Friday, February 19, 2010

Floating Market and the final days


We woke up in the morning to the fresh scent of coffee and Thai breakfast.  The cops’ force increased in size and now there were five of them; all excited to see the two foreign girls staying in their cabin.  After taking a shower and getting dressed, we were ready to meet them.  The most senior officer was in his 40s and as it turned out later was the one who made us breakfast.  The youngest was in his early 30s and had a big smile on his face.  The oldest cop was the one who hosted us last night and two others were too shy and didn’t talk to us.  When the chief invited us for breakfast into the kitchen, the others stayed behind and patrolled the highway.  Apparently, the table was set just for us and the chief.  He outdid himself.  The table was full of different dishes varying from fried rice to spicy soup and fried meat.  When we were done and the chief stepped outside for a moment, we thought it would be appropriate to clean up after ourselves.  Olga tided up the table and I decided to wash the dishes.  When the chief walked into the kitchen and saw us cleaning, he immediately ran out without a word.  Next thing we knew, all five of them piled into the kitchen and started taking pictures of me washing the dishes.  I wasn’t sure what was special about the situation but they looked shocked. 

Before we left, the guys asked us to sign a guest book and gave us a card with the Highway Police logo.  They said if we ever needed anything, we should stop by at any police box and show them the card and we would be taken care of.  It was a nice thought. 
 Our Breakfast

From Uttaradit, we drove straight to Bangkok and then on to Petchaburi where we heard the Floating Market was located.   The trip took us over eight hours and we were exhausted.  Finding lodging in a beautiful small village built on rivers and canals we bade to wake-up early to make it to the morning market.
Our Cabin
 
View from our cabin

 The Floating Market was superb.  Old women, smoking cigarettes, floated slowly in their tiny boats selling fruits and souvenirs.  Men yelled loudly, summoning tourists to buy their delicious viand.  Kids ran around selling healing balms and coconut ice-cream.  We bought an enormous amount of fruits we’ve never seen before, sat by the river and bought a lunch from a passing boat; after roaming the river market for several hours, we finally left.

Our final destination was only an hour away.  We were looking for a resort near a beach where we were planning to spend the last several days of our trip.  Finding the perfect place, we happily settled.

Our last few days in Thailand were mostly quiet.  We spent days on the beach, getting as much sun as possible.  In the evenings, we went to local restaurants and met friendly people or sat on the porch of our cabin and talked for hours. 

The ending was perfect.  It was peaceful and happy.  Although, there was one disturbing event, that is worth mentioning.

On our second or third day, we decided to find another beach nearby.  After half an hour drive, we found a very secluded beach and took it for ourselves.  Splashing around for several hours, we saw not a soul in site.  After getting lunch at a nearby restaurant, we were back on the beach getting a tan, when we saw two jet-skies.  One jet-ski was towing a banana boat behind with four riders, the other had a lone driver.  The lone driver, drove onto the beach and we noticed a very cute 12 year old boy.  He smiled at us and waved a greeting to take a ride with him.  We smiled back but declined.  The other jet-ski rode onto the sand pulling the banana boat with its riders.  The men were splashing in the water, laughing, waving at us and screaming something in Thai.  The rider of the second jet-ski, a 30some year old man came over to us and offered a ride on the banana boat.  Again we declined.  He persisted and told us it would be fun and free.  Free must have been the magic word and we finally accepted.  The men in the water looked ecstatic.  When we got on the boat (which holds a max of five riders), all four of them tried to pile behind us.  Lek, the jet-ski driver, told two of them to get off and walk back to their beach.  After, trying to get on the boat a few times and falling back into the water because they couldn’t hold their balance, we knew the men were dead drunk.  But at this point it was too late and we were off into the deep waters. 

The ride was fantastic.  Water splashing in the face, wind whistling by, adrenaline pumping; we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves when Lek made a very sharp left and overturned the boat.  We knew he did it on purpose because we specifically asked him not to.  We got back on the boat and Lek drove by asking if one of us wanted to ride the jet-ski with him.  Olga begged to go because she couldn’t smell the alcohol breath of our companions anymore.  Lek showed her how to ride the jet-ski and we were off again.  Of course, they had to dip us in the water, over and over again.  By the third time, the men had no strength and energy to swim back to the boat and pulling themselves back on top of it.  I had to pull them.  All in all, Lek must have dipped us 5 or 6 times.  Soon, I was losing energy as well.  Finally, we were back on the beach.  It is worth mentioning that not at any point of time, did the drunk men tried to come onto us or touch us.  They were drunk but still very courteous.  We took a few pictures, declined their invitation for lunch, bid them farewell and they took off.

Ten minutes later, as we were strolling on the shore, we saw the young 12 year old boy from before, running towards us.  He was saying something in Thai in a very excited voice.  We couldn’t understand him of course but laughed at his cuteness.  Realizing that we don’t understand him, he pointed to the bushes, made a very phallic sign and then pointed to his crotch.  We were so shocked, we were sure we misunderstood.  Laughing at our silliness, No way this boy just offered to have sex in the bushes with the two of us, we padded him on the head and continued to walk.  Then he grabbed Olga’s hand and started to drag her into the bushes!  I tried to stop him but my laughter made me so weak, I could break his grip.  Somehow, tearing his hand away from Olga, I tried to explain to him that he is very young for us.  To which he replied and showed that he was old enough and more than “ready”.  The absurdity of his offer, just couldn’t settle in our heads and we continued to laugh.  He tried to take advantage of our mood, grabbed my hand and started to drag me in the water.  What the heck is he going to do with me in the water!  I just couldn’t stop laughing.  And then as suddenly as it began, the fun was over.  The boy put his hand below my waist and tried to put his face in my boobs.  Hitting his hand away, I gave him a very sharp “No”.  He finally got the point, smiled with his cute dimples and ran away.  We stood silently on the beach, trying to understand what just happened. 

We never went back to that beach.  And a few days later, we were back in Bangkok saying our final good-bye to Thailand.  We had a lot of fun over the past month, getting into adventures and meeting interesting people.  We found many beautiful places on land and in sea.  We bonded tightly with Valentin and Erawan family.  We experienced re-birth in Tham Le cave and exercised our muscles on Tiger Cave Temple.  We met 2010 with newly acquired Turkish friends and treaded the jungle on long zip-lines.  We got lost in mountain villages and almost drowned in a beautiful cave.  We picked up hitchhiking monks and spent the night talking to cops.  We couldn’t ask for a better adventure.

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