6th Day - Primates 2 Team
Cha-am Travel Blog› entry 8 of 34 › view all entries
Dark day today which impacted on my mood, or more accurately, I couldn't really wake up properly since it felt like it was still half dark. The thunder rolled in the distance all morning while we cleaned out Hue, Chak Cham, Jo, Mink, Sid, and Duwan. Everything pulled off without a hitch apart from forgetting to ask Primates 1 team to withhold food from James and Madge in Solitary block as we were due to clean their cages today. So without food to convince them to enter the side cages while we cleaned, instead we were tasked with cleaning the school bears pool. I wasn't looking forward to this but in actual fact was quite good fun. It was hot, sweaty work, but there's a lot of satisfaction to be gleaned from watching all the green algae swirling away after you've been scrubbing on your hands and knees for an hour.
Once again we were treated to a bit of a downpour but it cleared up by the afternoon and we were back to bright sunshine and humidity - good thing too since our day off in Hua Hin is tomorrow and the rain didn't bode well for a day on the beach! We fed the monkeys in the block and then scatterfed the macaque fields again and treated the lucky WSPA Block to some frozen bananas and mango icecubes as enrichment. I made the mistake of leaving my hand too close to the wire on one occasion though and got a quick scratch on the hand from a grumpy macaque. No matter, he didn't break the skin, just gave me a surprise.
In the afternoon we cleaned the baby cage and Sid's inside cage which we missed this morning, and then cleaned outside the gutterless cages again.
At 6pm the taxi picked up me, Laura and Elise to go to Hua Hin for our day off - hurray! We found a guest house near to our regular taxi pick-up drop-off point, the Ban Soomong guest house, which had bags of character and was a good deal at 1200 Baht for the room with hot water, cable and air con.
We set out immediately to Mamma Mia, the fabulous Italian restaurant that we favour. After a slap-up meal and a litre of wine we set off for a few cocktails at Sam Sams lounging around on the leather beds with recliner cushions, slurping on our glowing daquris and Martini cocktails. Feeling suitably warmed up we set off the night market and had a more relaxed wander around than our brief zip-through on our last evening in town. Making our way back after a few stops a couple of hours later we decided to cut through the streets and stumbled across the drinking strip cum Red Light District. Loud tourist bars with bar stools, pool tables, beer on tap had Thai girls (and ladyboys) in various states of undress or skimpy clothing draped across chairs and sofas looking for a rich, white westerner to 'spend time with'. We have seen plenty of this during the day time; fat, balding old men walking around with Thai girls in hot pants and heels. They don't seem to be close, there's no obvious affection, just a trophy girlfriend-for-hire. The genuine Asian/white couples are easy to spot because they are easy in each other's company, though I'm sure it must be off-putting to them to be 'sized up' by every passing westerner that takes a dim view of the infamous Thai sex-trade. I can't pretend we don't make judgements too.
Anyway, walking through this strip was eye-opening, and just a bit uncomfortable, if only because it's not ever pleasant to see women plying this sort of trade. It's not about whether you agree with it, it's more about an inherent sadness and sickness that men and women want to indulge in this trade rather than enjoying meaningful relationships some other way. Live and let live though. What else is there to do?
Back at the room we snuggled into crisp, white sheets on thick, luxurious mattresses and had a blissful and long sleep in a cool, clean room.