Bunny's a vegetarian, and one of the things she's had to learn to say is "Mai sa naam plah" - "don't put fish sauce on it" because a lot of times they'll make a 'vegetarian' dish with fish sauce, which kinda defeats the purpose - well as far as she's concerned. Yesterday was another mysterious holiday (sometimes it's better not to ask... just enjoy the day off) so the three of us went to Ko Samet. "Don't put fish sauce on it" became the all purpose phrase for the trip.*
The room I'd reserved was not spectacular. In fact, it's right at the bottom of what I would call acceptable lodging. There were other places to stay on the island, but since it was a holiday every place had jacked up the prices and we were being cheap. The room was small, but the bed was clean. The bathroom was the all-in-one shower over the toilet deal I've come to expect from Thailand, but there was no plastic covered TP holder so it had to be stored up high wedged into the towel rack. Also the toilet didn't have a lid so the seat (which was only marginally attached) would get all wet if you showered.... or used the water at all actually, since there was no sink. We had to use the shower to brush our teeth or wash our hands. Ugh. It was on the borderline between 'clean enough' and 'kinda gross'; so like I said, it was right at the bottom of what I'd consider acceptable, and certainly not a place I would recommend to anyone. In fact - in the future, I'd be willing to splurge for a nicer room even if it meant paying for all three of us myself.
But... we didn't go to the island to hang out in the room, we came for the beach. And the beach was phenomenal. I hope you guys aren't getting tired of beach pictures... because every time I go I just want to take pictures... it's so gorgeous I can't help myself. I spent as much time as I could in the water, only coming out to rest and rehydrate, and once to get a pedicure.
Remember, I'm still recovering from a traumatic haircut.
Eventually the sun started heading towards the horizon and tummies started growling, so we went back to the room to shower & get ready for dinner. And by 'get ready for dinner' I mean adding a healthy dose of vodka to some juice boxes so we could save a little money on drinks. We walked along the water down to the next beach and found a nice place for dinner. It's such a treat to get a menu in English, and we had an English speaking waitress to boot. As much as I like going to Ko Samet though, I really couldn't imagine living or working there... I'd go nuts with all the crazy tourists (such as myself).
After dinner we went back to the Ploy Bar which seems to be the most happening place there ... they keep saying that high-season is starting... but once again there really weren't all that many people around, some of the restaurants were positively empty. We watched the fire show... which was awesome. And had some Rhoti...which was almost equally awesome.
From there the night just got weird. I'm apparently far more outgoing when I'm in a group (and exceptionally drunk), and I started chatting randomly with everyone; an Australian banker, two of the tallest Dutch people I've ever seen, a German couple who it turns out spoke far less English than I had assumed, etc. We started talking to a Thai woman from Chiang Mai, and when I said I'd been there she hugged me, then later bought us all a round of tequila shots. Someone else bought a bucket (a kid's pail, filled with a lot of alcohol and, I don't know, soda?) and well... it just got weird.
I don't feel comfortable going into all the details online... but at one point I was dancing with a Jamacan/Australian (?) guy. Let's just say his behavior was highly correlated with the proximity of the woman he'd come with. When she left to go to the bathroom I got quite a lot of attention. Mai sa naam plah!
We headed inside to the other bar for a while. Hardly anyone was in there, so we rocked out to the Filipino 80s cover band for a bit before braving the beach again. Actually, Bobby (tired of being hit on) went back to our room, and Bunny had lost her shoes at some point and had gone off to look for them. So I was temporarily on my own.
Somehow, and I don't really know how, I ended up at a table with a bunch of Thai people. The guy next to me was telling me it was his family. I'm sure he must have been speaking some English, but I think there was also a fair bit of Thai, and of course the universal language of alcohol. I remember asking everyone's name & telling them how old I thought they were... but getting the numbers wrong saying "12" instead of "22" etc. And then I tried telling them I had two sisters & asking them who was the older sister/older brother etc. One of them was spoon feeding me some kind of noodle soup she was eating and we agreed it was "delicious but a little spicy". Another woman at the table kept trying to say she was the mom but I kept telling her "mai chai" (not correct!). There were almost pictures of the event, but either I'd used up my entire memory card, my batteries were dead, or there's sand in my camera. I'm not sure which one it was, but I got to say "broken" again, and "can not."**
All of this sounds like good clean fun, and it would have been, except eventually the guy next to me became extra friendly and gave me a line I hope never to have to teach my students:
"Have sex with me - five minutes."
The lack of preposition in this sentence leaves it open to a variety of interpretations. Initially I took it as "Have sex with me for five minutes." and just burst out laughing. Come on! I couldn't even get undressed in five minutes. So then he amended his suggestion "Have sex with me - one hour." It occurred to me later that he might mean "in one hour".... but that didn't make the proposition any more appealing.
I should point out here that I did not find the guy even remotely attractive despite my advanced state of intoxication (I don't even know how old he was... but I'm guessing quite a bit older than I am)... so I never entertained the idea of going anywhere with him for five minutes, let alone for an hour. I am however, happy to report that I was able to decline his offer in Thai with a clear but polite "I don't want that, thank you." Ugh.... Mai sa naam plah!
Laying in the sand, looking up at the tree.
Soon enough, Bunny returned from a fruitless search for her shoes, and the rest of the evening was spent nearly passed out in the sand, nearly passed out in the street, and finally nearly passed out on the rock hard bed in our room (the beach was vastly more comfortable). I think I only actually slept for about an hour. They must have put Red Bull or some other energy drink in the buckets because I was really drunk but far too wired to get any kind of rest. Mai sa naam plah!
Bobby and I had to teach today, so we got up early (I was positively coated with sand), ate a solid hangover-breakfast on the beach and headed home. We left Bunny uncomfortably passed out in bed. She later sent us the text message "Never.Drink.Anything!" But I think 'mai sa naam plah' covers it too.
*I've updated my TAG codes to better reflect the kinds of experiences I'm having here. Yesterday was definitely a Code Sweet Chili Sauce kind of day, but today is more of a Code Fish Sauce as I try to recover from it all.
**Of course there's always the indeterminable gap between what I think I'm saying, and what I'm actually saying, and how much of what I think I understand is actually correct. It's entirely possible that I was just asking them not to put fish sauce on me.