I’ve had better starts to days.

My psoriasis was being a little nasty bastard and last night’s teacups of wine were holding me prisoner in bed.

Donna went to the pool whilst I got more sleep, but hunger eventually trumped rest and we stepped out into the mucky sweaty heat of Phuket. I had the idea to go to Caron Beach, which in my head is where people who think they’re posh stay and say, “we don’t go to the tourist traps. We like to pay a bit extra and go where it is more exclusive.” Like going to St Anne’s instead of Blackpool. 

We hailed a taxi over the hill to our destination and went into the first restaurant we saw, Donna having declared that her malnutrition was so serious that her organs had started to consume each other.

The food came and looked too pretty to eat but eat it we did and it did not disappoint. We chatted about how we didn’t like cocktails, and I had a glass of wine because that’s what you do on holiday.

When we got back to the common bit of Phuket I wandered off to book a Muay Thai session. The guy I spoke to didn’t speak any English so I had to book through Google Translate.  He didn’t seem particularly enamoured at the idea of a session with a middle- aged English woman but I was quite certain I would win him over the next morning.

Meanwhile, Donna had gone to Bangla Walking Street, which is where of an evening touts thrust laminated menus of debauchery in your face: live sex shows, ping pong shows and all other manner of insalubrious business. She messaged me to say she was drinking cocktails.  I’d been minded to go for a sleep but thought I’d better join her instead. So I did,  and we found a quieter area of virtually empty bars to sit in and chat, neither of us being up for a Live Sex Show.

The following morning I somehow managed to get to Muay Thai. The owner had come to make sure I understood that Wun, my trainer, didn’t speak English. I think I must come across as someone who’s never exercised in my life, let alone done Muay Thai, so of course Wun was relieved when I knew the score, and when I used the international language of smiles and gestures. And that was it; my hangover was cured and I was raring to go. I’m not sure how much Donna appreciated the idea of going to actually watch some fights at the stadium that night but I think she enjoyed the show, especially the group of men sitting at the other side of the ring. I’ve never seen such a strangely fascinating bunch of people in my life.  I think they’d been transported from 1980 and plonked there all in a row.  Mustaches and bouffants; flicks and corn rows; bleached hair with dark roots. And facial expressions that were a cross between boredom, disgust and borderline sinister, especially when one of them rolled his eyes so much that you couldn’t see his pupils.  All very interesting but Donna wouldn’t let me stalk them to see where they went after the matches. Instead we got a tuk tuk back to the hotel and immediately crashed out.

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