News From Phuket Thailand

News From Phuket Thailand

I am sitting in a room Amanpuri Resort at Phuket looking out at totally Grey skies and a torrential downpour of rain. We arrived here yesterday afternoon, following a two hour flight from Hong Kong and Phuket a forty minute ride from the airport. When we arrived at the new Hong Kong international airport I thought there had been a bomb scare. There were no people in sight at the terminal we got off at. Inside there were very few people. The plane wasn’t very full either. Our luggage arrived quickly and we experienced the ride to the resort past areas very much like what you see in Mexico on the way to some fine resort.

The resort has a main large open reception area, two rectangular buildings on each side facing the ocean. One building is for two restaurants – Italian and Thai. The other is a cocktail area. Guests stay in separate villas surrounding these.

The villa we have rented has five separate rooms like the one I am sitting in. Each of these individual rooms are bedrooms. There is a long rectangular pool in the center court yard. At one end is a open structure with a high ceiling and a round table with seats around it. You sit with your feet down into an open area underneath for your feet. This is the "dining room" for the villa. Below this room on a lower level you get to going down steps, is another open structure with a high roof area. This is the is the "living room." Instead of a single house like structure these building are all separate from one another and except for the bedrooms are open. A great idea in warm sunny weather, but not so great an idea when there is a monsoon downpour like this one. It comes with three people, one a cook and two as helpers, so it feels a little like I am on vacation with three people I don’t know. However, they are actually very careful not to be around unless needed.

The people here are unfailingly polite. The wai is a sign of respect and greeting by everyone. Hands together as in prayer, positioned under the chin and a bow. It is the "hand shake" of this country and a challenge to know exactly how to respond. Imitate it, but do it badly? Hold out your hand to shake hands?  What? The custom book says don’t try to imitate them because the hand position and movement have have to be done correctly. Instead, the rule is to smile and nod in acknowledgment. Sitting so as to avoid pointing your feet at another person is another cultural rule. These and made other cultural rules area challenge here since if you do the wrong thing they are simply too polite to tell you.

There is a very substantial time difference. As I type this it is Saturday at 10:30 am. In Seattle, however, it is Friday pm. The fruit is exotic and wonderful. Thai food is traditionally seasoned hot and I try to avoid that totally. The seafood is fresh and wonderful.

Lita has had a TV delivered. Probably not a bad idea given the looks of the sky, but it is very incongruent with the surroundings we are in.  Good weather to force me to work on the projects I must get done before we return. If the weather improves and we look around I’ll post another report from Phuket.

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