Published: July 6th 2012June 27th 2012
Life has settled down here at the Resort in Karon Beach, Phuket and one day is beginning to resemble another. Today though, is the first cloudy day I have seen since arriving here and therefore a good day to stay inside.
So I have exercised for an hour by walking down the road, on pathways and the clean sandy beach, coming back dripping with perspiration and now need to wait until I am cool enough to go to breakfast. The sort of food I have chosen to eat at the resort for breakfast is fried rice, soy chicken and a range of fruit with my favourite being the pineapple, but watermelon is nice too and the cantaloupe…not sure what the fruit itself looks like but texture is similar to a not so crisp apple and actually pretty tasteless. The dragon fruit are pretty tasteless too and looks like a white fruit all covered in black dots on the inside, but are about the size of a large potato and are pink with green leaves over it on the outside. My favourite other fruits are the rambutan and they are quite hairy on the outside but taste and look like a
lychee inside. The other really delicious fruit is the mangosteen. It is purple like the passionfruit and round with a funny four leaf green top hat on it. Once you peel away the hard shell you find white segments put together a bit like an orange that have the texture of a lychee. Very delicious and hard to just eat one of them!
Days later! Okay so I finally made some friends. They were a family from Rockhampton with two adult children and I think a 15 year old. This was their first time in Thailand. Initially their mum didn’t like the culture shock…..I think mostly the smells. Now she and her man are looking at a return visit maybe without the children. Yet more converts to the joys of holidaying in Thailand.
I finally almost won a game of pool. I was pretty stoked as my pool games had resulted in 100% losses and that they still are is beside the point of course. The game that I was excited about was played against one of the really good lady players at the local bar I have attended a few times now. She had already
beaten two other fairly confident young women, so I had not really expected to be convincing although I had spent the morning practicing in the pool room upstairs on my own taking turns and being true to the game. Yes. Split personality. LOL. OK! So I nearly won the game. I was two balls up on her going for the black. She caught up with me as I tried in vain to sink the black and eventually lost as I pocketed the white instead. But all in all, I was pretty pleased with the result and I think the other ladies were pretty impressed as everyone stopped to watch the game.
So my new friends and I went to the Jung Ceylon shopping centre for a look around. We caught the tuk tuk costing for all six of us 300baht, so already a saving for me. I had not been to this shopping centre before and it was very large covering several upper floors as well as a basement floor that was fully air conditioned. Although there were many stalls they were quite samey and so after a while there was really nothing new to look at. I bought
the little ones yet another ankle bracelet each. I am really aware of how I have no space in my backpack. The advantage of having been to the markets is you learn pretty quickly what something is worth and therefore, helping you to get better at the bartering process.
The main shopping centre is similar to what we have in New Zealand so no real surprises here. The journey back in the tuk tuk was uneventful too although we did see the result of an accident where the rider had come off her bike. On arriving back though we went to my new friends’ favourite eating place where I had Pad Thai and it was a very large meal as were all the meals there, so well worth the money paid for it.
From here we made our way to the restaurant where the Elvin show is held on Tuesday and Friday nights. Elvis was in fine fettle, but age has definitely diminished his voice box and he mumbles quite a lot of his words. His red glittery outfit though was quite spectacular. In the audience were a large group of Australian couples and they were quite out there and happy to get up and dance to the rock ‘n roll songs. Elvis really likes to make his show interactive so he had them come up and sing too. As there were four of them he named them the Spice girls and they sang ABBA. Funny as!
An old guy who was to turn 80 in two weeks from now sang too and Elvin dressed him up for the part. He did a pretty good job of his song too….no can’t remember what he sang. We so enjoyed all the Elvin songs and were able to reminisce about our younger days and the music experiences we had. My friends were a bit younger than me. This was a very late night for me as generally I am in bed by 8pm or just after.
The next day the car I rented arrived at the agreed time of 10am and initially I had thought that the rental guy would drive me to Phuket so that I would not have to figure out how to get out of Karon Beach. Not so, but as it turned out I went with my gut feeling and arrived near Phuket town without having to backtrack at any stage. Just filling up the car was an experience as the attendant puts in the petrol and takes your money on the forecourt without even having a building you can enter to pay for the fuel. This makes buying petrol a very quick option.
I arrived without any fanfare at the timeshare in Mai Khao, Talang and got sorted into a two bedroomed apartment with both rooms having their own bathrooms, full kitchen facilities and three tv’s I could watch. They only had a third story apartment available and so I pulled the crook hip story and today was moved into a ground floor apartment where it is so much easier to come and go from. I purchased my food at the Tesco store in town at a cost of 750baht ($30.00) and I will go out each day to eat one Thai meal and organize my food around the rest of the day. Here at the resort it is very expensive to even have a drink, so buying in and having the car is still a cheaper option than trying to live for the week at the resort.
Today is Tuesday and yet another day at the timeshare. Today I decided to visit the jewellery store in Phuket that is considered to be the largest store in the world. To give you some indication I have two photos I managed to take before I was told off and told I could not take photos. You can hopefully gauge the size of it from them. Anyway, the reason for being there was to get earrings I always wear, bought there five years ago, fixed. Whilst at Karon Beach the arm broke on one of them and it seemed to make sense that I was in Phuket when they needed fixing.
Nothing is ever as it seems though and to get them fixed they requested I produce the papers I received on proof of purchase and authentication from way back then. After explaining that I lived in New Zealand and that I didn’t carry those papers with me everywhere I went they checked out the stamp on them, reported that they would be gone about 50 minutes and took my earrings away. I wondered if part of the plan was to get me bored enough that I would want to purchase something else in their store. There will people from all nations milling around in the store, but if you are a woman on your own you are pretty safe as the expectation is that your “husband” will purchase for you. Seeing as I do not have one of them, I am not considered a purchaser. Thank goodness. So I checked out the remainder of the store and discovered a large souvenir shopping area that thronged with people buying up large like in a big sale at Farmers. Then in the waiting area, you always have to have a waiting area in places like this as time is spent on sorting out the details of your purchase, the final polishing up or alteration to your product and then the ceremony of the handing over of the precious gift. Here, people were drinking coffee, tea or a soft drink or just sleeping and resting. By the time I have done the circuit once and then back to the jewellery store to the assistant who had taken the earrings for fixing, she was quick to inform me they were on their way back to me. I was pleased to see them looking pristine and shiny and mended and it felt like I was complete again as I put them back in my ears. For once something was free and I was sent on my way into the rain that was a major part of the day.
Central Festival was my next stop and a bit of retail therapy. The shopping centre had a big sale on and there were lots of shops to look at but my great purchase of the day was two pots of body butter from The Body Shop on sale for just $6.00 each and that would be way less than half price at home. Lunch was next and today I had Nasi Goreng and Chicken Satay from the Chinese shop in the Food Circle.