Sunday 28 July. In aeroplane in sky.

11st (feels like), alcohol units 8 (but in-flight so cancelled out by altitude), cigarettes 0 (desperate, no-smoking seat), calories 1 million (entirely made up of things would never have dreamt of putting in self's mouth were they not on in-flight tray).

4pm English time. Having to pretend to be very busy wearing Walkman and writing as ghastly man next to self in ice-blue synthetic safari suit keeps trying to talk to me in between silent but deadly farting. Tried pretending to have fallen asleep while holding nose, but ghastly man shook my shoulder and said "Do you have any hobbies?" Sharon and I are separated as we were so late for plane (had to go back for spare contact lenses and one pink jelly mule) that there were only separate seats left and Shazzer was in complete grump with me. Seems, however, to have unaccountably got over it (nothing to do with fact that she is sitting next to Harrison Ford-style stranger with jeans and crumpled khaki shirt and looking up at him with expression that could be used to pour on pancakes, waffles or similar. Humph. While I am stuck to Mr Synthetic Fabric Fart Bottom). Non-vg start but still v. excited re: Thailand trip.

Sharon and I are going to be travellers rather than tourists - ie, not stay in hermetically-sealed tourist enclaves, but get close to the people. Also am going to be v. elegant in holiday outfits.

HOLIDAY AIMS

1. Be hippy-style traveller.

2. Have spiritual epiphany.

3. Lose weight through mild - not life-threatening - dysentery.

4. Get subtle biscuit-style suntan - not bright orange in manner of Angie Best, nor melanoma or wrinkle-inducing.

5. Have nice time.

6. Poss. find romance, though confused as think love Mark Darcy back home in spite of him saying it is rainy season in Thailand. Huh! As if! V. excited re: blue sea, skies, temples (not too many, though, hope).

Sunday 29 July. Bangkok

2am local time. Oh God! Shazzer and I are trying to get to sleep in worst place I have ever been in. Think am going to suffocate and stop breathing. Mark Darcy was right: when we flew in over Bangkok there was thick grey cloud and it was pissing rain. The Sin Sane (Sin Sae) Guest House has no toilet, just hideous stinking hole in ground. Open window and fan make no difference whatsoever since air is nearest possible thing to warm water without actually being it. There is disco underneath and in pauses can hear everyone in entire street moaning and not able to get to sleep either. Feel like great white flobbering bloated thing. Hair has first turned into feathers then become plastered down to face. Worst of it is, Sharon has fallen in love with Harrison Ford-style airline stranger and is wittering on about him.

"So well travelled ... was on Sudan Airways when the pilot and co-pilot decided to shake hands with all the passengers and the cockpit door shut behind them! They had to hack it down with an axe. So witty. He's staying at the Oriental - said to come over."

6am. Finally got to sleep at 4.30, only to be woken at 5.45 by Sharon bouncing on bed saying we should go to a temple and watch sunrise (through 300ft of cloud?). Cannot go on. Aargh. Something v. horrible seems to be going on in stomach.

11am. Sharon and I have been up for five hours, four-and-a-half of which have been spent taking it in turns to go to the "toilet". Sharon says suffering and simple life is part of spiritual epiphany. We are going to meditate.

3pm. Hurrah. We have checked into the Oriental Hotel! Is fantastic. Changed immediately into powder-blue bathrobes and played with bubble bath etc. Realise will cost more for one night than week in Corfu, but is emergency and what are credit cards for? Also, Shazzer says it is not necessary to completely rough it all the time in order to be a traveller since it is the contrast between worlds and lifestyles which makes one have a spiritual epiphany. Could not agree more - greatly appreciate, for example, simultaneous presence of toilet and bidet in view of current stomach scenario.

8pm. Humph. Shazzer was asleep for ages, so decided to go out for walk on terrace of hotel. Was fantastic, stood in inky darkness and warm breeze looking over bend in Chao Phraya river - and all little lights and oriental boats. Flying is marvellous thing - only 24 hours ago was sitting on bed at home surrounded by wet washing - now all is unbelievably exotic and romantic. Was just about to light cigarette when suddenly lighted match appeared under nose. Glanced at the face in the matchlight and squeaked. It was the Airline Harrison Ford! He fetched treble gin and tonics, explaining was v. important to take quinine in tropics. We talked for ages. Told him we were going to hippy island of Koh Samui to stay in hut and have spiritual epiphany. He said he might come too. By this time was feeling rather woozy, what with all the quinine, then he brushed one finger gently down the side of my cheek and it was all so heady and romantic, ended up kissing him (sort of thing that could happen to anyone). Suddenly, though, right in middle felt someone pull my hair.

"Bridget," hissed a voice. "Call yourself a bloody friend."

Oh no, oh no. It was bloody Shazzer.

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