Do we really share the same jeans? Ah, I mean genes...
Now I love my sister dearly. And we’ve had a blast since she arrived in Asia. Myself, Sophie and her friend Megs have had a great time bouncing around Malaysia and Thailand. But, sometimes I do have to ponder the question of genes. Here are just some of the stories of stupidity and wanton destruction of property from the first 10 days of our travels.
I’d been out in the morning to the Petronas Towers. A somewhat tedious exercise waiting in queues for a couple of hours then a rather disappointing visit to the sky bridge. Still it was ticked off the list. I had a few things to do that day around Kuala Lumpur, to prepare for Soph and Megs arrival the following day. Get my Thai visa in play and pick up my camera being the most important ones. I briefly returned to the hostel to grab some stuff and was shocked to find Soph and Megs waiting for me in the hostel. After not seeing her in over 6 months my first words were “What the f___ are you doing here?” Not the best greeting I know, but I was in shock. Turns out Soph had told me the wrong arrival date, on multiple occasions. And she didn’t even notice when we were running through plans on the phone the week before.
Mid sentence she disappeared. One minute she was sitting around the table talking, the next she was gone. Crumpled in a heap on the ground, the chair she was sitting on lying in two pieces next to her. I couldn’t help it, I laughed. Megs laughed. Soph laughed. And a whole restaurant full of Malaysians laughed. Some things, like breaking a chair, are universal.
One beer down in a bar at Railay, enjoying a game of pool. After one of her amazing fluky pool shots she was swing the pool cue around for her next shot. Suddenly there was a large bang. Everyone spun towards the noise. A chunk of plastic spun wildly through the air before landing square on the pool table. It was followed by a whirring clanking sort of noise. The wall-mounted fan was not well, and sounded like it was dying. It took us a moment to work out she had swung the pool cue into the wall-mounted fan whilst it was spinning, snapping off one of the plastic fan blades.
It was late at night and we’d had a few drinks. We’d been sitting at t relaxing bar watching live music and a fire dancing show. Soph was fading fast, almost falling asleep on the chair. She headed home on her own. We discussed walking her home, but decided she would be fine on her own.
Bad decision. After a little dancing Megs and I followed her back to the room. Megs went to open the door. It wouldn’t open. She tried again. Then I tried. It was locked.
We knocked on the door, hammered on the windows and yelled at the walls. But no-one was stirring, except probably the rest of the hotel; we were making a hell of a racket. I tried the windows; I even somehow managed to scale the wall behind our room to peer in the tiny bathroom window, but no luck. We attempted to break in, trying every window. Even trying to jimmy the locks with credit cards and bobby pins. Unfortunately we both lack experience in breaking into rooms, and we failed.
The problem was we had no idea if she was in there. The curtains were shut, her shoes were not outside the door and we had no evidence to say she had made it home. We had to check the town. So we spent the next hour scouring the small village of Railay East searching for her, but to no avail. We were both pretty pissed off by this stage and we decided to back to the bar, dancing for a while before again heading back. I was a few minutes behind Megs and my heart sank when I saw her camped outside our room. I made one last attempt at breaking in, again scaling the wall behind the room. I tried the windows one last time. The room had a lot of windows and i realised there was one I hadn’t tried. I pulled at it but nothing happened. For some reason, I tried again and it moved slightly. I managed to eventually prise it open and tried to climb in. The window was tight, and relatively high, so I very ungracefully fell head first into the room, letting out a curse as I hit the floor. I pulled myself up and looked around the room. I saw a small lump in the middle of the bed. It was Soph, happily fast asleep. We made as much noise as we could when we came in, but she was oblivious, sleeping through it all.
The Fish Bath
We decided to try the famous fish baths. Those large tanks full of small cleaner fish that suck the dead skin from your feet and legs. Now this was ticklish, and it’s very hard to keep a straight face. For the first couple of minutes you are jumpy, smiling and laughing, but you get used to it. Now most people do. Soph on the other hand was in hysterics for the whole twenty minutes. We thought it was hilarious, watching her squirm and squeal as the fish nibbled on her skin. So did the staff, and all the other customers in the shop. She even drew a street audience. She left with not only smooth feet but an aching abdomen from laughing so hard.
The Sea Snake
We had one spectacular day of diving on Ko Phi Phi. More marine life than you can poke a stick at and a lot of fun. We were heading through a small underwater canyon in single file. Anna, the dive master out in front, the Soph and then me. They had stopped to ogle a lion fish and were hovering a few centimetres off the sea floor. Soph had picked the perfect spot to hover, right above a banded Sea snake, which was happily cruising about just under her legs. Now sea snakes aren’t aggressive, and they are not designed to bit large sea-going mammals (i.e., scuba divers) but if you are unlucky their bite can pack a deadly wallop. This presented me a slight dilemma. Do I point out the sea snake and risk her panicking, or move her out of the way. I decided to try to get her to come up a bit, and tried to signal her to move up. She just stared upwards, and shrugged, thinking I was trying to point something out. Of course as she looked up she actually sank more, towards the sea snake. I eventually grabbed her vest, pulled her up a few centimetres then pointed down, and she finally understood.
These stories are from 10 days on the road. What can happen in the next 3 weeks? I hate to think. But I am quite sure this is only volume 1 of "The Sibling Chronicles."