As I’m typing this email, the inverter guys are fixing (hopefully it will all work as it seems it will) our inverter. Yippee. And if our inverter were going to have issues, this is the best place since the only Vitron sales and service office of Thailand is here. If there is one in Malaysia, Randal doesn’t know where it is. But then we didn’t need to know up until this week where any local dealer was located. The service guys seem pretty knowledgeable and friendly and really trying to make it work. Anyone who wants to know more specific facts about the inverter story will have to email Randal. We might possibly need to replace the small control box; but that "only" costs about $400 US rather than the $4,000 to replace the entire inverter. So how’s our luck doing? I did light those incense sticks at the seafarers’ temple. Actually, my real faith is in Randal to get things fixed and he knows that.
Mosaic floor at the Tourism Authority of Thailand Visitor Center.
Notice the shoes. Sometimes you are told to remove your shoes: other times we asked and were told we could wear our shoes. I wore my sandals just for this sort of thing rather than my more comfortable sneakers. Flip flops that slide on and off are the best, but I can’t wear mine for long treks. We rested here in the AC for a bit. They provided water, coffee, brochures and a rest room. Perfect.
The Old Post Office now the Philatelic Museum
The new post office is just next door. We mailed our post cards careful not to lick the stamps. Not for health reasons, but because Thai custom finds that very unclean. There was probably a wet sponge somewhere. I just licked my finger and then spread it on the stamp. Too much info, huh? The old post office reminds me of old diner restaurants back in the US.
Feather Duster man. Suza asked to take his photo. Then she bought an ostrich feather.
Promthep Clock Tower
“Built during WW1 (2457 on the Buddhist calendar) the clock tower towered as a four storey structure without a clock for 62 years. The original clock brought from Europe was lost due to the ship sinking. A clock finally arrived in 1976, through the Lion’s Club Phuket donations. The roof resembles an old style police cap.” www.ArtAndCultureAsia.com
You can tell who tours Thailand by the languages of the books in the used book shops. German, French, Italian, English. And what expats, tourists and cruisers read. Lots of murder mysteries! Suza and I didn’t go in, but a few days later Randal and I did. He bought a book about Stanley and Livingston and I bought a murder mystery by Jill Paton Walsh. One of the small restaurants here at the Marina has a book exchange so I will check there too and bring some of my “already read” books. I do miss having a library!!!! Being able to read for free is an incredibly wonderful service that most Americans take for granted. You should all go immediately and thank your local library!!!
Shrine of Serene Light (Suza’s photo) Our final stop of the day
“Built in 1889 (2432 on the Buddhist calendar), this Taoist Temple was constructed by a local Hokkien Chinese family. The interior wall murals tell many of the stories of Si-in-gui, a legendary folk hero. Chinese characters on the two side walls are blessings and protection for Tungkah, now known as Phuket.” www.ArtsAndCultureAsia.com
Suza taking a photo of the murals.
Unfortunately this was our last stop for the day and I know that I was too hot and tired to appreciate all there was to see. Now, having read more, I would like to spend the time to see it again. You can see the ostrich feather that Suza bought from the feather duster man.
Blessing and Protection ?
The one on the right is holding a sword. When Randal and I visited Old Town Phuket the entrance to this temple was blocked by construction and Randal really didn’t want to go anyway. If I go back again someday, I’ll pay more attention.
Hand holding paint brush.
I was also curious about the lady too. There were several “volunteers” taking care of preparing paper offerings and things.
Suza and I had met at 9 am, caught a taxi to Phuket town, and returned to the marina about 6 pm. A very full day. Randal and I went back the following Tuesday. We lasted about 4 hours tops!
First stop, a hardware store
Randal and I skipped most of the tourist spots and visited hardware shops and the supermarket. Luckily I’d already seen lots with Suza. Suza and I agreed that when the guys go, hardware shops seem to be their favorite and there’s too little time for souvenir shopping. Now souvenir shopping doesn’t mean buying; it just means spending time looking. And as stereotypical as it sounds, guys go for the hardware shops and women go for the souvenir shops. Define souvenir as “non-boat things.” Everyone equally seems to like shopping for food and drink, at least the big provisioning expeditions. And there are some women like our friend Marie-Louise who single-hands her sail boat and loves hardware shops too. I certainly appreciate them more than I used to, but not for long amounts of time. Now I bring a book when I go with Randal. He looks around the hardware shop and I read my book.
This guy either owned or managed the restaurant where Randal and I ate lunch. He was also a musician. All that hair must have weighed a ton. And hair that weighs a ton is definitely something I know. It looked like a typical funky restaurant you’d find in the US with old Coca Cola ads and such. Just the food was more authentically Thai.
We walked around a bit more but then, about 2 caught a taxi back to the marina.
Suza and I toured Old Town Phuket on Friday, February 26th. The following Sunday Suza and her husband Rick and Randal and I did a half-day "Island Safari." It was hokey but fun and I finaly got to, if not ride a waterbuffalo, at least sit on one. We also went for an elephant ride though I think I don’t like being so far off the ground and so little in control. I prefer a small, oldish horse with the reins in my hand. I have about a zillion photos from that too.