The wet season has finally caught up with us, it rained early this morning and has rained on and off all day. In between rain and the occassional cooling breeze it’s humid, the forecast says its hanging around for a few more days yet.
Almost forgot, its my birthday today, so will celebrate with a watermelon shake at Sweet for lunch.
The Doubletree Hilton – Banthai Resort (I’ll call it The Banthai from here on) has a great breakfast so we head over pancakes, eggs, crisp bacon, cappuchino, you name it. A walk on the beach is cut short by a storm blowing in from the south and it absolutely buckets down so we shelter under a surf shop awning until it slows, the girl inside invites us in but we’re a wake up to her and decline her generous offer. TMM heads back to rest and I get the umbrella and go for a walk in the rain. I do a lap of Bangla Road, then the street that runs parallel to beach road, the offers of the massage girls start to grate aftre a while so I head back to rest my wet feet.
Still no signs of our bags, although the desk has called Thai Smiles Airways ( without prompting) and they are supposed to be here after lunch – we’ll see! The Banthai have excellent staff.
Art Sangsri still has his desk in the Banthai foyer, I chat to him and tell him that I will call when I get my bag, I have a job for him. He did a portrait of Tim in crayon and charcoal, we’ve his portraits
A lot of shops and business’s are shut, there are people walking on the street but not many. It’s quiet, even though it’s the wet season. There are still all the shop people trying to entice you, massage girls grabbing you by the arm, the difference between the legit and dodgy places is still easy to pick but whether the girls are girls or boys is still difficult.
We meet at Sweet for lunch, watermelon shake, shrimp fried rice, Singha beer in an exotic location – nice first for my birthday, dont think I’ve had one overseas before.
Another short walk, a check to see if our bags have arrived yet – they haven’t so we head out into the drizzle to check some markets, TMM has to do some more “girl” shopping. The drizzle turns into an absolute downpour and we head back to the Banthai – our bags are supposed to be here shortly (not that bloody likely I think to myself) but as we watch the counter through the rain soaked glasses and sweat running into my eyes I see two orange Kathmandu 70 litre Hybrid bags arrive at the counter. Huge relief, I don’t have to go and buy socks and jocks and TMM doesn’t have to remember the hundreds of bits and pieces he’s bought, mostly for a little girl, and maybe thought he’s have to try and replace, he looks pretty happy.
Dinner again at Sweet, I had a beautiful fish dish but the spiceness gets to me and I can’t finish it, the sweat is mixed with snot and the fluid frm my running eyes – where is USA David when you need him!
I’ve received a lot of birthday wishes from lots of people, thanks everyone. Genelle (The Navigator) forgot but remembered later on, thats OK I can handle that.
I have also seen lots of lovely messages on Facebook regarding the clip where we put a small amount of Tim’s ashes into some flower petals and scattered them in the Mekong River, with everyone from the Intrepid group participating. Our Tour Leader Naa was the mover and shaker that made this happen, one of the hotel owners gave her the flowers (she was paying for them), she took all the petals off for the ashes ceremony, then soem of the women worked with Naa and made decorative chains and origamy figures for the COPE centre – not a thing was wasted. Naa said Buddhist prayer with the burning incense and said some beautiful words before we put his ashes in the water. So what I’m saying is the credit for this should go to Naa, all I was thinking of doing was a quiet thing that I was going to coopt Dale into helping me. The video was done by Naa but I have a full version of it on my GoPro that Dale videoed that I haven’t seen yet, and maybe might be a little embarrassed to see.
There are no significant photos of today, it poured rain all day.
I hope the Intrepid crew are enjoying Vietnam, I actually miss the company, they were such a great bunch of people to travel with.
Tomorrow, depending on the rain, we’re planning on visiting the tailors, having lunch or coffee at Maybelle’s Coffee Lounge at Kata Beach, maybe a haircut and a shave (300baht and its still dear), a swin now I have my swimmers back. I’m refraining from massages for a few days as I reckon one of them cracked my neck a bit hard and I’ve had headaches a few days since, today it feels much better.
Ciao from Phuket – Pauolo