Hua Hin, Thailand: "Driving Lessons"

Hua Hin
March 26, 2005

Dear Family and Friends,

I am well and back at the Hua Hin beach resort where I am relaxing, reading and preparing for a sixty day journey. Yesterday I had a brainstorm. So, today, I began a three -day three-hour course in driving!

My knuckles are white and my shirt and pants are "soaked." I have practiced parallel parking, driving in reverse and highway driving. Tomorrow I switch vehicles - from automatic to manual transmission!!

Remember I am in Thailand. I am driving on the left! The steering wheel is on the right. The gear shift is on the left. Thank goodness the pedals are the same as the USA! A right turn in heavy traffic is a bitch!

Why am I doing this? Well, mates, I am preparing for an extensive drive in the desert, and in the mountains, and along the sea. And even in some small cities and towns.


Can you guess where I am going? The first person to guess correctly will receive a lovely prize. Perhaps a Fosters Beer T-shirt. ( No Cousin Dorothy, I am not planning to borrow your motorcar and drive around sunny London. Besides, last time I looked there were no deserts in England. )

Cheers mates,

Jan ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


On March 28th, 2005 Susan Mann (not verified) says:

Hi Jan,

You certainly are a busy boy!

 Buckle up...............




On March 28th, 2005 Lisa Gibbs (not verified) says:


I am too tired and ignorant to guess where you are going. But I sympathize with you about driving on the left.

Luckily in Ireland I had an automatic transmission but it was still weird. I had to keep telling myself, "stay on the left, stay on the left." My sister-in-law however rented a car and it was manual. I don't know how she did it.

Good luck!




On March 29th, 2005 Teresa Merrigan (not verified) says:

Well, if Oz is your destination, make sure you're prepared for LONG journeys. I mean really looonnnnggggggggggggggg. This country is bigger than anyone can imagine, though you do have the advantage of coming for the original Big Country.

Lots of feisty women here -- the young Caucasians perhaps too feisty for your good self. But a fair number of ladies with a bit of pigment, as I recall you saying!

My tip to you re Oz is not to linger on the East Coast between Sydney and Cairns. There are some beautiful spots -- the Town of 1770/Agnes Water is perfect for a few days' peace and quiet with good coffee at Rocky Latinos cafe (you'd love the boss there -- a Lebanese chap). But it's touristy and infested with kiddie backpackers.

North of Cairns is fab, tho a 4WD advisable for some areas. Up there one mixes naturally with indigenous folk -- at the supermarket, in the post office, in the pub.

My other bit of advice is -- bring lots of money! It's not a cheap place to travel, certainly compared with Burma and Thailand.

And if your destination is actually Turkmenistan or Sudan, then please ignore all of the above!!!

Must dash -- a Queensland beach is calling my name...................


PS Australia has the most amazing thunder and lightning storms -- wonderful, unless you get caught in one while on a bicycle