The Elephant Man
Trip Start Jan 16, 2012
92Trip End Jan 01, 2014
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On Wednesday night, we enjoyed a tradtional Thai barbecue with neighbours Tony (from Essex) and his wife Pia, plus assorted others. A Thai barbecue is much like an English barbecue in so far as I consumed far too much meat and probably beer, before sleeping it off. We did meet a new English chap named Mick (also from Essex) who had recently 'done a Pavoritti' and had a child with his Thai wife Ben (?) despite being 64 years old. It was the day before he officially became a pensioner (unless, our government has shifted this since I left - suspect retirement age will be 80 by the time I make it) and on Thursday we heard the sad news that he'd had a heart attack later that night. We wish him well...
On Thursday we borrowed the hired Honda, which is a banged up burgundy automatic with tinted windows
Friday was market day - we visited two different markets during the searingly hot day. First up was the market at the temple where we had been collected in the long forgotten down pour a week before. I got three decent pairs of shorts for less than two pounds, before we de-camped back to base. I bravely, and perhaps foolishly, decided to make my debut on the next door neighbour's treadmill in the afternoon. Despite cranking the fan up to full blast, after 25 minutes of steady running I had lost around a stone in sweat and felt in danger of collapsing off the machine. I was still sweating profusely an hour after stopping my exercise and was slightly embarassed as I drove Shelley, Shelley's mum and Pia firstly to view the eclectic range of items available at an auction which Pia was attending on Saturday morning and secondly to the large Tesco in the centre of Pattaya. Happily, we were only using the retail behemoth's car park as a base from which to take the short walk to another bustling, sweaty market, again targeting mostly tourists with cheap clothing, make up and jewellry. Again, the Thais' outlook on animal rights was evident as puppies, birds and rodents were crammed in tiny cages and available for purchase for a low price. The main entertainment at the market was probably watching the Russians, who speak neither Thai nor English, trying to communicate with the Thai stall holders, who speak no Russian and only broken pigeon English at best. Good, da?
On Saturday, I spent five hours getting a lesson at snooker from various ex-pats at a snooker hall in central Pattaya. I played better than I had expected but still only one one out of my 15 frames as I was clearly out of my depth who have spent every weekend for years out of the sun in a darkened upstairs snooker hall. Dinner was with Shelley's parents and Glen and Donna from Skegness just off Walking Street, over looking the sea. All of the go go girls were beautifying themselves, hoping to get picked up later that night, as we entered the restaurant. What a strange existence that must be...
Yesterday afternoon was spent at a garden resort, with the prime attraction being the elephant show, which featured elephants playing football, bowling, dancing and painting. All very entertaining but again no doubt cruel. Perhaps it is one's duty to shun such things if you disagree with them, but I fear one abstension from a UK tourist would be futile in the context of an arena crammed with Koreans and Russians. All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing...