So after about 20 hours of travelling, I have finally reached my hotel in Patong, Phuket. The weather here is similar to that of a place in South Africa called Durban – hot and humid. My hair has already given up on me. I can tell I will be rocking the hobo look throughout my tour because something tells me that no hair straightener will be able to defeat my curls and frizz during these next few days.
Even though I was jet lagged to the max, all I wanted to do was explore so that is exactly what I did. I set off into town by myself with my wallet in one hand and my camera in my other. Yeah, I might as well have written ‘tourist’ on my forehead.
It was while I was exploring solo that I made my first Contiki friend, Nicole from New York. We had seen each other at the hotel earlier that day (which is beautiful by the way). All I can say is thank goodness Nicole was there to help me figure how the Thai ATMs worked. Pressing random buttons and hoping for the best paid off in this situation. I also felt like a rock star drawing 10000B at a time. #makingitrain
My first day out and about taught me a lot. Death by a scooter is a real hazard here in Thailand. Just ask Nicole; she was also ridden over by one today while we attempted to cross the road. The only way to get to the other side of road is to commit fully and just march. Praying while you try to make it to the safety of the other side walk also helps. It is scary how easily the locals step onto the road without a worry in the world. I am yet to trust this road system.
I also got to give my haggling a go. I don’t think I am terrible at it but we shall see how the rest of the trip goes. I managed to score myself I lovely pair of elephant print shorts. Chances of me wearing these shorts every second day of the trip are good.
I have just met the rest of my fellow Contikiers. I am by far the youngest. My roomie’s name is Clara. She is from Canada. I think I got real lucky by scoring her as my roomie. I can tell we are going to have many outrageous adventures together.
My tour guide, Casey, is quite the beast. She managed to capture my imagination right away with her Aussie accent and weird terms for symptoms you might experience here in Thailand. Take Jenny for example – instead of complaining about having ‘Thai Belly’ or gastro, we just say that Jenny has paid us a visit. I quite like it. Oh, and then there is also Sweaty Betty. That one is pretty self-explanatory considering the weather here.
We are all headed out for dinner now at some place on a hill. I believe that all 17 of us will be piling into the back of a truck like vehicle. I guess being forced to sit on top of someone you have just met is a great way to get to know them. I am not really a fan of Thai food but we shall see what this restaurant has to offer.
Oh, we are also hitting Bungla road after dinner. If you know anything about Thailand, you will know that Bungla road is the key place to be to fully experience the Thai nightlife. I will write about my first night out tomorrow. Brace yourselves.