Koh Samui. December 2015

So, we checked in, unpacked and wandered down to the beach where i couldn’t resist having a first swim. It wasn’t a long one, and i came out to find Jaki asleep on the sun bed.

We grabbed a beer at a small beach bar next door and waited for Georgia to join us. When she did she had a Coke in a Glass bottle and reminded us that she had put on weight when she was traveling because of her liking for Coke.

See, you learn some thing about your kids each day.

We decided to eat in the Hotel as we were too tired to walk out onto the street and it wasn’t long before we were tucking into some stir fried Beef, Salmon fillet and a very hot (would you like that Spicy Madam? Oh yes please) Tom Yum.

It was still happy hour and the server encouraged us to have a cocktail.

Happy hour is ‘two for one’.

So, we ordered two cocktails and because you then get two extra ones free, we named two different cocktails, so four in all.

So, this is where it gets complicated.

The waitress understood that to mean four cocktails plus another four so eight in total!
Given we hadn’t really wanted an alcoholic drink in the first place this presented some thing of a challenge and we wobbled off to bed inebriated and an awful lot poorer.

The next morning was not what i had expected. Now i had all the symptoms of Man Flu and a hang over,Plus, I was still stone deaf.

But if your gonna feel unwell, what better place to do it than on a sun bed, on the beach in Samui?

We ate breakfast on the terrace, helping ourselves to the various dishes on offer, as well as the fresh cooked eggs any style. George made for the fruit and wondered if she would get ill if she ate too many of the small flies that always accompany fruit here.

I took a shine to the Spam with embedded chilli. ‘Plopped ham with Chalk’ we used call it when i was a kid.

Jaki, always the traditionalist had Muesli.

Im not sure but i get the impression the breakfast buffet isn’t quite as good it was last time? There didn’t seem to be the range of items, what there was looked a bit tired, it wasn’t displayed as well as id remembered. Is that just my memory playing tricks or are global finances really making a difference? We have noticed that prices have gone up quite significantly since 2013.

After breakfast we found ourselves some sun beds and settled in for a day on the beach.

It wasn’t long before we were surrounded by Hawkers offering Massage, Foot scrub and Pedicure and despite insisting we didn’t want any of these treatments today, it wasn’t long before all three of us were led on our stomachs with a Thai lady filing an inch of hard skin from the bottoms of our feet.

The foot scrub was 400BHT and the Pedicure 300 which is a bit expensive, however this puts money directly into the hands of local people (as opposed to purchasing these services through the Hotel) so we were happy to pay up.

There is some thing unnerving about allowing some one to handle your feet. Its almost Biblical. The story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples suggests a subservience, an us and them that is uncomfortable. However, if we allowed that moral principal to rule and declined to engage, how would these guys survive? What other activity would they be forced to take on?
We had a long discussion one night about the rights and wrongs of the sex trade here in Samui. There are lots and lots of very young, slim Thai Ladies with some very old, over weight European guys and Georgia could not understand why these pretty young girls would have anything to do with these UGLY men.I suspect she has never had to face the decisions these Women have. Being hungry in Georgia’’s world is fancying a Nandos rather than going without food completely. I suspect there are rights and wrongs here, and three slightly spoilt Foreigners are best keeping their opinions to themselves?

Jaki got herself a telling of from her foot lady when she tried to put the sun umbrella up (to give some protection against the few drops of rain that had started to fall) and stood in the sand with freshly painted toe nails.

It wasn’t long before the rain really started to come down and the protection of the sun umbrellas was insufficient so we were forced to head back to the room where reading our holiday books (Kindle in most cases) on the balcony became the main source of entertainment.

I took this opportunity to get some sleep as i was still feeling pretty awful and the cough was wearing me down.

Strangely i slept till 1630.

It was a horrible narcotic sleep, deep and intense with vivid dreams. In one I and a group of unidentified people had a very dark secret that made me feel sick when i thought about it. There had been a storm at sea and a guy in a Kayak had managed to battle his way to safety on the edge of a rock. Just when he thought he had reached safety, i pushed his Kayak with my foot and he slipped back into the ocean.

I woke feeling heavy, dry, like i felt when i was a kid and you had to have a few days in bed cause you were unwell, but your Mum made you have an extra one just to be sure.

It was still raining when i woke and it was starting get dark.

We got ourselves cleaned up and ventured out onto the street, without much of a plan.

I needed the Pharmacy where i paid 400 BHT for a pack of tablets and a bottle of cough mixture which the lady told me would cure my cough!

Jaki managed to find some skimmed milk so we could have a cup of tea in the morning (we brought our own tea bags) but then we lost our rudder.

Wandering aimlessly down the road, looking at the shops, the bars, the restaurants and food stalls is exciting the first time, but we had all been here before so it wasn’t long before we needed to agree an action plan which had to contain, having a drink and eating some food.

This is always a difficult moment and those that followed my blog through Australia will know that one of our few arguments came because we couldn’t decided which restaurant to go in.

Georgia expressed a wish to ‘go some where decent’ though she was unable to elaborate on this further. Jaki contributed an “I don’t Mind where we go” which wasn’t exactly helpful and so, as we were standing outside the Bondi Bar we decided to go in. We did eat here last time and it wasn’t too bad, though why we came all this way and chose Pizza for our first meal out still defies logic, but we did.

They were good Pizzas, they were big Pizzas, they had a lot of chicken, lots of spice and plenty of that really stretchy Cheese, but they were just Pizza.

When the bill came it was about 1750 BHT for the 2 Pizzas, a chicken Burger, 2 white wines (jaki) a soft drink for George and two coconut milk for me. Again, this seemed to be a significant increase.

Talking to traders on the street they are all reporting that tourist numbers are down, less Russians, Less Germans. Those that are coming aren’t so keen to spend their money and local traders are feeling the pinch.

Strangely the Christmas Eve Banquet at the Hotel (which was compulsory) is charging for wine this year and the cheapest bottle is £40. In the shop next door a bottle of wine is 350 BHT about £7. Is there a link?

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