I have a few ‘rules’ when arriving somewhere to stay for a few days. Most of them are dull. Everyone has their own little rituals of un-packing, arranging and exploring. They are usually things that lead to divorce in later life – leaving the toothpaste not facing due north for example.
Some however are worth sharing.
It’s important to make friends with the dogs when arriving at a newplace. I bonded with ours at the ‘Phangan Lodge’ on the first night lounging around in a hammock by the beach and later at the bar. You know when they are comfortable with you when there’s one sleeping in your lap and two under the chair you are sitting in.
Around sunset the dogs go and lay claim to the beach territory directly in front of the resort. They keep the other resort dogs at bay, bark at any strangers daring to wander along the beach and generally provide much entertainment.
I’d decamped to another bar/restaurant the other afternoon. It was called ‘Munchies’ and had Bob Marley posters hanging amidst a plethora of hammocks and other soft furnishings, no prizes for guessing the agenda there.
‘Munchies’ appears to be run by the world’s most dysfunctional family. Collectively they were just holding it together. Just. It was like ‘The Adams Family’ set on a beach and flood lit rather than ‘film noir.’
After a couple of hours I gave up expecting anything resembling service and just helped myself to drinks, dutifully writing my details on the bill as I went along.
Swinging in a hammock without a care in the world is conducive to forgetfulness. The mosquito hour was fast approaching and I was oblivious. A couple of days of itching ankles were destined to be mine if I didn’t head homeward for industrial strength DEET and a hasty shower.
Drifting off to sleep warmed by the finally rays of sun I did not have to be alarmed. Just as the sun cast its last fiery glow upon the sands I heard a small bark from down on the beach waking me from my doze.
Sat on the beach in front of me was a small Jack Russell – one of our resorts dogs, concerned as to where I was, she’d come to get me.