I tried to fly from Melbourne to Bangkok with an expired passport, a crime punishable by international aviation law. The next day I went to the US Consulate and finagled a new one (the pitiful look on my new passport photo could only mean one thing: I auditioned for Everybody Loves Raymond and lost out to the turd who plays his brother) while De Campo drank to much coffee and revised the flight itinerary.
We flew to Bangkok later that night. The flight was terrible. The legroom we scored with emergency exit seats were occupied by a continuous flow of filthy, abusive drunks and lumbering, mad mothers burping their beastly little beauty pageant hopefuls.
It was then that it occured to me I have unwittingly opted for a path not dissimilar to the suspected murderer of Jon Benet Ramsay.
Our secluded resort is located on a mountain on the Island of Phuket overlooking Kamala Beach, a quiet village ten kilometers away from the buzzing markets and nightlife of Patong. We taxi around in buggies that look like oversized dog kennels. We visit Patong often to try on pants we're having made in cashmere for dirt cheap or dine on roast duck curry as the sun goes down. At night the streets of Patong are inhabited by transsexuals who climb upon tables inside open air bars and try to sell you imitaion watches.
I spent the first couple of days in bed trembling feverishly and subsisting on Robitussin and the odd kernel of popcorn.
There are literally no flies here whatsoever. Every attempt on my part to befriend a family of frogs who live in the pond outside the palatial living quarters has been met with a croak of indifference.
Locals are loquacious, hospitable; hostile if they're trying to sell you something and they can't make drinks worth a damn. An afternoon devoted to the swim up bar exposed the pool boys total incompetence at making five dollar cocktails. A piss poor Margarita was the final straw. "More salt?" Wilmer Valderrama asked cluelessly.
Restauranteurs seem to have bottled the Tsunami that hit here in December of 2004 and then implanted our meals with it because invariably five hours after eating, the turmoil begins.
There is also ample romance over and above the indigestion.
Your fragile foreign correspondent,