It's Wednesday and we're in Koh Lanta, which is a small island just south of Phuket. It's just lovely. I think we're all relieved to be here. It took us two hours from Krabi airport in which time we had to go in two ferries and at one point we thought we wouldn't get on the last one. Our driver seemed quite concerned at the length of the queue at the pier and we're beginning to realise that even the slightest sign of minding anything from a Thai person is the equivalent of a Scottish person throwing a wobbly. And given that travelwise we'd had a really crappy day what with Nob Air, we were expecting the worst.
Our poor driver had actually been waiting for us at Krabi Airport since 9.30 that morning. We eventually landed at six in the evening. Any other taxi driver in the whole world would have been mightily pissed off but our chap was more interested in being nice to the kids and of course, wondering what sex Louis is.
So when he looked mildly perturbed at the ferry queue we started to worry. He was on the phone umpteen times and we figured he's maybe calling the hotel, making a contingency plan, or trying to make a deal with someone to get us across should the worst come to the worst. John decides to pitch in, in a particularly Western way- by throwing money at the situation,
"Could I offer the ferry guy some cash to get us on first?" Our driver looks confused.
"Will we get on the ferry?" I ask, since it is clear that John's attempts at bribery and corruption are not being understood.
"Yes, no problem!" the taxi driver says before answering his phone again.
A minute passes and a few more calls are made and received. It turns out he's been on the phone to his mates- there's Thai Boxing championships on tonight and he's missing them. Hence the mild annoyance at the wait at the ferry and phone calls.
We relax and enjoy the ferry trip, even though it's dark and we can't see what the island looks like. The kids are excited and Eve is being funny. She starts talking about our dead cat, Molly and her childminder's dead dog (Dinky RIP). "Why did they die?", "Are they playing together at Helen's?"
Helen's? It take us all a second or two to realise that she means heaven. Much laughter and a new car game is born. Song titles with Helen. Here are the best ones:
"Helen Knows I'm Miserable Now" The Smiths
"Knocking on Helen's Door" Dylan
"Stairway to Helen" LedZep
And for you eighties music fans, "Feels like Helen" Fiction Factory. Anymore suggestions appreciated…
The fact that John's mum is called Helen makes this even funnier, and I know she reads this blog, so hello Helen! You are now immortalised in popular song!
So we arrive in Kaw Kwang Bungalows in Koh Lanta and there's a great thunder and lightning storm. (Eve calls it "Thunder and Flashning"). Our bungalow is right on the beach and all though we can't see much at night, it looks like we've landed lucky. We're so happy to be here that kissing the ground seems reasonable.
Hair update: I now look like Bryan May.