Filed under: Culture, Expat life, Film, Miscellaneous, News, Nightlife, Outside Thailand, People, Relationships, Sport, Travel | Tags: American Pie, American Reunion, Bangkok, Bangkok Fight Club, bars, beach, Beer, boxing, Boxing Day, Brew, Cactus Bar, charity, Christmas, Christmas Day, Cloud Atlas, Corregidor Island, Daniel Craig, death, Denny's Corner, Dusit Thani, Facebook, family, Far East, Fighting Fit, Film, fitness, gym, history, hotel, James Bond, Jitti Gym, Jon Slowey, Juan Manuel Marquez, Khao Lak, magazine, Manila, Manny Pacquiao, Mount Pinatubo, mountains, Nightlife, North Wales, Operation Smile, Paul Weir, Philippines, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, Prestatyn, pubs, Sattahip, Scotland, Scottish Highlands, Skyfall, Soi Cowboy, South Pacific, Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit Soi 22, Thailand, The Impossible, Thong Lor, tsunami, university, volcano, Wales, weddings, World War II
As the end of last year approached and people started talking resolutions and fresh starts, and so on, I thought I didn’t really have much to report from 2012. My work had remained much the same, I had no new love interests, I continued to live in the same place, I had only one visitor and I’d only taken one foreign holiday. However, I had a browse through my Facebook friends list and phone contacts to jog my memory and it turns out 2012 was actually pretty packed, albeit mostly with small moments, but perhaps a long list of different – and mostly happy – moments is a good year after all. On that note, in no particular order, I present the people, places and things that shaped the past year for me. (more…)
Filed under: International news, Outside Thailand, Travel | Tags: 2004 tsunami, America, American Samoa, Apia, Australasia, Australia, BBC, beaches, bottled water, Boxing Day, Boxing Day tsunami, CNN, coral, coral reefs, countryside, disaster, earthquake, expats, flying foxes, food, holiday, independent Samoa, India, Indian Ocean, Indian Ocean tsunami, Indonesia, international aid, International news, jungle, Krabi, Maldives, native cultures, natural disaster, News, Oceania, Ofu, Phuket, rainforests, resorts, Samoa, Samoan islands, South Pacific, South Pacific tsunami, Sri Lanka, subsistence, Thailand, Tonga, tourism, Travel, trekking, tropical beaches, tsunami, US Samoa, US territories, USA, Western Samoa
Again, a part of the world that is dear to me has been devastated by a tsunami.
Last time was the 2004 Boxing Day disaster which wreaked havoc on several Indian Ocean countries, most famously Thailand. This time the Samoan islands have borne the brunt of killer waves resonating from a huge earthquake in Indonesia – also the epicentre of the 2004 catastrophe.
Phuket was worst-hit in 2004, while Krabi also suffered extensive damage, and scenes of the damage there were poignant for me at the time, as I had only two months earlier enjoyed my first trip to Thailand, spending half of it in Krabi, a dramatically beautiful province which remains my favourite place in the kingdom.
Last week the Samoan islands – both independent Samoa and the US territory of American Samoa – were hit by a tsunami of a similar ferocity, with reports of waves of anything between three and seven metres high washing up to a mile inland, devastating the southern coastlines and in some cases destroying entire villages. Tonga, too, was hit.