Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O

No rain promised in my area for a while so I’ve looked through my photos to see what I could come up with and here are two.  Both of these were taken in Thailand, one in Koh Samui, the other in Hua Hin on the Gulf of Siam just a couple of hours drive from Bangkok.

you-can-have-fun-with-a-polystyrene-box-lid-even-without-an-x-box
Having fun at Hua Hin, Thailand

This little boy was having the time of his life on his polystyrene box lid which served as a raft from which he was trying to catch fish.  I don’t think it mattered whether he caught any or not, the fun was in trying, and in having such a marvellous float to carry him along the seashore.  Don’t worry, Dad was trawling the near water keeping an eye out so that he didn’t drift off.  They had little money, it was obvious.  Mum was digging in the sand for tiny little sandfish and crabs for supper and his sisters were gathering leaves from the hedges around.  Tech toys were unknown to him and even though I am sure he hankered after them, I confess I hoped he could continue to enjoy the childlike life he was having at the moment I took this photograph.

koh-samuii-in-rainstorm
Torrential rain in Koh Samui, Thailand

Oh dear, it wasn’t supposed to rain in Koh Samui, but it did, and heavily.  Two days of torrential rain rendered the hotel’s umbrellas unusable, the decking awash, and the grey sea a hazard if one wanted to swim.   Day and night it pounded the beach, the noise like thunder at night.  Room service was needed but by the time food got to the rooms it was cold – and sometimes very wet – so everyone waded through the water to the restaurant where the staff did their best to serve us with hot food.

Two days later it was all over.  We woke up to sunshine, dry decking, dry beaches and a placid blue sea.  Had it really been as bad as I remember?   As the locals say, “TIT” – This is Thailand”.

HUA HIN, THAILAND

Dateline 11th August 2016

My favourite town in Thailand is in the news today for all the wrong reasons.  A terrorist attack in this quiet, respectable, tourist town, two hours from Bangkok, has left one local street-seller dead and about ten wounded, some seriously.  Of all the places I expected to be attacked in Thailand, Hua Hin is the last place I would have picked.

No one has claimed responsibility yet (12/08/2016) but it is being assumed that the terrorists are from the South of the country bordering on Malaysia where a group of insurgents has been causing problems for the past decade.  Bombs  and killings (usually of policemen) have almost attained normalcy there, but the terrorists had not moved further north, nor had they even ventured into the hot-spots of Phuket or Pattaya.

Setting out the Deck Chairs, Dawn at Hua Hin Beach, Thailand
It’s 6.30 a.m. and the cafe owner is setting out the deck-chairs for the day ahead. An old-fashioned beach in Hua Hin. Thailand

The latter two I fully expected to be hit after Bali.  Pattaya is a town of somewhat sleazy hedonism, and it has often been thought that the more disapproving members of society might one day be tempted to release a bomb there.  Likewise, Patong in Phuket, another place of girlie bars, ladyboy bars, and a place where drunkenness is tolerated, was a town that could be considered in the same way.

But Hua Hin, the favourite resort of the Thai royal family whose Palace along the seafront brings the royals to the town on many occasions, a place which is regarded as a resort for the more mature holidaymaker, and one that is home to many Europeans and Americans who have retired there to take advantage of the seven superb golf clubs in the town?  Never.  And Hua Hin has much to offer.

The world is changing fast nowadays.  Old certainties have gone and personal safety is now a worry for everyone.  But I hope that I, and all the others who love Thailand and the lovely old town of Hua Hin, can continue to visit it and enjoy the friendliness, the hospitality and the very Thai way of doing things.

Terrorism will be defeated in the end.  It may take time, but we must not let it alter our way of life.  I, for one, certainly won’t allow it to alter mine and I hope to spend my next long-haul holiday in what is, still, the safest country to visit , bar none.

All Photographs copyright – Mari Nicholson

 

 

Photo Challenge: ORANGE

Been looking through my photographs to see what I could find that would fit this week’s challenge.  Quite surprised to find very little.  I thought I had an orange sunset at Wadi Rum but that turned out to be golden, and my terracotta roofs in Italy had taken on a brownish tinge by the time I blew them up.  But I found a few, so herewith my selection from Spain, Italy, Thailand and Sweden.

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Freshly squeezed juices at every corner in Palermo, Sicily
Freshly squeezed juices at every corner in Palermo, Sicily