Back to basics in Phuket


June 8, 2015 by pecanbutter

Assumption is a terrible thing. I got to admit that the entire set up was not like what I’d imagined it to be when I arrived this morning at Tiger Muay Thai in phuket. For one, I didn’t think this would be a rural area. Most of the shops around here sell Muay Thai equipments, rent out bikes. There were a couple of grocery shops, 1 or 2 minimarts, and another 2-3 crossfit gyms. That was about all. I’d assumed the place outside the gym to be bursting with life and energy and partying, given many caucasians hang out here. Now I know why the pro fighters flock here to train. There is nothing much to do here except train, eat, sleep. Exploring the place after dumping my luggage did little to help my disappointment. I was actually contemplating an early flight back home. The negative thoughts flooded me. I should have brought my lap top and media storage. I should have brought my magazines and other books. I should have. I should have. I should have. Now, what am I going to do with $300 SGD worth of thai baht in a ghost town like this?

Then things changed.

When the reception opened and I saw the schedule, I was excited and ready to go. There was a wide variety of things to do here, like yoga, crosstraining (the reason I am here), muay thai, MMA and even krabi-krabong. I thought to myself, hey this isn’t so bad after all. After all the payment was done, I decided to roll into town in search of coffee and something to buy, since there was no training session on Sundays. Maybe stock up on groceries or food stuff. Booked a cab, went down to Rawai beach for some seafood. The seafood scene says you buy your seafood from a stall outside the restaurant, bring your purchase into any restaurant and they will cook it for you. Makes little sense because they charge an exorbitant amount just to cook your food stuff. I’m guessing the reason people come to the restaurant was because the owner is friendly (Gypsy was recommended by the staff here at TMT, Nong. She said she brought her singaporean friends there and they loved it) He came over to talk to me, sharing with me that he was from singapore, married a thai and was here since. Maybe that was how people decide to send their seafood to him. Me included. I learnt something from that experience.

The sign which says NO MSG offered a bit of attraction as well, though I felt the dishes were cooked with too much salt and there was not much cooking variations. The oysters, I had it uncooked, which I probably should have eaten cooked because they didn’t look fresh, the mantis prawns (they look like centipedes) was deep fried in garlic, the shellfish in basil and garlic and the sotong with garlic and basil. Garlic and basil leaves ruled all the dishes. MSG alert was on because the dishes triggered my MSG meter and it triggered an insurmountable thirst for something sweet and fizzing after the meal. My in-built MSG detector needed coke light to down it. I ate 3 of the oysters. I hope they react to give me a little detoxing if they really are not fresh and not something more serious. I didn’t bring my first aid kit with me so no charcoal pills for a 8.3 Richter scale detoxing.

On the way back, I struck a deal with the cab uncle to gimme a ride to the premium outlet, then to the night market and then back to the gtym. Bypassing the office would probably earn him more cash. He agreed and so I left him alone to make phone calls to his chums and decide on a price. I trust him. He seems like an honest enough guy. He shared he was very tired after this morning’s ride from the airport so he went back to nap after he dropped me off. He had a late night because there was some family celebration oif his daughter’s graduation from med school. I think I caught him in a good mood there.

Next stop after the seafood (and some sun shine) was the premium outlets. That was a total waste of time and cab fare. Nothing good there and they didn’t sell coke light.My MSG loading was getting on my nerves. Luckily I managed to subdue it a little with ice water. I left the outlets empty handed. The last stop, the night market, was productive. I saw coke light the moment I stepped in. Nice. Bought a lot of food (maybe too much), guava, papaya, some rolls, open air cheesecake, chocolate cake and caramel cake. Too much carbo but I really wanted to try the cakes. The cakes were sold like all other food merchandise. I was surprised they didn’t melt in the heat. The market’s food attracted me more than the merchandise. I wanted to try the beef soup but then I remembered I wasn’t suppose to touch any red meat. I settled for some fish maw which looked good. There was MSG in it. Maybe I should stay off all sorts of soup. I had the first impression the night market was going to be like chatuchak in Bangkok because that was my first feel when I entered it,  but as I walked around I found that not to be true. For one, the stalls were not arranged according to any categories and two, they sell mostly the same stuff. CTC sells a wide variety of stuff for all age and gender. Three, there was no pet section. At the market was where I spent most of my cash on food. Great tasting food.

Night came finally. I hope the oil burner (bought at night market) with citronella (bought at night market too) will keep the mozzies away. Sleep came easy despite the caffeinated drink late in the day and the fact I’ve spent more than half of the Thai baht I brought here and I still had another 5 days more to go.


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