Thailand, Kho Samui, Na Thon,
01-02-2009, early afternoon.
I leave the ferry with my English Ting-Tong travel buddy in hot pursuit telling me repeatedly that we need to find a cheap guesthouse. Now I have no intentions to share a guesthouse, let well a room with this little young and hyper-active s*x tourist from Jolly Old England so I head to the Nathon Residence, big and spacious rooms all with satelite TV and a balcony for 300 Baht.
The female Chinese receptionist Wais me the moment I walk in, heavy backpack strapped to my shoulder, sweaty T-shirt and greasy old jeans notwithstanding I seem to deserve the Thai Wai - what is that makes the Thai feel so apologetic to us The Farangs? Her clasped hands in front of her Jiil face - Chinese in Thai - go up even higher when her inky black eyes discern the buddha pendant dangling on my chest reminding me that the Chinese minority in Thailand are even more ferociously superstitious as the Thai.
I Wai her back politely carefully keeping my own clasped hands a bit lower down my face as hers and thereby acknowledging her show of respect.
The old Chinese man sitting in the lobby, small frame dressed in a drab white singlet, wobbly leathery legs sticking out of a pair of grizzly white shorts watching the free show from over his newspaper, chinese characters screaming at me from the newspaper`s front, approving looks from beady eyes than he returns to his main source of entertainment...his newspaper.
I wonder how come Chinese hotels anywhere in Asia always seem to have old Chinese grand daddies sitting around in their underwear reading Chinese newspapers???
Walking up the stairs in front of me bringing me to my room, chatting gaily in a weird mix of Thai and English I see the small but elaborate Tattoo of the Chinese Ryu on the back of her calf.
She sits on the massive bed in my room watching me unpack, wanting to know "you have lady"? Out in the street a Chinese festival is in full swing, Chinese dragon dancing, fire crackers going off, people in weird Chinese costumes and masks going from Chinese shop to the next Chinese house...tables outside with offerings...a pick-up truck carrying Burmese day workers back to their hovels, dirty towels wrapped around their heads...I wanna get out and watch the festivities but instead I find myself captured by the shapely legs of a Chinese receptionist lady who seems in no hurry to return to her reception.
My English Ting-Tong friend would have loved this hotel!!!