I spent a great night in the company of friends in Wimbledon yesterday. After a couple of drinks in the Hand and Racquet, we went to Han restaurant in New Malden for food and karaoke. The food was excellent, but the service unforunately wasn't. I might be picky here, but if someone orders food it doesn't bode well if the waiter forgets to tell the kitchen to cook it. Still, it worked out in the end as we got an upgraded karaoke booth and no-one paid for their food. Quite a maverick business model, but probably not a recommended one. Everyone had a great night (I believe, anyway. After the second bottle of wine things got a bit hazy...) and I'm going to miss the Wimbledon gang very much. Also had a smashing curry at lunchtime courtesy of a cracking cafe near Mo. It will be interesting to see how curries differ in Asia compared to the UK.
I took out the stuff I'll be wearing and also ditched some sun cream and a few cables, and the bag is now a lot more manageable. Less is definitely more in this case, I've estimated a 12.4% reduction in the chance of a slipped disc, and a 35.1% reduction in likelihood of me throwing the damn thing in a Bangkok river two days after arrival.
Speaking of rivers, we've now booked our first three nights' accommodation at a guesthouse close to the river, specifically the Sivarin Guesthouse which is about 1km from the Khao San road and about 2km from the Grand Palace. It's very reasonably priced and includes breakfast, whilst not being in the centre of the tourist hub. I'm now starting to get excited about the trip. With the last few weeks of sorting out work, the car, the house and all the associated admin that comes with being out of the country for a year (something the government can't seem to comprehend- "You want to leave the UK? WHY? How are you going to support yourself? You must tell us everything immediately!"), I haven't really had time to think about the trip itself. Now I can finally start looking into some of the fantastic things we're going to be doing. Three days to go!