Remember, oh, awhile back, when I talked about really wanting to get out there and live, do stuff with the whole family before they’re grown and gone?
The entire Ship of Fools, including our four kids, is leaving for Thailand in a couple of weeks; we´ll be back in early August, making it a (roughly) five-week trip. We´re going to spend some time in Bangkok, which I hear is insane, and the air´s dirty, and you might not want to live there, but visiting is supposed to be a rollicking trip.
Then we´re heading for Phuket, where we´ll alternate between lolling on the beach and by the pool (except for me; I´ll be huddled under a giant sunhat wearing my sunproof long-sleeved shirt, and the locals will give me some colorful Thai nickname like “white foreign grub.”) I´m busy packing – not clothes so much (it was in 98 degrees in Bangkok last week, roughly ten degrees cooler in Phuket; who needs clothes?) as basic medicines, etc. We´ve got our Hepatitis A shots, our typhoid pills, and mom´s Valium, which I’ll be needing for the daylong flight. God, am I dreading that flight.
Potential highlights include renting our own sloop (the Big Cheese has all his proper certifications) for a pleasure cruise to the spectacular Phi Phi islands. I´m also probably doing a side trip with the girls to Siem Reap, Cambodia, because I have always wanted to see Angkor Wat, and – well – there we´ll be, and how can I be that close (like a flight from New York) and not go? I have no doubt that the Cheese, having visited most of the neighboring countries, will work a solo adventure in there somewhere.
Yeah, I´m a little nervous. If you can read the invisible writing on my tee shirt from where you´re sitting, it says “Bring em back alive.” I´m aware that statistically I´m more likely to die in my car on the Beltway than I am in Thailand, but still. It´s the kids. We have two four-year-olds and we´re spending a lot of time around water. We´re all boned up on our swimming (the twins can swim, sort of, thanks to weekly lessons) and we´re taking our own, very nice life jackets. I´m just hoping not to find myself in a position to need them to save us.
I´m going to blog. I´m taking my laptop, and if that doesn´t work out there are plenty of internet cafes. I haven´t quite decided on an approach. (Yes. It´s true. Faced with a trip of a lifetime to Thailand, I´ve been thinking about … how that relates to the blog. Draw your own conclusions.) I´ll probably bring some random samples with me, and blog on whatever I find there. Maybe they have local perfumes. Maybe they´ll have endless shops filled with fun, poorly made dupes (“Christian Deor Poisson”), or I could write on all the cool local smells. Seriously, I´m sure some of them will be awful (hello, durian!) but I love the smell of new places, and Thailand is rich in smells. The Cheese has been there several times, so we´re not going entirely unprepared, and I´m more than willing to let him haggle the big stuff.
It´s time for a change. I know this because I was in Saks last week, and there was the new Armani Prive Jasmine sitting right there in front of me, and … I couldn´t be bothered. Didn´t even pick it up. I´m sort of mortified writing that, but there you have it. The tsunami (my thought as soon as I typed that: extremely poor word choice) of new fragrances is overwhelming me a little. I think a break with some SPF60, a beach, a bottle of beer (and possibly a bottle of that Deor Poisson) will be just the ticket. Anyone have any advice for a long-haul flight with kids?
Okay: for those of you so inclined, I have a game: if you live in a seasonal climate, choose a fragrance you associate strongly with a different season (for many of us, that will be fall/winter fragrances, particularly those that conjure up holidays) and give it a test drive in the next couple of days. Game variant: go to the mall/drugstore/local headshop and select a fragrance that you secretly snicker at, or are sure is “not you” but in truth you aren´t really sure how it smells (that hilarious Pierre Cardin bottle! Mary Kate & Ashley! Baby Phat Goddess! Sacred Sphinx Tantric Love Oil!) and give that a test drive. You’re invited to report your results on Thursday, my special post on Wrong Scent, Wrong Time, because I´ve been doing some testing of my own. Remember: if you have to leave work to go home and shower off that Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds, tell them March the Maleficent made you do it.
image: Ko Phi Phi, www.rijamo.de
PS — Scentzilla’s back with a vengeance, with LOL Perfumes. I didn’t even know about the LOL thing (to learn more, plus a great Star Trek sequence, click here) and I laughed until I choked and had to get a glass of water. These are wrong. Also not entirely office-friendly. Thanks, Scentzilla!