Took my laundry downstairs, the laundry form said it would be done by that night, but apparently that was before they stopped having a laundry service at the hotel. They really expected me to drop it off at a laundry place down the block. With them dropping it off it would take till tomorrow. Had their free breakfast, which was not much of one. Nice omelet, some kind of stir-fried squid, sweet roll, watermelon, stale croissant.
Back upstairs, dropped off the kindle, took most of my clothes (including some laundry) on a taxi ride to the post office which is a couple of miles away, mailed it surface, started waiting for a taxi back but needed a restroom, and the nice lady at the massage place next door let me use theirs. And she pointed me to a doctor's office in walking distance, so I went and had my alleged spider bites looked at. Three places on my left had have an ugly cluster of rashes and are swollen. The cream I go from the pharmacy last night had not helped at all.
The doctor was all about checking for infection trails, thinking it might be shingles. There is a relatively new shingles vaccine, so anything even remotely resembling shingles becomes suspect. But this is not shingles. It isn't an insect bite, either, he said, but it needs an antibiotic cream stronger than the one I had been using. He prescribed one, they filled it, the whole thing only cost 200 Baht (about $7). He also told me to come back immediately if I saw infection trails up my arm. "Nothing serious" he said, but I think he expects the cream will take longer to work than the 5 days I have left in Thailand.
On my walk I noticed a row of girlie bars, which were not open yet.
Taxi back to the hotel, read some, went up to the 6th floor rooftop swimming pool and paddled around a bit. There was some eye candy, all Russian. Two well-endowed redheads and a slim blond with a cute butt. One redhead was with her husband.
It was very hot up there, no shade, so I went back to the room for some online time. At 5:30 I called my friend David, who was going to take me to dinner (we'd talked in Bangkok, he's another former PCV and I've had dinner with him the last two trips). Traffic was bad, it took an hour to get here, and he came from the opposite direction from where I expected. Meanwhile I had a nice chat with the gate guard, who was surprised to hear that unemployment in America is about as bad as it is here.
David's wife was with him, the first time we had met. She's Thai, but was a nurse in the US for many years so her English is very good. We all talked mostly in English with some Thai thrown in as needed.
The plan had been to go to a restaurant near the hotel, but David was on autopilot and we landed at a place near his home (clear across the island) we had eaten at in 2005. Excellent meal, but the service sucked. Not just slow, but they brought the wrong wokked veggie dish and did nothing about it when David's wife pointed it out. After dinner we had tea at his house, then they drove me back to the hotel.
I changed from the "polite" clothes into cut-offs and a t-shirt, and found a taxi to take me back to that row of bars near the doctor's. Except I got the name of the road wrong and ended up at a row of bars in the next town over.
The usual loud music, but the girls were just hanging out there, most of them smoking, and once I sat down they went away. I did get a chance to chat at one of the bars way at he end of a street which still showed some tsunami damage. The woman's story was unusual. She was from Chiang Mai in the north, had moved to Bangkok to find work, fond it in Ayudhya instead, got married here, had a boy and a girl, and after 12 years her husband abandoned them. Her mother took the children back to Chiang Mai, and she came to Phuket to work.
Back to the hotel, this time the tuk-tuk driver drove an urban assault vehicle.
Plans for tomorrow:
Find something to do.