Thailandsurvival Week 2

Day 8

I discovered the problem of the vanishing water, turns out one of the bathrooms we don’t use (I imagine only The Queen can relate to my dilemma of having too many bathrooms) has a continually running toilet, after disconnecting the mechanism I hung up my deerstalker cap and rested my pipe and magnifying glass on the side table – another mystery solved.

The hire car was delivered, it will be nice to do things at our own pace, the tuk tuks are great and there is nothing better than tearing along pot holed country roads from the villa onto highways to reach town whilst clinging on for dear life whilst inhaling an unhealthy dose of exhaust fumes.

We make a trip to the mall to stock up on supplies, they have assembled a Christmas scene.  Not sure what to make of their Santa:

Later that evening we make our first trip to the night market, this side of town is much nicer than the beach side.  The beach side is dominated by luxury hotel chains and restaurants.   Whilst the night market side is undoubtedly still loaded with tourists it has a more relaxed feel.  We set up camp in Margarita’s mexican restaurant and quickly became intoxicated on the bargain cocktails and stuffed on the delicious food.

I was overjoyed to see the blind karaoke couple from last week entertain diners along the market, and then squealed as I saw the guy selling the elephant fruit bowls.  On stuffed bellies we strolled the market made up of fake handbag stalls, tee-shirt sellers and food stalls made up of a dazzling array of fresh seafood.  There was even a stall just selling cocktails and spirits to order – this was my kind of market.

We walked round the corner for a bit and came across this street lit up spectacularly.

We meant to attend the Thai boxing event but reeling from too many Margarita’s we opted to return home and tend to our splitting headaches.

Day 9

I’ve been ticking off restaurant recommendations, not from our villa owner but a rival villa down the road who I enquired with originally but the dates never fell in line with what we needed.  He very kindly sent me a list of their favourite places and has served us well.

It may not be as cheap as other parts of Thailand but for really nice restaurants we have spemt £20 between 2 people including drinks, up to a maximum of £60 for two including drinks, though that was for something that would cost £200 in London

Day 10

I loaded myself up with copious amounts of cough remedies, I think I am over the worst of it.  I’ve read the entire Millennium trilogy during my sick bout, Girl with the dragon tattoo, Girl who played with fire and the girl who kicked the hornet’s nest.   I realised I only read on holiday, why can’t I find the time at home?  I blame the cat she doesn’t like it if I’m texting and paws my phone away and if I am sat at the table reading a paper she will sit on it, it’s always got to be about her.

Starting to miss her now.

Day 11

We drive up to monkey mountain, the landscape changes from luxury hotels, to shacks lining an ever shrinking road, the smell of raw fish and seafood enters via the aircon system as we near the fishing harbour.  We drive up the mountain, precarious bend after bend, no barriers, I hear the sea crashing against its rocks.  A figure darts in front of us, a blur.  We turn the corner and they come running from all directions climbing on the car, they scatter as a monk dressed in his orange robes and wielding a hand crafted whip scares them off.   These must be the monkeys in question.   I tentatively crawl out of the car gripping my camera case to my side, a small one runs from under the car and scales a tree above me.

One of these monkeys isn't real

I look around and monkeys everywhere, in one area they are relaxed and groom one another, in another part they partake in a  romanesque orgy, elsewhere they surround a locked cage of bananas, a woman attempts to fend them off but they overpower her.  Further back is the crèche, full of tiny monkeys  – the result of the romanesque orgy area.

Monkey day care

Roosters and hens run around with their chicks, stray dogs tease the monkeys, they bare their teeth at them in reply.   Tourists clamber to the temple atop a steep flight of stairs, we decide we cannot be bothered and we get in the car and drive home.

Day 12

I can hear it buzzing near my ear while I sleep, I spied it last night, it sat on the bedside table waiting for me to drift off, I sleepily lunged at it and it flitted away.  It keeps coming back, taunting me.   Three new bites yesterday, he’s having a feast every evening.

I hear him again, no sudden movements, I open my eyes slighty and from the corner see him, I swipe out swiftly, he falls to the floor, he stumbles drunkenly shakes his head to regain his balance, my hand comes crashing down on top of him, blood spreads across the tiled floor.  A lot of blood.  I am stunned by how much blood this little mozzie was storing, it poured out of his body.  It had to be soaked up.

“You see this” I scream, “any other of you wanna try it then the same thing is gonna happen to you!”

Day13

Arrived at the tattoo parlour, I am quickly led upstairs and shaved in anticipation for my tattoo, they mark out the area with a stencil, I get a head rush and I break out in a sweat.  The same feeling I get with a hangover stuck on a busy train, sweat pours and my eyesight blurs, I usually put it down to dehydration from the hangover, probably a bit more to it now.

I contemplate running out, “The stencil looks great, thanks, just what I wanted” as I imagine felling shirtless into the street.  They lead me to the tattoo chair, lying down is a great help, I regain my senses and can relax.

The tattooist is a tiny Thai woman, delicate thing who you can’t imagine wielding such instruments of torture.  She asks if I am ready, I nod and grit my teeth.   I hope my years of dental pain puts me in good stead but it is a different pain.   Other people who have tattoos said it was fine, or depends where it is on your body, I thought I was safe enough on my arm but it extends to my chest which is where most of the pain centres.  The outline was the worst, it’s deeper to hold the ink in and the movements are long to create the outline the needle drags across my skin and it is on fire.  I liken it to dragging a compass you would use in school across your skin, I then gulped at the thought of 11 hours of this.

The outline was at its worst on my chest and near my armpit, excruciating.   She then began the filling in on the arm, this wasn’t so bad, it was not as deep and was more of an annoyance than anything, the most pain came from her wiping away ink and blood continuously so it becomes abrasive over the same area.

7 hours later with only a 10 minute break we are done for the day, I am balmed and wrapped for the evening.   I take the wrap off after two hours, clean the area gently and reapply some balm.

Day 14

Back at the shop at 10am for the final 4 hours.  With thirty minutes to go I have reached my threshold, I cannot stand it any more, it is the chest part, the most painful part and she seems to be going over the same area again and again, it is agony and I feel like leaving it incomplete, who is gonna see it on my chest anyway?

I persevere and it is a great relief when it is done.   Pictures to follow once it’s healed, now I have to treat it well so it stays in a great condition, there is no way I am enduring all of that for me to mess it up by slacking on the care period.

I’m glad it’s done, it is fantastic, much bigger than I imagined, but I will never get any more, the pain is too vivid and I wanted one statement piece not smaller ones scattered around my body.

We go back to a great restaurant for dinner, as soon as the food arrives I cannot eat it, I never fully recovered from illness and the tattoo ordeal has left a sickly feeling but the food wasn’t right, I complained and they said the garlic I said had overpowered the dish was not even in the dish.  I hate this attitude, granted British people may be ignorant to some foods, we don’t have the best reputation, but I love my food and I love garlic and I know when it’s been overdone, but to tell me there was no garlic got right up my nose, there goes your tip, especially since they still charged me for the food I never ate.

The elephant bowl man came past again, he heard me and came up to the dining patio and tried the hard sell, I was really torn, other diners looked on in aghast.  I still didn’t buy it, it was bulkier than I thought.

This is our last night in Hua Hin, I leave with great memories, a relaxed town, maybe too relaxed as we have been lulled into its sedate pace, Bangkok is going to be a wake up call…..

Random ramshackle building

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8 Comments

  1. Kirk

     /  December 22, 2011

    any thoughts I ever had about getting a tattoo are now safely extinguished.

    Reply
    • I think it’s healing well, may not scab so I will stick a picture on Facebook later. If I had just doen my arm would have been ok, under the arm hurt and the chest and armpit, if you avoid that it was manageable, but then I am a bit of a pussy about pain sometimes. It could just be me!

      Reply
  2. First, I am going on the record and say I do not like monkeys. I had them when I was growing up. They are unpredictable and mean. Second, I am so going to let Daughter read this post. She says she is getting a tattoo as soon as she hits 18. Maybe she will think a bit harder about getting one. Are you there on holiday or work?

    Reply
    • You had monkeys??!! Amazing. I was a bit terrified, they warned you they may jump at you and grab any bags.

      Here on holiday, escaping the cold London winter.

      I left tattoing til I was 35! I always wanted one but have been undecided on what to have, that’s the most important part, you change your mind more often than the weather when younger and know many people who regretted their early tattoos, so has taken me this long to know that I wanted one and find a secure job where it wouldn’t matter wither. But they do hurt and there is no getting round that.

      Reply
  3. The stall selling booze and the margaritas sound fabulous. The bloodsucker and the tattoo pain, not so much. I’d say if you actually sat through 11 hours (!) of that, you’re not too much of a wuss. 😉

    Reply
  4. The Christmas scene is going to be in a nightmare of mine..I can feel it. I can feel it. I love reading about your trip.

    Reply
    • People would queue up to have their kids pose with the mannequin santa, I had to go early in the morning to capture it alone. I can just imagine that hand moving as it grips vice like around your neck!

      Reply

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