Thailand travel 3. Touchdown Phuket and cab to Kamala
And so, I arrive in Phuket. And follow the Lonely Planet guidelines: get a metered taxi at the airport. Destination: Kamala. B600 (he promised B500 for return trip).
Meet Elle, who has invited me to stay at her place in Kamala for a couple of days. We have many mutual friends, including an ex of hers, but it’s the first time she and I have met. She is Irish by birth and has lived in South Africa, the UK and Australia for extended periods.
She has been renting the three bedrooms upstairs, one downstairs, house in Kamala, Phuket for 14 years. Ideal location. A little over five minutes on foot to the beach where she frequents two bar-restaurants from among a line of them where the tables sit in the sand: Happy and Smile. Yes, those are their real names.
And many of the Thais I come across, I will find, look happy and smile, even when, as a non-Thai, you might figure they don’t have all that much to be happy or smile about, in terms of working hard and having little. Elle was here when the tsunami hit. She says they got right back to the job of clearing up afterwards and getting on with the business of living, even after the devastation and heartbreak.
Before I leave I learn July into August is monsoon season.
It will be hot, so I can take a backpack and travel light. Well, as light as one can with a laptop, a camera, and as light as I can, which some might regard as a joke.
Elle tells me I am arriving on a “Big Buddha Holiday.” The bars will be closed. This means, when we go to a little eatery down the road from her, called Popeye, we clink white teacups in honor of our meeting. How they serve wine when they’re not meant to.
© Wanda Hennig 2016
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