Adventures In Thailand
I just managed to get my breakfast today. It was 10:30 and my included breakfast stops at 11:00 AM. Breakfast is included in the $23 a day room. So far, I have only missed one breakfast by sleeping in late. J joined me at 11:00 just in time for coffee. He had already had his breakfast earlier.
"Well, I am no longer married!", he said. "But I must send money for my daughter to the Philippines today."
His 4th marriage has just finished and he was sending money for his 2-year old daughter's welfare. She is the youngest of his 5 kids. J is Norwegian and has good English with just a slight accent.
His wife was 20 when he married her 5 years ago. He is now 60 years old. She has trained as a nurse but failed her first attempt to be a certified nurse. She has one more attempt and J has told her that if she doesn't study and pass he will no longer support her, her brother or her extended family. He has an iron clad marriage contract that means he can do what he likes. He has used it for all his marriages and his lawyer said to him "I wish all my clients had such a contract". He actually has it framed on his wall!
"She loves me too much and she is a very beautiful girl, but she must find another man now. She is very smart, but too jealous. She works in a bar I showed her where the rich tourists go. She must find another man. I cannot send money if she doesn't pass. She will have to work at something else and her brother will no longer stay in school because she fails the exam again. The whole family will suffer! Her father was very angry and yelled at her."
He had just recently paid $2,000 to have a small house built with a/c for his daughter. She was too much like him (Western-Caucasian) and getting sick from the mosquitoes, humidity and heat.
J has been checking into long term accommodation in Pattaya for when he comes back from the Philippines in December. So far he has found a 1-bedroom apartment for $230 a month which included A/C, electricity, refrigerator, TV and furniture. He has seen them as low as $100 but it was too small.
We had a very nice dinner last night in the Tops supermarket. We picked out a fresh red snapper for $3 which they than cleaned and cooked for us with no extra charge. We ate first at the salad bar for $1 each. Twenty minutes later the fish was cooked and we sat down and ate.
My phone ran this morning in the hotel. It was J calling.
"Hi Buddy sorry to call you but I have very bad news today…..we can no longer swim at the Montien."
He had just got back from the Montien hotel. He had just been sitting on the deck chair for 5 minutes when he saw the waiter making his way around the pool. The waiter was now asking two Russians for their keys which they showed. They asked Jan and he tried to avoid the question by saying he didn't understand in 3 different languages!
The waiter was having none of it he said. "You cannot swim here" the waiter said. I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Our free pool in the 5-star hotel pool was over. I feel very disappointed though. I will miss the pool and serenity at the Montien. I told J to be discrete the last time after he actually went up to ask for a towel. The towel attendant asked him his room number and he had to talk in Danish and pretend not to understand before wandering away. Damn, time to find another place.
Before that we had spent the day at the Montien pool. Unfortunately 3 busloads of Arab tourists had just moved in and 3 of them sat next to us beside the pool. One took out his phone and started playing their music which sounded like cats being tortured. Jan leaned over and gestured pointing at his ears and the ear buds inside them.
"You have ear buds" he said to them. "No….", he answered slowly…but than he got the message and turned it off.
"We don't pay here and get a very good price" Jan said to me with a smile, "But that is no reason to have to listen to that!"
I don't know why the Arabs never talk in a normal voice but yell at each other even when they are only two feet away. A female tourist had to shush them with a finger to her lips and pointing to the pool. Eventually they gave up and moved away. Ah, peace and quiet again.
Meanwhile today I dropped off my new pants for hemming ($1.50). Ladies set up their sewing machines on the sidewalk and you just drop off whatever you want done for pick up later. I'm going to pick them up after I write this.
I checked my return flight and it leaves on the 31st at 5:30 AM! It means I should get there at 4:00 AM and leave Pattaya at 2:30 AM. Ungodly time in the morning but I have a plan.
J mentioned to me the last time that he had a sleeping pill for long flights. You can get one with a prescription for about $25 in North America. You take it after boarding and you sleep for 12 hours. He got some here and tried it and says it works very well! He used it once when he went to bed early but couldn't sleep because of the street party going on outside.
He picked some up for one of his friends in Denmark who suffers from insomnia. (Apparently his friend sometimes doesn't sleep for days. When he can't sleep he drinks. After 1/2 a bottle of liquor he will then pass out.)
I asked for some for my return flight and the occasional time I need to go to sleep when I'm working at the ski resort. The last time was New Year's when I couldn't sleep because of the parties and I had to get up at 5:30 AM. I think I got to sleep around 4:00 AM after I told them if I didn't they I wouldn't be driving them to work the next day. It worked…
The price here is $30 for 50 pills. I tried one and they work well. You can wake up and go to the bathroom then go back to bed. They have no side effects. Just don't take any more than 1.
Last night we mixed up a pitcher of ice, peach vodka, orange juice and soda water and took it down to the Coconut bar. The wind was light so the mosquitoes were biting. In the dark you couldn't see or hear them. I had a few bites so we finished and went for a walk in the A/C mall. Very enjoyable. Jan bought some Teva sandals and I bought the pants I'm getting altered today. Thai cotton is very soft and makes excellent pants and shirts.
Anyway I got my teeth cleaned ($15) by a dentist. He said if I clean my teeth every 6 months I will have no problems for the next ten years. My teeth are in excellent shape.
Well today is Tuesday May 11, my last day in Thailand. I'll be heading out to the airport at 2:00 AM tonight. My flight leaves at 6:00 AM and I have a 2 hour taxi ride to Bangkok. I don't expect too much traffic at 2:00 AM. I've already checked in on-line and printed my boarding pass at the local internet shop.
The last week has been very relaxing…I usually get up at 10:00 AM to have my free breakfast. It is very good and I usually don't eat again until 6:00 PM. Two meals a day is what I usually get.
After breakfast I take my book and wander out to a local 5 star hotel for the last time. My favorite is still the Montien Pattaya about 2 blocks away. It has large trees and private grounds of about 5 acres right in the choicest location of downtown Pattaya.
I go over to use their largest pool, one of three sneaking in discretely for the last time. It is a free form Olympic size pool. Its much nicer than the roof top pool at my hotel. Very well maintained where my pool has way too much chlorine and is too small for swimming lengths.
I sit under a canopy and read for about an hour until I get too hot. Usually, only about 2- 3 people are using the pool. It's been Russians every day I've been here. Nice quiet people and the women look really good in their bikinis. I get along with every one except the East Indians who have no manners.
(I was in McDonalds the other day and was second in line. It wasn't busy, but before I could step up an East Indian stepped right in front of me. I stepped in front of him saying, "Excuse me I believe I was here first!" I smiled at the cashier and she smiled back and ignored the Indian.)
I'll end up swimming about 30 metres then go back to reading for another hour. I can sit back and listen to the birds while the almond blossoms fall down off the trees around me. Very relaxing.
After rinsing off I wander over to an air-conditioned shopping centre. I'll shop for used books and turn in the ones I've read. Its so hot I try to move from air conditioner to air conditioner back to may hotel. Than I'll have a nap until 4 or 5:00 PM.
I think I take about 5 showers a day. It only takes about 1/2 a block before I'm soaked with sweat. I'll wander down to Beach Road and walk about 3 Kilometres and grab something light to eat and do some shopping.
I've got few souvenirs to take back as well as some clothes for work this summer. I'll get some duty-free liquor at the airport tonight. I thought over the late night I had the night before.
Last night I went out with Tony a 42 year old and Aussie I met at the beach. He is a crane operator recuperating from an accident at work. In a spur of the moment, he decided to come to Pattaya for 3 weeks. A gearbox fell on his leg and he limps a bit.
Last night we passed a birthday party for a Thai at a local roadside bar. We joined in for the Karaoke and the whole roast pig they were Barbequing. We had free food and ended up dancing with the waitresses on the sidewalk. Always an adventure in Thailand.
We ended up playing pool at another bar until 11:00 PM when I decided to go home and sleep. Tony was still going strong…
Oh well that's it for now. See you soon after my 28 hour flying time home.
It's one thing to mix drinks and take them to the Coconut Bar, but come on, posing as a guest to use the facilities at hotel you're not staying, or at least dining at is the sort of thing we do as a teenager, not as an adult!