As expected, it's more of the same old thing.
Kate and Lane have gone to the beach and I'm staying out of the sun and out of trouble. With so many shoe and handbag shops out there and no space for STUFF in my luggage, I'm banned from bargaining unless it's for stuff that's edible!
[Image = What I think are candies shaped like cut flowers]
I've noticed there are no more mysterious, veiled women here in Phuket province. In Kata, anyway, everyone is in western beach wear and on the beach...the flesh hangs out in copious folds, flaps and formations. Lovely young things in tiny thong bikinis and handsome young men with tight stomachs blend in with red, rotund gents and large gelatinous women, none of whom seem to care about dress or decorum. I sat on the seawall for awhile and wished I'd brought a sketch book. No camera could capture this richness of imagery.
[Image = Katie (?) accompanied by female tourists from Saudi Arabia and/or the United Arab Emirates. That, or Yemen.]
The streets teem with food vendors. Tasty looking cubes of fish, meat and chicken, veggies and fruits of all kinds whet your appetite and then it hits you. Like a blast from a hidden jet of evil, a powerful whiff of sewer gas knocks you into closing your wallet and moving on. Where does this come from? There seems to be no obvious source. The streets appear to be clean and there are no privvies in proximity and yet, the pervasive and pungent scent of poo is there.
There are no timeshare people here. This obnoxious and exasperating animal is somehow absent from Thailand, but it's likely a matter of time before they, like other invading species find a way to thrive on this turf.
Tsunami sirens tower high above the entrance to the beach. This area was hard hit and people will tell you how the devastation affected them and their families. Nobody was exempt from suffering. Still, the resilience of the human spirit abounds and the local advertising is peppered with slogans reminding tourists that it's "better now it's rebuilt" and "we're STILL cleaning up!" (clearance sale)
Vendors are MULTI lingual. They call to you in every language and it's a game for some of them to see how many they can use. "Are you from Holland?" and they offer you their wares in Dutch. "Are you from France?" And they will bargain in French. Kate has already started to memorize some phrases in Thai. She knows the numbers up to 10, the names for a lot of foods and the very useful "Don't shoot! The drugs aren't mine!!!" I'm still working on "hello and goodbye"
Well, I've held onto this machine for too long and have to give it up to others, so will sign off for today. Tonight it's my turn to choose the cuisine and I think I'd like to hit the shop that offers "shark and fried". This must be the equivalent to Thai fish and chips. Maybe they serve it in newspapers! Cheers for now.
[Image: Local Islands seen at a distance.]
- It does look as if Katie and Lane took her on their honeymoon.
- Given the mess she made buying carrots in Oaxaca, I wouldn't trust her with food.
- She ran her mouth about "mysterious veiled women" again, I noticed; it would take a frakking miracle to refer to them as "Saudi nationals."
- She seems to have no clear idea that the sewers in Thailand aren't as efficient as the ones in the West.
- She got in a nice dig at timeshare salesmen and beach goers who aren't rail thin.
- Human disinterest alert: as I expected, she said something facile, witless and chirpy about the tsunami.
- Lynn the poor guest: she rattles off a nasty comment about drugs because she has no one her own age to drive her around and see the sights.
- Luddism: She signs off feeling bummed out that she doesn't have a hard copy of her annoying letter.