Thailand isn’t quite how we remember it
Of course there is still plenty that is familiar; menus which boast rare treats such as swamp cabbage, drunken noodles and deep fried children; a sleepy way of life and hilarious inefficiencies. Take the pool boy’s cleaning regime. This consists of jumping into the pool fully dressed, taking a deep breath, squeezing his eyes shut and submerging long enough to angle his mop before resurfacing amongst a great deal of spluttering and concerted eye rubbing. Then he repeats. The algae largely grows unchecked. Another example might be the disrepair of the bridges (see video below. I accept that I’m a bit of a pussy, but really, it was more treacherous than it looks!)
Bangkok however seemed more sophisticated, more grown up than we remembered. Where previously the litter piled up, workers in fluorescent clothes now seem to clean the streets round the clock. There are classy multi storey malls; a clean and efficient transit system; price tags not far off European ones. Maybe it’s us that’s have changed, not the city. Granted, like many backpackers we were so keen to head to the coast we only ever really experienced the dives of Koh San Road. But as a city, Bangkok seemed a lot more liveable and up to date.
The great time we’ve there was partly to do with our riverside location, and largely due to meeting up with an old work colleague of Chris’ who took us to both local hangouts and swanky bars.
Our first introduction to a beer tower, thanks Neil!
And now we are settling into a small town on the south west of coast. It has a nice, laid back atmosphere, plenty of restaurants and bars, but even in low season it’s pretty touristy. Our plan was to stay at least a month- I’m not sure if we will now. Already buying a t-shirt with the slogan ‘i don’t want a f**ing suit, a massage or a tuk tuk’ is more appealing than it should be.
This was the safer option of the two to get to the beach!
Walking back from dinner last night Chris was accosted by a man who approached in haste out of nowhere, only to thrust a monkey into his arms. The monkey (with his tongue lolling from one corner of his mouth and a vacant gaze) entwined one excessively long arm around Chris’ neck and leaned his soft, furry self in. (I think he may have been blow dried). As i moved closer, enquiring as to why the money seemed so ‘sedate’, the monkey snaked the other arm round my neck. As wrong as we knew it was, he was impossible to resist. Suckered. Once the inevitable photo had been taken, the monkey suddenly launched himself off us, scampered to the edge of the road and with a flying jump leap frogged onto the back of a moving moped. And he was gone. If it wasn’t for the photo I’d suspect i dreamt the whole thing.
Sadly, it wasn’t a dream!
We haven’t been able to find a villa that seems quite right and are on our last night in our hotel. The room is great and if it wasn’t for that the fact they play an instrumental version of an already bloody awful Glen Madeirous song (nothing’s going to change my love for you….) over breakfast every morning we might even stay. As it is, Chris has his limits (and so apparently does the egg station). So we will move to another hotel for a few days before relocating- and hope that this is not the start of another of our seemingly endless quests for the perfect house in the perfect neighbourhood in the perfect town.
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