WORDS FROM THE FAR EAST (no not springs)

Hi all I trust that this mail finds you all in good health and not suffering too much from the global melt down :-)

Speaking of the global financial crisis, I must say that South Africa seems to get a lot of good publicity over here. Also with the world cup and all that coming up, it's a good thing. So far Thailand seems to have been immune to everything going on around the world, but I think that that is mainly due to the masses not really worrying about tomorrow! We will see in a few months time.

While on the subject of a few months time, I am now officially on holiday for 10 weeks. Yes that's right, school is closed now and reopens in the second week of May. Thai school year runs from May to February so eat your hearts out. I have agreed to another semester at the school as it has been quite an enjoyable experience, teaching english to 14 year olds. It was rewarding to see their progress through the year. So I will be in SA for a few days in March and then I will return here and spend a month touring around with my car loaded with golf clubs and bicycle.

Going down to the South of Thailand in the area of Phuket and Krabi, and some other lesser known places.

I have just got back from my monthly bike ride with the Bangkok bike hash club. We did a 48 Km ride on Saturday and then about 28 Kms on Sunday in a beautiful area called Petchaburi, about 180kms from Bangkok.

It's really hot because the Saturday ride starts at 13h in the afternoon in this tropical heat. But a lot of fun as the format is fun as opposed to racing, but still some challenging sections. It is the dry season here, but still the lanscape is covered in flowers like Hibiscus, Bouganvilla, Flamboyants and Frangipani. Orchids grow here like wild fire too so it is really stunning. The resort we stayed at cost the equivalent of R 350 per night per chalet so quite inexpensive too.

As far as friends go, I have a few western friends including from Germany, America and the UK. But of course one still misses "old" friends. I have had few visitors the last few months so am moving to a smaller apartment at the end of this month, also 'cause I will hardly be here for the next two months. I am surviving quite nicely on my R 8000 per month salary but the extra savings will do me well.

Well hopefully I will see you all soon in Sunny SA.

Catch you later