Another 60km to Phangnga City today. We rode past banana plantations and invented a game playing diffractometry with the rows of trees. Thais are big inventors and reusers too, like the siamese motorcycle I mentioned yesterday or the roadside trash cans made entirely of a repurposed and inverted tire, with the stand assembled from cut up quarters of the sidewall. Instead of installing electric lights in their outside bathrooms, they make the doors translucent plastic and let the sun do the work. Even their national hero, Phraya Phichai, protected the kingdom against a Burmese invasion by fighting with two broken swords. They create art and beauty where there was none (bed origami in every hotel / menageries folded in linen) and everything that can be painted the color of an orchid, is. Even royalty participates: the king is a photographer and the number one princess is an actress.
In the late afternoon we rested and watched a transvestite cabaret on TV with horrified fascination, not because of the gender norms but because that is seriously the least melodious xylophone playing I have ever heard. We gathered with our guides for dinner just as the giant fruit bats were impressively doing the same, but then the meal was ruined by this horrible old Floridian woman who complained about everything, even the unparalleled shrimp with tamarind sauce that I could have eaten ten of. Danny and I claimed an aversion to the restaurant’s moquitoes and instead of lingering over Leo and nam kang we went for a long walk on the boardwalk through the mangrove swamp.