Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A leap of faith

when you travel you've got to trust.

Have enough trust in who you are to answer '' which one?'' To the check in lady at the airport when she's asking you what your country of residence is''
'' so your main adress is in the uk but you are french and you also live in australia. Now you are traveling to thailand. Is that correct?''

''It is indeed. Isn't it cool''

'' let me get someone for you''

Now you have to trust the system. Trust that they let you go to your destination. Not like your ex boyfriend who was deported to new zeland as he was trying to get back to the uk or when you ask about your friend last week. '' Where is John?'' '' He got deported back to Germany''

Your return ticket can't be accepted. Thailand will not let you in. It s a one month visa. Your ticket says 29th Aug. So unless you find a flight out of Thailand departing in 1 month in the next hour you can t go.
'' try me''
When you travel you ve got to trust your judgment.flight centre straight ahead
'' a single ticket out of bangkok for the 15th aug. The cheapeast because it's likely I won t even take it.''

She was lovely. Jane. My travel agent. 200 dollars later I skipped the queue and proudly showed my return ticket to the check in lady.

Phuket that is!!!!

8 hours and 3 mini bottles of bubbly shared with new 65 year old aussie friend who was going to Thailand to visit his 2 26 year old girlfriends later, there I was. Phuket. With no accommodation Plan. Got to trust my judgment. Ok... that way. Petang beach.

I landed in tourist central. The first guy I saw was wearing a'' Good guy go to heaven bad guy go to Petang '' tee shirt .
A sort of traveller's hell.I knew it would be bad when that they stopped the bus half way , forced us to get off to book massage and accommodation. Guess who did not buy anything. Yay me. French at heart.

Yet I ended up in a 4star hotel with air con that night. Not proud no...

I ventured out only to hate it even more. How do you say hello in Thai? '' Taxi'' or '' massage'' . You choose. The second option is more recommended for dirty old men.

I hated that they think they need our money to survive. I hated that young girls were told that they need old dirty men to be happy. I hated that my people hurt their culture so much they don't even have identity left.

So I stayed in my room for a whole afternoon staring at the ceiling and thinking what the best way to swim back home to Australia was.

Hang on a minute. What would a traveller do in tourist central??? He/she would get out of there, right?

I remembered I was still registered to that couch surfing website. My last hope. I emailed a Thai couple living on the island


I love your profile pic. I need your help. Keep reading it does not imply money . Just a smile will do.
I'm in Patang Phuket and is suffering from the tourist syndrom.Everything is cheap and beaches are beautiful.That's not my point. I need to connect to someone urgently or I will always remember this place as the place where '' wanna taxi?'' ''wanna massage?'' means '' hello How are you?''
No I'm not a tourist I don't give a f**** about tee shirts and souvenirs. I just want to meet people. As in MEET PEOPLE.

I'm sure you get that.

I'm staying 2 more days and hope to change my mind about this place

Take care


The answer came in 1 hour. I had to catch a local bus to Phuket town and then text them and they would pick me up.

That was enough for me. I took my backpack and left tourist central. Yes I did say good bye. I bought an ipad. Seriously.

Catching the bus with the local kids in their school uniform was like a breath of fresh air in 35 degrees. I even met a polish guy from Australia who soon became my best friend Derreck.

'' Couch surfing? But there is no beach in Phuket town?''

Hard to explain that it does not imply water , just free accommdation with people you've never met in your life. Of course he looked at me with the are you crazy look

'' I will stay with you just in case'' Who needs bad luck when you have a polish bodyguard from Australia.

Yes when you travel you have to trust other people too. You Even have to trust the unfriendly chinese lady at the local coffee shop with your huge backpack because you have to leave it somewhere for a few hours.

Me and Derreck were like best friends. I helped him pick clothes and he told me about Thai history. We naturally watched out for each other.

Some People in the street still called us '' You Petang'' which translates to '' you-dirty-party-animal-tourist-with-money'' but we deserved it. I stayed 2 whole days there. Shame on me.

2 coffees and coconut pancakes later I remembered I had to text the couch surfing people. '' 6pm at the fountain''. Seems like a cool place to meet.

3.30pm no answer. 4.30pm no answer.

'' it's 5.45, the last bus to Petang is about to leave. Your people won't show up. Come with me!''

''Thanks mate, I'm just going to take a leap of faith and wait here.
He gave me the crazy look again. '' See you back home in Brisbane one day. I will surf your couch''

6pm no one. True. Who would drive 20 minutes to pick up someone they don't know to let her stay for free in their house? In what kind of world do I think I live in....? 6.15pm I've got nowhere to go...
I closed my eyes and stopped thinking. I opened them again when I heard

'' Annabelle?''

When you travel, you've got to trust....

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