Bookended.  That’s what our Laos-Cambodia trip was – bookended by blog buddy meet-ups.  At the front end was our meeting with Jeff Bell, and at the tail end we met the man who has kept me in stitches lo these many months: liveandletthai.  His real name, now on his blog, is Paul Dance, but to me he will always be liveandletthai.

An overachieving British expat with not one, but two different blogs, you may have heard of him if you’ve been reading my blog for a while.  Several months ago I nominated both of his online creations for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  He stepped up and responded to all my questions both as himself and as his alter-ego, Henry H. Henri, though I did have to badger him a bit.

Anyway, our trip involved long layovers in Bangkok, on both the outbound and return journeys.  On the way to Southeast Asia, our layover was during the ungodly hours of midnight to 8:00 am, so we thought we’d let the poor man sleep.  On the way back however, we sought a meet-up during the more reasonable afternoon/early evening hours of our 9-hour layover.*

*Travel note #1: If you ever find yourself wondering how you’re going to kill several hours at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, you should know that there is a tour desk that offers all manner and length of layover tours.  Had we not been able to meet up with liveandletthai, we almost certainly would have booked one of those.

Not only was liveandletthai interested in meeting, he kindly offered to come all the way out to the airport and greet us there.**


**Travel note #2: Getting from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the city center is very easy using the Klook website.  Prior to leaving America I booked (wonderfully inexpensive) tickets, which I bought online, for the rail service that terminates on the bottom floor of the airport.  This way, if you are just passing through Thailand and want to spend a few hours in the city during your layover, you don’t have to exchange any money for Thai Baht.  Just bring the printouts from home, turn them in at the Klook counter, and get your prepaid train tickets.  Easy!

After an enthusiastic welcome in which I felt like I was reuniting with a long lost brother, the three of us clicked instantly, chatting casually on the train like we’d known each other for years.  (Liveandletthai, if I’ve somehow misconstrued our encounter, like, say, you equated our meet-up to a Medieval torture session, please don’t hesitate to publicly set me straight in the comments below.)  Alighting at the opposite terminus, Phaya Thai, we walked around a bit looking for somewhere to eat, noting with interest that Thai drivers appeared much more adherent to things like lane lines and red lights than Cambodian drivers, who tend to scoff at such things.

Eventually, liveandletthai tried to steer us toward a casual Thai restaurant with a beer-centered drinks menu, but after two straight weeks of Asian food, Beerlao, and Angkor Beer, the husband was having none of it.  He playfully hassled our host until an upscale cocktail lounge could be located.  We found it inside a fancy hotel, and that is where we parked ourselves for several hours, connecting over drinks and eats (lovely western health food such as chips and salsa, french fries, and a cheese plate, the likes of which we hadn’t seen in a fortnight and were craving mightily) and getting to know my blog buddy in person.  This included, among other things, nodding politely as I listened to his dubious excuses for being AWOL from his blog for the past several months.  Knowing he’s a dog-lover, I gave him the skinny on petsitting, and the husband and liveandletthai bonded over their shared Britishness, so much so that they didn’t even come to blows when our new friend revealed that he supports Manchester United, a brave, if risky, move if ever I saw one.

No Angkor Beer for this sophisticated trio.

Then, alas, it was time to go.  We walked back to the train station, said our goodbyes to liveandletthai, and went on our merry way, grinning from ear to ear.  We had just spent two marvelous weeks in SE Asia, and to top it all off we now had a friend in Thailand who surely wouldn’t mind putting us up for weeks on end, free of charge.  If it weren’t for this pesky pandemic, we’d be back over there right now, eating his food, forcing him to sleep on the couch, hogging the TV remote, and making him our 24-hour, on-call personal tour guide.  Damn you, coronavirus!

Postscript: In the months since our meet-up we’ve been in touch with liveandletthai outside of the confines of WordPress.  He still periodically goes AWOL from his blog, but I now employ any and all communication means to harass and shame him about this.  For a while there he had a reasonable alibi: the planning and execution of his wedding.  Now that the nuptials are finished, though, I’m allowing no more excuses.  Any blog posts he publishes from here on out I’m taking partial credit for. 😉

Read more about our Dust-Farm-Pail List SE Asia adventures:

48 thoughts

  1. Wow! So great to have chance to meet fellow bloggers. Flying around Asia is can be exhausting with an over night layover…but so worth it. …to me with this shut down….I would love to be running around an airport. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Extremely jealous! Of those lovely cocktails… not that strange fellow you found at the airport. While he does resemble a certain blogger I used to know, that poor soul must have been kidnapped by elves because sightings of him are as rare as that thing in Loch Ness.
    Seriously though… great pics. Wish I could have joined you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi guys ! your blogs are coming thick and fast / guessing you are in lockdown to with nothing to do being teachers ! Your blog made me chuckle. In the 90s I too had a 6 hr layover in Bangkok but that was before anything as civilised as a subway had been built. I got in a bus to the city centre. After crawling along the jammed highway for 2 hours I got off, crossed somehow to the other side and took a bus back to the airport. I don’t even know how many 5 miles we had dine but it wasn’t gonna happen. I did eat some nice seafood at a place opposite the airport though so it wasn’t
    Completely futile. Hope you guys are well !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no – a missed opportunity! You’ve been back to Thailand since, haven’t you?
      I try to stick to a one-a-week-on-Fridays publishing schedule, but a few extra blog posts have been spewing out lately, plus the husband’s ELC mini pods. It’s a sign that we’re well and good here in Minnesota. Hope you guys are, too!


  4. I’ve met more than my fair share of bloggers in person, and it’s always fun to introduce myself as Swinged Cat. You know, if my blog handle were halfway as clever as liveandletthai, I’d probably just change my name to that permanently!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Meeting your fellow blogger is the best way to spend a long layover and it looks like you had lots of fun! I wouldn’t mind running around the airport now, with nearly three weeks of isolation, we are starting to feel the weight of it. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well…I think I’ve come out reasonably well in this blog 😀. Thank you for not mentioning how much profanity I use and that I have an aroma that only dogs could love. Seriously though, nobody has ever written about meeting me and this is the nicest thing to read. It was absolutely awesome to meet you (despite the torturous train journey at the start), and I hope we will all do it again. I look forward to my two week stay with you, being served fine wines and delicate sushi.
    Big love to you both and I hope you’re doing ok x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great blog. It’s always a relief when people meet (or exceed!) their online persona in the real world. I also enjoyed reading liveandletthai’s immigration centre blog. I give you full credit for my enjoyment of it! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Another blast from the past! That’s so cool you got to meet blogging friends in real life, and here I was just coming off Pete’s page reading about a similar story. And the pandemic tone of this post was still pretty mild, a great precursor of what was to come for us, lol. Do drop me a tinkle if you’re ever in Malaysia once more!


    1. Yeah, we got in our first trip to Asia just before the pandemic hit – whew! I’m always looking to meet up with blog buddies, so will do, and ditto if you’re ever in Minnesota (but then, why would anybody come to Minnesota? Haha.))


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