The Long Trip Home – (Oct 7-9)

Click on photos to enlarge and get a better perspective.

JANE:  We left Zeavola Resort in Koh Phi Phi on Sunday (10/7) at 7:00 a.m.  Five women in bridal gowns were undergoing photo shoots down the beach.  Once again, the tide was low, and so we had to roll up our slacks, take off our shoes, and wade through the water to get to the small boat that would deliver us, along with other small boats, to a larger boat that would take some the hour trip to Tonsai Bay and others to Phuket, much farther away.  We got off at Tonsai Bay.

We shopped in the market from 8 to 10:30 a.m.  In the space of ten minutes, Koji and I each got about 70 mosquito bites total on our legs.  The bites don’t swell as they do back home, but rather are red specks that itch violently, albeit intermittently.  (Phew…no symptoms of Dengue Fever within a week after returning home)

We did some shopping and watched a parade that marched through the narrow main street.  We weren’t sure what the parade was for:  it looked as if there were various male and female sports teams represented; and there was a transvestite contingent, dressed and made up to the hilt, as well.

This area was the hardest hit by the tsunami, eight years ago.  One of Koji’s classmates was staying at a hotel here at the time and decided to sleep in while her traveling companions went off for the day on a boat.  She perished in the tsunami, and her friends survived.  The water level reached the top of the coconut trees, and just before the tsunami hit, the tide was much lower than usual.  This horrific tragedy was certainly on our minds as we wandered through the streets.

We left on an even bigger boat at 10:30 for Krabi.  It was challenging to get tickets that Koji had already paid for, because when we initially came from Krabi, they forgot to give us a round-trip ticket.  Koji patiently dealt with the problem, and they finally allowed us on board.

We arrived in Krabi at noon and boarded an open-sided van for Aonang Beach.  Every inch of this vehicle was PACKED with tourists and baggage.  Some had to sit on the floor; one sat on a step in the back, just above the bumper.  Koji noticed a goat grazing on the narrow “highway’s” even narrower median.  Just before we got to the beach, the driver pulled over and asked each of us where we were going specifically.  He couldn’t understand our pronunciation, so one at a time, we each had to hand him our itineraries.

Koji had arranged for a hotel to store our luggage, which freed us up to explore the town.  We started, at 1:30, with lunch – mango drinks, our now-favorite tom yum kung (hot and sour and spicy Thai soup: Koji’s – spicy and mine – not-so-spicy).  I also had massaman curry, and Koji, Crispy Duck Red Curry.

We did most of our shopping at the markets along the streets that were close to or ran along the ocean.  One shopkeeper from Burma (now called “Myanmar”) sold me two pairs of fisherman’s pants.  She said that she goes home to see her year-old baby daughter every three months and that she has to pay $49,000 per year rent for her shop.

This is the town where we got the fish massage.  You can check the “Thai Massages” page for further elaboration and entertainment.

We walked along the beach before going back to the hotel.

This is what I would have looked like if I hadn’t had so much exercise during the trip…because we ate and ate and ate!!!

We went back to the hotel and picked up our bags and hopped a cab for the Krabi International Airport at 5:00 p.m.  At 7:00, we took off for the 1.5-hr flight back to Bangkok.

Since, effective Oct. 1st, Bankok now has two airports – one for domestic and one for international flights (It sure is lucky that Koji allowed plenty of time for transfers between flights.), we left at 9:00 p.m. for the 1/2-hr drive on a shuttle bus to the international airport.  We ate dinner at a Thai-style Chinese restaurant.  I enjoyed wonton soup, shrimp fried rice, and chrysanthemum tea.

The massage saga, as described in the “Thai Massage” page (see above), is what Koji enjoyed and I suffered through just before we boarded the 2:40 a.m., six-hour flight to Dubai.  Just before we boarded, we noticed a guy about Koji’s age sitting across from us with a nasty, swollen black eye and scrapes & cuts all over his body.  His right hand, three fingers, and forearm were bandaged, and pus was oozing out from under a piece of gauze on the left side of his head.  Koji surmised that someone must have beaten him to a pulp.  He said that this can happen in some Asian countries when foreigners act like jerks.  They get beat up.  Or, he could have fought in a Muay Thai Kick Boxing tournament.

The 14-hr flight out of Dubai to JFK was delayed because some idiot left one of their small pieces of luggage somewhere in the airport.  It was finally located and loaded on to the plane.  Can you believe that they would delay a flight for such a thing?  Well, this made it impossible to make my connection from JFK to Logan, and there were no more flights that day for Logan, so I had to take public transportation to Penn Station and a train to Rte. 128 Station, arriving on Oct. 9 at midnight.  I was lucky to get a seat on the train because it was the Monday of Columbus Day Weekend, and the train was packed with college students returning to school.  And there’s grungy old me, 48 hours in the same, sweaty clothes – fisherman’s pants and hiking boots – on the train ride back home.

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