Monday, 27 August 2007

Samet, Samet But Different!

When daughter Anna flew in from UK with Will, after a night at The Atlanta in Bangkok, they took a bus straight to the beaches of Koh Samet, that little jewel of an island, so lovely yet so very close to the Big Mango. We then drove down to meet them and to bring them back to our village in Surin province and then on to Laos.

I'm always pleased to go back to Koh Samet because of its literary associations. It features of course in the works of the Thai epic poet, Sunthorn Plu and also in that remarkable novel by Andrew Hicks, aptly entitled, "Thai Girl".

This was the place, the very beach, where early on in my life of early retirement I sat up late and filled my notebooks with impressions of all I had encountered that were later to be stitched together into the most heart-rending of all Romeo and Juliet stories since R and J itself. Sadly Shakespeare never made it to Koh Samet but if he had, I'm sure he'd have written something similar.

Many blogs ago I posted a picture of Uluru or Ayers Rock in Australia with the added speculation that the Thai tourist authorities seemed to have constructed a replica of the rock in the sea off Samet just to amuse tourists staying at Ao Wong Duern. My photos do suggest a passing resemblance to Uluru but, as I remember, the replica was exact in every detail.

Thinking back to the moment some years back when this struck me so forcibly, I now am a little troubled. I'm asking myself what exactly I was on that particular night to make me so deluded. Or, even worse, should I say, 'that day'? At night it's so dark you can't see anything at all except the bright lights of the squid fishers shining out there in infinite inkiness.

Okay so this tiny islet isn't Uluru... it's 'same, same but different' as they like to say in Thailand.

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