Day 203: Here We Go ’round The Mulberry Bush

Another rainy day in paradise. Mid to late afternoon, and long into the evening it rained. Not your usual rain however, for around 6 hours we enjoyed a tropical thunderstorm. The most part of the day was spent indoors watching tv shows, except for early afternoon when we visited the beach. Although that should be enough to cover everything that happened, I will elaborate (and most likely ramble) like usual, and go over the finer details.

• For some reason we both found ourselves waking up early. I don’t know why, as it’s not like we had somewhere to be. Seeing as it was only 8:30 we couldn’t be bothered to go for breakfast straightaway, and instead relaxed in bed watching episodes of mine and Sarah’s favourite comedy ‘Modern Family”.

• One hour later we decided to eat. Today the breakfast wasn’t anywhere near as good as the day before. The plates came with the same food, except it was all cold. And a cold fried egg tends to have a rubbery consistency to it. The other factor which spoiled breakfast was the table cloth, it had what looked like a smearing of blood at one end, and a couple bloody footprints leading from it. They looked as though they belonged to a lizard. Sarah was so disgusted by the sight that she asked me to switch places with her. When we’d finished eating we were all to glad to return to our room.

• Although it was sunny and warm outside, there were definitely signs of bad weather on the way. We stayed at our room for around an hour and a half to two hours before going out on the bike. First of all we needed to let the rental company know we wanted the bike for another day. They were ok with it and gave us the same reduced rate as before. It was Mine and Sarah’s plan to visit the white sand beach after hearing about it from a waiter at the restaurant the other day. I bought one more bottle of gasoline while Sarah got the directions. We then set off for a 15 minute ride to our destination. I still couldn’t get over how great the roads of Koh Lak were.

• The beach was idyllic and peaceful, almost like we’d jumped into a picture from a holiday brochure. Except for a few couples and the occasional hermit crab, we had the whole place to ourselves. By this point the sun was beaming down, although in the distance the sky was in mixed minds as to how the weather should be. At one end of the beach the skies were blue and clear, but the other end was dark and grey. Rather than sit on the beach twiddling our thumbs we took a stroll along the shore instead. Eventually we stumbled upon a beach side restaurant. We didn’t want any food though, when it’s hot out like it was there’s nothing better than a fruit shake to help cool the system down. We sat at a bamboo shack, admiring the view of the white sands and turquoise waters, and sipped on our lemon and watermelon beverages. It was perfect.

• After our drinks we retraced our steps. We were still in no rush to be anywhere, and spent more time admiring our surroundings. Sarah spotted two jellyfish which had washed up on the shore. Their long tentacles were still intact, just waiting on any poor sucker to stand on them. That for us ruled out getting in the sea. As we continued to walk we noticed little shells moving by themselves, this was no miracle however, it was in fact baby hermit crabs. Anytime we got near they’d squat down and retreat back into their homes. The most memorable sight from our visit had to be the artwork created by the crabs. Everywhere, as far as the eye could see, were small sand piles caused by the crabs digging holes for themselves. Much like the hermit crabs, whenever we got near they’d retreat to safety. They all moved with the quickness of lightning as they scurried away. Their handy work made the sand really soft to walk on, and each miniature pile made pretty patterns. I even wrote my name in one. It goes without saying, we took plenty of pictures to commemorate the day.

• We stopped halfway back to the bike, and decided to stay for 20 minutes more. There was no rush to get back, and chances were the weather was bad at our end of the island anyway. That, and Sarah wanted to work on her tan. I sat under the shelter of an overhanging tree reading the previous days blog, leaving Sarah to roast. When an elderly couple came by, the husband shouted over to let Sarah know her face was turning red. It wasn’t until later on that day I realised I had managed to get burned as well, but for the time being I was feeling smug about Sarah’s misfortune. She asked me to put some lotion on her back, begrudgingly I did, then returned to the haven of the shade. As I typed I was constantly pestered by flies, at least that’s what I thought. I kept hitting one particular fly away whenever it pitched on my arm. At first I thought it odd that a fly would be so persistent. Usually when you hit one away they tend to pitch somewhere else, but this fly kept landing on the same spot of my arm. It was then Sarah shouted over.
“Oh my god, there’s Mosquitos everywhere!”
When I shifted my eyes from my phone to my arm, that’s when I learned I hadn’t been keeping a fly away, instead it was a big black blood sucker. Fortunately it didn’t managed to get any red stuff from me, and I managed to squish the evil creature with one fail slap of my hand. After that encounter we called it a day and returned to our resort.

• Sarah went back to the room to shower, but I chose to sit beside the pool and Skype my mum. We spoke about the usual this and that, and I explained to her about my cv. It was then she reminded me to put my time in the fire brigade on there, and that I was also a certified first aider. My cv was now looking better than ever. Near the end of the phone call it began raining – scratch that it began ******* down. I switched the camera so my mum could see, I don’t think she’d ever seen a rainstorm like it. I mean it’s one thing for me to describe a tropical thunderstorm, but it’s another thing entirely to witness one. We ended the phone call then, and I ran back to the room. Sarah and I spent a long time in the room that afternoon, watching countless hours of tv shows. At one point we had to put the headphones in to hear the shows because of how loud the rain outside was. I’m surprised we didn’t see people swimming passed our window. Eventually it died down a little, so we capitalised on that and went out for tea.

• We returned to the same restaurant as the night before because of how good the food was. Both of us had the same meal -the Massaman curry. There was no denying it, they knew how to cook. It was still just as good. After we paid the bill Sarah made an exciting purchase at a nearby shop. One thing you need to know… Sarah loves handbags.
“Shocker Ben, women love handbags, big deal!”
Well what you might not know is that all over Thailand, and Asia in fact, they sell extremely good counterfeits of well known expensive brands. In this case Mulberry. With that said, it’s not just limited to handbags, there are also duplicates of expensive headphones, handheld consoles, mobile phones, you name it you can probably get it here. Anyway back to the purchase. For a while now Sarah has been toying with the idea of buying a Mulberry bag, each market we’d go to they’d call to her like a siren to a sailor. On this particular night we stopped in a shop filled wall to wall with handbags, purses, wallets, and belts. The shop had an overpowering scent of leather. Immediately Sarah found a bag she liked, followed seconds later by another. Then she asked my opinion – like I knew the difference between the two. I made the point of explaining I wasn’t the best person to ask, then she decided the darker one was best. Next came the bartering process. The shop keeper said he wanted 2,800 baht (roughly £60) but Sarah said she didn’t want to spend over 2000 baht. They met at loggerheads for 5 minutes until they managed to negotiate a fair price for both parties – 2,200 baht (around £47).

• The problem then was the fact it was raining out, and it was most likely the bag hadn’t been treated. This meant getting the bag wet would leave watermarks and ruin its aesthetics. The shopkeeper gave Sarah a large plastic bag to help transport it back to our room unscathed, but she didn’t think that enough. So I gave her the shirt off my back. That’s right ladies and gents, that’s the sort of guy I am. I literally gave Sarah the shirt off my back, just so her newly purchased handbag wouldn’t get wet. Back at our room I got myself comfy in bed and began watching “Boardwalk Empire”, when all of a sudden Sarah ran into some trouble. The padlock that came with the bag had somehow swallowed the key and wouldn’t let it go. She handed it to me to see if I could fix it, but the second I twisted it, the key snapped. That’s what you get for buying knock offs I guess.

• I then suggested we go back straightaway to show them what had happened. You know those times you immediately regret saying something the second the words leave your mouth. This would be one of those times. So I put the tablet to one side, climbed out of bed, got dressed, and it was back out into the rain we went to return to the shop. Sarah explained to the people what had happened, to which we were expecting some excuses to come our way, but it was quite the contrary. They happily switched the padlock for another and explained we shouldn’t force the key in future. While I waited for the lady helping Sarah to finish I was stood outside. I watched two guys as they brought in armfuls of handbags from their van. There must have been 50 new bags added to the shop’s collection. Each armful was protected by an umbrella, proving the theory the bags weren’t treated. When Sarah came back out I had managed to break something else, the umbrella I’d been holding. It collapsed on the inside, now instead of having a fully functioning umbrella, it drooped on the one side. On a positive note, at least now it was unique.

• When we got back to the room Sarah used the tablet to Skype her sister. I think her true intentions were to show off the bag more than anything. When she came back in we watched a few tv shows, and concluded the night with a movie. Too bad that movie was a chick flick. Damn you Nicholas Sparks. Now I have to deal with a sad girlfriend all because you get off making sad movies that make people cry. You’re a sick man Nicholas, SICK!!!

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