Our final Thai stop in Phuket
General update, we have decided to leave Thailand. It was a tough decision but decided to resign from my dream position in Krabi. Many things were factored into this decision, including poor planning on my visa situation, a mild panic attack, and a general desire to travel and not be tied down. In the end, I feel good about leaving and I am excited about the unknown road ahead.
After Koh Phi Phi, we took the ferry to Phuket and I gotta admit I didn't hate it. To all of those who asked me which island to visit and I disgustingly advised not to visit Phuket, I apologize for my ignorance. I prejudged and based my opinion on stereotypes. I'm an awful person. However, I still would not recommend Phuket over any of the other islands I've been to unless you are looking for a prostitute or a full blown Vegas style " What happens in Phuket, stays in Phuket" type of week. I think the reason I liked it was because it seemed livable, but as a vacation spot, ehhhh. It's crowded and big and the beaches look like the Jersey shore on a hot summer day (not an inch of sand to be spared). But it is very mountainous and beautiful in its own right.
We stayed in a cute little bungalow on the edge of Patong. It felt airy and homey and had a kitchen and a pool and my first question upon checking in was "how much for the month?". The price was surprisingly reasonable, and we toyed with the idea of moving to Phuket. Why not? There's plenty of work and if after a month we don't find work all we've lost is the ridiculously cheap rent. It was settled, we were moving to Phuket.
The next morning as we are drinking our coffee on the porch, the man living across from us gets dropped off by a taxi. He has a beer in his hand and a young Thai girl on his arm. They are giggling immensely. He immediately changes into a thong and pops a Celine Dion cd on and they start ravaging each other to "you are my lady and I am your man" on their balcony. We gather from his accent that he is Russian, and he knows barely any English. She is Thai and knows barely any English. Their exchanges are limited to him saying "boom boom boom I want you in my room" and she responds with "you sexy" while slapping his bare ass. This charade carried on all day outside on their balcony for all to see. A little while later, the man staying next door goes to the front desk and says he wants one. 10 minutes later a girl is dropped off and a 3 day binge bender begins for our neighbors. Phuket is something else.
Suddenly walking down the streets in Phuket all I can focus on is the vast amount of men. Dirty men with one goal in mind. I'm exhausted by the old white man/young Thai women dynamic that has defined Thailand. It was then I decided I can't live here anymore. It was bad in a Korat, but Phuket is the Mecca of Thai/foreign prostitution. This wasn't my reason for leaving Thailand, but it was the tip of the iceberg.
After much deliberation (Should we move somewhere else to teach? Where? Should we just travel? Where? Should we go back to the US? And live where?) we decided to move to our favorite city of Hoi An, Vietnam. There are a ton of language schools in a Danang so work should be easy to find. Flights booked, visas rushed, we are headed back to Vietnam.