Definitely a day to forget…
Our minibus out of Phuket arrived at 07:30 this morning, then picked up ten other people before hitting the road. Everybody was asleep for the first two hours of our journey, but that all changed after our first toilet break when a guy pulled out his wireless speaker and started playing the most atrocious thing I’ve ever heard.
Now I’m a pretty reasonable person, with an undeniably versatile taste in music – I’ve been to my fair share of illegal warehouse raves, but then again Abbie’s mum once described the music that I play in the shower as “the sound of zombies being murdered”. I give anything a go, but this was something else. Oh and it was in French too so we couldn’t even understand a word of the rubbish that we were being forced to listen to.
Instead of saying something we put our headphones in like the reasonable people we are and let the others have their fun. They occasionally danced in an abrupt fashion for no more than ten or fifteen seconds at a time and record misleadingly idyllic videos to make this part of their trip look amazing, which it most definitely wasn’t.
We stopped after maybe four or five hours and jumped out of the minivan, then had to wait for a while before taking the ferry to Koh Samui. We already had our tickets for the ferry, but had no way of getting to our hostel on the other side, so paid 600฿ for two transfer tickets to avoid having to take a take taxi, which we were told could cost up to 1,000฿ on the island. Then, on the ferry itself, a man was selling the same tickets for 150฿ each which left us feeling pretty damn stupid, but we tried to stay positive – even after paying 300฿ more than we had to (that’s only about £7) we were paying 400฿ less than a taxi (so still saved £10). The optimism didn’t last long at all though.
Upon arrival we were ambushed by taxi drivers, but ignored them all and walked straight to the minibus queue with our overpriced tickets in hand. We waited patiently until we were at the front, only to be either ignored or laughed at by every single minibus driver when we got there. Nobody could speak English, nobody was interested in helping us, and as time passed everybody else was shown where to go while we were left standing to the side.
We got chatting to a girl called Alice, who had been sold the same ticket as us and looked just as lost as we were. Frustration started to grow as the number of people declined, until we eventually found ourselves as the only three people left waiting. It didn’t take a genius to work out that we’d been completely scammed, that there was no transfer coming for us, and that we had no choice but to pay for a taxi. Luckily we had a new friend to split the cost with, but that didn’t take away the fact that we’d been taken for complete idiots! I don’t think I’ve ever been so frustrated in my life.
We felt like we’d been beat down and embarrassed, but somehow there was light at the end of the tunnel. We arrived at Samui Hostel three hours late, checked in, and were shown to a private room with an en-suite bathroom, which has great Wi-Fi and even a TV (for a whopping £5.50 each per night).
At the end of the day we were a few quid short, but in hindsight it could been a lot worse. We’ve heard stories of people losing their bags, having their wallets and passports stolen, or even having their rooms broken into. As for us? We just laughed it off and looked forward to a new day tomorrow…
Streets of Nuremberg on I guess I should probably wrap… Streets of Nuremberg on Days 363 & 364 – Sat… danstravelling on Days 355 & 356 – Fri… David Parkes on Days 355 & 356 – Fri… danstravelling on Days 345, 346 & 347…