Yesterday we watched a comically drunken dog stagger down the beach. We assumed it was drunk, if not it was on its last legs and probably had only minutes left to live.
It actually did that thing you do after a long night, where you start to tip over to the right, and the only way your mind can figure out to stay upright is to stop and to take the weight off your other leg, then you go too far the other way and do a little run because your head has gone too far to the left now and you need to get your legs underneath it.
We guessed that some tourists had been giving it beer.
A little later on a good looking couple came onto the beach with a man with two cameras and a wife.
We’ve seen quite a lot of posing going on. Thais and Chinese and westerners do it, in fact everyone does it apart from us repressed British, they all sit in the surf, or do a synchronised jump for the camera, but this couple were out there posing for an hour and a half. Maybe they were models. The photographers wife was putting them into all kinds of poses and they’d bought changes of clothes and everything! They even ran through the surf in slowmo. They ended up in their underwear, frolicking in the surf, the naughty scamps.
After a while it became obvious that he’d not bought his swimming cossie when his skiddies got sea through. I think they were Russians. And I think he was circumcised.
This was handed to us on the beach. You can slip straight to the bottom line
Today is our last day on Koh Samet and I have a big bag of mixed feelings, a huge bag, a bag the size of the bags you get from the laundarette to take your washing home in.
On the one hand I was bored with beach bummery after half a day. Even David Attenborough would run out of things to say about the sand, and the crabs, and the Mynah birds, and the snake that caused such a big sandy slither of excitement on the beach, beautiful and wondrous as they are. David Attenborough would have been off in the woods, classifying new species of ants I expect.
It seems like gravity defying churlishness to go on about it, sitting here, on the beach, on a desert island, but I’ve never enjoyed sitting on the sand, trying to find a comfortable position while sweat squirts from every pore and every day there’s the discussion about how I’d like some shade and Nel would like to sit in the sun, and how the sun, just sixty feet above the surface of the earth here in Thailand makes me so hot and bothered. I’ve actually cooked an egg on my own head.
On the other hand, we’re going to miss the people we’ve met here. Francesco and Torm and Nye the little boy who’s really a girl, and his girlfriend, who’s really a girl as well.
Last week at Francesco’s we spent an evening in conversation with an Irishman who turned out to be the media director for the Irish cricket team. We talked about politics and things and I told him my brother lost his job printing the Irish Times. So he gave me his email address to pass on to him, because he knows people and might be able to help him out. What a lovely man!
Another night was spent in the fascinating company of a journalist who’d written for the Times and the Telegraph and fed my already considerable weight of paranoia about the ways of the world governance with jaw dropping stories of corruption and secret politics much of the detail of which I forgot by the next morning but which added to the big lump of unidentifiable unease and anger about the injustice of the world that I carry about. I enjoyed it enormously.
You get to hear other people’s lives. I’ve learned a lot about just how angry Italians are about Berlusconi, and Beppe Grillo’s online party fighting to boot out corruption in politics – look him up, it’s the second biggest party in some parts of Italy and all started by a comedian reaching out to people online.
Papa Roger’s, where you sit in the gutter drinking Leo laughing with Swedes or listening to travellers tales. And the island bar, where you can buy a beer from a Thai man with the funniest smile, and then watch him break a Russian’s nose.
We’ve spent far too much money but there’s little else to do in the evenings, certainly not sitting in our less than salubrious (quite a lot less) room with the tv (television) that only shows Thai tv (television) but has such bad reception that it doesn’t actually show that really.
I’ve read nine books while we’ve been here. Well, three books, but I’ve read them all three times.
Last night we met an Australian family who’ve live in Thailand for a while. Darren is technical manager in Asia for a company that supplies the foundry industry and he sorts out technical casting matters in China and Thailand and Malaysia and everywhere. We’re meeting them for dinner tonight at Romeo’s.
We *had* thought about leaving last week but decided we’d stop so we could see Torm this weekend before we go.
So we’re hoping to make the ten o’clock ferry tomorrow, quickly nipping into the book shop in Ban Phe, then a bus to Rayong and then, with luck we’ll find out how to get a big bus to Trat. They call them VIP busses here and they have seats and a luggage compartment, so I won’t have tto stomach the guilt of seeing the driver sling our rucksacks onto a passengers lap. And hopefully it will have a driver who understands Newton’s laws of motion and cares whether he lives or dies. One who loves his wife and has grandchildren and likes to grow veg and roses, and never forgets his anniversary and drinks a bottle of real ale every night after dinner. A good solid dependable kind of man, that’s the kind of driver I’d like. Not one who feels excepted from the laws of physics and wants to cave your skull in on the roof linings and likes count the teeth in the back rest of the seat in front to see if he’s broken yesterdays count.
The world’s longest house number surely. Pity the postman who has to deliver an envelope big enough to write it on!