First Week – first impressions

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27 January 2019

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Maikhao Palm Beach Resort, just north of Phuket town, Thailand

It’s a week since our journey has begun in DIA. 28 grueling hours of travel, to Seattle, Seoul and Phuket. When we arrived at Seoul airport it was like entering a futuristic scene. Everything from the bare minimum art-deco, minimum human interaction, to the doll-like stewardesses who looked all the same with their hairdo and artificial smiles. Another 6 hours flight and we landed in Phuket just before midnight, into a whole different feel. The sign International Phuket Airport welcomed us in Thai, English, Russian and Chinese. And indeed, the cacophony of these mixed energies was prevalent during our whole visit in Phuket.

Maikhao Palm Beach Resort, just north of Phuket town was the perfect landing spot for jet-lag recovery. The rooms were luxurious, and so the swimming pool and the glorious beach. The view from the porch was the calm Indian Ocean. I do not know what all the Chinese and Russian guests were doing during the day. We hardly saw them in the pool or the beach, so we enjoyed the vastness almost all to ourselves.

But, the dining room morning scene is a different story. It almost reminded me of breakfast in the Kibbutz, minus the Israeli delicious food. A noisy bunch of people displaying their vacation clothes, eating enormous amounts of food and buzzing around. Speaking about food, I cannot find any awareness of Gluten Free breads or crackers, alternative milks, or herbal teas. Since I decided not to eat salads (because it is washed with water we do not approve of), and the array of pork cold cuts is off my limits, my selection is minimal.

The Thai people are Theravada Buddhists (Early turning). Polite, helpful, soft,img_0058 smiling, minimal in their communications and speak very little English. There are little shrines near each household or business, but I never saw any public worshipping around them.

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One afternoon we took a taxi (hardly any public transportation available) to the Yacht Haven Marina on the other side of Phuket island to leave our sailing gear in their office, and get aquainted with the scene. We also had to settle our account with them for which we brought with us Kosher dollars, striagt from our Boulder bank. But, due to a big Russian mafia scandal a few years ago here in Thiland, they are extremly caucious  about the ‘green’ stuff. They examined each bill ten times and many of them were rejected for having marks or writings on them. The same happened in the Exchange booth in town. It was hillarious. Since then, we learned that most Thai business, taxi drivers, etc. do not trust dollar bills or take credit cards, so we have to carry with us huge amount of Baht (the Thai currency).

While in the marina, we ate lunch in a tiny Turkish make-shift restaurnt and had a great talk with the young owner who delighted in my Israeli accent and perspective of ‘world politics’. Here is me and Khun

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