Welcome to Khmerland
Evason Resort Hua Hin >>> Bangkok

Saturday 4th December 2004

They say that all good things must come to an end but it doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye. Whilst I was really looking forward to returning to Bangkok in time for the King's Birthday celebrations I could so easily have spent a few more idyllic days doing nothing down here at the Evason Resort. Even today we continued to have new breakfast experiences such as French Toast or Eggy Bread as Julie described them. Apparently eggy bread used to be a firm family favourite of hers.

By the time we had packed and eaten breakfast we had about an hour before our pick up was due. We spent those last moments on the strip of sand wetting ourselves with laughter when Julie got a particular word mixed up. "You should wear your sunglasses more often" she said "Why?" I asked.

"You should have protection. You'll be sorry when you're old and have guacamole in your eyes".

Well I fell off my lounger after that one!

"I think you mean glaucoma but I'm sure guacamole would also be quite unpleasant!" Hee Hee Hee!! She never fails to entertain!

It was 1pm and time for us to be taken by the golf buggy from our paradise back into the real world. As we arrived in the car park the buggy driver pulled up to a clapped out pick up, pointed to it, then said "Your transport".

Our mouths dropped. We couldn't possibly sit in the back of a truck for the 300kms to Bangkok!

"uh, OK" I reluctantly answered and I was just about to get out of the buggy when he exploded into a fit of laughter. He drove off whilst literally rolling around in his seat. He could hardly breath he was laughing so hard! We were weaving about the car park looking for our transfer with this guy in absolute hysterics over his own hilarity! "Five star VIP transport!" he squealed in between stifled eruptions of laughter, "Your hair would be out here [made like afro with his hands] by the time you reach the airport!"

He even drove back around to the reception desk to tell his colleagues what he had done. All this laughter was infectious as we joined in despite the joke being on us and despite the fact that by now he was milking it for far too long. His parting shot was "Keep on laughing, it keeps you young" as we stepped inside our air con minibus.

In complete contrast to the Michael Schumacher we had on Tuesday night our driver today was in no particular rush to get anywhere fast. We picked up another couple from a resort called Regents in Cha Am and eventually hit the expressway reaching a more reasonable speed, but an hour had passed since we left the Evason. We had arranged to visit Peter and his family, another good friend of mine, in Bangkok later this afternoon. When I phoned earlier today he was at work teaching, but I spoke to his wife and left the message that I'd be arriving in the city at about 4pm. That was now beginning to look like a very optimistic time. Speedy Gonzalez was never going to reach the velocity needed to get us there on time.

The couple we shared the ride with were from Staffordshire and they knew Rhosneigr on Anglesey (we live a mile away) very well because a sister had a caravan there. The immortal words "Isn't it a small world" were uttered. Another funny thing they said was that an elderly friend of theirs was concerned they were holidaying in this part of the world and asked "Do they still have cannibals in Thailand?"!!!

We arrived at the Royal Orchid Sheraton an hour behind schedule. We were then further delayed when we checked in. The lady behind reception asked "You brother and sister, right?"

"NO! husband and wife" Julie retorted. They were trying to allocate us a twin bed room. Our reservation clearly said a double room. We told them that we wanted a bed big enough for two. She assured us that the beds are large enough. Yeah, right, well perhaps one could have fitted three of her in a bed, and somebody probably has, but when we saw the room on the 15th floor it just wasn't good enough. We were fuming! They were two single beds just like any other twin room so Julie called reception and demanded a double room. They agreed and moved us to a double room on the 10th floor. So why couldn't they have done that in the first place? It was so annoying.

Once in our room I immediately phoned Peter as we were now over two hours late to arrange a rendezvous. We reluctantly resigned ourselves to cancelling this evening's gathering, with the hope of squeezing in a get-together tomorrow or Monday. I was bitterly disappointed and resorted to comfort eating to cheer myself up. Actually what I mean by that is; we booked a table at Gigolo's, the hotel's award winning Italian restaurant and had a blast!

For starters we shared three dishes; a Caprese salad, grilled aubergines and peppers and Mozzarella in Carrozza. They were perfect comfort food although the quality of the mozzarella wasn't good enough for the Caprese. They had used the rubbery tasteless version that is really only good enough for cooking. I may be fussy but you just can't beat the taste of fresh Buffalo Mozzarella.

Julie enthused about her main course of 'rack of lamb' as the best meal she had all holiday and my Cappellini (Angel hair pasta) with tomato and basil tasted delightful. We washed it all down with a bottle of wine each; a white (Orvietto) for Julie and a red (Montepulciano D'Abruzzo) for me. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal, sitting outside on the balcony, stuffing our faces. It's what we do best! Was it the "Best Hotel restaurant in Thailand 2004"? Probably not, the rubbery cheese knocked some points off them but the rest of it was very good.

As we weren't roaring drunk by the end of the wine we decided to move inside into the Lobby Bar to continue with our research into the effect of alcohol on the body in the climatic changes of South East Asia. The band had just started up for the evening.

Grace and the guitarist recognised our familiar faces; she waved to us with a flutter of the fingers, whereas he coolly raised an eyebrow in our direction and nodded sagely to the beat. What a dude.

I wasn't counting how many beers we were knocking back but we had got to that stage of drunkenness where you start talking to yourself in the mirror!

We were also inebriated enough to want to try one of those god awful cocktails regardless of the ludicrous price tag.

During a break in the performance I went up to the pianist to ask if they knew Three Little Bids by Bob Marley. I wanted to dedicate it to Julie because she was already getting anxious about the big flight home. The lyrics "Don't worry about a thing, 'cos every little thing is gonna be alright" seemed to be written for a born worrier! Sadly they didn't know how to play it.

We drank all night until the band finished at 1am. After they packed up I went to exchange e-mails with the pianist as he had a song that he would send out to anyone who wanted a copy. When I returned Grace had joined Julie and they were talking about Norah Jones and Joss Stone. She was so envious of the fact that we had recently seen the both of them perform live; Norah in Dublin and Joss at Leeds University.

We talked some more as she told us that she was from New Zealand, although originally from Tonga.

She certainly had strong Tongan features. She lived however in Australia for the past twelve years trying to break through into the music industry. She had only been doing this gig for the past six weeks and has only until the end of January left. Then the guitarist, who was called Sonny, joined us. He started to talk about Astrology and Numerology and tried to guess our star signs. Grace soon got bored of the topic of conversation and left us to discuss the meaning of life with Sonny.

He was unnervingly right on the mark with many things he talked about Julie.

nice bloke

He was a man on a mission saying that he was saddened by the poor state of the world and that he had a solution where a network of cool people would go into schools and educate our children to think for themselves and think in the right way.

It all sounded like a great idea but there was just something about him, he was too nice! He gushed about my presence or aura and said "Man, you sound like John Lennon". He even got me to repeat a line from a Beatles song. Fuelled by alcohol my ego gratefully received the compliment and I obliged; despite knowing full well that I have nothing in common with John Lennon's voice. He also said I looked like Hector from the new Troy film. I mean Hector? I look nothing like Hector! Achilles maybe but Hector?

What did this guy want? Was he a genuine nice bloke and he was sincere with his "network of cool people" thing? Or was he a recruitment officer for some pony-tailed cult. Julie thought that he was on the pull and was trying to set up a threesome!

That's when we made for a sharp exit!

Sunday 5th December 04 >>  
ęCopyright Colin Owen 2005 Contact me at c.a.owen@bangor.ac.uk