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I am a Bansko local since 2001 - when Bansko was a place like out of a fairy tale. A lot has changed since then - but the magic still exists!

Back in Asia

The most dreaded part of the trip went smoother than expected. After 18 hours I arrived “back home” in Bangkok. And, needless to say, I immediately ventured out for some Thai food 🙂 Which was not as easy as I had thought as the road from my hotel to the village of Lat Kabang was flooded and it took artistic tiptoeing (and wet feet) to get there.

OK, I was not really hungry having two full meals on the two legs of the flight but I hadn’t been to Thailand in nearly two years. No choice.

There are quite a few places next to each other – and never any foreigner, only local people.

The restaurant of today’s choice

Of course, being the extremist that I am known for, I went full blast. For a Som Tam salad as a starter. And when they asked how I wanted it I said “phet-phet” (hot-hot). Originating from Isaan, Eastern Thailand, this innocuous looking salad from shredded green papaya (and some seafood in my case) purifies your heart, soul, brain and every other organ in your body – if you manage to eat it.

After one third into it my mouth had become a separate entity of my body, isolated and in flames. After the second third the hotness had spread to my whole system and it was like all my nerves were directly hooked up to some high voltage electricity. After a short break and another bottle of Chang beer the third part became pure harmony – me finally being in a stage of enlightenment!

The last thrid of my ultra-hot salad with seafood.

To round things off I ordered a (comparatively) mild pork soup with pig offals and cooked blood. What a delight!

Can food be like a drug? What a question. Of course! But maybe not for everyone, I guess.

Now the time has started when I will be wetting my pants all the time. The reason is that due to the humidity here (and the lack of tablecloths) water condensates on the outside and bottom of glasses with cold beer and when you lift the glass to drink the water will drip on your pants on the way of the glass to your mouth. Inevitable. Part of Asian life!

A great start. Tomorrow I will conquer Hanoi.

Getting Ready

Even a big journey starts with a little step. In my case, several.

The apartment is cleaned, so I won’t fall into a depression once I return. And my bags are packed. In about 3 hours I will head off to the Frankfurt airport.

Now I am faced with the last difficult task: to get rid of the remaining food : Smoked salmon, cheese, sausages, eggs, baguette, Bavarian pretzels, milk and a nearly full bottle of a lovely 2008 Rioja Reserve from Guia Real. Well, at least the wine and the salmon won’t go in the bin…I’ll just have to watch out driving to the airport.

I am glad I booked Emirates. Not only do they have the best rating in terms of seat quality and in-flight entertainment, they also allow you 30kg of luggage, in contrast to the 20kg you get elsewhere.

Another big factor for me is that we will have a 3 hour stop in Dubai – at around half-way. I usually get very itchy on these long-haul flights and the last few hours are a nearly unbearable torture for me. To be able to get off the plane after 6-1/2 hours and roam around the Dubai terminal will be a great relief. I’ll be arriving tomorrow evening at around 8 pm local Bangkok time.

Welcome to my first ever blog.

I wonder what got into me. For years I have restrained from starting a blog about Bansko. I did not want the pressure to publish and publish. Life in Bansko is easy and relaxed. And you want to communicate whenever you feel like it – and not because you “have to”.

Well, I suppose the reason I start this now has little to do with Bansko. More with the fact that I will be leaving for a two months adventure trip to Asia tomorrow and I thought this might be the easiest way to stay in touch with my family and friends from all around the world.

And, upon my arrival, to continue with my monologues about the magic and joy (and nerve-wrecking experiences) of living in the blessed Pirin mountains in Bulgaria.

Let’s see what comes out of this. I cannot promise you that all my posts will be sober but I can guarantee you that all of them will be biased :))) Sometimes cynical, sometimes arrogant – but always genuine.

Let the good times roll!