Rain, a canine companion, and more rain!

After Siobhian left I’ve been unable to do a lot here due to the unpredictable weather. Or perhaps that should be predictable : you know it’s going to rain every day for sure, you’re just not sure how much and for how long. I contemplated booking a boat tour of four of the surrounding islands, but I wasn’t prepared to pay the price the agents were asking merely on the off-chance that the sun may make an unexpected appearance.

Instead I’ve been spending my time reading, either on the beach when it’s not raining (as there are too many mosquitoes fighting for a taste of my blood up at Fisherman Hill) or in one of the nearby cafes. I’ve eaten at The Food Centre every day, so much so that they know what I like to drink and can hazard a pretty good guess at what I want to eat as well (it tends to be either green curry with seafood, fish cakes, or rice noodles with vegetables and seafood). I’ve also made a true friend in the resident dog at Fisherman Hill. I’m normally more of a cat lover but this fellow is making a pretty good job of changing my mind. He’s a beautiful, healthy looking animal : his fur is the rich colour of marmalade; and of the flesh of an overripe persimmon. The darker patches on his body give the impression of the sun casting shadows upon his fur. As much as I love cats, dogs are much more loyal animals, whereas cats will appreciate anyone who feeds them, pets them and showers them with affection.

Whenever I return to Fisherman Hill, ‘Marlam’ (as i’ve decided to call him, variation on the word marmalade) always leaps up (from wherever his resting place may have been) to greet me (which consists of sniffing around my legs and licking my hands as I stroke him, or giving me both of his paws, looking me straight in the eyes and panting excitedly), follows me back to my bungalow and waits on the veranda until I’ve closed my door and am safely inside. If I’ve returned late at night, he’ll often sit outside on the veranda until I fall asleep. I know this because I can see him through the cracks in the wood and I often hear him barking (at passing dogs) or shuffling around. He’s got the cutest brown eyes and when he looks up at you the fur above his eyes wrinkles, creating such a sincere expression of concern and affection. I’ve watched other guests return and have never once witnessed him do the same for them. Even Siobhian said that he would only greet her when she was accommpanied by me. I never realised I had such a way with animals! It’s almost like he’s my little guardian angel, bless him.

I’ve been back to Oodie’s Bar every night as well, firstly because they show a film every night at 7:30, and it’s a great way to kill a couple of hours when you’re on your own, and secondly because I love live music, especially when you’ve got some great tunes being played and some real characters playing them. Oodie (who plays lead guitar and sings lead vocals) looks like a a big (in comparison to the other guys) teddy bear that you wanna wrap your arms around, and he plays guitar with immense style and flair and incredible talent. He’s played with the likes of Carabao, Caravan and Zo Zo, some of Thailand’s biggest rock acts, and he’s also been in several bands of his own. The drummer, Tien (who also plays guitar, bass and provides vocals) looks like a Samuri warrior with a wicked glint in his eye, and his smile is full of mischief and charm. Mai is the good old reliable bassist. This guy takes his music seriously : for the most part his expression and posture remain unchanged but every now and then you’ll catch a spark of recklessness from him. I’m not sure they’ll be together as a band for much longer, as Tien was filling in for the original drummer who’s taken a 3 month honeymoon (it’s alright for some!) and Mai is leaving shortly to get married himself. However, for the time being, they make an excellent trio.

I also got propositioned by the Thai barman at Oodie’s. He kept asking me to stay on late at the bar and then offered to walk me home. I politely declined, being under the – more than likely accurate – impression that walking me home was not all that he had in mind!

Becoming increasingly disheartened with the weather and having spent several days frequenting the same hangouts and seeing the same faces, I was beginning to feel a bit like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Consequently I booked a ticket up to Ko Samet, which leaves tomorrow (300THB, takes pretty much the whole day to get there). Although I’m not expecting that the weather will be much better up there, I could do with a change of scenery regardless.

Photos

Marlam, the resident dog at Fisherman Hill, Ko Chang

2nd photo to follow

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