Beer and Wine
So, at last, my first drink in 13 days. Leaving nothing to chance I purchased a bottle of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon before leaving town in the morning. I knew that beer would be available chilled anywhere and everywhere along the way, as would something stronger should I desire, but I did not. Wine and beer were my hearts desire. Wine and beer by the sea.
Navigationally I went a little wrong again. I am wondering if my wonky leg has addled my brain a tad, or is it the abstinence from ale? I began riding and somehow I failed to turn off of the main highway where I should have done. Not quite sure how I managed that. I had an image of the junction in my mind’s eye, but I never came to that junction, which now leaves me puzzled as to where that junction is if it is not where I thought it was. It surly exists and it’s whereabouts is now bothering me. Anyway, once I realised that I had gone further than necessary I turned off. It is all straight forward really. You turn left and keep going, if you get wet you have gone too far as you are in the sea. Best turn south just before the sea and keep going. Jolly fine.
I got to my usual place to rest for the night and as it was early I carried on a bit and found that it is only a kilometre away from a village full of guest houses along a beach. A Thai beach as in a beach for Thai tourist, not for falang*. Well, falang can go there of course, but they don’t, much. Anyway, I checked the prices of rooms and found that a minimum of 800 bhat seemed to be considered normal, my usual place is 300 bhat. Usual place by the river it is then.
It was around 2PM and I said to myself “you know what Walks, it is about time for a cold beer”. So that was the decision made. I went to a small shop and rummaged around in the fridge looking for the coldest beer they had. The lady in the shop said something in Thai that I assumed meant something along the lines of “clearly the falang has not had a drink for thirteen days and is in dire need of the coldest bottle in the county, let me assist the handsome young fellow”. So she joined me rummaging around in the fridge and soon we came to a bottle that we both considered to be suitably chilled. I thanked her kindly, paid her which is in keeping with the local custom, and made my way to the beach. There I found a seat, plugged myself into my IPod and settled down to savour my ice cold beer. Of course it was both nice, and, an anticlimax.
As I drank my beer I sat watching some teenagers in the sea. Thais are funny when they go in the sea as they keep their clothes on, all of them. There was a group of them and there was a girl in a red tee shirt and a boy in a blue tee shirt. He followed her closely and she knew it and clearly enjoyed being followed closely. They remained slightly apart from the rest of the group most of the time. it is interesting to watch this behaviour, very often the two people involved are the last to see it. Was it all different at that age I wondered. I guess it was. Was it nicer? I don’t know, with rose tinted specs it seems that way but I guess it wasn’t, it was just different. This all went on for quite some time and eventually a wave pushed them together and they had a brief and ‘accidental’ hug. It was nice; good luck to them both.
What I found interesting about the beer, aside from the fuzzy feeling of relaxed well being that flowed over me was the amount of room it took up in my stomach. It really was rather filling and I began to understand why people that don’t drink much find large bottles of beer very, well, large.
I finished the beer and that little voice that sometimes nags me started up again. “Go on then, open the wine” it said. “Really?” I said out loud, which I immediately regretted as the two girls wandering past gave me a pitying look and quickly upped their pace. As I have mentioned in a previous post my never failing system for overcoming temptation is to give in to it, and so I did. I filled my mug with wine, selected some jazz on my IPod, and sat back and relaxed. It was a fine day.
*Thai for foreigner