The Bish Krew on Tour

Welcome to the antics of the BishKrew on tour round the world. Bish Crew members: Tommy O'Gallagher, Kieran Rafter, James Askew, Tom Fleming, Laurie Howell and Teo Lopéz-Bernal.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Places the Krew stayed in

Some web links so you can see where the boys have been:
Click the picture on this page to see what the boys did on Sunday!

Australia: Cairn's, Darwin
Gilligan's -a lush hostel in Cairns!
Elkes -hostel in Darwin at the top end of Australia

Singapore
Betel Box -backpackers hostel in Singapore

Thailand: Bangkok, Phuket, Patong
Patong Sub Inn -"hope you have happiness"is their slogan.
Sunrise Diving -run by Charlie from Somerset.
Big John's -didn't impress the team.

Hong Kong
Wikipedia -Chunking Mansions -a whole complex rather than just a hotel -so well known it even has its own page on Wikipedia.

India
Smyle Inn Delhi -very basic but also very cheap which is nice! $4 a night with free internet and breaKfast is all good!
Prince Polonia -also in Delhi, run by an ex scooter driver called Prince -their slogan "The Guest is like a god for us"

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Singapore 26th March

Happy Mothers' Day!

We all really appreciate the past 19 years of parenting, ladies.

Moving on. Diving was absolutely incredible. The pictures you see are no exaggeration - beautiful fish, clear water and masses of crazy coral.

The first day was spent grappling with the more academic/dull aspects of diving sat in a classroom, although we were given a quick chance to try out our diving equipment in a nearby swimming pool. Our instructor, Fil (that's how he chooses to spell it) was probably at his most patient during this day and as we headed home that evening, we were all agreed - he was a bloody nice bloke. By the end of the course however, he had told us all, we reckon about twelve times each, that we had "the concentration spans of knats" and even raised his fist at one unresponsive member of the group. Said member, whilst trying valiantly to pay attention, was helplessly mesmorised by the effects the moving water was having on his (blond) leg hair.
Out in the deep we did two fun dives during which we simply drifted around looking at what interested us. We also did two skills dives during which we practiced the various techniques we'd learnt and James was given the opportunity to thoroughly overuse the purge button on his regulator. Mr. Blowey, as we've just decided to brand him literally two seconds ago, was most commonly found skimming the surface trying desperately to sink (eventually he learnt that swimming upwards wasn't doing him any favours).

Fil's apparent disliking for the three of us, we have decided, can be partially attributed to the fact that we had an uncanny ability to ask him questions that made him feel rather awkward;

"So Fil, have you ever seen a Napoleon Rass?"
"What do you mean?"
"Erm, have you ever been diving and seen one?"
"... Maori and Napoleon Rass can be found at the great barrier reef or in the Red Sea"
"So have you seen one?"
"The boat's here"

Given as the boat was a good 50 metres away, the silence that followed was excruciating. Why a certain member of the group thought that asking "can I go in the suit?" would help the situation we'll never know.

We feel we should include a brief reference to ladyboys. They're hot. We're saving up for councelling in Cairns. What happens on tour...

Bangkok was alot of fun and, to our surprise, seemed extremely westernised. We stayed at "Big John's Guesthouse" in Thonglor, and within seconds of our arrival he made it clear that "Big" actually meant "obese" and "John" (funnily enough) meant, "twat". If that's too cryptic for you - we thought he was a fat cockmuncher.
Our wrath didn't stop at John by the way. During our first evening there, as we casually sipped our beers in the living area, we overheard a large american man telling a young Thai employee that she was a "hypocrite sinner" whose only hope was to turn to christ. Shortly after engaging with the man (civilly) we were quickly informed that we too were "filthy, rotten sinners" and that our damnation had been planned by god before the very conception of the universe. Whether he was right or not, we took a small satisfaction out of the fact that he had no business in the shirt he was wearing. Using "The Da Vinci Code" and a GCSE study of Luke's gospel as our source of ammunition, we set about dismantling this poor man's argument/way of life. We were actually doing surprisingly well, but at some undefined point, the vast amounts of alcohol we had consumed seemed to take effect and the debate may or may not have ended with one member of the group chanting, "all religion is just a structure for the weak". By the way, in Bangkok we spent our time shopping and partying.

We're now at a lovely hostel in Singapore and have just returned from a day trip at the zoo. It's past 2am now though, and I think we're going to turn in.

Hope all's well in Bristol.
The boys.

Friday, March 24, 2006

India, Hong kong and Phuket pictures

Sunset at our local beach.

Chunking mansions with an annoying randomer in the way.

QEII boat on the right. Hong Kong skyline on the left. We have to put something ok.

Tommy and James punched me down and forced me to take a photo.


I know what you're thinking and yes, he tried to run off with the camera.

A magnificant sight. Plus the Taj is in the background (hayohh!)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Phuket, March 16th

We flew out of Delhi on the 11th, and although some great times were had in India, the coming change of scenery was definately a relief for the three of us. Having not booked any form of accomodation, we followed our noses and arrived at the legendary Chunking Mansions. This mammouth structure contains tens of floors of dingy guest houses and bedsits whilst the first two floors are a warren of your standard indian restaurants, sweat shops and dildo vendors. Shortly after arriving, we realised that in order to find a room we were going to have to follow one of the many Indian touts milling around on the ground floor. We were led up to a small aisle of boxy rooms on the 5th floor masquerading as "The Royal Plaza Inn". A shrill voiced and rather large turban wearing gentleman offered us a room for 250 Hong Kong dollars per night, so naturally he settled for 180.

Outside the squalor of Chunking, Hong Kong was an extremely clean and efficient city. The architecture was incredible, not to mention the array of crazy gismos most of these buildings contain. Toilets flush themselves, soap automatically dispenses itself and the toilet attendants typically come to your assistance via zipwire. Our three days and three nights in Hong Kong were all spent exploring the city and convincing ourselves that our life's troubles would inevitabley end if we were to only buy a 110" widescreen liquid display television for 14,000 pounds. The change in food was a big treat and although we did eat a portion of chow mein each at a street restaurant, McDonalds milkshakes were the staples of our diet. Sue us.

After Hong Kong's brief cameo in our travels we made our way to Phuket, Thailand and arrived on the 14th. We're staying in the flashy beach town of Patong and were organsized enough to book our diving course almost immediately (we're starting tomorrow). Luckily we've found a dive center (www.sunrisediving.net) ) run by an ex marine who went to Queen's Taunton. He gives us free internet access aswell as advice on fighting, drinking and prostitution (we'd never looked at it the way he does). Naturally, he makes us all giggle like the pathetic young boys that we are .
Patong is everything you would imagine; white sand, crystal clear water, lush greenery and a few gogo bars to cheapen the scene a bit. Hopefully our skin will soon recover from the 35 degree scorching it received yesterday and we can show ourselves in public.
Hope all is well in Bristol, we are thinking of you and love you all long time

Sunday, March 12, 2006

India Pictures

The place where Buddha first preached (we nicked it).

Happy (d/g)ays.

We fed the deer instead of the child next to us.

The view from our Balcony in Varanasi.

Some Temple.

The view from our balcony in Delhi.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hello!
Today we went to the Red Fort... which was nice.... yesterday we visited the raj path and india gate, for all the generall tourist stuf.... we're pretty much ready to hit hong kong on saturday now though and it'll be a bit of a relief to get some kind of normality back.. Tommy got charged by a cow today, we seem to be doing well with the animals really! only 2 minutes net time left so this is going to be very short! we have burned pictures onto a cd and as soon as we get somewhere with a cd rom drive we'll add them to the blog,
Hang loose,
xxJKTxx

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Varanasi 5th March

Hi,

First of all our linen suits are a big hit (amongst us anyway). In the street they seem to only attract laughter from small children rather than repelling the grouts.

The Taj Mahal was amazing, and just about made up for Agra being the biggest dive we've ever visited. The train station (where we hid for a lot of the day) was exciting although during dull moments I/Kieran entertained the locals by provoking the monkeys into a frenzy. Basically I offered it a bottle thinking it would do something amusing with it or at worst run away, at which point he decided he was a lot harder than me and chased me half way down the platform.

We opted for second/ghetto class on the sleeper train to Varanasi and it was more comfortable than expected. Our concerns regarding James' snoring were confirmed when a very calm looking Buddhist lady started ferociously slapping his bunk during the early hours for the unholy noises he was making ("it's just a cold"). So far we have strolled across the Ghats and absorbed the sights of burning corpses and cowshit and even taken a night time boat trip. Apparently there are dolphins about (not cute - blind and probably horrifically mutated) but unfortunately we haven't spotted any yet.

Today we took a seven hour tour of the nearby Hindu temples and also the birthplace of Buddhism (which was nice). Anywho, we're pretty sure two of the "crazy monkeys" (as the staff call them) on our balcony have taken a particular disliking to eachother so, naturally, we're off to stir it up.

KJT (innit)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Delhi

Hey,
Arrived at the airport at about 2:00am this morning. By 2:30 we were speeding towards our hotel and had collected all of our luggage near enough without incident.
Roaming Delhi today has been a great shock, as expected (if that makes sense). We soon hardened to the situation however and whilst in the morning we were typically surrounded by several hustlers for long periods of time, by the evening we were able to dismiss them with little commotion. The most difficult thing to adapt to has been the need to be quite rude to people whose living depends on being sickeningly polite. Navigating through the city is difficult as strangers (although insisting they are taking you where you want to go) will inevitabley take you somewhere they can get comission.
By the time a bearded man was solemnly insisting that a building clearly labelled "information technology offices" was the international tourist bureau, all the lies and harassment had become rather amusing and was contributing to the overall charm of the city.
In an effort to blend in we visited a tailor and have some less western clothes ordered (encouragingly we were able to haggle him down 1500 rupees).
Reading over this, today probably comes across as a more morbid affair than it actually was. The weather was lush, the food is great and we've sorted tickets to Agra to see the Taj Mahal tomorrow. Viva la Bish!

Kieran, James & Tommy