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Turned out nice again June 3, 2010

Posted by normanmonkey in Friends, Travel.
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Surin Beach, Phuket

So much for learning from mistakes. The second night in Patong was a bigger disaster than the first and there’s a broken man by the swimming pool today. In one mad Sangsom fuelled hour he managed to break his watch, lose his iPhone, wallet, bank cards and dignity, be photographed pole dancing with bar girls like the worst Brits abroad cliche you’d never wish to meet, run out of money, not be able to pay his tab and still manage to find the time to wake up in his room for the second consecutive night with Ugly Betty.

I swear this travelling companion only exists to make me feel good about myself for a change.With the iPhone are all his photos of the wedding in Kulala Lumpur and his time in Thailand. All he has left is Betty.

He emerged to greet us today as we took drinks in the grounds. For someone who’d been working on his tan and acting like George Michael in the Club Tropicana video for the past week, he was unnaturally ashen faced and jittery. ‘I don’t remember much and Betty’s still in my room. She made me a cup of tea this morning and now she’s watching Thai soaps. How am I going to get her out without people seeing me?’.

It’s all quite endearing really. They do actually make a lovely couple and showing all the characteristics of a long-term relationship. I’m told she nagged him for the full thirty minute Tuc-Tuc journey back to Twin Palms for losing his possessions and being disgusted with him for drinking too much. It’s not often one’s drawn to say it, but I think it had occurred to a girl who works the tourists of the Tiger Bar on the notorious go-go strip of Bangla Road she could definitely do better.

His problem now was that it was midday, Betty was settling into his room and somehow a walk of shame was going to have to be negotiated. None of us would’ve noticed him carefully leading her around the side and through the undergrowth, thus avoiding the walk of shame round the pool area at Phuket’s self-annointed ‘most stylish, contemporary resort’. That is until Betty spotted us by the pool and shouted out to wave and say ‘HARRO! HOW ARE YOU!’ with such enthusiastic ferocity she could’ve won awards as a budget tannoy.

People, all bright, beautiful and well-to-do, who’d been swimming, lounging in the sun or quietly been reading Vogue or the International Herald Tribune over their lunch at the Pool Cafe looked up in unison to see where the tranquility shattering noise had emanated from.

What greeted them was the sight of a highly animated Thai bar girl in a high heels and a short, tight purple dress, with a matching purple brace on her teeth. Next to her stood a man frozen, like an escaping POW trapped in the full beam of a sentry’s searchlight, dying a thousand deaths on the spot, not knowing what his next move should be.

Does he panic and attempt to usher her along, only looking even more guilty or does he play it cool looking like this is exactly what he does all the time? Instead he stood frozen as we prolonged the agony, ‘Did you have good time…ah, that’s nice…did he look after you? He likes you too…Maybe you see him again tonight? ‘ (at which point I swear I saw a vein pop in his forehead as he chewed his lip).

In the longest of shots that someone had failed to have their attention drawn to the scene, there was a follow up shrill shreik when Betty looked over to where we’d been sitting and grazing on lunch: ‘AWW NAAAW! BIRD GOT YOUR BURGER!’. Even the bird looked stunned. Friend just inhaled deeply through his nostrils, pursed lips and looked dead ahead into vacant space.

Like a good painting, the disapproving eyes of all the guests followed their journey around the pathway toward the reception entrance with Betty tottering along and timing the arm flung around his shoulder just a fraction before they disappeared out of sight.

He hasn’t spoken much again today. The words ‘rock bottom’ have been used a few times. For once, I think a very quiet night is on the cards.

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