Monday, November 11, 2013

Chillin in Cha Am

This was our first trip in Asia outside India (except Sri Lanka). It had been a very long half term - well more like three-quarter term - thirteen weeks of it and the kids were over ready for a break. We flew out of Bangers on October 31st after "trick or treating". Wills out and about in the 'hood with his friends and Ads elsewhere. Simon and I left to open the door to the very heavy stream of other ozone kids in costume. Very embarrassingly we ran out of candy and had to shut shop, bring in the decorations and turn off the lights - never run out of candy before!

Ads returned just in time to get into the taxi and head to the airport. Drive to the airport had one slightly hairy moment when (bear in mind we drive on the left here) taxi ended up off road on the right hand side of the two lane road. Taxi decided to pass an oil tanker which in turn suddenly decided to pul out to pass a tractor. not room for all of us on the tarmac - survival of the biggest - taxi being the smallest gave up and pulled off the road. In typical indian style no one even blinked, let alone waved a fist or yelled an obscenity - engine was restarted and we carried on our way.

Bangalore airport was all go - an expat exodus for the Diwali break. Considering kids must all have been on various stages of a Halloween sugar high it was relatively peaceful but by then it was rather late.

When you arrive in an Indian airport - you are without a shadow of a doubt in India. I'm not sure what exactly it is, or why India has such a strong unmistakable character but arriving at Bangkok airport you could have been anywhere in the world!

As we waited for our car to take us to Cha am - a couple of hours from Bangkok, it was obvious there were some visitors in town for the beer during the day and we know where they were going to go when the light got low. Over the week or so, we saw quite a few  Thai/UK couples. Brit guys with a Thai gal - maybe 15 or 20 years younger - very respectable, happy looking couples. Brit guys you wouldn't have noticed walking along the street on their home turf - sort of nondescript slipper and pipe types - not raiders of the lost ark types - who had somehow (no idea what their stories were)  repositioned themselves to be spending the latter part of middle age onward with attractive, younger but still mature Thai chicks who seemed to be genuinely fond of them, hanging on their every word. I was actually quite impressed!

To Cha Am. First stop on the highway had to be Starbucks and very good it was too. Cha Am is a sleepy little fishing village which comes alive on the weekend when Thai's from Bangkok head down for a weekend or day by the sea. Our apartment was a little out of town so we hired three bikes and cycled around the back roads. The usual debate was who got Wills to chauffeur about - more often than not it was me!

Cha Am is essentially a fishing village - I never managed to get up early enough to see the fisherman come in with their nights haul but we sure ate a lot of it! The seafood was phenomenal - I don't think I have ever eaten so much, so fresh and so yummy!

I wasn't too sure about the bright green mussels - but they tasted good!

The little harbor was full of brightly colored boats.

After biking and eating - there was plenty of chilling!!

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