My holiday wasn’t the picturesque scene we’ve seen and read about a million times over. After all, this is me, this is reality, and things never quite go to plan! As I mentioned before, this wasn’t going to be a lying-on-the-beach-drinking-margarita’s type of holiday!
The reason we travelled to Thailand was due to my husband’s job interview with the UN. In fact, we travelled the ENTIRE globe to get there! From dodgy coaches, to turbulent planes. From fart-free taxi’s, to troublesome tuk tuk’s. Oh, and not forgetting the motorbikes! Sadly, the meeting didn’t go to plan, and we were both left feeling like we had wasted our bloody time!
After a cup of tea and some cake, we were in higher spirits. We decided to make the most of our time in Thailand, despite my husband’s misfortune. We indulged in delicious Thai cuisine, a spot of sight-seeing and frolicked in the sun…that last bit was a lie, it was actually monsoon season! We spent most of our time soaked through! For those of you who are yet to ‘catch up’ on Part One of my Thailand adventures, click on the following link; Amanda Does Thailand: Part One.
Amanda Does Thailand: Part Two
..So, where did we get to?
Yes! That’s right. The airport. After I had dried my tears, we stopped off at a
Thai Coffee shop Costa Coffee (very uncultured, I know!) which was great rather unsuccessful.
Me: I really like this cheesecake, but where’s the biscuit base? This cheesecake seems to be missing a biscuit base!
Or perhaps it was more like this..
10 minutes later…
10 more minutes later…
10 more minutes later…
Biscuit-less cheesecakes aside, I was really looking forward to a nice cup of English brewed tea, made with ‘real’ milk and none of that powdered crap! My husband went to order a cup of ‘English’ tea. His words must have got ‘lost on translation’, as I was passed a cup with a rather suspicious looking teabag inside. Poking the foreign object in front of me, I questioned; ‘This doesn’t look like English tea…It has berries and sh**, in!” I moaned, as my husband rolled his eyes.
I continued… “And it smells like hippy’s handbag!”
Tired of my high maintenance ways, my husband sprinted off to the smokers room, leaving me to sit in solitude, thinking…
“Hmm, this tea is actually quite nice!”
‘Green eggs and ham, Mandy! Green eggs and ham!’ My husband’s voice echo in my head.
I was looking forward to the 2nd week of our holiday. The first part hadn’t been much cop but a week on a sandy beach sounded more ‘my cup of tea’…
We finally arrived in Phuket, where we waited, waited, and waited some more. Our taxi driver was an HOUR late. In fact, at 1am in the morning, we were the last ones left in the airport. Well, except a rather persistent taxi driver, and two suspiciously well-dressed guys who sat in the corner.
The persistent taxi driver: I’ll give you taxi ride, 1100 baht?
My husband: We’ve already paid for the taxi with our hotel.
The persistent taxi driver: Okay..Okay. How much you pay?
My husband: 1000 baht!
The persistent taxi driver: I’ll do a deal – 1100 baht? Ay? Too good to miss out on!
My husband: But we’ve already paid for our taxi. The hotel is sending one out!
The persistent taxi driver: 1100 baht? Come on! We can go now!
My husband: Then I’d be paying twice!
The persistent taxi driver: But I can drive you there now. You no have to wait!
My husband: I think we’ll just wait!
The persistent taxi driver: Come on! 1100 baht? we’ll go right now!
My husband: We’re going to wait for the taxi we’ve already paid for, but thanks for the offer!
The persistent taxi driver: If he no come, you come my taxi, yes?
…and so the repetitive record span on.
Suddenly, a light-bulb went PING!
Me: Perhaps they’re waiting outside of the airport?
And low and behold, the taxi driver was waiting rather impatiently, our names written on a board, along with two other people. Oh! That’s right. The well-dressed men in the corner. We didn’t know their names, so my husband took it upon himself to call them, Yurgen and Claus Von Smit. Were they German? No, I think they were Canadian. Although, my husband argued that they were European – an on-going disagreement we had for the rest of our time in Phuket!
So, the taxi turned out to be a bus, but what the heck, we were tired and we could have been carted off in a mud-infested wheelbarrow for all we cared. Yurgen and Claus headed to the back of the bus and left us to ponder whether they were in fact together ‘together’, or not.
When we arrived at the hotel, we were in awe of all its shiny marbled glory. The hotel receptionist gave us the most scrumptious juice I’ve ever drunk and a flannel.
Yes! I said a flannel.
Me: Erm, what should I do with this?
Husband: Wipe your face!
Me: How bizarre!
It was the finest damn flannel I had ever used!
After we…erm…washed our faces and signed ourselves in, we were given two traditional Thai flower garlands. As were Yurgen and Claus. My husband quietly mouthed ‘They ARE together!’ One mystery solved, we headed to our rather wonderful hotel room.
Check it out…
I meant our Hotel Room, dammit!
And not forgetting the football…
Our view from the balcony
That night we slept like babies! In fact, we slept so much we woke up the next afternoon (at around 4pm to be precise!). It must have been that sweet Egyptian cotton, caressing our tiresome bodies into an ever-long, dreamy trance-like state. I may have even dribbled on my pillow…!
Peering over the balcony, it was somewhat of a relief to see the sun had come out. 7 days we had been in Thailand, all of which were either overcast or
pissing down with rain raining cats and dogs!
I look like a drowned…Dog!
We set off to the beach, towels in hand, ready to embark on an afternoon of sunbathing! The beach wasn’t really the paradise I had envisaged. It was covered with plastic sun loungers, greasy burger vans and tourists everywhere I looked. Tourists who left little to the imagination…
Thong-tweaking tourists aside, there were stray dogs left, right and centre. In fact, over my time in Thailand, my husband crowned me ‘The dog whisperer’, on account of every time I walked past a dog, they’d start following me. I was beginning to think it was my dodgy smelling perfume.
Or perhaps it was because I smelt a bit like ….roasted meat!
Or make that…lobster!
Redder than a crab-bitten toe, we rather sorely staggered off to get a bite to eat.
I can’t say I was a big fan of the Unisex toilets. One rather noisy bowel empty to my right, and I was well and truly put off my lunch…
I was even more surprised when out popped a rather smartly dressed lady. To be honest, I was expecting this dude…
After our meal, we set off to explore Phuket.
Two minutes later…
In true classic British style, I spend the majority of the holiday complaining about the intense heat, with a broken record playing these three number one hits…
“It’s getting hot in here”
“I’m feeling hot hot hot”
“I’m walking on sunshine…and it doesn’t feel so good!”
My husband eyes rolled, and he said, ‘Don’t you just love this heat?’
Me: “Erm, no! Haven’t you been listening to my continuous moaning?”
The Typical Brit = Moaning, whatever the weather!
Talking of British people and hot weather. I love the way we crack out our bikinis and flip flips as soon as the sun pokes its sweet head from out of the clouds. Moreover, I love it when the men see it as their cue to walk around with their tops off, no matter what their physique!
Now, I love a beer belly as much as the next person, but not when I am doing my weekly food shop, guys! Come on! …except you, Brad Pitt!
There is this misconception that British people are all prim and proper…which of course, I am!
But as for the majority of us, it’s just not true…
When abroad, you can be sure to hear the following ‘Britishisms’
“17 degrees outside, it must be hot pants and sombrero time!”
“I’m just slapping on my sun cream, wouldn’t want to get burnt!”
and the most common…
“Cor, it’s too bloody hot. I wish the sun would just do one!”
Do you want to tell them 17 degree’s really isn’t that hot, or shall I?
There were very few Brits ‘holidaying’ in Thailand. However, when I did spot a fellow Brit, they were either showcasing a pair of Union Jack swimming trunks, or some other patriotic display of ‘how proud we are of our country!’, or they would be sporting the infamous sunburnt shoulders. You see, many of us Brits (me, included!) tend to take full advantage of the sun when it’s out. Sunshine is a rarity in our country, and, therefore we tend to
bathe roast in it until we resemble a brighter shade of lobster! Generally, Brits are naturally quite pale skinned (due to lack of sun, I suppose!) So, we are then left looking as multi-tonal as Joseph’s techni-coloured dreamcoat. Beaut!
As night fell upon us, we headed out for some of Phuket’s finest cuisine, followed by some elephant petting!
Aww! Look at the cute elephant…
…I’m sorry, where did I get to?
…followed by some
karaoke dodgy karaoke, but unfortunately, it turned into a game of ‘Name that tune’.
Me: Mariah Carey! It’s Mariah Carey!
It must have been the wrong time of year because the nightlife was…wait a minute! What nightlife? Even Party Pedro didn’t want to party!
a couple of one pitiful cocktail, we gave each other the ‘I’m too old for this sh**!’, nod, and rather sorely walked hobbled back to the hotel, reminiscing the days when we used to party hard!
The next day, we slapped on our sunscreen and hit the beach…again!
We went for a dip in the lovely warm sea…
And frolicked on the beach…
Two hours later…
Husband: “I’m as frazzled as a barbecued sausage, we’ve got to go!”
Me: “But I was just getting into my 50 Shades of Grey!”
Husband: “Mandy, look at me…I’m 50 shades of lobster! We have to go, now!”.
He was right, after a rather painstaking shower…there was no denying we were both 50 shades of lobster!
In fact, we were so sun-burnt, we were too embarrassed to be seen. Unfortunately, there was no hiding our ‘red light’ shoulders!
We had a lovely dinner at a bar called The Two Chefs. We indulged in some great food and enjoyed even better entertainment. None of that crazy karaoke malarkey from the night before. I ken lee without that!
We enjoyed an evening stroll along the beach. Sea, sand and stars….
…And one crazy husband who wanted to go for a midnight swim!
Me: “Yes! We could go for a swim, but we haven’t got a swimsuit or towels for that matter!”
The next day we slapped on our sunscreen and set off for the beach…WHAT? Didn’t we learn our lesson? Sadly not…
Everywhere we went, we rather awkwardly bumped into Yurgen and Claus Von Smit…at the breakfast buffet, in the lobby, in the local shop…oh, and in the lift…that painstakingly uncomfortable moment in the lift. Our eyes met the ground, as the same tedious music filled the air. Do you ever get funny thoughts pop into your head at the most inappropriate moments?
Obviously, Claus is the one doing the pelvic thrust!
…as the lift stopped and the doors sprung open, I breathed a sigh of relief and then giggled to myself. I don’t know what it was about these guys, but we certainly got the impression they didn’t like us all that much. After rather awkwardly bumping into them too many times to remember, we barely got a mutter, let alone a ‘Hello, how are you doing, old sport?’…or whatever they might say in Canada!
Perhaps it’s because we looked like a pair of lobsters…
Me: How do I look?
Me: I’ll go change!
A brighter shade of rouge, we took to our suitcases in search of a solution. 1 tub of Aftersun, two bottles of fake tan, a bucket load of Geisha face paint (because let’s face it, this is a suitcase must-have!) and an aqua blue camera filter, and we scrubbed up okay…
Frazzled like an overdone steak, we decided to eat at our hotel that evening. They brought out a platter, large enough to feed a small country. There was soooo much food. Unfortunately, the fish was a bit… Fishy! Hmm, okay…it actually smelt like a decaying trout. I think it had well and truly passed its
shell sell by day! This meant it was hard to enjoy the rest of the platter that lay before us. Plus, we’d eaten so damn much over the past 10 days one more bowl of rice could start an avalanche of popping buttons!
24 hours in the company of my husband, eating my weight in Thai food, wandering around aimlessly and moaning about cultural differences *and breathe* was enough to send me ever so slightly insane. Not only did we fail to find anything interesting to say to each other….
…but we were also sick of the sight of one another, and desperately wanted to crawl into our shells of solitude.
Sunburnt and sweatier than a witch in a hot pot, I really started to miss dreary old England. In fact, every time I saw a pair of Union Jack swim shorts, a pang of sadness ran through me. I longed for my creature comforts, so much so, my beloved teabags circled in my mind.
One thing I would miss…
The thing about having an enormous luxury bed – large enough to accommodate the population of a small country – was its enticement for me to spend way too much time sleeping in its beautiful ‘Egyptian cotton’ self. Never have I slept so deeply. Once my head lay down to rest, I landed into dreamland almost instantaneously! Heavenly!
Usually, people take a bar of luxury soap, or perhaps a bag full of mini shampoo’s and conditioner’s, maybe even smuggle away a hand-towel – not me!
Me: “Can I take the bed with me? You know, as a souvenir!”
Husband: “Absolutely not! Put that damn bed down!”
Bedless, we caught a taxi to the airport. Boarded a rather turbulent plane, travelled to Bangkok then caught another taxi to the hotel. This taxi happened to have a car crash halfway to our destination. Unfortunately, I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt at the time, and…
Warning: Always wear a seat belt!
Luckily, all was okay…apart from the poor taxi driver, whose entire livelihood was at risk, as he begged, pleaded and prayed for the other driver to go easy on him. I’ve never seen a man sweat so much…
A few hours later…
Turns out my husband had developed…DUN DUN DUN…Heat stroke! And cue the whining and sulking. Our plans to visit Bangkok market, sadly, went out of the window, and so I had to nurse a very grumpy, frazzled sausage! Well, actually I didn’t take pity on him until he projectile vomited over the hotel room. At this point, I ruled out ‘man flu‘, and swooned over to his rescue.
Two towels and a pack of wet wipes later, we were A-okay…
well, sorta… Wet wipes and sick entrenched towels aside, my husband and I, headed to a bar for a bite to eat. A poorly husband in arm, we chose to dine at the closest restaurant we could find. Turns out, this wasn’t your average restaurant. This restaurant bar was the Thai equivalent to ‘Hooters‘. Thai girls dressed in cropped sports jerseys and hot pants so short you can see their lost modesty, served us our meals. An arse-cheek too many, along with the lingering odour of vomit, and suddenly I wasn’t feeling so hungry. I observed men drunkenly throw themselves at these poor girls. I couldn’t help but question the morality of such an establishment. Surely, there should be some ‘no touch’ boundaries in place?
Or the following should be allowed to happen…
A disappointing last meal… But heck, I had developed a tan…
Well, when I say tan, I actually mean a yellowish barely-a-tan-at-all glow!
Morning came, and so did…Mother Nature (Not ideal when you’re about to board a plane!)
Mother Nature = A spot of PMT
Okay, Okay …. SERIOUS PMT!
Yes! I was all “FML…everything’s going wrong!” and “It’s the end of the world, we are all going to die!”
Feeling extra emotional,
all I wanted to do was cry I cried like a baby! The poor man beside me didn’t know what to do, so he kindly passed me a Kleenex, and then pretended to sleep. As the plane took off, I began to reflect on my time in Thailand. Heck! I even began to question my marriage. My husband wasn’t even talking to me, instead, he sulked to my left, and then I had the pleasure of having the snoring Kleenex-lending man to my right. Yes! He was asleep this time. I prodded him.
I tried to drown out the sound of his snoring by watching a film. It was during this film when I experienced an epiphany. As I watched two boys fighting on my TV screen, it made me realise that life isn’t perfect. It’s far from perfect. People fight, but life goes on! In fact, the boy in the film went on to be one of the greatest Indian runners of all time, the same boy who witnessed his family being killed. Despite his horrific beginning, the ending was a good one. With a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart, I reached over and grabbed my husband’s hand. No words were said, but we knew all had been forgiven. And so our ending was a good one!
…Especially, as we made a pit-stop on the way home for some chocolate fudge cake. As I ate my way through the delicious chocolaty goodness, all was fine once again! And I even had a cup of my beloved English tea! And so we came to the end of our travels. We laughed a little, we I cried a lot. We experienced highs, we experienced more lows. But do you know what…it was an adventure, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
As we set foot on English turf, the heavens opened up and in true British weather style, it poured down.
I turned to my husband and said, “Can we go back to Thailand now!”