Southeast Asia, Day 2: ALL the food in Patong Beach

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Today Mom and I were getting a girls’ day. Dad was absent due to his scheduled dives. If all went well, he’d be receiving his diving certification today.

After lacking sustenance for most of the day yesterday, I was thrilled for the breakfast buffet the resort had to offer.

Mom and I went to breakfast and it exceeded expectations. There was an omelette bar with a chef making made-to-order eggs, a bakery section with croissants and various kinds of breads, six different fresh juices including mango and guava, cereals and muesli, fresh mango and banana smoothies, yogurts, European options like cheese and thinly shaved meats, a hot Halal section with spring rolls, and about eight domes of hot Thai food including green chicken curry. Yes, I could have green chicken curry for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So, without hesitation, I had Frosted Flakes, some spring rolls, and green chicken curry for breakfast. Oh, did I mention that a waitress went around asking your coffee orders of mocha or cappuccinos? Because she did.

After a filling breakfast, Mom and I went out, but not without first stopping at the front desk to get some key Thai phrases written down by the friendly front desk staff: “hello,” ”thank you,” and “how much?”

Vanuatu is limited in its shop options, as there are practically no options between expensive Westernized shops and the cheaper-than-a-dollar-store Chinese import shops. Seeing options of shops with accessories I could actually afford was mind-blowing to me. One of the first shops we walked into was decorated with a winking cat and named “Pink Pvssy.” It was filled with jewelry and purses and fun travel pouches and swim shorts, and in the back was a section of bachelorette party accessories including penis-shaped straws and slippers emblazoned with giant plush boobs.

We wandered around in and out of shops, and I tried my new phrases. The tricky one was “how much,” since the salesperson would respond in Thai and I had no clue what they were saying. I quickly found that their usual practice of holding up a calculator with the price was a lot more efficient.

I needed a new swimsuit bottom, but all the shops only sold their suits in bikini sets. It was difficult to just shop around here, as prices were never listed and always open to negotiation. I just wanted to get a snapshot of pricing but I was a little shaken after one storeowner told me a price and upon my walking away she grabbed my arm and begged me to tell her what price I wanted so I could buy the item right then and there. It was difficult to convey that I was just looking. At one store, I even said just that, that I was just looking, to which the shop owner asked, “why not buying?”

After making a big loop sound the touristy Patong Beach shopping area, we found the spa (Tower Massage) that Mom was looking for all day, one she’d been to a few days prior. We stepped inside and each received manicures and foot massages, which, with tips included, cost us sixteen dollars each. I’d never gotten a manicure before, since I can do a fine enough job myself, but it was nice to get the accompanying head massage and plush chair to sit on.

The rest of the day was more shopping (I found myself a retro-inspired jungle bikini) and walking and spring roll eating until the late afternoon arrived and we went to the hotel to hang out by the pool. Later that evening, Dad arrived with the fantastic news that he passed and successfully received his certification. We changed, Mom opened my birthday present to her (a hand-painted sarong from Vanuatu) and we headed out to dinner. We weren’t very hungry, and I decided not to eat anything at all while Mom and Dad enjoyed Weiner schnitzel and tom yum soup, respectively, at a place called Break Point. On the way home, they returned to the hotel while I sought out a late night banana Nutella crepe.

I’m really loving the food options here. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store.