Thursday, May 03, 2007

A tropical storm

There's another storm been brewing all afternoon (it's been raining a lot lately - the rainy season seems to have come early this year), but that's not going to stop us from partying! We start the night off in Blue Moon bar, as we usually do. The rain duly arrives at around midnight. Jackie valiantly continues to DJ while we shelter in a cupboard behind the bar (it's very useful being friends with the bar staff) until they close the bar.

Me, Sophia and Sara in a cupboard.

We head to Silver Sands, where after a while the storm grows so fierce that they actually close early. The rain is torrential and shows no sign of letting up. So while everyone else shelters under the small roofed area at Silver Sands, Sara and I decide it would be a good idea to go to the 7-11. So we steal Tee's motorbike (actually we did ask first. Well, Sara asked first and he said no, so I asked and he said yes because he loves me), and we're driving up the road, I'm holding the umbrella we stole at Blue Moon bar earlier, trying to protect Sara from the rain whilst actually allowing her to see in front of her (and not doing a very good job of it, unfortunately), and we pass Jackie and a couple of other guys coming down the road. Jackie calls out something about a tree, so we round the corner and there it is – massive great big tree fallen right across the road, right in the middle of a puddle so large and deep that with a couple of gnomes and an ornamental stone hedgehog it could easily qualify for a garden pond (I'm quite sure I felt a fish swim past my foot as we waded through). So we stop the bike and puzzle over how we're going to get over, around or through the tree when some random people come along and help us out. So, safely on the other side of the tree, we clamber back on board, shout a few kop-khuns in the direction of the random people, who are already speeding off on their bike, and we're on our way again. Okay, picture the worst stony dirt track you've ever seen, add some potholes, miscellaneous rubble and a random dilapidated speed bump or two (!), and that's the road through Ko Samet until you get to the village. I know everyone's going to be furious with me for being so reckless as to pillion bikes along this road (especially with Sara "I've lost my motorbike" Thynne driving, and particularly in these conditions), but it's really much safer than it sounds (mostly because you can't go at any speed – the road simply won't allow it, so even if we were to come off we wouldn't have been able to do much damage. Honestly). So anyway, we eventually arrive at the 7-11, park the bike in a rubbish tip, praying that no-one will steal it (Tee didn't give us the key, it's just got a magic switch so you only need the key once), go inside (where it's perishing cold in our soaking wet state, because the 7-11 always has the aircon set to sub-arctic, regardless of the weather) and get our 35 baht chicken steak burgers. Run into O (7-11, between about 2:30 and 4am, is the place to be – we always run into someone we know).


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