Category - Life of Finch

1
My 2 Weeks in Bangkok and Hua Hin
2
My First Regrettable Acts of 2014
3
Moving to the USA: Final Preparations

My 2 Weeks in Bangkok and Hua Hin

Want to feel energised, more productive and ready to take on the world?

Take a holiday.

My advice: Go to Thailand.

I am freshly returned from a 2 week hiatus spent lolloping on beaches, soaking in the blistering heat of a subtropical summer at the peak of its powers.

Some random observations:

Jesus Christ, it’s hot

Thailand in April is hot with a capital HOT.

I should have remembered this from living there.

Given zero chance to acclimatise by London’s damp fart of a spring, I can tell you that 38 degree heat is a recipe for an extremely sweaty afternoon.

On the hottest day I had to stop my routine of reading by the pool because I couldn’t control the amount of sweat that was dripping in to my eyes.

Hot.

I’m pretty sure you’d find more salt on my sun lounger than in the entire Gulf of Thailand by the time I’d dragged my scorched carcass back to the pool.

Hot, hot, hot.

I miss it already.

Westerners and their Thai brides

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a guy moving to Thailand, retiring, meeting the cliche ‘Thai bride’, and starting a new chapter in his life.

I can see how and why it happens.

What I find distasteful is that for so many Westerners, this type of romance isn’t built on reality.

It’s a power trip.

Many times I would catch sight of a Brit treating his Thai wife or girlfriend as if she were sub-species. Just because you can exert that control and get away with it, doesn’t mean you should.

Thankfully there’s a younger generation of expats in Thailand who aren’t committed to fantasies of domestic totalitarianism straight from the 1930s.

But for the crustaceans who are… good luck if you ever run out of money.

Mental breaks from work

It’s amazing how the mind slows down when you disconnect physically from your work space.

I don’t mean to take a walk, or go to the pub. But to eject yourself completely from anywhere that resembles work or its associated habits.

By spending entire days away from the computer, you get a fresh perspective.

I often find that it takes this distance to allow myself to drop projects that are going nowhere, or to align my focus on those which actually mean something to me.

Reading fiction instead of non-fiction helps.

Escapism is the best distraction.

Japanese tourists and cameras

I swear to God, what is up with Japanese tourists and their infatuation with taking pictures?

In Hua Hin, one couple would sit in silence for breakfast, occasionally taking bites but mostly interested in snapping each other.

Constantly.

From every angle.

In eerie still silence.

Who needs to talk, or take in the stunning views, when you can just sit there vacantly taking pictures to live through when the experience has already gone?

I really don’t get it.

One of the group even stopped to watch me make a cup of coffee on my balcony, presumably because I was only wearing my boxers.

Normally if I caught this, I’d challenge them, “Why don’t you take a picture? It’ll last longer.”

Pretty fucking irrelevant if they already are.

Shameless!

Songkran public target number one

You’ve got to admire how the Thais celebrate their New Year (Songkran).

Bangkok turns in to a gigantic water fight with water guns, buckets and even fire hoses.

In possibly my favourite moment of the entire holiday, my girlfriend and I were wandering towards Emporium when a nervous, smiling Thai officer approached us with a tin of what looked like Quality Street chocolates.

We were already completely soaked through, so we knew the drill.

I ducked my head and winced.

“Sorry, sorry!” he pleaded, before walking straight past, tottering up to my girlfriend, and slowly pouring a full tin of water straight down her top.

It was one of the politest pre-meditated street assaults I’ve ever seen.

It got me thinking though.

What if you were visiting Thailand for the first time and you didn’t know what Songkran was?

How do you react when a Thai wanders in your direction, blasts you with a SuperSoaker, and carries on walking without taking his eyes off his phone?

I’d probably get back on the plane.

Old people and flying

If you are over 75, with a dodgy bladder, and extremely bad hearing… I’m sorry, but I don’t want to sit behind you on a 14 hour flight.

Old lady: “We’ve been flying for 9 hours.”

Her husband, shouting profusely, clearly deaf as a door mat: “I know. I’ve pissed myself twice.”

There’s something comical about hearing an old couple bicker, oblivious to their incredible decibels, marbles long gone and replaced by wholly British arguments, like:

Why is my blanket wet? I want a dry one. No, not that one. I want a dry one, dunn’ae.”
“No YOU ask the lady. I don’t bloody know why it’s wet do I? I probably pissed myself over India.

But after 14 hours sat there, awoken at one point by a strange outburst of applause and hollers — Old Man’s reaction to the end of Phantom of the Opera — I did want to kill myself.

I flew Malaysia Airlines, by the way.

You could sense the palpable hearts in mouths every time the plane changed course on the tracker, especially in turbulence.

Can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for cabin crew in the days immediately following MH370.

‘Cuties’ on the BTS

Ever wondered what Nicky Cakes is up to these days?

Well, here he is, captioned as Justin Timberlake (Timbercakes?), appearing on a Facebook page titled ‘BTS CUTE GUYS’.

Timbercakes

Un-be-lievable.

I won’t lie. I did check the page to see if I’d made an appearance.

Not a god damn whisper.

So what happens when you go viral as a ‘BTS cute guy’?

This, apparently:

Timbercakes FB

I expect Cakes will be extending his visa.

Seduced by Thailand again

It’s difficult to leave Thailand.

Every time I visit, I question what ever convinced me to move back to London.

In reality, there were a number of factors. But it doesn’t stop the mind from wandering.

You think of the weather, the people, the food (God, the food), the beaches, the pace of life.

It doesn’t get any better.

Does it?

If you haven’t visited Thailand, I highly recommend it.

Pics from the trip

A collection of pics from Bangkok, Hua Hin and Samphram, April 2014:


My First Regrettable Acts of 2014

December 31st, just gone 1pm:

I’m enjoying a very small window of opportunity in No Man’s Land. The abyss between getting drunk and merely thinking about getting drunk.

No work today.

Today is my Sabbath.

I know a lot of affiliates are curiously teetotal. The idea of getting wankered is seen as a threat to one’s ability to make money online. Forgive me… for I am British.

And so, New Year’s Eve is my favourite night of the year.

Perhaps it’s the clean slate ahead.

The chance to wake up a new man on January 1st:

A pang of motivation, a bubble of new goals, the itch to get started.

But first… a roaring headache.

Desperate measures.

Taxi to Spoons.

All day breakfast. Nose an inch above the plate. Toast crumbs dribbled in beard. Don’t give a fuck. The Vodka shakes. What are these stamps on my hand? Taxi home. Feeling nuclear. One false step and I’ll blow.

An afternoon nap, swiftly interrupted. The sprint is on.

A bout of the shits.

Oh fuck, why Tequila?

Uncontrollable remorse.

An evening hangover, morose sorrow. Get walked by the dogs.

Eyeful of daggers for anybody in sight.

Home, sofa, primal groans.

A Recovery Twister:

The Recovery Twister

Miracles do happen.

The fog lifts, a haze departs – memories of Amsterdam – I’m… why am I drooling?

A calm wave of serenity.

A vision.

2014: I’m having you by the balls.

And in that priceless moment, just before ordering a savage Meat Feast and internally combusting once and for all, I really mean it.

Happy New Year, Affiliasphere.

Moving to the USA: Final Preparations

Hard to believe we’re already 1/16th of the way through 2013, right? How are those New Year’s Resolutions working out?

Shelved until 2014? Completely forgotten? Laying in a pile of abandoned gym spandex?

Good. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

Last October, I posted about my plans to move to the States, crack the American Dream, build a house and live happily ever after.

True to form, my plans have changed about seven times since then. First I was staying in London, then I was going back to Thailand, then I was looking at the South of France, and now I’ve finally decided on Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme America.

It speaks volumes of my indecision that – in the last week alone – I’ve had emails from 3 different affiliates on 3 different continents all thinking I live near them.

No, I’m not some kind of direct marketing gypsy, I just really suck at finding the right property.

My fiancé and I both work from home, and we both like to travel, which means deciding where to move is a liberating joy, but one that can lead to episodes from The Shining if we’re not very bloody careful.

Don’t… touch… me. I’m… typing.
Don’t… touch… me. I’m… typing.
Don’t… touch… me. I’m… typing.

Renting in London: The Road to Ball Ache

If you’re going to live and work in the same building, it really needs to feel like a home.

But how can you make somewhere your home if you need written permission to hang a photo on the wall? Or to give it a lick of paint? That is the problem with renting in London, and it is the straw that broke this camel’s back.

For such a vast monthly spunkage of money, you would expect a home in return. What you actually get is a roof over your head and a pain in the arse. Several of them if your estate agent is Haart.

I want to own what I live in, but I don’t want to pay hundreds of thousands for a shoe box in Fulham. The alternative is a safe family home in suburbia where Costa marks the nearest attraction, and the next bus terminates at death. Or worse, having kids.

Ultimate bitch point: I don’t want my local food store to be a Budgens. I want to live in a country where Budgens is just a bad dream.

One of the great hooks of America is the opportunity to build our own home; something brand spanking new, so fresh we can still smell the timber.

I want something that has enough square footage to incorporate two home offices, a swimming pool and a snooker room.

She wants… to decorate it with candles, cushions and throws. Why are women like that?

Alas, America is the best choice. It’s also the most exciting choice.

You guys have a lot of cornfields. But you also have a lot of exciting, vibrant cities. New York City, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas… the mind reels with bright lights and a lifetime of Hollywood.

I’m sorry in advance if I besmirch any of the above with my presence.

Knock knock, America

Want to know how the immigration process for moving to America goes?

Very, very slowly.

I’m only just over halfway through the process.

Not only has the ordeal wiped crucial centimeters off my hairline, but it’s butchered at least 80% of my mornings with fun activities such as:

  • Chasing vaccination files
  • Pleading with the police for my arrest records (Disclaimer: There are none)
  • Spending time in photo booths
  • Kicking photo booths
  • Swearing at photo booths
  • Buying enough stamps to post myself around the world

I haven’t even had my medical at the US Embassy yet. There’s still a chance they’ll turn me back when they find my blood pressure reading says **AFFILIATE MARKETER**

Of course, there are things I will miss about London:

My friends and family

The hardest part about relocating is leaving behind your friends and family. I got homesick while living in Asia, and much of it was down to the false belief that I was disconnected from my loved ones. I felt like I was missing out on something, although I could never quite put in to words what that something was.

When I got home, it was great to see everybody. But people move on with their lives. They don’t wait for you to come ‘home’ to continue theirs.

Homesickness has very little to do with your location. It’s how content you feel with your day-to-day living. That means embracing wherever you are, not trying to crawl home to the nest, just because it feels familiar when your current surroundings do not.

The incredible NHS

Health care is a super important issue to both my fiancée and I. There was a point in November where we had reached an agreement that if Mitt Romney won the Presidency, we would stay in the UK. I don’t want to get overly political on a humble marketing blog, but it’s fair to say that we will miss the National Health Service that is available in the UK.

The NHS is a brilliant institution and part of what makes Britain great. It is a lifesaver for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

The infuriating but begrudgingly effective transport network

No TFL is going to suck.

I’m sure I’ll feel guilty for mocking the Picadilly Line within about 3 weeks of our separation. Even for those occasions where it really, really deserved the scorn.

It also means I’ll have to buy a car when I land in America.

For all the hate that gets directed at Transport For London, very few cities can claim to be as well connected. Until it snows.

It snows, we perish.

The ability to keep calm and STFU

There’s a certain way of life in London that can be summed up quite simply, “I won’t bother you, if you don’t bother me.

If you’ve taken the tube before, you’ll be aware that it extends to just about all lines of communication. “I won’t catch your eye – even though I’m the breadth of a nose hair away from your face – if you won’t catch mine.

To tourists, we must come across as the least social animals on earth. But to a Londoner, that moment of sweet purposeful avoidance tells us that we’re home.

The glorious tropical climate

Yeah, about that…

Moving to America from London

Show me the plane, already.

I’m hoping to make the jump across the pond on March 25th, as long as I get through the visa process in time.

It can be quite stressful to hop continents. And it will be the third time I’ve done so in 3 years, but it’s also very exciting. I can’t wait to meet new people, explore new cities and chase that elusive American dream.

Which may or may not be Taco Bell, screw you.

Copyright © 2014. Finch Media Ltd.