One final day in Koh Samui today (for now)! Another chilled day by the pool today and slowly beginning to plan things for coming back home to hit the ground running. I can’t wait to do the smallest of things, like drive my car, run around Primark and to be able to fake tan again!! That’s after I’ve finished hugging and squeezing Mum, Dad and the bunny obviously!!! It really is little daft things you miss when you’re away though.
I have nothing more interesting to say about the day; it was so chilled! So I’ll leave with three things I will miss about Thailand (and three things I definitely won’t!)
Things I’ll miss:
1) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- everything is SO CHEAP. Even on the islands where everything has to be shipped out so prices include “island tax” – it’s still not a patch on western prices. If there was a way that you could move here and still bring in a western wage, you could quite easily exist like royalty here.
2) People are desperate for your business- it shows, but also works. In the UK, trying to get a haircut, nail appointment or even table at a fancy restaurant- you’re usually in for a wait. Here, they’re practically dragging you in off the streets, and most places are usually so quiet that staff are sat outside eating ice creams or playing on their phones. I can’t quite say that Thailand has mastered the art of customer service yet, but in terms of efficiency- it’s not hard to get what you want out here.
3) The language barrier out here has been difficult to say the least- more so than I had anticipated- but the flip side is the translations to be seen out here. There have been some brilliant ones and I’m usually too slow/ forgetful to take photos of them, but they can be absolutely hilarious. The only one I have a photo of isn’t particularly “wrong”- the choice of wording just made me giggle.
Things I’ll happily leave behind:
1) The male population here are… Enthusiastic, shall we say. They take staring to another level, and sometimes the women join them which is slightly more unusual. I get it- I’m practically an alien for them- Western, paler than milk (I STILL can’t tan naturally!) and relatively tall compared to Thai women- but still- it’s extremely annoying. And sometimes intimidating- but mostly just highly irritating.
2) Whilst the western world bemoans it’s health and safety society, the opposite seems to exist out here. Hundreds of open cables spark electricity in the streets here, I’d be interested to see how many incidents are caused a week due to this! Between that and unfinished roads, piers that look as though they’re about to collapse and the driving standards out here- it’s amazing I’ve survived this long!
3) I touched on this earlier when I mentioned about customer service out here- for the “land of smiles”, I haven’t encountered a lot of… Well, smiling. From waitresses slamming plates down in front of you, to bar staff standing over you whilst you pay a bill or sales assistants that physically follow you around the store,matching you move for move- it’s been one of the more frustrating aspects of traveling in Asia. One of the more irritating examples was a Sephora employee accusing me of queue jumping when I blatantly hadn’t, and even her colleague stating that I hadn’t, she still gave a rubbish service and then tried to complement my eye makeup to make up for it- too late missy!! I’m not in intolerant or impatient person by most standards- those traits were passed mostly to my sibling!!- but there have been so many times where I’ve considered learning a few well placed Thai swear words just to express myself!
On to Koh Tao tomorrow, a little island about an hour away from Samui- my last “new” island in Thailand!