It’s day 3 in Koh Lanta and it’s been a day of excitement and danger. Today is the day we rent a tuc tuc for the day. The Lanta tuc tuc doesn’t look like this though
Those are the cosmopolitan tuc tucs. The Thai island tuc tuc makes no pretension to luxury or design, it is the tuc tuc unplugged; it is the tuc tuc stripped bare and visceral. What no-one ever admits to is this- a tuc-tuc is a moped with a bench attached.
The second you make the decision to rent a tuc tuc an alarm goes off in the headquarters of your travel insurance brokers, rendering your policy null and void. But we have made sure that should the worst come to the worst, we have a system already in place. It’s the “A big boy did it and ran away” system. Should we crash and limbs go flying we quickly empty all out of the tuc tuc and say we were merely crossing the road when this guy crashed into us in his tuc tuc. A guy who has now run away. German probably.
Now the last time that we rented a suspect vehicle was John’s and my first holiday together in Corfu. At that point in our relationship, John did not have a drivers licence. In fact John hadn’t even had a driving lesson. I doubt whether at that point John had even sat his cycling proficiency test. He books a moped for three days and is very excited. The insurance broker alarm does not go off as on this particular occasion as we have spent all our money on actually getting to Greece and have decided to use remaining cash on eating and drinking rather than wasting it on travel insurance.
John wakes up super early to collect the bike and I realise that I’m not going to get a look in. I’ll be lucky if he lets me ride pillion.
I’ll keep the rest of the story short as you don’t particularly want me going on about something that happened 15 years ago, since I’m supposed to be writing about Thailand. Here’s the abridged version:
John crashes bike
John doesn’t let go
Force of John’s grip presses accelerator handle
John loses flesh of entire knee on tarmac as he is dragged along
Gill gets to drive the bike for rest of holiday!
But John has redeemed his self. Here he is in action in Thailand!
So we tour Koh Lanta and end up on this beach. It looks nice in the photos but it isn’t- it’s full of rubbish. If the beach doesn’t have a resort attached it seems it doesn’t get cleaned. Real shame. I feel like getting a black bag and going back and cleaning it up. Even though I hate cleaning up.
We stop off at another and it’s worse, but me and John meet our fantasy future selves in the shape of Johnny and Shelley from Tazzie (that’s Tasmania to you and I). I wish I had taken a photo (will do better next time). Johnny and Shelley are around sixty and have sailed from Tazzie to South East Asia. They’ve been everywhere- Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia. They’ve been away for over a year and they don’t really have any intentions of going back anytime soon. These people have sailed into Singapore harbour alongside tankers!!! They are our new personal heroes. I am suddenly looking forward to my retirement (who am I kidding- I have always been looking forward to my retirement). I ask John if I can start calling him Johnny from now on. He says no, he’s holding out for “Jack”.
Anyway, here’s some pics of us drinking and a little recipe for a Mojito, which is my drink du jour. Not very Thai- it's Brazilian but what's a continent between firneds?
White rum (as much as you can stand)
Crushed mint leaves
A big spoonful of sugar (the finer the better)
Fresh lime juice ( a couple of limes per tall glass)
Stick the lot in a blender with some ice
Pour into tall glasses and top up with soda water.
Drink until you pass out.
Any way here’s some pics of Kaw Kwang resort where we are staying. Oh and the first one includes my new best friend, Melina. Melina has a Thai mum and a German dad and she and Eve have been playing. I have been translating. If anyone told me that I would be speaking German 50% of the time of my Thai hols not only would I be surprised, I would also have not believed it possible. I have a German degree but haven’t spoken German for 15 years. I can still do it- well good enough that a five year old can understand me! See mum and dad, that money you spent sending me to Uni wasn’t a complete waste! In fact I have added to my vocabulary; I now know the phrases for “Hide and Seek” and “Tig and Tag”. Useful.
By the way- love the suggestion from some of my Readers on the Heaven/Helen song titles. The M People one, "One night in Helen" in particular, made us laugh, as it’s a bit rude….Keep them coming.