Every good gas station has a horned bull, and every good 711 has chili-squid flavored Lays potato chips.
The stories continue…
We really wanted to see the Phi Phi Islands, pronounced “pee pee” (took me a few days to say that without laughing), which was a gorgeous filming location for the Leonardo Dicaprio movie “The Beach.” Phi Phi is really close to where we are in Railay so instead of lugging our stuff over there and leaving the comfort of our $16 a night paradise, we decided to book a tour by speed boat.
The boat was supposed to arrive at 9:00am. It became 10:15am and the boat still hadn’t arrived. We were about to give up when the boat finally came into view. Soon after we were met by 25 Thai tourists, the boat driver, and a tour guide who was yelling “Hurry! Hurry! He made us wade thigh deep into the ocean to try and jump on the boat before the next wave hit. We should have known the frantic tour guide, the waves, and an abnormally windy day portends trouble. Not 20 minutes into our boat ride to Phi Phi, the waves picked up, the sky darkened, and it started pouring. We pushed through the storm for a few more minutes until it proved “Too dangerous! We go to Island and wait!” So, we took shelter, with what seemed like every other tourist boat on the Andaman Sea, at Chicken Island. The worst part about this was that we were absolutely soaked, in our bathing suits, huddling under a tree, getting rained on, and shivering. The best part of this was that 99% of the other people taking refuge on this Island were Thai, and all still wearing life jackets… on land… which definitely gave us something to laugh about.
After about an hour and a half on Chicken Island the trip was canceled and we were taken back to our hotel. We really wanted to see Phi Phi so we decided to reschedule our trip for the next day.
The next attempt at Phi Phi was a little trickier than the day before. I was in tears over the decision of whether or not to stay in our hotel all day with an upset stomach from bad curry, or to risk it, and pray it wouldn’t get any worse on a boat all day with no bathroom. After a great deal of thought, I chose optimism and climbed aboard!
Every winning streak eventually comes to an end, and with the first sweaty surge of nausea, so did my optimism. The day that followed will remain forever in my mind, as the risk I should have never taken.
Note to future travelers to countries with curry: Upset stomachs from bad curries do not go away. They just get worse.
The sweaty surges of nausea were soon followed by relentless stomach cramps, and if you’re a tourist on a boat with no bathroom, then come the tears of exasperation and embarrassment when those stomach cramps lose elevation and you realize the only stops ahead…are for snorkeling. I will let your imaginations take it from there… it really wasn’t pretty… not for me, the fish, or the other snorkelers.
And believe it or not, the day actually got worse.
After seeing most of Phi Phi peripherally, as my head was on Peter’s lap, we were headed home only to be hit by a monsoon. I promise I am not kidding. Here is my best description…
Imagine being on a tilt-a-whirl (the boat), in a bikini, in 30mph winds with 45mph gusts, being sprayed with a fire hose, fearing for your life, all while trying not to shit your pants or throw up. Really…. I have had better days.
At one point it got so bad, and I was so scared, that I was hanging onto Peter, yelling through the fire hose, crying, asking what the survival protocol is for being thrown overboard in this type of weather. He told me I was not going to be thrown overboard. I looked toward the direction I would head, in the wind, waves, and rain, realizing that in seconds, I would be only a tiny speck of orange ( I was wearing my life jacket at this point) floating toward India to be lost at sea forever. He told me I would be floating toward Thailand we were in a bay, and would make it to shore eventually.
Like everything else in life… things turned out ok. After taking shelter behind Chicken Island AGAIN we made it home only to tromp through mud (it was low tide) shivering and still in my bikini.
Fortunately, I got to take a hot shower, and as one with food poisoning should, got to spend the rest of the night properly sick IN BED.
Today I am laughing about it…
Now we are on Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand and will dive over the next few days. I swear… if something like that happens again, I am throwing myself into the sea and will let the giant jellyfish have their way with me.
Lots of love and hopefully good news is on its way…