Im sat on the balcony and its just getting light. 0610hrs.
Ive been awake for 30 minutes waiting for enough light to come through the curtains to herald dawn. Its cold in the room with the air conditioning running so it was a shock to step out into the heat, even at this time of morning.
My morning routine consists of putting the kettle on and trying to make a cup of tea in the toilet without disturbing Jaki who doesn’t usually wake for another 3 hours.
This is a good time to Blog as everyone else is asleep so the Wi-fi works.
Its just the two of us now.
Georgia checked out and moved to Chaweng yesterday to meet up with Frazer her boyfriend. He’s been traveling with a group of friends since the 11th December but as of yesterday him and Georgia will be a back packer team of two.
Which is probably a good thing as ‘The Boys’ seem to be loosing a bit of cohesion. They’ve had a few disagreements and are starting get into trouble.
Too much time in each others company with too much alcohol and no parents to sort them out you might say?
So, we put Georgia in a taxi and waved her off.
It wasn’t too hard this time. Well be seeing her today and probably say goodbye tomorrow when they catch the ferry to Koh Phangan for the ‘Full Moon Party’ with millions of other youngsters. Then they fly to Cambodia on the 10th January. Where the traveling really begins.
Its been great having her home, though she’s spent most of the time living with Frazer at his Mums as we are still in the process of renovating another bungalow and have only recently organised beds for the two of us The week before we came away, Georgia returned and has been sleeping on the floor in the lounge, poor kid.
We always knew she would go away again and as such we’ve had time to adjust to that.
Since she got back last December she has been working toward going travelling again (especially when Chloe and Charley took off to do all the things George had done, Australia, Melbourne, Bundy etc).
She just never really settled back home though she found work, it was always a means to an end.
She’s very focused when she needs to be and saved a fantastic amount of money in a short space of time. Some times she’s been a bit ‘stingy’ where her money is concerned, preferring to let me pick up the tab rather than pay her way but hey.
Im hoping one day she will decide its time to pay me back the money i lent her in 2013 but i wont hold my breath.
The light has just changed and its a very buttery yellow now. Even the sky is a creamy colour which is kind of weird.
So after her departure we sought out our usual place on the beach and settled down to some serious relaxing, though we may have taken our eye off the ball as we were both a bit red by the evening.
We have taken to sitting at the far end of the rank of sun beds, initially because my cough was driving me to distraction and i didn’t want to subject my fellow guests to the constant noise.
However, its a great spot to watch the coming and going of the beach hawkers as they congregate there to stock up fresh supplies, eat their meals and engage with each other. We’ve gotten to know some of them quite well.
Mr and Mrs Jack seem to be at the top of the food chain with their food business and she especially can be seen running up and down the beach supplying the needs of hungry tourists. Mr Jack slinked off early one afternoon and we were told he was drinking. Later he returned and collapsed on the sand leaving mrs Jack to run the business single handed.
There are a lot of Ice Cream guys who walk up and down holding board with pictures of their wares though invariably they don’t have the choc ice you eventually choose.
One of the guys wears a Thai coin in his ear and when i asked why he said it was for luck. He told me he ‘Loves the King’ and kisses his image (on the coin) for luck every morning.
The ice cream mafia seem to be young and predominantly male though the foot massage gang are all women.
They like nothing better than to find a dirty old foot or two with uncared for nails and a good thick slab of hard skin on the heel. They hate beach tar with a passion.
Once spotted they poke it and prod it with disgust and point it out to their colleagues.
In Thai: “look at this, have you ever seen anything like it. This poor English person is forced to walk around like this 50 weeks of the year. We need to sort this out. Now”.
There then follows a pantomime where they enact sheer disgust at this unsightly digit and they attempt to coerce you into allowing them to scrape just a little of you foot to demonstrate just how neglected it is.
“No Money just Looky Looky”. Is the usual ploy. Then before you know it your half way through a good old foot scrub and 300 BHT down the swanney.
I tried a different ploy. I pointed to picture of foot massage on her sheet (same price ) and agreed a contract for a bit of Reflexology. So i was a bit surprised when the old scrubbing board set to work. It seems no matter what you request, you only get a foot scrub.
We decline the ‘pedicure’ these days as the equipment isn’t cleaned between customers and both Jaki and i developed fungal infections after our last Thai trip, so be warned.
The best girl on the beach sells jewellery. Nothing special, expandable bands. a few imitation shark teeth on a leather strap. Death Metal stuff . But she has great English and knows the art of ‘taking the piss’ which is quite refreshing. Ive promised to buy a few bits from her before we go.
We started a new memory game based on an old favourite of Georgia’s when she was very young.
It goes like this.
“When i went to Thailand i bought…. A wrist band”.
The next person then says the same but adds an item they could have bought from a beach hawker, so..
“When i went to Thailand i bought a wrist band and a Blanket with elephants on.”
We tried to think of every thing available on the beach but it was too much.
The one good thing is that the Thai people are in the main kind and friendly. They say hello to us each morning, some even recognised us from 2013. They aren’t upset if you decline their services though they can be a bit persistent if they think you are wavering and they do have an eye for a new customer.
Most of the foot massage gang only get to earn money from a tourist once, some times twice but rarely any more than that, so they have to spot them and get a sale before some one else does. They are pretty shrewd business people and I’d like some one to really analyse what is going on long term.
They are all looking to ‘Be lucky today’.
They are all in agreement, there arent as many tourists and those that come arent spending as much. There are less Russian this year though the Thais have told us they are happy about that as they find Russians very difficult. Its a different culture.
The best customers on the beach are by far the Brits.
There’s a group from Manchester who have bought every item that has passed their sun beds. Been massaged and foot scrubbed to within an inch of their lives. Have bought enough Thai bedding to start a hostel. Have drunk their way through huge amounts of Chang Beer, eaten sweet corn, Noodles, Doughnuts and Satay till they were sick. and have no more room on their bodies for even the smallest Henna tattoo or one more wrist band. They have been great, and good company too.
So, in some small way we have done our bit, we’ve spent money and made friends, even if we have temporarily lost a daughter.