Do bare-feet and islands really suit?

23 Mar

The first thing I did before jumping out of the long tail boat onto the golden sand of Koh Jum island was take off my jandals (flip flops). As for me islands and bare-feet go together like Thailand and lady-boys, or do they?

I first questioned this long-time belief of mine when looking for a bungalow on Koh Jum. I was walking barefoot through the patchy grass of the bungalow grounds following a little old Thai lady. All of a sudden she squeals, turns on the spot starts chattering to me in Thai a hundred miles an hour. All I knew was that she wasn’t saying hello or thank you or counting to 10 or ordering a beer. Then she frantically starts pointing at the ground.

SHIIIIIITTTTT! Right there in the grass is a small snake, and he’s pretty pissed off, arcing up and hissing. Old lady starts barking orders. A Thai boy magically appears out of nowhere, studies the snake as if he was Steve Irwin and declares “cobra”. Then magically a shovel appears in his hand and in a very un-Steve Irwin way smashes it into a bloody dissected snake pulp. Then he magically disappears back to his magical place.

I’m left standing there with the old lady. She points at my bare-feet at which I’m now quite aware of. She wags her finger in a disapproving Judge Judy way “no, no” then points to the concrete battle worn path to our left. I wasn’t sure which would be more detrimental to the well-being of my feet, risking the snake infested grass or walking the mortar hit path. I was shaken, the path won hands down.

Now as I follow the little old lady avoiding what seem like mortar craters, but are just potholes from a life time of neglect I start thinking. Mama cobra’s going to be pissed off that her first born son has been brutally murdered at the hands of shovel wielding Thai crocodile hunter. I’m hoping that mama Cobra knows that I didn’t condone her son’s death.

As all this is going through my head, something attacks me! I let out a scream that shouldn’t come from a 27 year old male. The Thai lady swings around expecting to see mama cobra revenging her son’s death. But no, I sheepishly point to the leaf that is on the ground beside my foot that had fallen out of the tree as we walked under it, brushing my leg on its descent – It was a bloody big leaf though, the size of a table tennis bat!


The second time I questioned my belief about going barefoot on islands was in the civilised setting of one of the islands beach reggae bars watching sunset. Mandy had just come back from the toilet and was recounting her experience, most notably the unbearable stench.


An hour later when the sun had set and my bladder felt like an over inflated inner tube, I made my way through the sand to the toilet. I’m very happy to see that one of the 2 cubicles is home to a wall mounted urinal. The one that looks like big porcelain egg that has had the top front section cut out. These are perfect for barefoot peeing as you don’t have to stand on a urine soaked step like the traditional urinals and it also catches the drips that would otherwise land on your feet.


I fumble with my zipper like a getaway driver in a Hollywood film trying to put the key in the ignition as the police sirens get louder. Finally I get it and I’m rewarded with that euphoria that can only be reached when you have kept your urine captive for an unhealthily long time. This Euphoria is short lived as a tsunami of water hits my bare feet, warm water. It feels like I’m pissing on my feet, but how can I be, my aim is perfect, its hitting the stainless steel drain hole covering. The tsunami continues. Shit! I cut off mid stream, lean down and check out the plumbing. I should say lack of plumbing, there’s no piping at all!

Trouser snake in hand, I hop over the urine river that is now cascading down the entrance way of the toilet due to the lack of a drain. I reach the female’s cubicle and finish what I came to do. And I think to myself, why would you bother putting a urinal up with no piping, why not just have a sign on the wall saying, please urinate on the wall.

I go back to Mandy, sit down and say “I think I know what that stench in the toilet is”.

One Response to “Do bare-feet and islands really suit?”

  1. crystal edge March 26, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    I don’t know which snake story is scarier! You certainly are a lucky fellow, dear boy. Perhaps you could have used a real shower after story number two? This reminds me just a little of your Mexico mishap in the bathroom…

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