Got up early to go snorkelling as the friendly resort owner told me you can sometimes see turtles or sharks around 7am. Spent a few hours in the water and saw much more fish than usual including a massive shoal of many kinds of fish. And I was very happy to briefly see a little shark! He was about the length of my arm. I couldn’t keep up with him to get a photo. The compact camera (a Lumix FT-20) is surviving well underwater and living up to its hardy reputation, it’s been bashed and covered in scratches but still working fine.
I spent the afternoon chilling in the Sea Breeze bar/café, working on the blog and chatting to the bar man, Ni-Ni. It’s on the other end of the beach to the Banana Rock bar. The bar’s owners have a restort behind and are a friendly family with a cute girl who must be about 2 years old. She has lots of energy and always has a big smile on her face. She’s always entertaining, coming down to the bar to see the tourists. Today I gave her a crisp and later she came down to the restaurant to show me her Barbie doll and colouring book. The lazy tkye hadn’t coloured any of it in! I showed her photos from around the beach which she recognised. She really liked the pictures of the elephants from Kanchanburi!
Ni-Ni (pronounced Nee-Nee) the bar guy is 28, speaks a little English and is Burmese. He told me the family pay him every month, customers or not, all year round, he gets a free bungalow and when there’s no guests they harvest coconuts to sell on the mainland which reach a good price. He likes it here as there is little work in Burma and he likes his job and it pays well. He sends some money to his mum back home, who wants to see him as he hasn’t been back for 5 years! He’s got 9 siblings (!) – many are working in south Thailand sorting fish catches at the docks. He’s going back to Burma this year to visit.
An impressive stormy sunset brewed, the clouds here are dramatic in the evening. I spent the night chatting to the German couple again and a group of young Brits on holiday. Ni-Ni was already giggling from drinking most of a 45% rum bottle he had hidden away in the back! One of the resort guys offered me a smoke of some pretty strong weed in a bong and I had a try. Didn’t need any more than that, trust me! Spent the end of the night chatting away in broke English and sign language to Ni-Ni.
One of the friendly resort dogs was still there when I left, and he led the way – stopping regularly to check behind to make sure I was ok. I heard that the same dog escorted the German couple all the way to town (half an hour’s walk) and back! Along the way the other resort dog joined us (from the other night) and she came up to my hut and went to sleep in my doorway. What a cool dog! I had to shift her to close the door so she slept on my porch instead. I think she scared Mr. Flobber away. The Germans told me they have two Mr. Flobbers in their hut the same size as mine!