The title of the post refers to the lyrics of a song by the Don Bradmans, which you should find online. Obviously Trevor Howard isn’t here but the first bit is right
Another heartstoppingly beautiful view
The ferry from Rayong across to Koh Samet takes about 30 minutes and is a wooden boat about 40 feet long. When we boarded it was mostly empty.
By the time it sailed, it was very, very full, crammed with people, shopping, bags of chickens, noodles and vegetables, and schoolchildren, who are people too, and there was a mattress on the roof of the wheelhouse. And iron mongery, hardware, and more shopping bags.
The wheelhouse also was crammed full of shopping bags and people, and, as seems to be the way, the boat left when it was overloaded, and not to any kind of schedule.
The trip over took about 30 minutes, the engine making more noise than movement, and we arrived at Koh Samet pier.
It had been a long and fraught journey from Bang Bon, and the captain fraughtfully tied up next to a ferry, which was tied up next to another ferry, meaning that it was quite a clamber over the gunwhales, over the next boat and across the gunwhales again and then the next, until we were faced with a perilous climb up onto the pier, with a rucksack heavy with half a years supplies of cosmetics and shampoo and toothpaste. And in the gentle swell that moved to boats up and down, and away from each other.
This seemed daunting to some of the larger, more western passengers but nobody had an accident, or drowned, none that we noticed anyway, and so, unaware that our rooms were a fifteen minute walk away, we were charged far too much for a taxi ride.
Our room, being very very cheap, is small and sparce, but clean, with its own little bathroom/shower, lizard, and little table with two chairs outside the front door where I sit to smoke, right outside the small open air restaurant that is owned by the same people as the rooms. The house lizards are lovely little green cute fellers that eat mozzies and chirp, loudly and we’re happy to have him.
Our only complaint would be the pressure in the hose pipe bidet is a bit high, I swear some water came down my nose.
We ate at the place we’re staying in and were disappointed with the food and the cost. There had been a bunch of Thais eating there the night before and I’m sure they wouldn’t have been charged the same as we were.
We tried to build a relationship with the people who own the place, and, although they’re cordial and polite, they’re not really friendly.
There are far fewer people smiling at you, even when you catch their eye and smile at them, and say sawadee kap. Often they will turn their head away and pretend not to have seen you.
I’m not saying that they’re rude, or blunt, but they just don’t seem as happy as people we’ve met elsewhere, and that’s a shame.
We come here with our bellies and baseball caps, spend the same as a Thai’s years wage in a couple of weeks and leave them looking miserable. I hate to think what it’s like on Phucket.
So yesterday we hired a scooter for the month. We got a good rate from the people who own this place, but, having said that, there ain’t many places to go. The roads, and I don’t know how they have the cheek to call themselves roads, are concrete, for a mile or so. Then they’re broken concrete, rubble, sand, or not roads, but dirt tracks, deeply rutted by the rainy season and probably impossible on a scooter. And that, we now know, is why the taxis are Toyota Hilux with seats in the back, in the style beloved by guerilla fighters worldwide. Only without the machine guns.
Nel’s happy that we don’t have to walk past the dogs, but they don’t seem to be a problem here, except for one with a muzzle on, I think he may be naughty.
I already told mother about hiring the scooter, to preclude her putting any embarrassing comments up about how worried she’s going to be, and how I have to drive carefully and slowly. Well, this morning I went past the 20km mark for the first time. That’s 12mph mum. Concrete somehow looks less pleasant to crash onto wearing shorts than tarmac.
Our first trip out was down to the beach resorts on the west coast, where the sand is silver and so fine that it feels like snow to walk on.
The beach is packed with tourists.
The bars have football screens playing but happily there is one that doesn’t play the ubiquitous R&B nonsense. One of the young blokes who works there came in with a guitar, so I asked him if he plays, and he said he’s learning, I said I play too, a little, so he asked me to go by one afternoon and teach him a little.
Last night the man who owns the place here said that there’s a fire show in town at one of the resorts so we thought ok, and buzzed down there. Hundreds of mats had been laid on the beach, and hundreds of futons upon which hundreds of people sat eating. We had fruit juice and didn’t wait for the show. You can see that down the Barge any Saturday in the summer.
We had a couple at guitar boy’s place and then headed back to our rooms, still trying to be friendly with the locals. They gave me Leo for the same price as the locals buy it and we sat, mostly ignored while the landlady watched tv at stun level.
There is a huge fish in a tank and I went over to look at it floating there, barely room for it to turn, feeling sure it would be happier in the ocean.
The Thais aren’t sentimental about animals in the same way that we are in the west, and largely ignore the ones they don’t eat. Like the chickens we saw scratting about on the beach today. Not the rounded fluffy things we see back home but big, tall rangey things that look like they’d have your eye out.
Nel came over to look at the fish and it went mental, throwing itself at the glass and flapping its great fleshy mouth.
Poor Nel, animals just don’t like her for some reason.
She looked crestfallen but cheered herself up by choosing to think it loves her, and didn’t want to bite her head off at all, and then a toad to size of my head plopplopped across the road.
This is the definition of farang I found in a Thai Urban dictionary :
Thai word for white people or Westerners, generically referring to non-asians. Generally used without derogatory connotation, derived from the Thai word “farangsayt” for French.
Also Thai word for guava. *Of course drinks are expensive here, it caters mostly to farang*.
Farang or Falang Also ‘prang’ in the southern Thai dialect
The generic Thai word for specifying a white person or white foreigner
Normally non offensive. Although continued use after knowledge of your name is considered rude.
The origin of the word is still debated.
1) “farang-set” (meaning French/France) 2) the bastardization of the English word “Foreign”
*I hate Phuket, there are too many Farang*.
*I understand why some Thai’s hate Farang*.
*Farang have ruined Thailand*.
Farang A generic term for any White man who has a fetish for Asian women. Typically the White man assumes that the Asian woman is “exotic” and “submissive”. Often, the White man is someone who is unable to score a White woman and thus tries his luck with Asian women. Thanks to the “S.H.A.B.” and “Farang-lover” phenomenon, he is often successful. The word originally derived from the Thai word for a White man but, since Thailand is famous for White men who vacation there to score Asian women, it has come to denote any White man who has an Asian woman fetish. *Practically every Asian woman out there is in the arms of a Farang.*