Sunday, November 26, 2006

I've got sand in everything, my camera's dead, and I have a sore foot. I'm happy.

Thursday, I get a text from Steve: “there is a group of us heading 2 ko samet this weekend if u r interested?”. So of course I said Yes. Friday I sneaked out of school early, dashed home, threw some things in my rucksack, grabbed a sunhat, and met the others at the pier at 4:30. We took the ferry into Bangkok, skytrain to the east bus terminal (ekamai), and got the coach to Ban Phe pier, where we caught a boat over to Ko Samet.

We arrived at midnight. The area around the pier was in darkness, and completely deserted. So we started walking down the road in search of civilisation. Eventually we found a taxi, which took us back the way we came, and up a dirt track to one of the island's resorts (slightly stretching the definition of “resort”: It consists of a group of “bungalows” – primitive one-bed huts with an en-suite shower and hole-in-the-ground). And then we explained we wanted to go to a bar, so it took us back down the road, back past the pier, down another dirt track, to a bar on the beach, where we kicked back on rugs on the sand. And swam in the sea – it was so warm! And completely clear – even in the poor light we could see the rippled sand at the bottom as we swam, so no worries about the sharks sneaking up on us (I'm kidding – there are no sharks in the gulf of Thailand – too salty apparently).

The bar we were at closed at 2am, and they switched off all the lights, but they let us keep the rugs if we promised to put them away when we left. Someone went to the 7-eleven to buy coke (to mix with our sangsom rum) and candles. Around 3am, we decided to try and find another bar, so we started walking along the beach. Murph stole my hat. Then Steve tackled him. Poor hat will never be quite the same again.

And then two English blokes came and found us (they'd heard – I guess from the taxi driver – that there were English people just arrived on the island). Turns out they own the resort that the taxi originally took us to. So we went back there. And played pool, and table tennis (until Murph and Mike destroyed the table tennis table), and played in the sea some more. We played in the sea most of the night. In fact, some of us never even went to bed at all that night. We're so hardcore. So maybe I am a party animal after all! Eventually it got light, and we were able to see our little beach. I'd post a photo, but I can't, because then Steve dropped my camera in the sea.

It was an eventful night. The rest of the weekend was more relaxed.

Saturday. 9:30. Having dragged Kerry off her barstool, we went to Ao Phrao (aka Sunset Beach) along the bumpiest dirt track in the world, had the most expensive breakfast in Thailand, and dozed on the beach. And swam some more. And sunbathed, and swam, and drank pina coladas (served in a coconut, of course), and swam, and sunbathed. It's a tough life. Then we watched the sun set over the sea, and ate at a barbecue on the beach. This is what it's all about.

Sunday. 10:00. Breakfast at “Jep's”, followed by sunbathing and swimming in the sea. And playing catch (for such a simple game, catch has an amazing capacity to amuse).

And then the resort owners ripped us off. Well not technically, I suppose, but it was a bit cheeky. The huts were meant to be 700 baht each, but they didn't explain that that was based on two sharing, and that it was 200 baht extra per person for more people sharing. And then they charged us even for those of us who didn't actually sleep, because they said we "used the facilities". What, a hole in the ground? And I never even managed a shower, since they didn't even work by the time I got up this morning (8:30). So basically they're charging 200 baht for the privilege of spending lots of money in their bar (well I didn't actually buy any drinks, but I could have, and I know between the 12 of us we certainly bought a few), so I kind of begrudge having to spend 500 baht (somehow we ended up 1000 baht short after collecting everyone's money together, so we all had to chip in an extra 100) for one night on a tiled floor with only a blanket. Even if that is only £7.50, it's still 500 baht – that's food for a week!

And then home. Boat to Ban Phe, coach to Bangkok, taxi to Nonthaburi, motorcycle to the house. All the sleep I've had this weekend has been four hours on a tiled floor last night, and three more hours dozing on the coach, so my bed feels like the most comfortable thing in the world at this point. Douse the cut on my foot (sustained on a pointy rock some time yesterday morning) with germolene. Sleep.

Fantastic weekend.


At 2:30 pm, Blogger roger said...

Disaster - how will we view your photographic progress?
Perhaps mother will send you hers because it's not being used much!


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