Brag Alert: When I have a long weekend, I can go to Phuket for the cost of two 30 racks of beer. And yes, that was the best price analogy I could come up with. Phuket, often mispronounced as Foo-ket, or Fuck-It, is a big tourist destination in the south of Thailand. It was also made famous after the 2004 Tsunami devastated some of the most highly populated areas.
I met up with some Thai friends while I was there so I got to see some of the real Phuket rather than the perfectly manicured resorts. Unfortunately this paradise has fallen victim to out of control tourism development (like much of Thailand) so being there with Thai people made a huge difference in my ability to visit an area that wasn’t swarming with sunburned Russians and sex-pats. We went to a really beautiful, quiet beach that still had forest along the shoreline rather than massage parlors and McDonald’s.
After lunch, I got all American and went swimming and walked around on the beach for 2 hours with no sunscreen while the Thai girls sat in the shade with their skin covered. When I’m a wrinkly old hag, they are gonna look like they’re 20.
The next day, I wanted to go see what the area that got hit by the Tsunami looks like now. In 2004 the Tsunami hit this beach, Patong, and several thousand people, Thai and foreign, died. It’s pretty amazing, it’s almost impossible to tell that it ever happened, everything has been rebuilt. But the evacuation route signs all along the beach are a reminder.
After checking out that scene, we went to a local fishing village. The people who live/work there are actually a kind of tribal people who are treated much like the tribes in the north. There were so many different kinds of fish, shellfish, lobsters and crabs. I admit that while the market was cool, I couldn’t help but think that a lot of these fish are probably highly endangered and were yanked from the already dying coral reefs. I’ve always been pretty sensitive about fish; this makes logical sense though because the Ouija board also told me that I was an octopus in my past life. I’ve never really liked eating fish, but when in Rome…
We bought tiger prawns and squid, and nothing that looked like it could be Ariel’s best friend. We walked across the street and the restaurant just cooked them up for us. Well, not the squid, we ate that raw in a salad; I don’t much care for that consistency, it reminds me of a bouncy ball, but the squid doesn’t really taste like anything. The tiger prawns were so delicious. Eating fresh meat of any kind, and I mean like within 30 minutes of slaughter, has a totally different taste and it’s almost impossible to find in the developed world. The best meat I’ve ever eaten was in Africa actually. I understand why vampires drink blood, eating fresh meat is like eating life rather than eating death.
Unlike most of my other travels, nothing went wrong, I didn’t do anything stupid and miraculously, I came home injury free. So, The End.