Sunday in Samui and a day off from the yoga, with merely un tadette of rain, a small spittle from the heavens over lunchtime and a bit of sunburn to boot – happy days. After 4 days of yoga twice a day it was good to have a bit of a break.
Time on Samui has been less rollercoaster and more roll over in bed and yawn, as time spent horizontal appears to outweigh the vertical by 2:1. There hasn’t been a lot going on for me apart from wake, eat, yoga, lay down, eat, yoga, eat, lay down, with plenty of showers in between, because even though it’s been overcast and rainy at times, it’s still hot and yoga has resulted in a rather substantial outpouring of sweat – no glow going on here, it’s been pure unadulterated red faced out of breathedness and a drenched t-shirt every single time.
The doing nothing hasn’t been about preparing for the Vipassana – which has been cancelled (and I’m waiting to see if a school at Mandalay will take me instead) but because a) I’m lazy and can’t be bothered to rush off anywhere between yoga finishing at 11 and starting again at 4, b) I fear death on the roads and therefore do not want to get on a scooter and ride out to find it, c) everything is so expensive with the exchange rate, it means I’m having to make the budget tighter than a camel’s puckered ring in a sandstorm. As a result of the latter, I stand out like a sore thumb in town, avoiding the dearth of fish restaurants, steak houses and pizza / pasta joints where the starting price for a main is c. £12-15 and instead head for the lil ma’n’pa Thai places where dinner is still about a fiver for two dishes and a drink. I think the people of Fisherman’s Village will be having a whippy to buy me a t-shirt that says ‘Cheapskate’ on it, and they’d be right to do so.
Fisherman’s Village is a small part of Bophut that runs a few hundred metres along the shoreline, not far from the main ferry crossing to Ko Phangan and Ko Tao, and not far from the airport. There’s not a lot going on here, and it’s pretty laidback as a result – not much gets going till about 10am, which makes breakfast before my 9.30am class a 15min walk to the other end of town to the only reasonably priced place that’s open and that sells decent coffee (the hotel does breakfast but getting them to cook an omelette at 8.30am feels strangely instrusive – with a baby and a small kid are barely awake themselves!).
Weirdly, for such a small place we seem to major in tailors – at least 6 at the last count – not sure if it’s a legal requirement to have one every 50mtrs or so (none are ever busy either),
and then it’s farang run restaurants – lots of French, some Aussie, an Indian, even a Spanish tapas bar, there’s also a plethora of massage places and you’re guaranteed to be followed down the road by a cry of ‘Maaaaaassssaaaaagggge’ at least once a day. No overdose of opticians though, unlike Hua Hin where Chareon opticians was in a head to head death struggle for retail space with the tailors – both were winning the space race, neither had clients though….Fisherman’s Village is a drop-in sort of place, where people who don’t fear death come for the day on their scooters and have a look-see, go to the beach and then bugger off again, except for on Friday…on Friday they come to long time look see.
Friday is the big day – for this is Walking Market day. This means that all the stores along the one and only main road move all their tat from inside the shop to outside onto the road and ‘ta da’ we have a market.
Who ever came up with that idea to block the road with useless tattery deserves shooting or a medal, not sure which.
Meanwhile further up the other end of town food stalls set up to sell every kind of edible on a stick that’s possible – various bits of meat on sticks, corn on sticks, sausages on sticks, fruit on sticks, you can even have a giant potato that’s been cut to look like a row of crisps (sadly not on a stick) but in the main, basically if you can skewer it – you can sell it seems to be the rule.
The other big thing going on is wedding photos on the beach, just the bride and groom alone with a photographer. Usually this involves the small group being watched by the sunburnt fat farangs (e.g. me) and the beach dogs. It’s a weird event, the clothes seems to borrowed, the poses somewhat stilted and usually involve the couple looking wistfully into the distance, or doing some sort of action shoot – slow-mo running on the beach or a bit of heavy lifting of the bride. Certainly fun in the sun – photos to follow!
Right, my day is nearly over – time for horizontal and snoozing x