The Bionic Salesman
A Journey around Thailand
So that’s the end of another tour of Southern Thailand. We arrive back in Bangkok for a final three days. A month’s accumulated junk litters the baggage carousel. As if this is not enough, Misty heads straight from the airport to Chatuchak Market in search of more, coming back with bagfuls, including, for me, three pairs of unusual shoes and a dozen T-shirts.
None of the tourist T-shirts with the lame English slogans (Same Same but Different, iPood, etc.), these are tasteful shirts with arty Thai squiggles on them. I wore the first one around Bangkok for hours before some kind soul stifled her guffaws long enough to point out that the squiggles meant something along the lines of, “I’m a sad mug who’s desperate for a girlfriend”.
“My wife bought me this,” I said by way of explanation. The shirt came off.
It has been an amazing trip. We’ve got into the habit of using the car to take us away from the main beaches and then shopping around for bungalows. We were almost the only guests at a great place on Bang Rak beach in Samui.Ao Nang in Krabi is Little Scandinavia, but we found ourselves in Little Italy at the Sabai Resort, where Italians come on their scooters from all over to air kiss, drink wine and punctuate their conversation with vigorous hand gestures. The owner looks uncannily like an Italian Basil Fawlty.
In Phuket, we took a random turn off the coast road and found ourselves at the Baan Armeen, a new and pleasant little resort on Bang Tao Beach. I find the Phuket beaches from Kamala up far more attractive than the most famous beaches – Patong, Karon and Kata – and we particularly took to Surin Beach, with its string of beachfront bars.
From Samui to Khao Lak, it was good to see the Waboba Ball selling so quickly, but disconcerting to see how often it goes out of stock. We arrived in Koh Samui to find only one shop with balls.
If you have had difficulty finding a shop that has stock, you have our sympathy. This is a problem we are working to resolve.
Meanwhile, in Bangkok, finding a Waboba Ball is a bit like playing Where’s Wally. The ball is available in Supersports, but the shop apparently won’t allow the product displays to be rearranged, so Waboba is often included as an afterthought, balanced on top of some other display. But if you find yourself near the Mares sign, you’re probably getting warmer.
The Pro Ball is particularly hard to find. Our Thai stock sold out in the time it takes to say “bounces on water”, but we should have stock again in about two weeks, and this time we are also getting the baseball glove to go with the Pro, so you should watch out for that.