Ahh today. Our one and only Tuesday in Hua Hin. A twenty-four hour time period we shall never be able to reclaim. Where to start? How about with this. Why are people so timid? Included in our hotel package is an all you can eat breakfast buffet. It includes fruit, juice, a variety of yoghurts, a noodle station, traditional Thai breakfast foods, Japanese foods, (including sushi), bacon, sausage, grilled tomatoes and potatoes, eggs any style, pancakes, breads, muffins, bread pudding (Heaven,I’m in Heaven) cereals etc. This is a very extensive buffet and, as I said, eat as much as you want of it – they don’t care. Then why is it that people (ie Terry) feel guilty when she tries to sneak a baked pretzel out? After all, she eats less than half of what I do in the morning and less than a third of what some of our German friends eat. And today the people next to us we’re trying to surreptitiously slip two 4 inch bananas and 2 pretzel into their pockets. Do we think some little Thai person is going to jump up and done yelling “You steal! You steal!”
Anyway after breakfast it is off to Black Mountain Golf Course. On the way out we asked the driver about all the dogs. There are literally hundreds of them roaming around. They are very placid however – maybe its the heat. I think the driver told us that people sometimes leave pregnant dogs at the Buddhist temple where they get fed and then multiply. I also think he said it is illegal to kill them, but some people capture them and take them to Vietnam Nam where they are sold and eaten.
We had been told that the course is immaculate but that the staff is not terribly friendly. On the way out our driver told us the same thing – that the people in the pro-shop will do everything they can to avoid eye contact. Hmm, a challenge I think. In we go. Sure enough, about two minutes in, although they are dealing and talking with us, they haven’t yet made actual eye contact. Terry and the driver are standing behind me and Terry turns to him and says “You’re right”. He had also told us that he had heard that the owner’s perspective/response has been “If you don’t like it, don’t play my course.” so you can see where they get it from. The course was fantastic – beautiful holes and a really good test of golf. I had my best round here (84) but Terry not so much. I also had a great caddy who was lots of fun. Terry’s caddy carried on the course’s reputation. I wouldn’t say she was surly, but I would agree with Terry that after about the 6th or 7th hole she was disinterested in helping Terry play better. A couple of caddie stats: #1: 8 rounds of golf, 8 times the caddies have said to me “Madame very beautiful, (along with either very thin or very sexy); #2: 8 rounds of golf 7 times I get the friendly English speaking caddy and Terry gets, well, let’s just say that tomorrow Terry is choosing her caddy. Anyway, tomorrow we play Banyan which is apparently just as good a golf course but with a great staff.
Came back to town and went to Banana IT where I had left my computer, hoping they could fix it. Sadly, no joy there either.
To top it all off we had THE worst, and certainly the most expensive, meals we’ve had in Thailand. One of the drivers who takes us to the golf courses recommended a few places to us, so we thought we would give one of them a try. Turns out the one the tuk tuk took us to (say that 5 times!) wasn’t the one on the paper, but Geoff said “Hey, let’s try it – sometimes the best places are the ones you stumble on”. We should have stumbled right back out. So we are shown to a lovely table and our waiter turns out to be a hoverer. He hovers as we look at the menu. He hovers after we order drinks, since he has told someone else to get them. He hovers about making suggestion after suggestion. Finally we order the fish cakes to start – just to get rid of him for a few minutes. “A most excellent choice, they are very good tonight.” Ha! I agree with Terry – the only fish was the fish oil the tofu was cooked in, and cooked until they tasted like flavored rubber. We should have left at that point, but oh no, we soldier on. When the hoverer returns, we tell him we like the food “Thai medium”, which means ten chilies per dish. It turns out he is a hoverer, not a listener. The kale in oyster sauce arrives stone cold with no spiciness whatsoever, the rice arrives stone cold, the baked fish arrives tepid, no spice and the grilled prawns arrived via a deep fryer. It was a disaster. When the hoverer returns I tell him the kale and rice are cold and he scurries off. To get replacement dishes? Not on your life. He never came near us again until he had to give us our change. I stand up and tell him “This was the worst food we have had in three weeks in Thailand. It was awful” The woman at the next table hasn’t ordered yet and her eyes are as big as saucers as I say this. I turn to her and say “Don’t eat here” and leave.
No response from the hoverer.
Luckily we had some good ice cream when we got back into town.