And so it begins. The inevitable forgotten item of this trip is a real corker. Not only can it most definitely not be easily replaced once in Thailand, otherwise known as Aladdin’s cave of all Western products, but my dentist is going to kill me. Two years of braces and the retainer that makes all that pain worthwhile is currently sat by my bathroom sink at home, in blimmin’ Jersey. Honest to God, I can actually feel my teeth beginning to slide back into their original, ghastly crooked alignment. All I can say is, thank goodness for organised mothers and the postal service.
Aside from that sinking feeling of doom (it could have been worse, forgetting contact lenses and being hopelessly blind underwater sans-glasses has plagued my dreams for the last few days. A four month Specsavers supply was firmly first in line going into the backpack) the journey went without a hitch. A bristly Easyjet cabin crew man nearly denied me my morning peppermint tea, as he informed me that my peppermint teabag was not purchased, in flight, from the on board selection of teas. Yes, sir, I am well aware of the fact that these teabags are, in fact, my own. In what universe shall I be denied hot water! He huffed and puffed as if he was doing me a worldly favour, and I thanked him profusely enough in a way you would think he’d saved my life. Needless to say, the British Airways crew were far more accepting of my frugal ways.
Both flights were delayed which was a complete stroke of luck. Less time waiting in the sweltering heat for the ferry plus a complimentary Real Camden Food Company lunch? Happy days. Unfortunately what followed was a sprint through Koh Samui airport, frantically searching for a taxi driver willing to take me to Nathon pier – an hour’s drive away, with the last ferry leaving in 40 minutes. One brave man who spoke not a word of English took my life in his hands and positively barrelled across the island, playing chicken with the vehicles coming the other way on the wrong side of the road. Thank goodness for his need for speed, because I was the LAST person allowed onto the boat. What ensued was two hours of choppy seas, serious salt spray to the face and a touch of the old motion sickness. The fisherman was certainly not my friend.
The Simple Life taxi took me to the dive centre which was so surprisingly modern, as it’s brand new, with a permanently packed bar right next to it. One of the instructors settled me into my room (more on that later) and left me to go downstairs to the bar to introduce myself. After meeting what felt like thousands of fellow divemasters, and drinking several lovely concoctions called Samsung Miguels (definitely not called that, it’s a Thai word but that’s as close as I’m gonna get) a few of us strolled into Sairee beach to celebrate a girl’s 20th birthday. We danced away on the beach and ended the night with a delicious pad Thai and seriously good times. I think I’m going to love this place!