The legendary Mel, snake blood and bats


Mel getting to know an elephant
Mel getting to know an elephant

Mel McDonnell is the third contributor in our Tuesday Tales. Seems she’s had some rather interesting experiences…

1. How do we know each other?
I met you one night outside Post Laser Disc, Hat Yai in November 2012.

2. Describe yourself using adjectives that start with the letters in your first name? (E.g. Bob – bubbly, organised, bashful)
Modest, Exquisite, Legendary, Amazing, Never ending legendarily amazing, Internally and externally amazingly fabulous, Entirely modest.

3. What do you do now and where do you live?
I am a teacher and I live in Hat Yai, Thailand.

4. If you could be any age for the rest of your life, what age would you choose? Why?
I couldn’t stay at one age, I like change too much.

5. How many countries have you lived in?
Two, England and Thailand.

6. How many countries have you visited (not including airport stop-overs)?

7. What’s your favourite method of travelling?  Plane, boat, train or car? (Or anything else)

8. What are your 5 favourite foods?
Caramel, Lemon/lime, Chocolate, roast dinner, Som Tam (Thai green papaya salad)

9. What is the craziest food you’ve ever eaten? Would you recommend it?

Intrepid explorer

Intrepid explorer

Snake blood and bile. The snake blood and bile was worth tasting as it is a very different flavour, it was the whole experience that made it such fun, but yeah I would reccomend it – never try, never know!

10. What is your most memorable experience from your travelling?
Koh Tonsai, swimming at night after the electricity was turned off.  Shooting stars and phosphorescent plankton.

11. Name a beautiful sound that you heard on your travels.
When I hear, “Please fasten your seat belt ready for take off.”

12. Excluding your passport and purse, what are 2 things you NEVER travel without?
Toothbrush and toothpaste. (I would have said hair straighteners and penknife, but I’ve been parted from them and coped!)

13. How many languages can you speak?

Steering her path (backwards)

Steering her path (backwards)


14. Which languages can you say, ‘How are you?’ in?
Four. English, French, Thai and Spanish

15. What are your 3 best packing tips?
Take backpack with wheels and a multi purpose pen knife.  (Do not leave knife in hand luggage by mistake.)

Always pack a sarong. They are so versitile you can use for a bedsheet, towel, on the beach, as a skirt, a top, a dress, use as a bag, roll into a pillow, have a picnic on it…etc…etc. best travelling item!

When packing nail varnishes, just take 2 then mix the colours to make lots of different variations on your trip

16. What are some of the wildest animals you’ve ever touched?
A new born baby bat landed on the car yesterday as we were driving when we stopped it was clinging on for dear life. We fed it with milk and eventually released it onto a banana tree.

17. Which oceans or seas have you paddled or swum in?

Pretty as a picture

Pretty as a picture

North Atlantic ocean, Mediterranean sea, Andaman Sea, South China Sea, Red Sea.

18. If someone had told you 5 years ago that you would be where you are now, would you have believed them?


19. What techno-gadgets do you own?
A laptop

20. Who would you like to sit next to on a long-distance journey and why?
My best friend Laura, there’s no one more I’d love to spend a long time with to have a good old catch up, a few drinks and enjoy the journey.

21. Your craziest experience and if relevant, would you recommend it?
Falling off a moped, exhilarating but I wouldn’t recommend it.

22. Something that you’d like to try… (food or experience – keep it clean please!)
I would like to go in a hot air balloon!

23. When you fly, do you prefer to arrive at the airport extra early or get there just in the nick of time? Why?
I really love airports. A boyfriend even took me to one on a date once!  If I’m flying I always get there very early to have a good look around and make the most of it

24. 2 important things you have learnt from your travels.
How to make Som Tom (Thai green papaya salad) and a krathong (a floating slice of a banana tree trunk (or bread) decorated with flowers, incense and a candle and made as part of the Thai festival ‘Loy Kratong) . Oh so important.

Don't mess with this girl

Don’t mess with this girl

25. What 3 points of advice would you give to would-be travellers?

Don’t worry about anything that happens, everything will turn out ok.

If unsure, do it.  You won’t regret the fact that you did.

Don’t shake a banana tree whilst stood under it. It won’t be just banana’s that fall out.


I asked Mel what DID fall out because my curiosity got the better of me and the answer was, “1000’s of ants, possibly an ant’s nest.” Urgh…

Thanks Mel, sounds like you’ve had some cool experiences. But I’m leaving the snake blood and bile out of MY adventures …




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