©2012 Edward C. Lunnon
Written on Saturday 25 August 2012: 5 years 11 months on … Advantage CBD
The rain continued with brief spells of intermittent sunshine. In fact, for me, the weather conditions were far more comfortable during the rainy periods. Despite the temperature being high, the humidity level would drop a bit and make the outdoor conditions far more tolerable.
We had originally hired the scooters until Friday (today) but realised that it was far easier to get around on them than to have to use the taxi or the tuk-tuks. So we went back to the scooter vendor in Kata (the lessor or is it the lessee?) who was only too happy to extend the lease (ha! Ha! No paper work – all verbally!) and to continue to hold my SA driver’s licence as his collateral on the scooters! (Ha! Ha! Sing Ha! He also didn’t know that I have a duplicate driver’s licence in my wallet!)
The plan for Friday morning was to spend time on the beach – that rained out. Instead, I had a foot massage, a pedicure and … eventually a full Thai massage in the hotel lobby area!
Pera and I had booked to see the Fantasea Show at a venue just north of Patong Beach. The rest of the group planned to return to Patong to commence the early celebration of Phillip’s 17th birthday on the next day (Saturday 7 July). They had made arrangements with the friends they had made at the Bar Big Bang to braai and party the night away – and by now there was also a SA flag hanging there that had been procured somewhere in Phuket.
We were collected at the hotel by a taxi at about 17h30 and made two other stops to collect more patrons, arriving at the Fantasea complex well in time for the show which was due to commence at 19h00.
They had two sessions that evening: one group of 3 000 people sit down and have supper together in an enormous dining hall (Thai Buffet, of course!) whilst another group of 3 000 people watch the show (that was our group). The groups swap at 21h00 when our group went to supper and the first supper group go and watch the show!
The logistics of planning all this is as admirable as the show itself!
Hundreds of taxis arrive at the venue bringing people from every hotel on the Island. You are swiftly ushered to one of a number of queues to collect your tickets. In our case, where we were kept waiting for a few seconds because the person in front of us experienced a delay with his credit card, we were immediately ushered to the VIP queue, apologised to most profusely and given our tickets immediately.
Then each person has to hand in the camera and cell phone as photography is strictly prohibited. Imagine the logistics involved in collecting 3000 peoples’ recording devices but, again, all of this happens in minutes!
The show itself is a one and a half hour extravaganza of music, song, dance, prose, acrobatics, animals (including elephants, of course), magic, illusion, colour, laser, lights … a showcase of all that is Thai using the showcase of each and every media method that one can imagine.
After the show, in a matter of minutes, you are reunited with your valuables, and then we headed off to the dining hall – another example of Thai cuisine united with Thai logistics.
And then at 22h30, the taxi was waiting for us at Bay no 8, as arranged. We had originally planned to join the others at Big Bang in Patong to see in Phill’s birthday. However, we opted to be returned straight back to our hotel, the Katathani, in Kata Noi.
I was “Thai-ED”and “neED- ED” to sleep. It was our second last night on The Island.