Whereas man overvalues everything

Phuket Travel Blog

 › entry 21 of 23 › view all entries
To get to Phuket, we had to get another speedboat.

This time, people were screaming. Every second person was sick. The sea was so rough that I genuinely, genuinely thought we were going over. Some people were putting on lifejackets, but they would have been pointless had anything happened. I prayed to every deity I could name.

Needless to say, we landed safely. I hauled my stuff off the boat, in the driving rain, and swore an oath never to get on another boat. I mean it.

By this time, Em and I had been wet for three days. I had lost everything that meant anything to me, she potentially had a fatal disease, and we thought the time was right to spend some real money on a hotel. And then go home.

We stayed in The Taste, which used to be XVI. It was beautiful, an interior designer's dream. We had hot water, air con and a bathtub, three things which we hadn't seen in the same room for four weeks.

Then we went out for dinner. And caught the end of the news.

The Thais seem to have a strange reaction to tragedy. At the time we saw the news, 39 people had died, and 40 were unaccounted for. The restrantour laughed when he pointed it out to us. A 1-2-Go flight from Bangkok to Phuket had foundered in the driving rain, then crashed, skidded and burst into flames on the runway. The same rain had nearly killed us in our speedboat at exactly the same time. We weren't laughing.

This brings me up to yesterday evening. This afternoon, at 1pm, Em and I were supposed to be flying out of Phuket, the reverse journey, in the same driving rain. Yesterday was the worst day we've had. It's hard to make decisions about your safety when you can't predict what might happen. It's hard to be so scared and not give in to it.

We were sitting in a Thai street-cafe. We decided that what we actually wanted was comfort food, and walked out in favour of pizza. Over said pizza (as the pasta Emma ordered had stray ham in it) and then icecream, very little was said. We were going the other way, sure, but the rain was happening everywhere.

We left the hotel early this morning, unsure of the situation at Phuket airport. This was the best thing we could have done. All flights were grounded; they might begin flying again at 6pm today, we were told. But, if we wanted, we could transfer to a flight from Krabi airport, on the other side of the penninsula, as long as we made our own way there. We weighed up our options - 15 hour bus journey to Bangkok, 6 hour bus journey to Surat Thani and then 10 hour sleeper train to Bangkok, 4 hour bus journey to Krabi and then a 3 hour wait for a flight we might be too scared to get on, or waiting to see if Phuket airport opened up and then waiting for the backlog to clear - and then went to Krabi.

The taximen were coining it in, charging 2,500 baht for a 1,800 baht journey. We got the bus for 155 baht and got there in plenty of time.
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photo by: Aclay01