The bay, the caves and the james bond island
I was really looking forward to this trip. Too much, I guess. When I got up in the morning, the sky was grayish and hazy. One shade and one layer grayer and hazier than the previous day. I said goodbye to the dream of blue sky and good photos and the day went from there.
I was picked up by a minivan from the guesthouse and almost started laughing out loud when I hopped in the van and loud and clear „Take me hoooooome, country roooooooad.“ blasted from the speakers. The couple sitting behind me had been obviously giggling for a while over the driver's music choices. He got bored with American country music after while and decided to go for good old 80's disco mixed with (probably) good old Thai disco. We picked up a few more passengers (I felt a little uneasy and my day became once again one shade gloomier when we picked up a Muslim couple, the guy looking 40 and the girl looking 16, and he looked very unhappy about the fact there were other people in the van and even more unhappy there was no double seat left so he couldn't put her in a corner away from everyone, not even mention the disapproval in his eyes about the clothing choices of the ladies present in the car) and headed to the pier, which was somewhere completely elsewhere than I thought. But then I realized we were leaving from the north-eastern pier and the countryside sightseeing suddenly made sense.
We got our stickers and didn't need to wait long before we were directed to the boat. Somehow, I managed to end up in a company of a British couple and a while later an Aussie couple. Which eventually turned as the saving point of my day. Otherwise I would have probably lost my nerves later on.
We took off, passed by several island we would get back to later that day and headed straight to the James Bond Island.
The island had some local name before, but nowadays it is officially and simply James Bond Island. Gray sky, muddy brownish water, tons of people, tons of locals selling crap, everything I braced myself for.
While we were aimlessly roaming around the James Bond Island, lunch was being prepared for us on board of 'our' boat. That was supposed to be the bright moment of the day I held on to in my mind. Emphasis on the 'was supposed to'. This wish and dream were brutally destroyed when one of the guides informed us that „...and all meat is prepared in a halal way so also our Muslim passengers can enjoy the meals.” My stomach jumped. Not in a good way. I wrote a very open and clear status about this on my private Facebook profile. However, I will briefly repeat it also here.
I find it very offensive and (for the lack of better word) racist that it goes without saying that the meat must be prepared in the halal way so the Muslim people wouldn't have a problem, but has anyone even considered someone might find it brutal, barbaric and repulsive? Because I certainly do. (Big kudos to Sweden for dealing with this the classy way they seem to be dealing with a lot of issues lately). And I can only imagine what would happen if I would protest and get offended by it. That was the first thing that almost made me lose my nerves.
We continued our trip to another island where we would be taken to the caves on canoes. As I was alone, I was put together with an Asian mother and daughter. That part was ok, they were very nice. The problem was our overly friendly 'driver'. I also bitched about this on Facebook. What on earth is it that gives the local guys the impression that it's ok to touch white girls in any way and anywhere? I've never been so close to slapping someone. Well, no tip for you, friend. At least the caves were pretty impressive.
We had about half an hour break to go swimming and canoeing, and the desserts (=fruits) were served. And then we were on our way back to Phuket.