Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Beach Life

We had a long weekend here last weekend and my plan was to head to the beach and relax on the sand for a few days. However, the rain refused to abate and I made a last minute decision to sack it off and stay in Bangkok. Needless to say Saturday was beautiful and the rain only hit in the evening which left me yearning for the beach. So instead of sunning myself I came up with some rules for beach life. These are not negotiable and should be adhered to at all times.

Buckets: these should only be used for creating sandcastles and should under no circumstances become vessels in which to serve alcoholic beverages. If there is no other option then try not to mix any beverages, particularly sangsom and redbull (Check out The Lost Boy on Sangsom http://whatismatt.com/red-bull-and-sangsom/ ) or the consequences could be dire. You have been warned!

Hair: Unless you are an 8-year old blond Swede then hair braiding is not an option.

Attire, Boys: Daniel Craig – you have a lot to answer for! Over the last year I have noticed a disturbing emergence of Casino Royale-esque trunks. Unless you have the physique of 007 I beg you please don’t do it. Normal trunks or boardies are the order of the day. (If you do have the body of 007 please come and sit next to me!).

Attire, Girls: Yes I know people in glass houses should not throw stones but wearing a bikini that fits is of utmost importance. But even more essential is the whole bikini! It may be welcomed on the Continent but it really is NOT appropriate to topless sunbath, or (lord forbid) wander along the beach in just a thong. If you visit a beach frequented by Thais you will notice that they sit in the shade eating, chatting and generally having fun –sunbathing really is not their style - and once late afternoon hits and we are debating our first beer you will find them frolicking, mainly fully clothed, in the sea. Please think about the sensibilities of the people whose country you are visiting. In case you haven’t noticed it there is a Do’s and Don’t section in the Lonely Planet – read it!

Eyecontact: Avoid making eyecontact at any time! (Unless it is James Bond emerging from the surf). Barely a glance at the wares of any hawker is dangerous – you will be singled out as a soft touch – you do not want to be approached by every salesperson on the beach. After all the beach is for relaxing not for shopping. The only exception to this rule is the mango-man – a beach delight. However, I would also suggest caution when catching the eye of your beach neighbours. Yes, great friends can be made on the beach and no one wants to be a Billy-no-mates but that welcoming smile can land you in some awkward situations. Apart from having the embarrassment of having to subtly ditch the dork who has latched on to you – you may attract a much more dangerous creature: The beach psycho! This strangely accented and unkempt individual can be found practicing unconvincing martial arts in the surf or seen gyrating in young girls faces while they try to eat their beach bbq. When their usual medication is mixed with some other contraband, as well as some Viagra for good measure, the results are repulsive for all. Avoid eye contact in the beginning and you will be spared this unnecessary exposure.

Sun cream: WEAR IT! Spot any shirtless, lobster coloured man swaggering down the beach, beer in hand, and you could be 90% certain that they are a Brit. We have the reputation of sun recklessness. Look after your skin and break some stereo-types at the same time why don’t you.

Exercising: Going for the occasional dip is acceptable, jogging is not – you are on holiday. End of.

Relax: And finally, the most important rule: find yourself a hammock with a view, purchase a mango shake and lose yourself in that book or close your eyes and listen to those waves lapping on the shore. Ahh, bliss.

5 comments:

The Lost Boy said...

I'm so with you on the braids things.

Anonymous said...

Ali, Always enjoyable to read
your posts.

MarknearSeattle

Ali said...

Thank you!

Christina said...

Just found your blog and find it very enjoyable. It's a pleasant and welcome change from the drunken debauchery tales that I usually run across on the net about Thailand! (Yes, those folks should buy and read a Lonely Planet guide!)

And are braids okay on 8 year old Swedish boys? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I think Al, that the psycho on the beach may have something to do with our little - (or should I say big) french friend! Eye contact on that ocassion was definitely not a good idea!
(Jules)