i'm lying in my hotel bed, curtains closed, aircon at full blast. i feel like a lady with a migrane, you now that kind of woman who would put her hand on her forehead and theatrically sigh and say 'darling, i need to lie down, i have the most terrible headache' with a british accent. that's me today minus the headache and the british accent. welcome to phuket!
phuket has gotten to me. as soon as i set foot on the island yesterday i don't like it. that impression gets stronger when we arrive at the gibbon rehabilitation centre and learn all about the gibbon poachers who steal the babies from their mothers just to have stupid, horrible tourists take pictures with them for money. to be fair that doesn't only happen in phuket, but it is the first time i hear about it, so phuket gets to take the blame.
my friend says that phuket is for russians what mallorca is for the germans. that is true and not a compliment to either. it is loud and there is so much traffic while it lacks the charming big city chaos of bangkok. riding in a songtaew, fun till now, is horrid in the fumes. i can see i'm not the only one in my group that feels this way, we all wish to be back at deserted, quiet koh yao noi, the perfect island if there ever was one.
then i feel properly sick and can't bear the thought of fried anything or curry. for lunch i order a club sandwich. it arrives an hour after everybody else's meals and the bread isn't toasted. who doesn't toast toast?! i wish i would have gotten a toastie from 7 eleven instead.
in the afternoon i take a nap i cannot wake up from. my body feels like lead and i barely make it to dinner. before dinner we visit the local night market: t-shirts, soaps, fake handbags. once you have seen a stall, you have seen at all. the air is sticky and i miss the festive atmosphere, the laughter from the market in chiang mai.
today i try to find a breakfast spot and i have very few requirements: pancakes, some sort of a view, cozy so i can work from there. i walk towards the beach front and find nothing, everything is either closed or unappealing. meanwhile the weather is the most humid i have had. proper bikram temperatures, my face is dripping and my thighs stick together with each step, a vidid reminder of each pad thai and ever beer i had on this trip.
when i get to the ocean i am disappointed, but not surprised: even the beach here is ugly. who wants rows and rows of sunloungers anyway? the clouds aren't helping, the ocean looked grey instead of blue. that's not phuket's fault, but still i need someone/something to blame.
i walk back to my hotel and find the elephant cafe right next door. while it doesn't have a view it has awesome pineapple pancakes and thai ice tea, the waiter is friendly and the wifi is speedy. i am slightly mollified till my stomach is acting up again, i can't fault the pancakes so once again i just blame phuket; it gets on my nerves and has now affected my so far very happy tummy.
so here i am, the lady in her dark, cool hotel room. waiting till i can go to the next island, one that will be worth my time and worthy of my thighs sticking together.
(and just in case you will call be spoilt and ungrateful i will give you exhibit a) phuket beach and exhibit b) all other beaches i have been to and you can decide on your own.)