Vacation from the vacation

Trip Start Oct 08, 2007
Trip End Dec 16, 2008

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Flag of Thailand  , Krabi,
Saturday, May 10, 2008

Amanda is coming to meet me in Thailand. Yey! Vacation from the vacation. Well, sort of. Bangkok started off well with whole buchch of activities.

The highlights by far were going to Radio City for life performance of Thai Elvis and flirting with his friends who were having beers by the stage and offering chips and cigarettes as a friendly way to pick up a conversation. I even got a hand shake by The King when he stepped down from the stage to give way to Thai Tom Jones:)

The other cool thing was Thai boxing. It lived up to all my expectations although we only stayed for couple of matches. The venue was bitten down enclosed stadium with paint pealing from the walls, worn out concrete steps for sitting, dusty air, gloomy lighting except from the brightly lighten stage, little boys running around with cartons trays of plastic cups with beer, and of course, blood thirsty audience and bookies talking into their mobiles. The boxers were, needless to say, as fit and lean as a human can possibly be. Ashamed to say, there is a certain pleasure one gets from watching two fit guys kick and punch the hell out each other. Like animals. Not even a shade of doubt in their strikes. As the fight goes on, they get tired and more merciless. One of the guys got taken out on a stretcher. He was doing fine, quite aggressive actually. Then he just stood for a second, expressionless, fell to his knees and onto his back. He looked unwell and too week to move as the medics were taking him out. In the meanwhile the other guy was parading with the victory flower necklace. Top, top notch entertainment.
The rest  of the vacation we spent in Kho Phi Phi - classic tourist trap with pretty, but filthy beaches, more English than you can gather on a suturday night at Leicester Square and hands down the most unfriendly Thais you can find under the sun. The weather couldn't decide weather to rain or shine, which was fine by me, the non-beach type, but I was feeling bad that Amanda is not having her dream sun-soaked vacation.

The most exciting day/night on the iselands was the camping trip to The Beach (The Beach from the movie). Exciting in a wired way. The beach is only half an hour boat ride from Kho Phi Phi, but what a trip that was. As soon as we left the harbor, the crew pooled out a bong and got busy getting high. Then we left the harbor and the water got rough. In rainy season the weather changes every 30 seconds. The wind started blowing harder and we could see a storm in the distance. Now, this was a small boat - 25-30 people tops. It was cute wooden boat, freshly repainted in cheerful read, and blue and yellow. Yet it was a small boat. As it was gliding over the waves it was rocking back and forth, left and right. And let me tell you, when you get scared, those waves look two meters high. Amanda was clearly not enjoying the experience, and I was thinking that this thing may flip. I asked Amanda if she wanted to put one of the life vests on, thinking that I'm probably not a good enough swimmer to be saving anyone from drowning. She can't swim very well and that's a downer in a flipping boat situation. If I didn't know how to swim, I'd be scared like **** at that point. Any event, after 20 minutes of this, we arrive at a calmer waters and everyone jumps for some snorkeling, while thunders roam in the distance. At the end, we couldn't get to The Beach via The Beach. We had to swim to it over the reef. Like in the Movie! Very dramatic, especially considering that there wasn't exactly a beach at the end. Just rocks, steep and sharp once too. Non the less, it was easy from there. We got to the rocks and climbed along the ropes someone (God bless him) has installed there. Short walk through the rain forest, we arrive at the camp just in time to put up our tents before it starts raining.

We spend the rest of the night under a rock near the beach, downing beers and enjoying the delightful company of a bunch of English teenagers that speak in one letter words and smoke pot relentlessly. The one girl in the group couldn't stop pounding to safe her life. Her heavy London style make up smudged below her pretty brown eyes. Every attempted to pick up a conversation is being shot down as a fat boy trying to pick up chicks in China Whites. Rats running around like dark shadows. More rain and wind, and beer. Toilet trips to The Beach, because there are snakes in the forest. More wind. Bucket of vodka and coke. I pick a conversation with one of the crew guys. My friendliness is rewarded with an offer to have some bong. No thanks, but I'll have another beer.

I spend the rest of the  night thinking of the cyclone in Maynimar, the tsunami and the fact that we are 10 meters from a beach, on a tropical island, in a tropical storm. Not a great night of rest. At the end it is all alright. The Beach is serene at 7 am, and we even get to see it washed in sunlight for 30 seconds before the day trippers start arriving. We get on our boat and after some more rocking we are almost back to Kho Phi Phi. Amanda is still not enjoying herself, but bravely sitting put in the Capitan's boot and staring at the horizon so she doesn't get sick. And then I see the Capitan hand the wheel to the woman that cooked for us yesterday night and reach out for the bong. Brilliant conclusion to an unforgettable trip. Amanda hated it, but I was alright, even slightly excited. I must have learned to accept the things I can not change. My life was in the hands of fate (and bunch of potheads), yet I was not particularly worried about it. No need to get upset about things that are beyond your control. Then again, I had a White Russian as soon as we got off the boat.

Pictures by Amanda. I was on vacation!
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