Today was a day where I didn't take notes. I didn't get up and go hunting for the new or the interesting and wasn't really bothered whether I parked myself in a bar all day and read (I didn't)... Today was however for the most part a lazy day.
It was a slow start, even for us. This wasn't helped by the rain. My first rain in Thailand and it threw it down. I watched from the window of our mini apartment and where the concrete was so hot, the rain drops evaporated almost as quickly as they fell. Slowly the rain collected in small pools and began to flow over the path, eventually leaving it wet and glossy.
We showered because we could and I took the time to catch up on my writing. There is always so much to say. Being somewhere new highlights the strangeness of people even though stranger things probably occur at home, we are just blind to them as there, they are the everyday. Here things that draw my eye are the small scooters such as the Honda Cub and Super cub, some of which have had side cars that seat several people welded to the sides. Some of these will rattle through the streets full of goods or collect multiple children on school runs. On a wet day like today, they have plastic covers with varying degrees of fitted-ness to keep passengers or cargo dry.
Rounding up the bags slowly, we decide it's time to think about moving. Initially this is from the room to the small conservatory that there is bread and coffee included in the room. We slowly work our way through several cups of coffee. Our bags our sat outside the room to let the maids get on with turning it over but no one seems in a hurry to rush us off. The rain hammers down a while longer and we continue to wait.
Sarah receives a message from a travelling contact and we have the name of a place for lunch. Chaiwatt. On the map it doesn't look far from where we had reserved to stay for the night but apparently boasted great accommodation too. Set back a few short streets from the sea where there were lots of restaurants and various guest houses, we set off with our luggage looking for lunch. I part hoped that we would be rewarded with the same blind luck that had given us a short lift to the guest house but we carried our things the whole way through the last spots of rain, working our way towards the station. As we move around there is an opening of remembrance. We went there. Looked there. A guest house we had hoped to stay in last time we had stopped in PKK was just as full, the barbers, the off license. Things clearing into consciousness.
We seat ourselves in Chaiwatt just as a man pulls up on a scooter. Sarah recognises JB instantly. He is meeting with his adoptive Thai sister shortly but thought we would be here and sits with us through lunch. He points out the brand new hotel next door that are doing some kind of introductory offer. He dives off briefly to put the drinks he's bought into the fridge at home and so we are left with a decision to make. Which hotel. Our reservation at a place we knew. Or somewhere new right next to a great place for cheap Thai food. In the end we flipped a coin and the new building with the short walk won out. JB returns and moves onto our table to have dinner with his sister as we pay up. We promise to stop by later and head round the corner.
The bundling looks more like it should be near an airport rather than in provincial Thailand. Everything about it screams new. Again it is spotless. We are shown up to our room after paying up for three nights. At this point the desire to not pack every morning outweighs committing to stay in one place. It's neat, tidy and the mattresses are comfy. I drop my bag, test the mattress and am sold. We are a 5 minute walk from the beach and 15 minutes from the entrance to Wing 5.
We linger here a while and then Sarah starts to rummage through her bag. Did I have her iPad? No. Just my own. I log into her account and bring it up on a map. It's at the guest house at the end of a long walk. A lightbulb goes off across her face. Under the pillow? Great place to hide your tablet. No time like the present for a walk. It's still humid outside. A grey cloud sits tight over Prachuap. I aim for the promenade in the hope of a breeze that isn't there, but from here it's easy navigation back to where we had been.
As we walk through the gates to the guest house and before we have taken off our shoes one of the maids briskly walks into the office and comes back a few moments later with the iPad. She tries to explain what we already knew, it was under the pillow. We start the walk back into town.
It seems that PKK has a shortage of tonic. After we had come back to the new room and picked up our laundry, we headed out looking for somewhere to have it washed. We walked the whole way down to the entrance to the airforce base without finding one and looped back into the next road between where we had been and the sea. As we get back towards the hotel we had stayed at before recollection smashed into me about where we went last time and we found our laundrette. We then began the earnest hunt for tonic eventually finding two whole tins in the Tesco Lotus. We had the vaguest of plans to swing by and see JB. He was supposed to have spent the afternoon consoling his Thai sister about a breakup that would be a fair substitute for the plot of Miss Saigon. In our bag a generous hip flask of gin and a miniature version of Jenga (Genga according to the Thai similar-not-rip-off leaflet under the plastic).
We walk a short section of the sea front looking for JB's placed and I am grateful that though I may have inherited Sarah' ability to sprawl within seconds of arriving anywhere, I haven't yet got her memory. Actually we spotted JB sat on the terrace of the hotel we had potentially planned to stay at. We're introduced to Cyril as a "Shrilankan-Swede" who is a long term resident at the hotel and play a few rounds of 'Genga'. Cyril peels off for dinner with some Thai friends having been sipping a small measure of neat gin. We continue to play until the hip flask is empty.