Friday, September 26, 2008

Koh Yao Island - Day Nine - Not Goodbye, Just See You Later

Five a.m. didn’t come as fast as I thought it would. We slept pretty soundly and both woke up exactly at five. At five fifteen, our wakeup call came in.

“Hello?” I said.
“Mr. David, your wakeup call is now. Wake up.”
“Thank you.” I said, used to them calling me Mr. David when they meant Mrs. David.

Five minutes later, the phone rings.

“Hello?” I said.
“You’re awake. Just checking.”
“Yes, we’re awake. Thank you.” I said.

Knowing that I had to start my day with a one hour long tail boat ride back to Phuket, I immediately filled myself with Dramamine and Imodium. I was taking no chances in my recovery from the Thai Virus Incident of ‘08[1].

With the clock down to two hours prior to departure, we did what any sensible couple would do…goof around on the beach and take a final swim.

We hopped in the shower together only to find out that there was no hot water. Or, pretty much, any water for that matter. Naked and shivering in the early morning air, we watched as the water trickled out of the shower head. Oh well, we were on an island. Who doesn’t have water issues on an island?[2] Conveniently, there was a large barrel of water right next to the shower head. It contained a coconut shell water scoop for rinsing your body. While cold, it got us cleaned up for our return trip to the States.

As we were finishing up the last of our packing, a knock came at the door.

“Yes?” I asked?
“Wake up call.”

At this point we giggled at their thoroughness. If we missed our flight, it sure wouldn’t be because they let us oversleep.

As we headed down to reception to pay the bill, I was filled with optimism. We met the finance manager who assured us that the previous night’s experience wouldn’t be a problem and that Visa Thailand would authorize the transaction if he called them directly. He called them, ran it through a few times, and was told that they couldn’t authorize it. Before I could have a meltdown knowing that all the money and more sat in our account to cover our invoice, the finance manager gave us a simple solution…Have our bank wire the funds when we got home on Tuesday. It was a very special arrangement, they said, due to us being return guests. It left us very grateful for the relationship that we have formed with the Paradise over the years. Their trust in us on this matter, allowing us to leave their resort and the country with a very large unpaid invoice, definitely ensured that we will continue to return to the Paradise.

Relieved knowing that we would make it home, we headed to the veranda to wait for our boat to leave. It was 6:30 and our boat was to depart at seven. Come seven, we are told that we are waiting on others. Come 7:15, Brethney and Keith arrive. They are handed their breakfast boxes and are told to join us as we are still waiting on one more couple. Although I enjoyed our last chance to chat with our Irish friends, I kept checking my watch. We had an hour ride back to Phuket plus a ½ hour ride from the dock to the airport. Then we needed to get checked in to begin the first leg of an international flight that departed at 10 a.m. I was feeling a bit cramped on time.

At 7:45, we were approached by an employee wanting to know if we could leave later as the missing couple was having troubles. I told him that it would be impossible to leave any later as we would miss our 10:00 flight. The only other flight was at 4:00 p.m. and our flight left from Bangkok at that time. It would cause us to miss all flights.

He hurriedly walked away. At 8:15, a breathless German couple arrives. No apologies for being over an hour late and putting our flight at risk. She just looked at us and said, “We had no hot water! We couldn’t get dressed!”

Really? You put my trip home in jeopardy because you had no hot water? Guess what, we had no water whatsoever and we still showed up on time!

We rushed to the dock. Instead of loading us into the long tail, they loaded us into the speed boat. I settled in to take one last look at my version of paradise.

[1] According to Monkipedia, the Thai Virus Incident of ’08 was a 24-hour period where Natalie, honeymooning on a remote Thai island, contracted a terrible tropical illness that left her begging for death while hallucinating in bed, hugging the toilet, and watching an extraordinary amount of BBC. Her husband, David, narrowly escaped the same fate.
[2] I remember visiting my aunt and uncle in the Virgin Islands. You could only shower for five minutes because of a lack of water. It taught me early on that fresh water is a precious commodity, especially when you are surrounded by the sea.

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