I have this strange liking for movies that don’t necessarily make it into South African cinemas…
Anything including Bollywood films or Asian dramas where I tear up just reading the subtitles. Their ratings are usually quite bad so don’t ask me why I devote so much of my time to these stories. I guess it’s because I’m curious about new settings – anything different from the usual Big Apple or Miami background we get in all the movies here.
Just recently I watched a Filipino movie called Everyday I love you (I know – don’t judge me). To cut the monotonous details short – it’s about a guy from the a big city falling for a girl who explores her town of Silay on a scooter, she is the local scooter girl if you must [well sort of – you’ll just need to watch it yourself].
Here’s why I’m telling you this…
If you have ever seen any of these Philippines films then you have an idea of what Phuket, Thailand looks like. The minute we touched down here (and once I learned how to breathe in the extreme humidity) I saw scooter girls everywhere!
1 Scooter 2 Scooter 3 Scooter zoom! They are so awesome ! Locals and tourists are all on these zooming babies! By the way, a scooter ride through Patong streets with a french hunk who doesn’t speak a word of English at 4:00 am is a bad idea…apparently. So if you would rather stay on the safe side – rent a scooter for yourself but be warned that robots are few and far between in Phuket, your driving skills won’t serve you here – you just drive instinctively from what I can see.
If you can’t drive then just walk your way around Patong, Phuket. It’s not that bad (as I type this with my legs elevated) – in fact that is still the best way to meet people. By people I mean tourists, Phuket has many more tourists than locals and trust me you can feel it. According to our tour guide there’s 1 local for every 3 tourists in the area. Here’s how I tell them apart:
- The locals are the folks badgering me to get a tailored suit, tailored dress, tailored water, goodness anything they can find!
- The drivers act very much like South African taxi drivers
- They insist on selling me Thai food, when they hear that I’m South African – they quickly insist on bunny chow (if someone says kota – I swear I’m going in!)
- They shout out random countries when I walk past –“elo Jamaica!” – eh…
- Then whenever I hear someone start singing “I’m in love with the coco” randomly – that’s definitely a local (he’s name is Ray – you can’t miss him near Patong beach. I’ve actually starting stopping for a chat with him everyday. So much game in such a little fellow).
Come to think of it they probably sing this because its tough spotting a darkie in Phuket (this may differ in peak seasons) – we are a few and far between and just when you see a fellow brother or sister they are the first to say ” مرحبا كيف حالك ” heh this skin is not loyal *claps once*
Anyway back to getting around Phuket, I feel like I’m on episode of pimp my tuk tuk around here. These things are for the boys with the booming system, top down, AC with the cooling system … he got that super base! (Ish I listen to too much radio). So these tuk tuks (pronounced took took) are really on another level. They are colourful on the outside with Durban-Indian kind of sound. Huge speakers, flashing lights inside and outside, leather interior you name it! Compared to those 3 wheelers we used to move from Westdene to Campus Square after long university lectures – we are years behind this place. But you need to be a kleva here – these tuk tuk drivers know how to milk tourists. (P.S If you not Thai – you’re a tourist no matter how Asian how look!) Trust me – Thai folk call out non-Thai people from a mile away. Anyways, they charge something like 200 baht (about R80) to go less than 2 km away! It may not seem too bad but it’s still a public taxi – I’m not paying that much for a taxi.
Maybe catching taxis in SA has ruined me…
Let’s talk about these boats that they show in all the brochures and ads for Thailand. You know them, those ones that they show poetically resting on the shore swaying along with the ebb and flow of the ocean *come on snap your fingers man * — hmm they make Thailand look so sexy but let me tell you, they smell like fish! Why? Because they are for fishing not for selfies…
Okay let me not exaggerate – some of them are used for fishing early in the morning by the locals and others are used to milk tourists just like the tuk tuks. Like my sister says “they don’t speak English here, they just speak baht.” You pay for every single little thing in Phuket – jokes aside. Those badgering taxi drivers have realised that they can make a quick baht by charging you 100 baht to go out to sea for about 15 minutes (so you can take photos on them) and then come back to shore for another 100 baht. So yes Instagram supermodels – here’s your gateway to a backdrop to die for!
Its all just über exciting exploring different ways to get around Phuket – no need to catch an ordinary cab around here…
Just keep posted and then lets hit the road together one day… yes?!