Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 10: Fuck it, I'm going to Phuket!

I checked out of the hotel early, and wandered down the road to find
some breakfast. On the way I encountered a marine iguana the size of
a dog crossing the road. As I fumbled to get my camera, this
seemingly slow moving animal jumped into the ditch and disappeared. I
stopped atbthe first food stand I came across. The woman running it
spoke no English, so I motioned "eat" with my hand, and she served me
a heaping bowl of yellow coconut rice with chicken, and a cucumber
salad. That hit the spot! I paid her 25 baht, and was back in time
to see my transport to the airport show up. I got in the van with a
Chinese couple, an old man of about 60, and his young wife of about
25. A few minutes into the trip, she leaned over and started
frenching him. I smiled to myself and thought, "Good on him!". I
figured that old guy must be loaded. I whipped out the iPhone, and
busied myself with my blog.

There was a huge traffic jam at the ferry on the way back to the Krabi
airport, so it took a good 3-4 hours to get back. We arrived at the
airport, and I immediately caught a cab going to Phuket. But first, I
stopped at the western union to finally pick up the cash that Bank of
America had sent me days ago. I bought my driver some lunch, (For
some reason he thought it was hilarious that I got him a club
sandwich.) and we were off. I was on my way to meet up with William,
an American I met in Bangkok. Will was renting a house on Phuket
island, (Not to be confused with Phuket Town) and he had invited me to
crash there, and maybe learn a little kiteboarding.

On the way it began to monsoon, hard. The combination of being in the
back of a car and the sound of the rain and thunder, totally took me
back to when I was a kid, and I just passed out. Car rides always
make me sleepy, as does the sound of rain.

I awoke to see jungle-capped limestone mountains looming all around,
shaped like tall eggs. It was a rock climber's paradise! We finally
arrived at the beach restaurant Will and his brother were eating at.
Will came out to greet me, jumped on his motorbike, and guided us the
rest of the way to the house.

The place was sweet! It was one of the first places built after the
typhoon, so it was pretty brand new. It stood out from the
neighboring buildings with it's ocean-blue tiled roof. Inside, the
décor was reminiscent of a YMCA pool. All the floors were the same
smooth, blue ceramic tile, and the railings were a polished, tubular
aluminum. It was 2 stories tall, with an enormous second-story deck
and 4 bedrooms.

Soon Matt, Will's younger brother, showed up. Matt stands close to a
foot taller than Will, so Will jokingly introduced him as his "little"
brother.

As the monsoon returned, Will informed me that we had been invited to
a neighbor's home for dinner. The village we were in was pretty
small, and as foreigners we really stood out. It just happened that a
pastor from Los Angeles lived a couple of houses behind ours, so it
wasn't long before introductions were made.

The three of us ran to the pastor's house, showing up less than a
minute later, soaked to the gills. There I met pastor Dana, and his
wife, Cindy. They were a couple in their 50's with an easy manner and
warm smiles.

Cindy had prepared some spagetti with meat sauce and cheese. We ate
with gusto around their kitchen table, then sat for hours, sipping
fragrant iced tea, and talking about living as an expatriot in
Thailand. Both of them gave us some excellent tips on communication,
as they worked closely with the community, and cindy taught English.
It seems Thai English is very different from American English. The
words are spelled the same, but pronounced radically differently.

After dark, the 3 of us departed back to the blue house to await the
arrival of "Care Bear", Will's Thai girlfriend, who was flying in from
Pattaya.

As we drank huge bottle of Singha beer, and passed around a flask of
sweet rum, we shared tales of our lives. Will was and ex-cop from
Hawaii, now working in Afghanistan as a mentor of sorts. He must find
the local chief of a region, and teach them to budget, along with
other things. Matt is a full time student, living in Fresno. He
studies chemistry and astronomy, and has been in college for close to
8 years.

So we sat, the Warrior, the Scientist, and the Artist. It's amazing
how when television is removed from the equation, and replaced with
beer, the art of good conversation comes alive. Still, towards the
end of the night, we entertained ourselves by whistling themes from
80's tv shows, movies, and video games, and trying to guess what they
were.

Soon, Care Bear arrived, and our party was complete. We drunkenly
snacked on rambutans as she introduced herself as Tory. Care Bear was
her hash name.
A hash club in Thailand, by the way, has nothing to do with drugs.
It's a running/drinking club. You run and drink. Everyone in a hash
club has a nickname, hers was Care Bear, and it's were she met Will.

It was late, so we all turned in for the night, tomorrow we were going
to explore Phuket.


Jason Phipps
Art Director
Big Boss Creative
(818)841-8900

1 comment:

Kris said...

Please tell me youve ran into some pirates in your journeys. I NEED TO KNOOOOOOOOOW!