Day 4 – A walk and a swim on Christmas day 

Last night the party ended at a reasonable hour – around 10 pm. When I woke at 4 am indie background all I could hear was duff-duff music playing in the distance. Eventually I fell back to sleep and woke again just before 7am. As I was deciding to go back to sleep I remembered that the tide was out first thing – well on it’s way back in but far enough out to be able to walk along the beach. So with that I decided to go walking. The morning was beautiful, hot and very, very still. It was very quiet out, except for my silence broken by a passing fishing boat.

As I walked along the beach, in between the resorts and villas there were houses. These were private houses that I also assumed for the most part may have been holiday rentals. However occasionally there were signs of everyday living and I began to wonder what it would be like to live so close to the sea…

I also spotted a watermelon outdoor setting and of course I had to take a photograph to add to the ‘odd outdoor settings’ I seem to be encountering!

By the time I had returned to By Beach the perspiration was pouring from me and l decided to test the water. It was very still and very cooling. I didn’t stay in for long – just enough to cool off. The sun was rising and the heat searing.

I wanted to call the boys for Christmas before the took off to their respective girlfriends’ family Christmases. Daniel had finally downloaded Viber and we were able to chat and also I managed to speak with David + Soraya. Happy now, I sat down and enjoyed what has become my typical breakfast!

After sitting and reading for a while – yes I finally opened the pages of a book!

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‘Chocolat’ by Joanne Harris – a great read.

I then decided to go for a walk. I needed more money and I wanted to stock up on some water. Trying to get my head around the money and what baht means in dollars has not come easy. Sometimes I get it right and then other times it just bamboozles me completely. You would think that 25 baht equalling $1 aud would be easy enough but when you start to add the zeros I get lost. Also I still wanted to get something special for the boys for Christmas. Soraya was already done! Actually buying for girls is so easy here!

First step was to walk to a Family Mart where there was an ATM. I didn’t get very far when a taxi tooted and I decided that with money, I could go back into Chaweng and find some markets. As it turned out I met a beautiful lady taxi driver who’s name was Poo (not as in poo-poo, as she informed me!!!). Poo was 45yo and a single mum to a 6yo daughter. Three weeks ago she had picked up an Australian woman who she took all around the island. At the end of the day, the passenger asked Poo to take her to Poo’s bank. You see Poo was paying the taxi off and had two payments to go before she owned the taxi herself. This passenger paid the final two payments. Poo was still overwhelmed by the generosity of such a gift. She also taught me that metered taxis are cheaper than ordinary taxis – and just because the taxi says ‘metered taxi’ on the top of the car it doesn’t mean that they are metered – and yes I found out the hard was. Poo’s trip cost 375 baht; my trip that afternoon was 500 baht.

Anyway Poo drove me to Chaweng and took me to the market area – away from the shopping centres. As I began exploring I swear I had a big sign on me saying ‘gullible’. So I battled it out as best I could. Mind you I did pick up some bargains especially as first buyer for luck! Mind you this was 1pm in the afternoon. By the end of my time shopping I began to realise that maybe most shops don’t open first thing in the morning?

Realising I was hungry I wandered across the street to a rather large open-setting restaurant that was reasonably well priced. Being Christmas Day, they also had a special Christmas menu. For 990 baht you could order a four course western Christmas lunch. I still wanted Thai! I ordered satay chicken, yellow curry – mild – and steamed rice. It was absolutely delicious.

With a full belly it was time to try to get something for Daniel. So off I wandered. As I walked I discovered these alleys filled with stalls. So I began wandering down then. With shopping in my hand I didn’t seem to be pestered as much. Also I suspect different nationalities accost differently. Anyway as I walked down one alley, towards the end I spotted some speakers. I have been thinking about getting myself some for my room. Needless to say, the bargain I got came with a proviso that is the saleswoman could fit me with a dress that I buy it. Of course I agreed. Well then I came away with seven items, and she threw in a little gift for Soraya and an absolute beautiful throw-over top for me! Was I happy!

As I left the shop I met their two year old daughter. Her birthday had been two days earlier and so because of the way they had gifted me, I gave her 20 baht as a birthday present and there were smiles all round! Actually when I first saw the daughter and I smiled and said hello, she went all shy and hid her face. Realising that she didn’t understand English I said hello in Thai – swadikah! You should have seen her face light up! She was all smiles and very cute.

With that I went to a 7-11 and bought my water 13 baht for 1.5L and then found what I thought was a metered taxi. Oh well, thems the breaks. As we drove, I was confident I could find the entrance to By Beach, how ever everything appeared different. At first I thought the driver might be taking me in a different direction. But no, there were familiar signs about just a heap of things I had not seen before – she possibly didn’t. I started thinking about the time of day. This was when it occurred to me that maybe the shops don’t really open up until later in the day. Maybe this was ‘after lunch’ trade. Then I thought about the signs that said open 10am or 11am till 10pm. Even the quiet roads I had walked the day before were busy. There is so much to learn.

Later that night, there was live music again with dinner and so l sat back to enjoy a quiet night listening do the music. As usual I ordered a cocktail – a sexy blue tonight and enjoyed some Thai shrimp cakes and the Thai spicy fried rice.

Just as I finished my meal, the English and New Zealand family arrived for ice-creams. I ended up joining then for a catch up and it was lovely. I partially enjoyed chatting with the young teenager who was aspiring to become an author. I would so have loved her to meet by sister-in-law, Jane. Anyway we chatted for a while about the subjects she was doing. She also loved her fine-arts subject and began telling me how because of a school change she had ended up studying “natural art” for too years and how she was so over drawing leaves! This year she was starting on people and was busy practicing how to draw eyes. Her young cousin, patiently sat there, with her “Harry Potter” glasses writing up Harry Potter quiz questions. The two girls were massive Harry Potter fans.

After they left, I sat and listened the rest of the performance and went to bed.
A very different kind of Christmas Day!

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