02.02.2008 - 05.02.2008 31 °C
Yo! Thought I’d do a small update after about a week or so of doing very little :-)
We have actually done a couple of things. We went to the “monkey school” on the island, where apparently they train monkeys, for what purpose we weren’t sure. We found out. They train them to stand with makeup on holding a parasol looking like a Chinese lady, cycling about on a tricycle, or releasing coconuts from ropes. It was entertaining but we were too uncomfortable that they were all on choke chains and got a firm tug when then didn’t behave as demanded. It was odd, you could look at their eyes and they looked like shy little people. There were lots of baby monkeys (all chained to posts) who you could go and play with. We declined making contact – neither of us have had rabies jabs and it’s a risk we are not prepared to take, no matter how much assurance is given.
The other thing, well, it was just me. I went for a hair cut. I wandered about 1km down the road and found a lady who cuts hair, in her garage. 80 Baht (£1.30) later I was clean cut. She was terrifying. She got a cut-throat razor our at the end – not uncommon, this has happened to me in the more old fashioned barbers in London. Not only did she use it to doe the back of my neck etc, she did my ears (cutting one), then MY CHEEKS! – I could not say a word – she’d have cut me a new mouth. When I say my cheeks, I don’t mean like a normal shave, I mean my cheeks – right under my eyes. I had a few days stubble growth so she sculpted me the George Michael look. I shaved as soon as I got back to the bungalow.
We have got well and truly into the way of nature. We have to! The bungalows are in no way sealed from the outside world, in fact, they are pretty much open. This is our shower room, and as you can see, making the roof meet the walls was clearly not a priority.
… As you can imagine, we get visitors from all walks of nature. On the third night, I was part-dreaming about jellyfish stings on my neck and shoulders – getting repeatedly stung sharply all over. I was brushing away imaginary tentacles when I woke up to the certainty that I’d just actually brushed off something very real, solid, and alive. I switched on the torch and a long centipede scuttled under my pillow. I had rolled onto it in my sleep and it was biting me all over – yuck!!
After we’d managed to brush it off the bed (it promptly ran under the mattress – great) a huge cockroach ran over our mosquito net. We were at one with nature.
We’ve started to gather a collection of frogs too. It started with one in the bedroom a few days ago. We left it in a corner assuming it would go back the way it came, wherever that was. We found 2 more yesterday in the bathroom – making a total of three in there now. We are not sure if they come and go, or they are getting in and getting stuck. We have decided to monitor the number of frogs and if the bathroom population increases any more we might have to act.
Make no mistake, we don’t mind frogs. They just sit there looking frightened and unsure what to do. The problem is they are snake food, and that is making my wife feel rather edgy.
I put my trunks on the other day and a cockroach fell out of them onto the floor. Nice.
I have a huge can of “kill-all” bug spray now. Whilst we are at one with nature, we are also at war.
Last night we awoke to a lot of sound coming from the bathroom. The sound of something large on the toilet lid – enough weight to make the cistern make clanking sounds as it rocked, and a lot of rustling. There is no door between us and the bathroom.
All the frogs are gone. We guess it was a large frog-eating “something”. Maybe a lizard. We have a small one that lives in the roof – we know because twice now he’s lost his footing and slid off onto the floor by our feet. We guess he has a larger father.
Coconuts are dangerous. Daily we witness one or two falling from about 40ft up. They’d kill you! I heard the ominous crackling sound of one breaking free on my way from the bungalow to the bar in the dark – I put my hands over my head and ran like hell – but were to run? Bloody trees everywhere!
Woke up yesterday to see the solution at hand. All we could hear was the sound of coconuts raining down on the ground. A lad had shimmied the 40ft-odd up the trees and was breaking all the ripe ones free. He just used a piece of rag tied to his ankles as a kind of “U” grip. No doubt you’ve seen this on the Discovery channel as we have before. Very risky job, and boy did he take is time carefully coming down each tree.
(If you look closely you can see the lad in a red shirt at the top)
I never thought it would happen, but I’ve been wearing a Kaftan! – Kirstin’s no less. It was an odd moment when I realised that I was going through my Wife’s wardrobe for something cool to wear. I can see why now – the perfect thing for hot sticky nights.
(It had to happen)
Talking of fashion disasters – I had a fun one on the Koh Simillian Islands. When we got onto the speedboat to go to the islands we had to put all our shoes in a bin bag (no shoes on the boat thanks). Once we had settled on the main camping island we were given the bag to get our shoes back. No probs – mine are unique so it was easy to rifle through and find them.
24 Hours later I went to put them on. Left foot, fine, right foot – Hmmm – not right. Must have put it on my left foot. Swap, still the same problem. Odd – maybe I broke one? Then it hits me. I now have two left shoes :-(
Kirstin is looking at my commotion and wondering what’s wrong with my shoes. Then she starts laughing uncontrollably. Crying.
I’m now stuck with two left shoes for the rest of the trip – and you needed shoes there. Two shoes.
(yep – I walked like this for a day and a half)
When the rest of our boat group arrived for dinner I looked at everyone’s feet. It became an obsession. No one had shoes like mine, and certainly no one was walking round with two right feet. One person had no shoes on at all. I decided this was my best chance to solve the mystery.
“Have you got shoes like mine?”, I asked, “YEAH! – you got my shoes!!” - , “Um, nope, I have one of your shoes – where are yours?”, “I left them in the bag by mistake and they went back to the mainland”. I walked off at this stage (well, hobbled off). Much rather have two left shoes that none at all.
We were reunited with our corresponding odd shoes when we went back to the mainland. The Thai chap in charge of lost property was totally bemused as to why I arrived with two shoes and took a “Third” from the bag – he wanted a copy of my passport and everything. Fortunately my opposing shoe-mate arrived and the matter was settled, though I don’t think the Thai chap was any the wiser.
I’ll sign off now. I’m typing as I watch our resident Alcy sip his “morning beer”. He gets up at 8am every morning, sits in the same chair, and drinks beer until midnight – when he is totally pissed but still able to order more beers. Often the manager, Kun, walks him to bed, especially when his language starts getting blue. He must be a very profitable customer. I was going to post a pic of him in the morning having breakfast beers but I might get sued!
Anyhow, I’ll leave you now, as K does her daily Yoga.