Spooked

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One minute I was lying on the bed getting a rubdown and the next thing I knew, I was running barefoot on the streets of Patong and up a hill hand in hand with the husband and a stranger…

We went on our long awaited holiday to Phuket last Saturday in spite of the Tsunami scare that had happened a few days earlier. We hemmed and hawed a bit for a day or two but decided to heck it and went ahead. It was suppose to be a stay in the villa in the hills all day kind of holiday but because of the rain, I had the bright idea of suggesting to the husband that we head to Patong for a look see. As it turned out, it was the worst decision of this holiday.

We were getting our back massages in a random shop when there was a sudden commotion. People were scrambling out of the shop and we followed suit after we hurriedly got dressed. There was a moment of panic when the husband took some time to locate his glasses which had fallen on to the floor. I still remember clearly running through the mall with an eerie feeling at the pit of my stomach. The mall had mostly emptied out as we were the one of the last ones to leave. I kept looking out for signs of a tsunami and was imagining that water would start gushing down the stairs at any time.

When we reached outside, we followed the crowds that were running towards the hills while trying to dodge vehicles which were obviously also trying to find some form of escape. The running didn’t stop till we reached the mid point of a fairly steep hill. Thank goodness for smartphones as we were later able to ascertain that there was no tsunami threat via the Internet but that there had been a quake recorded off the coast of Sumatra. We even called the Singapore embassy to check and they had no clue that there was something going on. The locals however had felt trembles, hence the mass panic.

Although it was kind of a false alarm, I still feel ever grateful to my masseuse, Ms Nom who stayed with us throughout and guided us to safety. The husband’s masseuse had long run away without even caring, which made Nom even more special and wonderful a person. We were the last ones out of the shop but yet she waited for us and made sure we knew where to go and what to do. If there really was an emergency, she basically would have saved our lives that day. When the ordeal was over and when everyone was heading back, she even helped us look for transport back to our hotel.

Needless to say, I was spooked for the rest of the trip to really enjoy it. But I am also truly grateful for this day which allowed me to see so much kindness and selflessness in the face of an ordinary person. The husband was also a real hero that day for staying so calm and collected throughout, making sure we were safe in our distressed state.

So grateful also that we were together when it happened and stayed together throughout the uncertainty. We saw a little Russian girl who got separated from her parents and another worried man looking for his wife among the people at the evacuation site. I really hope they managed to find their loved ones that day.

谈谈心,说说话

We swung by to Phuket (again!) over the weekend. It was an awfully short 3D2N trip but something that the husband really wanted to do – to take a break from the madness that was August. I can’t remember how the conversation even started or how we ended up booking the hotel and tickets…. but it somehow happened.

As with all our island holidays, we tend to stay in quite a bit, not bothering much about the “attractions” or even restaurants (unless they are really nearby). The choice of resort is very important to us and we’ve been very lucky to find really gorgeous places to stay at. It helps also that the husband is pretty generous with holiday budgets. =P Time was spent catching up on reading, conversations, exercise (him) and sleep!

The view from the Paresa villa was I feel the best that we’ve had on all our trips. The villa was comfortable and spacious, the facilities and food up to par. If I really had to compare though, the service at Alila properties is far more thoughtful and thorough. The villas weren’t 100% private either as certain angles weren’t sufficiently shielded from potential prying eyes. So no skinny dipping and we only used the outdoor shower once….and very quickly! The pool, while still in the villa compound was quite a distance from the room, so no stepping out into the pool straight from bed.

Don’t want to sound like the villa was bad because it wasn’t and it was actually a really nice place to be in. Think I’ve seen too much of the good stuff that expectations have built up over time.

Loved the huge tub overlooking the cliffside view and the therapists at the spa were really good. We also had 2 good dinners and a really yummy lunch with a “I still dream about it” coconut sherbet dessert.