Same same, but different

“Same same, but different”, say the Thais. And I think that sums up both what’s going on in the Middle East and with my training.It’s day 37 for them. I’m on day 4 now.

I’m still trying to be ‘saba sabai’ when I train. Actually I’m trying to be saba sabai generally. It doesn’t come easy but I’m learning.

With the training, I’ve already started to notice a few changes in the way in both my body and the way I behave.

My stomach muscles seem to be more defined (though not enough yet to help my balance yet).

I’ve gone from no warm up run on day one, to a 20 min run on day two and a 30 minute warm up run on day 3. (Don’t expect me to increase it). I did see two of the Muay Thai guys running along the beach yesterday at about 12.30pm. I was happily lying by the pool and left them to it.

I now look forward to the bouncing on-a-tyre exercise. I haven’t fallen off since my first day and the excruciating pain this jumping caused in my left leg in particular seems to have gone. My legs seem to be getting stronger. :o).

Mentally with the training I go from feeling on a bit of a high to feeling frustrated. There is so much to learn and the movements are so precise. Sometimes I only know that I have done something right by the tone of Kob’s voice. His regular  slightly agreived ‘Aaagh’  changes to a cry of surprise and his eyes light up. I’m guessing that means I’m doing something right at least but am still falling into the bad habits of winding up my punches, not angling my knee enough on an attack and not twisting my hip when I kick. Even after a couple of years of Muay Thai at home I still can’t get the different round house right. But rather than trying hard to get it right, I’m relaxing a bit more and seeing where it gets me.

And not a personal change, but over the last 3 days some of the Muay Thai crew have been building a shop in the corner of the gym. It’s gone from being a marked off area to having four walls and a window. I do love seeing things built.

All these are tiny changes  in comparison to what lies ahead for certain South African farmers. It seems that in an attempt to restore their land to fertility the Georgian government are sponsoring an influx of farmers from South to North. Now adjusting to a change from the wide-open velds to the frozen fields of Georgia would not be a change I’d relish. But where there are opportunities, people will follow.

On that note one of the few people I’ve been chatting to here is the lovely Nina who has just started working in the restaurant (and it shows).  She’s one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen but for some very odd reasons she seems to think the same of me and is particularly taken with my curly mop.  She’s come over from Indonesia as the work here is better, she says, though I fear for how long she’ll last. Having previously worked for a motorbike manufacturer, I’m not so sure here waitress skills are up to much, but her charm is such that it’s easy to forgive.Even the laid-back Californian, Kegan who helps ‘run’ this place (he sits in the office anyway) seems to be unsure how long she’ll last.

Same same but different

tablet to blow the others away. Rory Cellan jones is still on my TV.

John Simpson is still in a flak jacket. On one of my last days at BBC WS I got in the lift with someone carrying a flak jacket for Jeremy Bowen. The logistics of that confused me a little. JB being in a turbulent Egypt at the time and the flak jacket in a slightly less turbulent Bush House. Pension strikes are one thing but AKs  seem a step too far for journalists.

Gadafi is still ….well….still… what can I say? Driving a golf cart…

The crazy bird is still waking me up at 6am every day.

I’ve still got an odd rash.

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