Leave your shoes at the door

Trip Start Oct 28, 2004
Trip End Aug 08, 2005

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, July 3, 2005

It only was an hour plane ride from Bangkok to Koh Samui and when we taxied from the runway we were shocked to see the airport in which we were arriving. Of all the airports that we've seen in our lifetime (Molly especially has seen a lot) the Koh Samui airport is by far the coolest airport we have ever been. It's completely outside and there are little bamboo huts that contain the services that you need. Just think if there was an airport in Frontier Land at the Magic Kingdom it would look like the one at Koh Samui.

We didn't stay at Koh Samui longer than an hour. Molly and I found our way to the docks and waited for our ferry with an American couple and their brother. The couple had been to Koh Phangan before and all were extremely well traveled so we enjoyed chatting with them while we waited. They were also a great help when we first arrived on the island as they pointed us to Sunrise beach and proper accomodations. We now find ourselves living in a 12x12 hut on the beach. For $10 a night we have a huge double bed, bathroom with shower and are just feet from the beach. We don't however have power from 6am-6pm, hot water, AC, or a toilet with flushing capabilites (you have to use a hose to flush). But it's really not that bad considering our beach front location and all the time we spend laying in the sand.

Among other things, the food is fantastic and alone makes the trip to Thailand worth it. There are enough resturants in town that you never have to eat at one twice and luckily each meal is better than the last. The resturants are open aired and the kitchen is usually road side. Meals cost about $1.50 and while they are all quite tasty and prompt, are served one at a time. While they Thai people are experts in the kitchen, they have not been taught the skill of multi tasking. Fine with me if the food continues to taste how it does. Most menus are the same so Molly and I have found ourselves choosing resturants by what movie they play. All the resturants in town show movies, usually at 3pm and again at 7pm, and we've been lucky to see movies that are even still in theatres. We watched Napoleon Dynamite during lunch one day, had drinks while we watched a few episodes of the Simpsons, watched Monster in Law while it rained during dinner, among others. Tonight we have the choice of Batman Begins, Coyote Ugly, Closer, or Mr. and Mrs. Smith just to name a few.

It's been kinda cloudy but we have still managed to get nicely tanned while we've been here. While the weather is good during the day we are usually put to sleep by the rain (and falling coconuts on our tin roof) at night. The rain is nice to fall asleep to but we are usually awoken by the bad mixing of music at a nearby bar or the fight by an upset couple (turns out they woke the whole beach up). But it doesn't really bother us because we seem to have all day to sleep in or take naps to make up for any lost sleep.

The highlight of our stay on the beach thus far is not the cheap shopping (oh it's great) but rather meeting Jan, a Thai native and enthusastic American supporter. We ate dinner the other night at the resturant he works at and he was summoned to make the drinks we ordered after dinner. The resturant was having a cocktail special that night so we decided to take advantage of their full menu by ordering drinks. Jan, however, approached us and told us he either did not have the appropriate alcohol or simply just did not know how to make the drink. We let him make us his favorite drink (or at least the ones he already knew how to make) and when he came back to the table we made the mistake of telling him where we were from. He stood there at an easy six feet tall, hands covering his mouth looking like he was going to cry when we told him where we came from. Once he had semi composed himself, while we was waving at the air in front of his eyes, he couldn't stop saying, "Oh I'm so glad I've met Americans. I love America. I can't believe you're real Americans." He, of course, sat down with us and continued to hyperventalate while we sipped our drinks. He himself was granted American citizenship and had lived in Wisconsin for three years. We were suprised at his fluent english but at the same time were confused as to how he got citizenship and better yet why Wisconsin. Jan explained that he had been living with his Uncle while getting his degree in electrical engineering. The drunker he got the more we learned about his relationship with his uncle. The eighty year old cheese head met Jan in Thailand and when after asking Jan what he wanted most in the world found out that he wanted to be American. So the "uncle" took him to live with him in Wisconsin under the pretenses that they were related. Right. The story only got better when Jan explained that his uncle taught him how to drink and gave him vodka every morning before school. And while their relationship never strayed from that of a nephew and uncle, the uncle still sends Jan money every month. And while Molly and I listend Jan continued to tell us that he was moving to Texas in December. He is afraid of racism because of his dark skin so might forego Texas for Alabama. When I mentioned that he only wanted to go there because of the song, "Sweet Home Alabama," he corrected me and told me it was because of the movie.

While we sat there at the resturant we were introduced to a thrity-something woman who had no teeth and looked as if she spent a majority of her years working as a drugged out prostitute. She sat on Jan's lap and took sips of my Mai-thai and in her broken english, and without teeth, tried to convince me to buy her one. Luckily she was drunk and just drank Jan's beer instead. We also met a Canadian and Brit that had met Jan earlier in the week. Jan explained to us that the two guys were nice but not his style. Canada in general was not his "style." His loyalties lied soley with one country.

We made it out of the resturant with the promise that we would return the next day with our email addresses so he could visit us in Florida. Instead we went to a resturant on the beach and laid on mats in the sand and watched a fire show while we ate freshly caught baracuda.

We're reluctant to leave our beach oasis and primitive hut tomorrow but we're off to Chaing Mai where we will spend our days riding elephants and having dresses made. And of course, continue eating our way through the country.

Please Note: If any of you are affilated with the group PETA or know someone who is (Bill McGinty...this might be right up your alley) please tell them to stop concerning themselves with the unethical wearing of fur coats back home and to turn their efforts towards the stray dog population here in Thailand. While very well behaved there are more stray dogs in Thailand than there are people. They lay at your feet while you eat, swim along side you in the Gulf and seem to enjoy shopping just as much as us tourists. They seem to lead happy lives but I don't think one of them has actually tried dog food (and I know my dog certainly loves dog food). They are missing out on living an actual dog's life and probably would love the boundaries of a fence and the constraints of wearing a collar. But until Pamela Anderson rids the American population of wearing fur and Bob Barker quits the Price is Right things will stay the same here in Thailand. God knows Bob would get to use his one liner more often than just once a day at the conclusion of the showcase showdown.
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