It took a whole 27 hours between layovers and 4 flights to get here and although I lost both my bags along the way, I wouldn't trade it for the unforgettable scenery when I flew over Hong Kong, or my meeting with my final destination, which has already exceeded my expectations. Phuket is adorable, tropical, underdeveloped, friendly and relaxed. The people smile and greet you everywhere you go. My bosses Tina and Carl picked we up from the airport which is approximately an hour from my home and our office in Kamala (pronounced cam-a-la). Driving for my first hour on the island was hilly, winding and beautiful. Palm trees mixed in with giant tall shady pine looking trees and blooming flowers. The normal 3rd world unregulated road rage frenzy is well in place here although I must say they are quite more upscale having paved concrete, designated parking spots and sometimes even yellow lines. I think I saw a handful of people use their blinkers on my drive in.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays there is a local farmers market, lucky for me since I arrived on a Wednesday I could pick up some groceries before heading to my new home. The market is a ghetto structured layout of vendor booth after vendor booth clustered together in a zig-zag format. The smells are so aromatic it will make you hungry even if you just ate a feast. People passed me with coconuts split in half filled with the milk, some nuts, lime and some spices which they ate with a spoon. I followed Tina to her fruit man where mangos came in three varieties all for 1.75 per kilo. Tina said this was considered expensive and most often the varieties were different week to week. I saw about 4 different varieties of lychees, passion fruit watermelon, papaya, limes etc... Off to the Vegetable woman where I bought 2 carrots bigger than any carrots I've ever seen, fresh mint, coriander, scallions, ginger with the stalk still on in, fresh lettuce, cherry tomatoes, baby sweet cucumbers and large cucumbers, fresh broccoli rab, huge golden yukon potatoes, yellow onion, sugar snap peas and limes all for 120 baht (thats like 3.50). Then I went to the meat stand where I saw the freshest, cleanest looking chicken I've ever seen. You pick out your own meat from the different cuts lying out on on a huge table and put them in your tray which they then charge you like 50 baht for a couple kilos (1.50). There were shrimp, prawns, fish, pork, coconut milk, rice, eggs for 1 baht, egg noodles made the day of, and in case you get hungry from all the beautiful colors there's people frying the ingredients around you in huge woks making beautiful food everywhere you turn. It's a farmers market heaven out here- all they need is a bakery ; )
My apartment is quaint, and larger than I expected (so quite nice). So far I'm enjoying it very much. I have a big bed, basic kitchen amenities for cooking, two bedrooms, a shower, an air conditioner, a nice balcony and my wonderful neighbors downstairs of course (My office) : Phuket Has Been Good To Us.
Today I'll take some pix of work and apartment for you and try to find me a motorbike!