My boyfriend, Levi, and 2 other guys went back packing through Cambodia, Loas, Thailand and Malaysia this summer for 40 days. About a week before Levi was leaving, he invited me to come with him. Obviously I couldn't take 40 days off of work so short notice! So I sent him on his way and Levi was so good to try his hardest to talk to me every morning before he took off for the day and every evening before he went to bed. It was a 13 hr difference so when I was waking up, he was going to bed and vice versa.
|I loved getting photos from Levi! This was him in Laos|
It was Levi's birthday coming up so I planned that I was going to surprise him for his birthday! It was my sister's wedding on August 24, which is also Levi's birthday, so obviously I wasn't going to make it to Thailand on his actual birthday. So I got a birthday card and wrote a secret message in it, and then sent a picture of it to him and told him that I would give him his birthday card in person when I saw him
Let me rewind a couple days though... So my flight left on Sunday, August 25. I was supposed to fly from Calgary --> Vancouver --> Shanghai, China --> Bangkok, Thailand --> Chumphon, Thailand. That was over 23 hours worth of travel. (Hence the "See you in 3 days") Here's the thing though... my very first flight got delayed... which made me miss ALL of my other flights! The airline booked me a hotel in Vancouver and rebooked all of my flights, except my Bangkok to Chumphon one (since that was through a different airline)
|Feeling refreshed and excited to be back in transit|
Meanwhile, Im getting pictures like this from the unsuspecting Levi, telling me how much he wishes I was there with him... hahah
So while I was in the Vancouver airport, I met these 2 guys from Australia who were also going to Thailand! Because of all the flight re-bookings, I had a whole night and day in Bangkok before my flight to Chumphon. So I just stuck with those guys! When we got to Bangkok, we got a hotel at this place called Khao San Road (which is like party central! Levi calls it the "Vegas Strip of Bangkok"). The next morning, we toured around the city, went to the Grand Palace, ate out for every meal, walked through some markets (Why didn't I buy all the things I wanted at Khao San Road?!) and got Thai massages. It was actually such a great day! Im so glad I got to experience it and meet some new friends! Scott and Tyson made sure I got a taxi to the right airport and finally I was off to surprise Levi!!!
Side note: Apparently the blonde guy got in some sort of accident while they were backpacking SE Asia and lost his big toe. So he spent the majority of his time in a Thailand hospital. Good times.
Also. Instead of saying you biffed it/wiped out, Australians say "stacked". Biffed=Stacked. =)
Side note: Apparently the blonde guy got in some sort of accident while they were backpacking SE Asia and lost his big toe. So he spent the majority of his time in a Thailand hospital. Good times.
Also. Instead of saying you biffed it/wiped out, Australians say "stacked". Biffed=Stacked. =)
My flight ended up getting delayed another hour and by the time I finally got to Chumphon, I was SO anxious to see Levi!! I just wanted to get there already!! Levi's brother was supposed to meet me at the airport to take me to Levi so I could surprise him. I was the first person off the plane and I literally RAN inside to the airport because I was so giddy! I looked around. No Nephi. Where was he!?
*fast forward an hour*
I'm the last person left in the airport. They are shutting off the lights to this small local airport. There is one taxi left. I've already told them I don't need a ride because my friend is coming to pick me up... I must have started looking desperate because they came up to me one more time with one of the airport workers to tell me that this was the last available taxi for the evening. If I didn't take it, and my friends didn't come, I would be stranded there for the evening. That it is very dark, a long walk and quite a dangerous neighborhood. Side note: In Asia, they do this annoying thing where they make the bus stations, train stations and airports on the outside/outskirts of towns so people would have to pay for a taxi to get to and from-- so that us tourists have to spend more $$. Chumphon was about a 45 minute drive from the airport. I was getting scared and desperate. I did not want to get stranded! I made a split second decision to get in the taxi and go to the train station because Nephi and Ty had mentioned that they wanted to meet there... so I just had to pray that thats where they were going to be!! There was one lady on my bus taxi that spoke english and she was trying to be as helpful as she could. When we got to the train station, I asked her if she would stay with me until I found my friends because if I couldn't find them, I didn't know what I was going to do! I had never traveled to a foreign country like this. I was by myself with no way to get ahold of anyone. I couldn't speak or understand any of the Thai language.. I was pretty much hooped and I was scared to death!! She agreed to walk with me. We walked aaaaaaalllllllllllll the way down the left side of the train tracks. Didn't see them. We walked aaaaaaalllllllllllll the way down the right side of the train tracks. Still couldn't find them. I was so anxious and trying so hard to hold back my tears as we were walking back. Then as we were walking, I looked down the backside of a building where I saw the back of Levi's head!!! I was SOOOO excited!!! I literally just dropped my bags and RAN over to him!! I just about threw my arms around him-- then decided I better not just in case he thought it was some stranger trying to molest him or something. I didn't want to get clocked in the face. So I tapped him on the shoulder and braced myself...... He got up off the chair he was sitting on and started walking away without even looking back... I walked up to him again and grabbed his arm. This time he looked back at me. Levi literally just stared at me for a solid 10 seconds. Then his eyes bugged out like this 0_0. Then he started poking me. haha Levi didn't believe his eyes! He literally thought he ate bad Thai food and that it was making him see things!! Finally he started hugging me and kissing me and hugging me some more! haha we were both shaking so bad! Him from shock, me, because I just had the most traumatizing experience of my life...
I will never forget this moment. It is engrained in my memory. Seriously so fun! I'll never forget the exhilerating feeling and the look on Levi's face and the rest of the evening; how every 5 minutes, Levi would look over at me and tell me he loved me and that he didn't believe I was actually in Thailand. It actually didn't sink in until 2 days after I showed up that he actually accepted the fact that I was there and believed that this was real life.
So that evening, we went out to get some food, walked around the city, and Levi showed me all of his goodies he had purchased so far, and we just talked and talked all evening. Our train left Chumphon around 4am that morning. We were on the 3rd class train (the cheaper transportation that the locals take) The seats were SO uncomfortable AND we got stuck with the seats RIGHT beside the bathroom and it STUNK SO BAD!!! I don't even want to get started on the bathroom situation over there... That was my biggest problem I had to deal with. They were squatters. Pretty much a hole in the ground with a stomp pad on either side of the hole to stand on. To flush, you scoop water out of a bucket and dump it down. The sewage system was to weak to handle toilet paper, so instead they had a bidet (if you could even call it that.... it was just a makeshift garden hose attached to the wall, and you were expected to wash your you-know-what after going) and IF you had toilet paper, there was a bucket you were expected to throw your tissue into after wiping. Gross right? I couldn't do it. Ask Levi. Oh! And this one time, I was having trouble communicating with a local about wanting to use their toilet, so I made Levi act out using a toilet to this girl so she would understand what we were trying to ask her hahah! But man... That was my very least favorite thing about our trip.
So needless to say, I didn't sleep that entire night on the train. We pretty well travelled the whole next day to this National Park. This was our hotel room.
And then Nephi turned it into a laundry room
Nephi was snapping pictures in morning. Clearly Im not a morning person. haha
That day we went on a hike. There was supposed to be 8 pit stops along the hike to some water holes and waterfalls. The hike started off as a trail... and then pretty much just ended up in a muddy, slippery jungle. I was just wearing flip flops and I kept getting stuck and slipping all over the place haha. At each pit stop, we stopped to go for a swim to find the waterfalls. Levi and I only went up to 3 or 4 of the pit stops, then we just hung out and played around with some wild monkeys. One even jumped on my lap! and the baby monkeys were SO cute!! Nephi was determined to hike to the very end of the trail because he was expecting to see this amazing waterfall at the end... but instead all he found was leach infested trails and water! haha he was not very impressed! and the waterfall was the most pathetic thing he said he had ever seen! I got 2 leaches on me, Levi got one, Ty got a few... but Nephi got the worst of it! The leaches were ALL over his feet and legs and when he was hiking, he had to keep stopping to pluck them all off. He told us he had at least 10 on each leg every time he stopped to check.
We were going to stay another day but Nephi had had enough and wanted to leave!! Something about 3 perverted and very full leaches found molesting Nephi the next morning... but we wont get into that. Let's just say it was probably the funniest morning for all of us... but probably the most traumatizing morning for Nephi. Ty warned him to check himself everywhere in the shower... hahaha
We took a couple busses to this place called Krabi.
When we got to the station, we sent Ty and Nephi out to go rent some scooters and come back for us. Everyone in Asia just tries to rip all the tourists off! They will try anything to get you to take their tuk tuks (a kind of taxi) even if its just like 3 blocks you need to go... its ridiculous. The guys were sick of people trying to scam their money and thats why they just walked into town while we watched all our luggage
Meanwhile at the train station, we made a friend who played guitar for us while we beatboxed, drummed and sang along. Haha he was so chill. He loved his Bob Marley.
Scooters were one of our favorite parts!! We loved just being able to cruise on our own time to go see whatever we chose! The traffic there was crazy too! For one, you drive on the left side of the road there. There were no speed limits or anything so people just drove however fast they wanted to. People were constantly honking.. but it wasnt like a rude kind of honking. They would just honk to let the person in front of them know they were there or that they were passing or whatever. People on scooters would pass people on the shoulder of the road going so fast and they would all creep up to the front stop light and when it would turn green, there would just be this mass of scooters all, like, racing eachother. Levi loved that part!
The craziest thing we saw was a family of 5 all crammed onto a little scooter like the one in the picture! a dad, a mom swaddling an infant child, a kid in front of the dad by the handle bars and a kid hanging on for dear life in the back! I couldn't believe my eyes! It was like the family mini van! haha
We scootered to this beach town called Ao Nang (pronounced OW-nang) where we stayed for a couple days. That was my favorite place we stayed in Thailand! The first thing we did when we got there, was find a street vendor and bought some Roti! Oh my heavens it's so good!! It's kind of like a crepe. Our favorite toppings to get were egg, banana and nutella. They put like 2 scoops of butter on it so it's soooo greasy! Levi says that's why he likes it so much, haha. We had to document my first Roti experience.
Ao Nang was a very touristy place right next to the beach so there was a bunch of shops, restaurants, street food vendors and massage parlors. It also wasn't until Ao Nang, that I saw my first Lady Boy. The guys I was with kept talking about Lady Boy's and apparently they had seen a few since I had been there but I could never tell! A lady boy is just a guy that dresses like a girl. But they do SUCH a good job of it that sometimes the only way that you can tell if it is a boy is if they have big hands or feet! That they look inproportionally large with their petite frame. You have to be careful when you go get a massage because alot of the time, the people giving the massages are lady boys who like to give guys "happy endings" *shivers*. We made sure not to accept any of those massage offers! Levi told me about this taxi driver that said he prayed to Buddah every night that his son would NOT grow up to be a lady boy hahaha
Anyways. That evening, we watched the most beautiful sunset on the beach.
We all walked over to this secluded area to go for a night swim and oh man it was so fun!! We discovered that there were bioluminescent plankton in the water! So every movement made the water glow around you! It looked amazing! The 4 of us goofed off for hours in the water. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't constantly thinking that a shark was going to sneak attack me though... (I may or may not have a shark phobia...) There were crabs running around everywhere so of course we had to chase and catch a bunch before we headed back to our hotel. I'll never forget that night. So fun!!
The next morning, Levi and I woke up early so we could watch the sunrise and go for a morning dip in the ocean =)
This was just one of my meals. So typically, for a decent, filling meal, it would cost about $3-4 canadian. Malaysia was a little bit more expensive. Meals there cost about $5-6. But seriously, everything there was so cheap! I only ended up spending $350 for the entire time I was there (although that isn't factoring in that my boyfriend bought some stuff for me too)
Once again, we were just driving around on our scooters, and I saw this elephant just walking on the side of the road. This was the first elephant I had seen since I had been there so I yelled "STOOOOOOOP!!!" and Levi pulled over. I jumped off the scooter and looked around. There were a bunch of elephants just chillin in this guy's yard! I was BEYOND excited!! A lady was sitting at a roadside stand selling fruit, so we bought some watermelon to feed the elephants. It was so cool! The people just let you go right up to the elephants. There wasn't even anyone around to tell us what to do or anything. It was so amazing and humbling to be up that close and personal to an animal of that size. Man. I just love Thailand!
We wandered around for a bit and I came across this little river. I literally lost my breath when I saw it. There were so many moments of beauty that couldn't be captured adequately in a picture. All I could do was just stare and remind myself that this was real life. I just wanted to take it all in and treasure every memory of this trip. God is amazing. There were alot of moments on my trip that I just needed to take a step back and just be in the moment and appreciate this beautiful world that God created for us.
As we were driving back to Ao Nang, it started pouring rain!! Like torrential downpour kind of rain! So we had to pull over and park under some big trees to wait for it to pass. We were already soaked, though!
When the rain cleared up enough, we drove to this one beach and we were so hungry so we bought some street food. I think it was chicken =P You know, everyone kept telling Levi and I before we left specifically not to eat the street food because you could get sick. So when I first got there, I was really cautious about what I ate, but then, with a little coaxing from Levi, I started trying the street food.. and it was SO good! Like way better than any of the other food we would eat in restaurants and stuff... and way cheaper too! This was the first street meat I had, hence why I was making that face. Because I was a little scared of that mystery meat.. but it was delicious! AND I didn't even get sick once the entire trip! I actually got more sick when I got back to the states! My stomach couldn't handle the preservatives and artificial foods when I got home. All the food I ate in Asia was fresh, whole foods and my body felt great!
This was just a little country side route we explored
We explored a bit, and stopped off at this cave thing. It was pretty neat!
So yeah.. we were staying in Ao Nang, but we had rented our scooters from Krabi. We had to return the scooters, and then we were going to take a bus out of Krabi to our next town. That was THE worst drive I had to endure because we had to pack ALL of our bags on the scoots with us! So there was me, Levi, his guitar, and 4 backpacks all squished on to 1 little moped for like an hour drive! The worst!!
Apparently Red Bull was founded in Thailand. In 1976, this guy named Chaleo Yoodivhya introduced a drink called Krating Daeng in Thailand, which means Red Bull in English. It was inspired by the tonic drink Lipovitan of Japan, which prime ingredient is taurine, and was popular among Thai truck drivers and laborers.
In 1984 the company Red Bull was co-founded by Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian entrepreneur, who turned Red Bull into a global brand. After visiting Thailand in 1982 Mateschitz had discovered that Krating Daeng helped cure his jet lag. So naturally... we had to try some too!!
Levi said all it did to him was put him to sleep. haha.
So there is this fruit in Asia called Durian. The people over there LOVE it! You can buy it anywhere. And you always know when you're on a street that is selling it because it has this very distinct pungent oniony smell. Me and Levi had this on-going thing where we would call out when we smelt/saw the durian. Not that anyone cares. haha. These quotes made me laugh because it describes it perfectly!
"Its taste can only be described as...indescribable, something you will either love or despise. ...Your breath will smell as if you'd been French-kissing your dead grandmother."
Travel and food writer Richard Sterling says:
So for some reason Nephi decided he was going to be cultured and buy and try a durian. Him and this french guy we met, Thomas, devoured the whole thing! I couldn't even stomach one bite! It was so gross! So we told Nephi that night that he was NOT allowed to use the toilet because we didn't want a durian poo smelling room!! He didn't listen and we all suffered. The end.... its odor is best described as pig-s***, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia. (Hahaha!!)
There was TONS of stray cats and dogs everywhere! Levi wouldn't let me touch any of the dogs because they were so mangy looking... but I snuck a few ear scratches with some kitties =) There were also RATS running around in the gutters!! bleh!! So this one evening, We went out to dinner and I had finished my supper, so I just went for a little walk while the guys were still eating. As I was walking down this one stray cat filled street, I saw the cutest baby kitties!! When they saw me, they got scared and ran into a hole in a wall before I could snuggle them. I was telling Levi about the little cuties when we were walking down that street a while later, and I saw out of the corner of my eye a little fuzzy thing while I was talking. I bent down because I thought it was going to be one of the little kitties and it was a BIG FAT RAT!!! At least Levi was amused.. yuck!!
We went out one evening for some Asian festivities. I don't know what they were celebrating, but at least we had fun!! We met this girl named Eleni who was backpacking Malaysia too! I think she is from the Netherlands? She was really cool! So there was this concert going on and this Japanese girl was SO energetic and singing and dancing so good.... but there were no young people there.. It was all old Asians who didn't even clap or cheer or anything when she finished a song. But you would have never known, because at the end of her songs she would be so enthusiastic and be like "SHI SHI!! SHI SHI!!" (Thank you thank you!) and keep going. We were the only white people there and the only people that would dance and cheer at the end of her songs. So since we were her #1 fans, she dedicated a song to us. Poker Face by Lady Gaga. It was a special moment.
Levi and I went to a butterfly farm
There were lots of interesting looking flowers!
There were lots of creepy crawlies! Those of you that know me, know that I have an irrational fear of moths... Apparently there are atlas moths in SE Asia the size of the ones in the picture below. Levi saw a real one while he was on a trek in the jungle and I am SO glad I wasn't there to witness that! I would have passed out from fear. Even thinking about it gets my heart rate going! Yuck!
And then, in the bottom left picture, Levi was making me pick up a centipede! Clearly freaking out... haha but hey, give me credit for actually touching the thing eh!? Oh! And that leaf-looking thing is a frog!
We went to this national park for a few hours to explore. We went on a hike
We saw monkeys!
Then we hung out at Monkey Beach for a couple hours. The monkeys there weren't very nice though. One of them started rifling through mine and Levi's backpack while we were swimming in the ocean. Sneaky bugger!
This was just a cool looking building that had moss and vines growing all over it! Kinda neat.
So while we were staying in Georgetown, we ate at this restaurant called Kapitan literally EVERY DAY! Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'm not even joking. We didn't broaden our dining experiences by eating anywhere else... because this food was SOOO good!! I kinda already wrote about this food called roti before. It was our favorite food everywhere we went. There was so many different variations of it. Some of the savoury roti were made with onions in them, then you would eat it with the chicken/a few different dips. That was Levi's favorite. Mine was the butter chicken roti. mmmm. and then for dessert they would serve a sweet roti. I tried to bribe the waiter for the recipe, but he just looked at me like I was an idiot. It was worth a try.
One evening while we were walking around the city, we walked right into a Chinese ritual night. There was this big shrine right in the middle of the street in the city made of paper, with a huge mound of paper the represented money I think... people were throwing it all over the mound, bowing and then putting incense all over the shrine. Meanwhile, people were banging on these drums and throwing the paper money stuff into the air while they lit the shrine on fire. So there was this HUGE fire right in the middle of this main road right in front of the buildings! It was crazy!! And hot! We joined in with them though and we threw our paper in the fire and air, put our incense and took our bows haha it was so neat! I never figured out exactly what the tradition was, but from the broken English responses I got from the locals, it had to do with good health, wealth, luck and respect for the Gods. I also noticed at these other shrines, the locals donated piles and piles of food... all for this tradition and for this God. This trip really hit home for Levi that we live in a society that has EVERYTHING and appreciates NOTHING! Whereas the Thai people live in a society where they have so little, but appreciate and make use of everything they own... and are HAPPY!! We walked away from this trip being so thankful for this comfortable, healthy life we live. Definitely puts things into perspective...
Princess Levi didn't want to get out of bed in the morning ;-)
So the picture above is one of our hotels that we stayed in. The left and right picture is what you would see when you opened our door of our place. It was so nice and warm! I loved being able to open my door and go sit on the bench outside and write my mom messages about our days. We tried to find the best deals while trying to find places to sleep. This was definitely one of the nicer places we stayed in! There were some places... I don't even know how to adequately describe how bad they were... the word putrid comes to mind... The walls, floors and sometimes even the beds had stains on them! No doubt they had bed bugs... (It's actually quite common for cheaper hostels and hotels to have a bed bug problem...) Just thinking about some of those rooms...*shivers*
Just exploring the streets of Georgetown
There was some pretty neat Wall Art randomly hidden all over the city. You probably couldn't find them again if you were looking.. you just have to stumble upon them since they are so randomly placed! I loved this Wall swing set though =)
This was at a night market in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I loved the lights! <3
Now this guy is something else!! He has this unique talent that he said only his grandpa, him and his cousin know how to do. Sand art in a bottle. You got to choose what you wanted a picture of and writing in it and it literally took him 15 minutes to do it... FREE HAND! We couldn't stop watching! So that is just layers of different colored sand. And the only glue he used was for our names. The rest was him just dumping sand in layer by layer until it became this. I love it! We chose the beach scene with the elephant because our favorite memories together were the beaches and colors of the Ao Nang beach, and the experience we had with the elephants. Mmm... I'll never forget =)
We toured around the city of Kuala Lumpur with this girl, Marta, from Spain. We went to a museum, the Petronas Twin Towers, and the Kuala Lumpur tower
Oh, and apparently the people over there don't know how to spell. That is that TAXI lane. Close enough...
Our last day in Asia was a bit of a stressful one! I guess we misjudged the distance to the airport and how much it was going to cost us. We were racing against the clock to make it in time for our flights! When I travel, I need to have everything organized to the exact minute or else I get a little panicky. Since we were so busy trying to squeeze everything into our last day in Kuala Lumpur, I forgot to get all my information on hand and ready to go. So I forgot what airline I was flying with and what the exact time was that I was flying out was. All the information I needed was on my phone, but my phone died. My flight was a different airline and different time than Levi, Nephi and Ty's so I was really getting nervous because we were short on time, I was going to be traveling by myself and I had no idea where to go. I may or may not have started crying in the airport... but Levi is such a dear and stuck with me for as long as he could to make sure I was okay and that I knew where to go to make my flight and then he had to RUN to make his! Neither of us knew if the other made our flights and we had no way to communicate with eachother until we were to meet up in Vegas. I can only speak for myself when I say that was such a traumatizing experience!
I had a 7 hour layover in Japan, and the guys had a layover in Korea. Then I flew to LA and then to Vegas.
I had an interesting experience in LA.. So while I was in Thailand, I literally didn't do my hair nice once. Air dried/wind blown mess every single day. I wore the same stinky sweaty clothes every day and didn't wear makeup.. but yet I felt SO good! I felt pretty and confident and I was SO HAPPY! But as soon as I walked out of that airplane into the LA airport in my all my glory, I could feel my self worth draining and my insecurities all coming back. Was it something to do with all the model tall, skinny ladies walking around in their skimpy outfits? Was in the flawless sculpted hair dos? Or the perfectly applied makeup? I think it was more than that.. People care SO much about the exterior and outward appearance that they will go to all extremes to make themselves into that image that society expects women to look like. And it's unfortunate that the vibe I was getting from complete strangers was making me feel so uncomfortable and self conscious when I have no reason to be!! Haha, I know I have short legs, a ghetto booty and chubby face, but I also know that I have some very nice features, like my blue eyes, my full lips.. and my ghetto booty =P I know who I am and WHO'S I am. It goes back to that overwhelming sense of appreciation Levi and I could feel with the Thai people. They were so beautiful, but in their own comfortable way. I didn't ever feel "better" than them, or "prettier" than them. I just felt content. The people over there don't have an unrealistic expectation of beauty and life. They just live and live beautifully, ya know??
Anyways... When I finally got to Vegas, I was so anxious to know if Levi made his flight, that when I saw him walk through that gate, I just ran over to him and hugged him and kissed him like I hadn't seen him in months! Haha that was the longest 24 hours of my life! (besides my travels TO surprise him)
We went to the Vegas Strip. Levi and I both felt so uncomfortable, again, just the vibes people were giving off everywhere was not right.
We went to the Hoover Dam and were able to take a tour of the building. It was really neat! I had never been before!
The drive from Vegas to Utah was pretty squishy... not to mention that the guys strapped the doors shut when they secured our luggage to the roof.. so every time we had to get in or out of the car, we had to climb through the windows! haha so red neck....
Then Nephi and Levi took me mountain biking in Pocatello for the first time (I'm sorry I hated it so much... but at least I tried it, right?? That counts for something...?? =S ) Here's the thing though... I'm barely coordinated enough to walk up a mountain, let alone balance on 2 wheels and roll down one...
Levi is a gutsy fella and tried to take on this big jump... Let's just say I give him kudos for trying... hahah he almost made it... and sprained his wrists/scraped up his back in the mix. hahaha what a guy!! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when he biffed (or stacked) it... looking back on it now though, I'm allowed to laugh =)
Then on the drive home, naturally, we had to pull over just so we could drop rocks off a tall bridge.
Levi is a child. Which may or may not be why we have so much fun together. Children at heart <3
And that pretty much sums it up folks!! That was my trip of a lifetime! I applaud you if you can get through this post in one sitting...