Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The time has come

Bighead and I found a massive mall in Patong (wasn't hard). It has a cinema (always handy). Back in NZ I used to despise malls. Over the years they've been seeping into Wellington City, crushing the funky independently owned shops to make way for horrendous chain stores and clinical looking food courts. But here, I seem to have taken a bit of a shining to them. I think it's mainly because it's a bit of a step back into western life. They feel comfortable (go the air con!) and familiar. The other cool thing about the malls here is that the food courts actually dish up some pretty tasty, well priced food.

So here we were in this mall the other day and we walk past a bag shop. Now Bighead and I had recently been contemplating the possibility of trading in the old back packs for some cases on wheels. It's a big step to make, does it mean we have officially become flashpackers instead of backpackers? Somehow, I think that happened a while ago but I think changing our luggage truly seals the deal.

We spent some time umming and arring over different cases and in the end bought one small hard case for Bighead and his office, and then one very large case for me, the dive gear and everything else. It must be the biggest case ever made by man I'm telling ya!

What cracked me up was the journey home.

There we were, driving on the scooter, in the rain, splashing through puddles of who's knows what (let me just say that the drainage system here receives a regular flushing out), with the largest case ever made by man nestled awkwardly between us, me hanging on for dear life with my feet tucked in way up the front and Bighead perched right on the front tip of the seat, navigating the winding streets from Patong to Kata. It was hilarious! We must have looked hilarious!

So now I have cool suitcase and Bighead's mobile office is looking all the more professional. I'm a bit of a packing nazi so I must admit, I'm probably more excited than your average punter but check it out...See how nicely that dive gear packs in there? No more squashed dive gear, no more lugging our packs around in the obscene heat, no more wrestling with my pack to get the zip done up, and no more hours on end of using every possible packing skill I have to make everything fit!

Anyone wanna buy a backpack?


james said...

I stumbled across this blog through google alerts on flashpackers.... I am in the process of setting up a website which will cater for all the different packers out there i.e slackpackers, ecopackers etc.(keep a look out for Xpackers)
The first paragraph signified me and my business partner in panama to a T. He is a kiwi also and we both hate malls but ended up going everyday for 2 months because of the food! Your paragraph made me laugh to the extent that i am actually writing a reply to a stranger hehe.
With regards to thailand, i lived there for 2 and a half years, spent 6 of those months in phuket. Kao lak is beautiful (just north of phuket) and a day trip or 2 to raya island and the surrounding ones is a must! best of luck on your travels! enjoy your life less ordinary.....

samesame said...

James, thanks for the tips! Keep em' coming. Flick us a link to your site when done, it sounds great. Chok dee!

Tanya said...

We have both packs and suitcases depending on whether we are guesthousing or hotelling it- stuff is so much easier to hide in the middle of a pack than it is in a suitcase- touring or resorting it. We were very glad we took packs to Egypt and Jordan at Christmas!
I can so relate to the mall thing too. Phnom Penh malls are a bit less sterilised but they have aircon which we try to live without during the day as electricity is so expensive here.
Nice to see yet another Kiwi has chosen to doss in South East Asia!

samesame said...

Tanya, you're right, I think I would have been better off with my backpack on our trip to Koh Phi Phi! There's no footpaths there! Each has its benefits depending on where you are going and the style you intend to travel in.