Little Koh Chang (New Year)


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January 13th 2014
Published: January 13th 2014
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So Christmas was gone and Steve and I were supposed to be moving on from Koh Chang on the Saturday before New Year. We had really settled into island life and didn't really want to be moving again until after New Year but our accommodation, and most others, were fully booked. Luckily while I was enjoying a heavenly oil massage on the beach Steve walked along the beach and found one of the last bungalows available. Brilliant! We could stay for the party! So we packed up our rucksacks and walked the few hundred yards to our bungalow until 2nd January. This one was up at the top of quite a steep hill in a very nice small resort of only 8 bungalows run by Thai Chum and Austrian Gunter. Very friendly couple. Now this bungalow was surrounded by trees and the first night when we came back we had made the mistake of leaving our porch light on. We came back to mossies, moths and massive cicadas flying around bashing into everything. Yuk! Steve and I were yelling at each other to get the door open and covering our heads got in asap. The cicadas were bashing against the mossie screens at our windows and the door. We didn't make that mistake again. And they eat these things!!

That first night wasn't one we slept much. 1. Windows open and the noise of the sea on rocks very noisy. That damn sea! 2. Too cold for Steve with windows open. 3. Mattress like rock. 4. Cockerel crowing far too early. Plus side, it was the darkest I have ever seen. We couldn't see our own hands in front of our face. All resolved by second night. Replacement mattress, windows closed and ear plugs. Sorted.

There were only a few residents at Andamann Hill. A young German couple, elderly Canadian couple, two single American ladies and a coupe of others who kept to themselves. I must now apologise to my German friends but the female of the German couple,( who we nicknamed Leibfraumilch) who very much liked parading around in either of her two black bikinis (so as to not have white bits!) would reserve her place beachfront with her sarong every morning and there it would stay all day. It used to be towels in Spain! Luckily laying baking ourselves all day was not what we liked to do.

The days leading up to New Years Eve passed very much the same. Eating, some cold beer, swimming, reading, sleeping. We walked the island tracks early before the sun got hot ending up in a different places where we would eat breakfast. This was how we started the morning of New Years Eve. We then wandered back along the beach to where the celebrations had already started the day before with football and volley ball tournaments on the beach. We walked back and sat under the shade of the trees reading and dozing. The afternoon long tail boat came around the headland and Chum was expecting some produce to be delivered. This was how provisions arrived. We all watched as the new arrivals climbed off the boat into the surf and then sacks and bags for the locals. Gunter went to help her. It was a very hot afternoon. As he got to to loose sandy slope up the kitchen area he appeared to loose his balance. I carried on watching and then realised he had collapsed. I ran the short distance to where he was lying on the sand closely followed by Chum, Steve and another resident who had seen. He was conscious but was grey, sweaty, breathless and felt dizzy. I told him that he needed to stay laying down where he was for time being. Found out that he had had dizzy spells and had had the doctor the previous day who had given him some pills. There was no way I could find out what they were or what they were for. He said that the doctor told him his blood pressure and heart were fine. More questions established he hadn't hardly eaten that day or drunk much water so a can of full fat coke was brought over for him to drink and some water. Gunter looks as if he's in his late 60's to early 70's and he works from early morning until late at night in mid 80's hot sun running up and down the hill to the bungalow often carrying heavy stuff. He started to feel better after having the coke and water. We managed to get him to lie down for the rest of the afternoon in a cool room, sleep, eat and drink. The next day he was his normal self! Thankfully!

So it was party time. What a party! This is a party that all the Thais on Koh Chang on all the neighbouring Islands have when they all get together for a big family get together. On the beach there where the gorgeous food stalls selling banana fritter, barbecued meat and fish, sticky rice, curries, satay, filled homemade rolls, jellyfish, stingrays deep fried and the usual cold beer. On the stage they had dancing competitions, lady boys, Thai rock band and music, dance floor. Everyone sat around on the sand avoiding the incoming very high tide. Fireworks were being let of randomly as well as lanterns, including ours, floating off to join the many others with wishes on board to who knows where. It was all rounded off with the usual countdown, kisses and best wishes to new friends and old and fireworks. No health and safety here. Just set up on the tide line and lit. It was a great evening and at the same time totally surreal!

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