1 September marks the anniversary of my arrival on Samui. As I reflect back on the past year, most memories evoke smiles. A few don’t, such as experiencing not one, but two floods – one in early November last year, and the more recent episode in March (which was supposedly the dry season). Feeling nostalgic, I read back through my previous columns and blog posts, and now I chuckle at some of the things that I found strange or confusing. I must be settling in, as these things now just seem a part of everyday life.
I think back to writing about driving on the island, and compared it to being immersed into a play station game – now this is old hat. Shopping for dinner at the markets was previously an adventure. Now I go to my local market and know exactly what to buy to make a Massaman or green curry, thanks to a day at the Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts, as well as a bit of trial and error. Either the chillies are getting milder, or my palette is getting accustomed to the heat. I now know what to do with the spirit house outside our house, and how to behave at a temple.
I no longer get upset and frustrated when I cannot make myself understood, or things take longer than expected – I just say ‘mai pen rai’ and get over it. I have done four visa runs to Penang, and one border bounce, and have accepted that this is part of being an expat in Thailand. I have mastered the art of using an Eastern toilet (well, almost). I have started Thai lessons, which reinforces my mind-thought that this is now home for a while, and not an extended holiday, and it feels good.
I recently went through the google analytics account of my website (www.travellingpen.com) to check on the number of hits, as well as what key phrases internet surfers are putting into their web browsers to come up with my website. I post my Samui Gazette column in my travel blog, so there is quite a bit of content on Samui. Reading through the phrases that led to my site, and the expected ones came up, such as my name and the name of my website, as well as the Samui Gazette, Samui beaches, SITCA and others that would be expected, as they were topics for my column. But, I was horrified at some of the bizarre things that people surf the web for, and I am a little disturbed by the fact that these strange people were reading my website, with these thoughts in mind. Let me list a few examples:
- Thai beach boobs
- Orgasmic vegetables
- Beer bellies in speedos
- Coconut oil and g-string
- Close up view of a g-string
- Man boob pleasure
- Hippopotamus testosterone level (really?)
- How long are the white lines on the road (Did they have insomnia when they thought of this one?)
- Mastering Western toilets (and we thought this was easy!)
- Sangsom bucket reviews (a little different to a wine tasting I’m sure)
- How to sit topless to not show man boobs
You have to feel sorry for the guy that googled that last one. Picture it – he has his holiday all booked to Samui, and he tries on his swimsuit in front of the mirror, only to realise that he isn’t quite the catch he thought he was, and his man boobs are looking rather voluptuous. There is no time to diet or exercise them away, as the flight leaves tomorrow. As a last resort, he needs to practice how to sit and suck in his gut so that his man boobs don’t show. For this information, google decided to lead him to MY website! This is all of course, due to the article I wrote on tourists dressing distastefully.
I look forward to my next year on Samui and continue on my discovery. I will keep sharing my thoughts with the readers of the Gazette, as well as post on my blog. I do however, hope that google will send me nice people, only interested in travelling and exploring as I am, and direct the weirdos elsewhere!
© Rosanne Turner