I had lots of good intentions when I started this trip. Not least was to blog more! Now I’ve got pages and pages of notes from my various journeys but no time to write them up in a coherent blog – or even an incoherent one for that matter! Some will make it eventually. My rail travels across Java, around Singapore and up through Malaysia back to Bangkok will, I hope, still make interesting reading. For some other stuff, the moment has passed. In the meantime, I’ve still got hundreds of pictures to edit and they’ll have to take precedence.
In all honesty, I’m really not looking forward to my return to the UK. Not just because of the weather but because in the months since the Brexit vote last June, it no longer feels like the country I knew – or home. Now the ‘sceptered isle’ seems smaller, more introverted and a lot less welcoming. And if I feel that, think how non-UK born folk feel. The incredibly positive vibe generated by the 2012 Olympics is long gone. That felt like the UK was a beacon for the world. It celebrated our diversity and our internationalism. Now, it feels like many parts of the country have turned their backs to the outside world. To make matters worse, UK politics is in crisis. Just when we need a strong, credible opposition we have a hopelessly weak Labour party led by Jeremy ‘the fight starts now’ Corbyn. To make matters worse, the economic delusions around Brexit still persist. Many people have no idea what’s coming – and that worries me – deeply. What will happen when the harsh financial realities dawn I wonder? I’m not looking forward to finding out. Nor having to bite my tongue when I hear the right-wing pub pontificators as I’ve always had trouble doing that!
I’ve had an illuminating and enjoyable trip these past two months. I’ve met some great people. As a foreigner I’ve been treated with warmth, kindness and patience. What hurts is knowing that if the positions were reversed I’m not sure many Britons would do the same.
Anyway, enough of such musings. It’s time to enjoy a night in Bangkok.