't seen the Asia side of things yet, haven't been to all those places you listed here, yet. I think I want to start with NZ though and work my way up one day.
I am not sure if I want to go to Thailand or Bali, I will have to think about it though. Probably Thailand. Government sort of discourages people from going to Bali at the moment.
Seems like you had great times travelling, good for you!

iWalk November 29, 2008 9:46 pm  

I love your Irish Rover series, Sometimes I hope I were you! To see so many places and encounter so many things, wheather good or bad, that's fortune of life!

BTW, I dare not give my parents such a big surprise, I am afraid their hearts can't bear it! I know parents always miss their children so much!

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