Koh Samui Travel Blog› entry 87 of 115 › view all entries
I'm sitting on a chrome bar stool in a dimly lit pseudo-Irish pub playing Connect 4 with a Thai bar girl of about 20, who speaks no English. To my left is a bald dwarf who is playing some kind of dice game with another older bar girl. To my right, across the road, is a bar, illuminated by multicoloured disco lights and heaving with more bar girls who are gyrating half-heartedly to Beyonce's Crazy in Love.
24 hours earlier finds me back at Why Nam beach, Koh Phangan, on the balcony of a bungalow.
“Don't go to Samui,” Louise says from her chair.
“Why not?” I swing gently in the only hammock.
“Because you'll hate it, I bet you'll hate it, I can't see you fitting in on Samui.” She sips at her beer.
“Mmm, but I like the name. We'll see.”
There's a moment of unhurried silence before Louise speaks again.
“And you haven't been wearing your sunglasses. Is that because of what I said?”
“No, it's just not been that sunny last few days.”
“Sure that's the reason?” She smiles and I struggle to keep a straight face.
Of course it is because of what she'd said, but I don't want her to know that.
“Yeah,” I reply mock-affronted. “Told you, it's the way you wear them that matters. It's all in the attitude.” I kind of half mean it, half know it's absolute bullshit.
“Right.” She says, the smile appearing again, a knowing smile. Bugger.
Next day and Louise has caught a bus back north, heading for Chiang Mai with its elephants and trekking. Geoff the Canadian and his beautiful Polish girlfriend Gosia are off to Bangkok via Samui aiport. I'm not finished with the south yet and I'm curious about an island that I've heard a lot about. And I do like the name, it rolls off the tongue as easily as cash flies out of a tourist's wallet: Samui...
“Why are you going to Samui man?” Geoff asks on the ferry across, “it's not a backpacker place.
“Yeah I know, I just want to see it; I reckon it'll be interesting, see how the other half live and all that.”
I shift on the slatted wooden bench, slip the sunglasses on, turn back to him.
“By the way, what do you make of these? I kind of need a second opinion.” I point at the shades and he muses for a second whilst Gosia maintains a diplomatic silence.
“Lose them man,” he says finally. “Seriously, if you want to meet any girls in Thailand then lose them. I mean, I wouldn't just throw them overboard right now but maybe give them to the waitress in the next place that you eat in.” He nods his head and smiles ruefully.
Later in the night and Chaweng Connect 4 has ended in a hard fought draw. I've just refused to purchase my monolingual lady friend an expensive red rose from an old hawker woman. I decide to leave the dwarf to it and down the dregs of my beer. Sliding from the stool I bid the young bar girl farewell, sloping off upstairs to the haven of my overpriced room, which resounds to the boom and shout of the pop blasting from the bar across the road.
Tomorrow night will not see me in Chaweng. Two days later and I'll be off Samui for good, nice name or not. But it's not a total loss; I'll be leaving with a pair of expensive new sunglasses.
Stubborn I may be, but a Dame Edna tribute act? Not this year possums.