Satun, Karaoke virgins

satun Travel Blog

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Sweet sentiments.

Satun is a border town between Thailand and Malaysia, if you come here on a tour you will probably not be staying long. We arrived by bus and by the time we got there is was dark. The hotel room was basic and had a door, much more than that I can not remember.

It seems odd to me that it is always towns like this that seem to have no real significance that always contrive the best stories and adventures. There really is not much to do! As a group we headed down to find something to eat. This was the first place in Thailand we had been where people spoke no English, we all get used to someone knowing a small amount of English but in a place like Satun it is just not the case. This is a point and smile sort of town.

Getting food in Thailand is in general a risky business and is often nothing like the lush delicacies we think of as Thai food in England, I believe there are two reasons for this, firstly they are not as poncy as we are, but more importantly, is there is just not the quality of the meat, as you travel around every farm animal you will see is skinnier than road kill, chickens, goats, cows, whatever and ultimately this is what goes into your food, and this makes sense, fat  people don't cope well in tropical heat, it seems neither do fat chickens, cows and goats.

Knowing this I thought I was prepared, in Krabi I had taken a photo, on my digital camera of a prawn cracker and presented the camera to the waiter, I smiled, he smiled then nodded, so that was sorted. I ordered a red duck curry, god knows what made me think a place like this would have a duck to put in the curry but whatever it was, was wrong. The duck that was returned to me appeared to be made of one giant neck bone, I gave it a go in a stiff upper lip fashion but eating vertebrae in red soup is rank and satisfied myself with the plentiful prawn crackers.

What it appears you can always do in Thailand is find a bar where people, usually transvestites are singing karaoke. And as the beers sink in its hard not to find yourself arguing with yourself about the gender of someone that two beers earlier you were adamant was a guy. When the internal arguments are replaced by feelings of desire its time to stop drinking.

Hell no, I was on holiday and while there were bars open I was not going to stop drinking. Unfortunately after some reconnaissance we found out there were no bars open. However we strayed into one place and after buying the half dozen people in there some drinks they decided they were open and that we should partake of karaoke, so a few more renditions of hotel California were sang.

This place was grim; rats were running above our heads along a ledge put there to hold decorative plates. The locals chatted with us for a good hour, about what I have no idea because we spoke no Thai and they no English, even the translatory power of excessive beer consumption was struggling to assist us, but they were friendly and were open to discussing whether the rodent on the ceiling was a 'Jerry' as in from Tom and Jerry, as they insisted, or a 'Rat' as in from the sewer as I insisted. We never agreed what it was but were both interested to know where Tom the cat had got to.  It is lovely to know that no English has ever reached Satun but the slapstick comedy of Tom and Jerry is omni present.

After  a few Singa's and some obnoxious singing we decided to head home, our new friends wishing us the best and offering to scoot us the 200 meters to our hotel. Hell yeah, why use my good legs when there is pollution to be created. We pointed to the hotel, they pointed to the seats of their bikes, we showed them our room keys and pointed at the hotel, they looked at the room keys and pointed at the hotel, they nodded, we nodded and an agreement between friends was in place.

Those bikes are fun, the breeze is great, they feel fast as your but a few feet from falling of and getting a scratched arse, after jumping on boats, trains, buses and bikes with not a single mention of any applicable laws or safety requirement me and Tom were fully convinced that the bikes were heading out of town away from our hotel to follow a local one-way system.

We off course did not end up in the hotel but at 'their' place. A nice little place, a modest one story building with a large concrete patio outside adorned with hammocks and a number of chairs. It was late but the full household was still up, the guys sisters and mother were chewing the fat outside when we arrived and they were really friendly bunch. Silly of us not to make the most of the offer, we got some beers in and relaxed.

One of the girls had quite taken to Tom and was clearly trying to flirt with him, the successes of his Karaoke and the unique colour of his skin were a draw in this part of the world. They were quite the couple. The fresh air of the bike ride and the stimulation of the mouse or rat conversation had, had an effect and I was starting to sober up and was looking to head back, we needed off course to be given a lift back as we were miles from the town, there were few streets lights and I had forgotten to drop bread crumbs to show me the way back.

Tom had managed to find out that the guys house doubled as a brothel and that we were more than welcome to make the most of the facilities, well it seemed that it would be advisable if one of us 'took one for the team' so to speak as we were clearly going no where without one of us obliging. Neither of us were keen but Tom gave it a go and him and Nah disappeared, I was offered first the pregnant sister, I smiled and shook my head, then the mother, I grimaced in shock and shook my head. So as not to offend I explained, with the help of my digital camera that I was going out with a girl back home and was 'Married'. I can only assume that Tom and Jerry have covered marriage as a topic as they seem to understand. A few more beers went around and after a while Tom returned, Nah sat on his lap and we probably stayed for another hour drinking, Tom felt the need to write on Nah's leg using a Biro, 'I love you Nah nigger', a charm less sentiment that makes me laugh now, makes me think about how fool hardy of him given that they may have recognised the word and its connotations and also makes me realise just how little English was spoke there.

The guys gave us a lift back, it was past two o'clock and I guess they all were looking to clean up their pad and get some shut eye. Tom explained to me that he thinks Nah was a virgin and doesn't do that very often as she was so tight, how he didn't manage to see the contradiction, let alone how unlikely it was I don't know. Seemed to me at the time it was more likely her age, I would say from her skin about fifteen and the fact she was a reasonably small girl, plus I had read on one of the bus journeys previously that travellers generally need to bring there own condoms as Thai condoms tend to be smaller, it seems in Thailand us white guys are the black guys.

Well the hotel room was still there and the door was still there and that was good enough. Thank you Satun for a great experience.

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Sweet sentiments.
Sweet sentiments.
photo by: thelailama