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The HYPE with couples DATE nights!

What’s all the hype about couples ‘date nights?’

Of course date nights are nothing new, but thanks to social media and B list celebrities, it seems like all I see at the moment are couples dressed up to the nines going to a swanky restaurant that probably would set me back a week of hard earned wages.

It all became rather irksome……. until I moved in with the boyfriend.

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Warning signs you NEED a date night

  • You cant remember where you’ve put your GHDS……its been THAT long
  • When he gets in from work you haven’t even realised he’s there….. Jeremy Kyle is on
  • You get excited when he takes you out to NANDOS
  • Your sofa has an imprint of your backside in it…..and its getting bigger….

Nandos Logo

2 years together is child’s play compared to my parents marriage of over 25 years, but its all too easy to become a sofa slob, wearing your trackie bottoms, hair scraped back into a Croydon facelift and watching repeat episodes of breaking bad.

Also, after a year or two, you should easily be comfortable enough to have that really bad ‘off day.’ Bad skin, no make up, add a little PMT to the mix why dont we. Once you realise he can handle THAT then maybe things start to get a little  slacker.

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Ok, so he comes home and I always have make up on but I find myself hibernating in my tracksuit bottoms and oversized T more and more.  Not such an attractive look….. so we’ve set aside a ‘date night’ and to be honest, I’m loving it.

Making an effort, just one day a week to get dressed up and going out for a cocktail or two…three…. and before you know it you’re back to that first date buzz.

I need to start making this a weekly slot….. ( as i’m writing this with no make up, an oversize tee and tracksuit bottoms…..

 

Thailand

The Bangkok Hangover Tour

Maybe it was accidentally being booked into a Parisian brothel called ‘Le Chat Noir’ as an art student, or hunting out the forbidden red light district in Amsterdam at 16.

Either way I’ve always been in awe of the alternative, darker side to city life so skipping out on the notorious Bangkok Hang over tour based on Bradley Coopers hedonistic explorations was not an option.

We booked the tour expecting to mingle with a rowdy gaggle of Ozzies, Brits and other wolf pack enthusiasts but very quickly it became uncomfortable when we realised that it was only us that evening.

2 tall, pale western women in their early 30s.

the bangkok hang over tour

Our guide was a very exuberant Thai woman that came to pick us up at out hotel and drive us to the first bar.

We crept through a quiet backstreet before entering a doorway with ominous thick, red velvet curtains. Too late for second thoughts as we were ushered into an dim, empty nightclub complete with a small stage and odd wall projections of Celtic symbols. We were escorted in front of the dimly lit stage and handed 2 ice cold beers. We giggled nervously as we were handed ping pong bats. Our thighs sticking to the sweaty leather seating, whilst guzzling down as much strong, cool beer as we could to settle our nerves.

What began can only be explained as a procession of petite Thai girls, faces blank as they performed a multitude of tricks involving darts, balloons and candles.

the bangkok hang over tour

Their expressions instantly played on our conscience and only worsened when our empathetic guide told us they repeat the  performance throughout the evening maybe up to 10 times and get very sore and tired. Not ONE girl smiled, why would they?

Each were there to preform a trick they had preformed hundreds of times before, to 2 nervously giggling females rather than the usual paunched western, middle aged men that frequent these places.

the bangkok hang over tour

Watching the incredibly skilled performances, the girls completely tuned out to what was going on around them and just trying to get the job done as quickly as possible made me do something quite unexpected.

I stood up and clapped loudly and cheered. At first my friend looked at me with horror before she saw the expressionless girl on the stage look at me, rooted to the spot, before a huge grin broke out on her face. Before long we were both clapping and cheering  for each girl, feeling the guilt lessen slightly as they turned to us and giggled and smiled.

I can think of no other explanation to my outburst other than as a woman myself, feeling guilty of my presence there, pity for what they have to go through each night and to show an odd appreciation of their talents. A really screwed up girl kind of power.

the bangkok hang over tour

The rest of the night followed a succession of strip bars and lady boys from infamous scenes in the film and fake Tyson face tattoos. The mood actually lightened after the drink started flowing and we left the first bar and we started to enjoy ourselves. We climbed on a bucking bronco in one strip bar and had competitions with the local dancers to see who could stay on the longest. We shared drinks and danced together.

As for the Ladyboys, they have to be the most feminine, dainty beautiful women I have EVER seen.

All in all, we did have an unforgettable, amazing night. A one off experience to be remembered. That was the point of it after all.  Our guide was amazing, spoke great English and made sure we were looked after at all times.

the bangkok hang over tour

I just haven’t been able to shake off the look on the girls faces. Even when you’re aware a lot of the girls are considered lucky to have a job and provide for up to 3 generations families. Where there is a demand, so it will always be.

And  I would be a COMPLETE hypocrite unless I admitted I have been in plenty of strip clubs with friends, drank at the bar with the girls and appreciated not being hassled by any guys. But it was a completely different scene over there. A real sense of ownership over the girls and how many are there over their free will?

I just think next time, when it comes to Bangkok I will not add to its numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belgium

Weekend In Belgium – Brussels and Ghent

We’ve literally just landed back from a weekend in Brussels and Ghent. I sourced an incredible bargain at lastminute.com who recently seem like the go to travel operator for budget travel in Europe. 2 luxury nights in the 4 star Sheraton located in the CBD AND the Eurostar all for £120! And all this within a 2.5 hour trip, the highlights of living in Europe : )

Belgium for me conjures up imagery of castles, cobbled streets, chocolate shops, beer and waffles. I’m such a stereotype! In all honesty it wasn’t like I imagined it to be at all and we also happened to be there the weekend of the horrific terrorist bombings. I wish I could find something more positive to say about the capital of Belgium, especially as the surrounding country is beautiful.

Brussels city review

I found Brussels itself rather unkempt and in all honesty, apart from the beautiful architecture and the central square, it was a particularly grubby litter strewn assortment of bustling streets in which we felt intimidated for pretty much the whole trip.

Brussels in particular is made up of at least 56% of foreigners….. but not the better half. My partner was eyeballed the whole time we were there while gangs of men leered and tried to talk to me. I was wearing a man’s baggy jumper and trainers……. Hardly a clingy outfit.

Alot of the men seemed to be of Middle Eastern descent. Once again, its important to state my ex was Moroccan and I have lived quiet happily in Palestine but it seemed to me the worst of these countries had arrived in droves.  Within a few hours we witnessed a smash and grab and a fight next to me on the train.

As for the terrorist attacks, it was terrifying to be in the centre when all of this went on. Its completely beyond your control, utterly terrifying and all we could do was sit in out hotel room waiting to see where the next target would be until ISIS released a statement claiming responsibility.

The police during this time were a credit to the country. We had armed police, and the army patrolled throughout the night outside our main square. Even popping out next door to a sandwich bar it was impossible to ignore what was going on around you as up to 13 ambulances would race to the airport at a time and police car sirens could be heard for the next 6 hours. I can’t explain the feeling of dread as you hear them getting louder and see them coming towards you. You just assume that your hotel may be the next target. The staff at the Sheraton were incredible and knocked on our doors to tell us about safety procedures and that we would be having armed guards at the main doors and metal detectors.

I also felt a sense of helplessness that we were not near enough to try and offer assistance to the survivors, and we just had to stay put and watch the devastation unfold on our hotel room TV. And then comes the anger, you just want to beat the hell out of the callous WEAK, PATHETIC terrorists.

Not leaving Belgium on a sour note, we did have the chance to get out of the city and visit Ghent, a University city only 30 minutes out of Brussels. Famous for its cuisine, canals and castle, this was the Belgium we had been looking for.

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