The Adventures of Marianne

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Phi Phi Island Update

Day one of Marianne's time as a manual labourer (who would ever have thought!? isnt she too lazy?) is over, and it's been good. I'm volunteering with Hi Phi Phi doing tsunami relief and today I dug up and carried bricks since 8 this morning - tough work, but fun (for hard work). Met some great people which is great since I was terrified of being by myself.

On the way here though, I had some scary experiences - first, Singapore pointed out that I had overstayed my visa. I assumed I'd gotten a 30 day one, but no, on the Malaysian border they only give visas for 2 weeks. Anyways, 30 minutes and $150 poorer later, I made it to the plane on time at least. Man, I hate the Singaporean bureaucracy even more now.

In Phuket town, while waiting for the minivan to take me to the pier, however, I saw something truly disturbing. Two police officers came up to a monk that was sitting on a bench by the road and started harassing him. And I mean harassing. I always thought that people had a lot of respect for the monks, you know for their dedication or whatnot, but this one police officer was as far from respectful as possible. This guy struck me as the poster child for "bad cop" - he's the guy in movies who is on a power trip and gets personal satisfaction from being mean to the token hero. Tall and lean, and reeked of arrogance and corruption. Anyways, they start talking, and all of a sudden Officer grabs Monk's bag and emties it out on the ground. As Monk goes on the ground to pick up his things (two wooden sticks and some sarongs), Officer kicks him in the stomach, laughs his head off with his buddy and goes back to his motorbike. Monk hurries away down the alleyway. So sad.

Anyways, I'll be staying here on Phi Phi until Saturday and Sunday, when I'll take the bus to Ayutthaya via Bangkok. Hopefully it'll keep going well, and I won't kill myself going up or down the three metre ladder to my sketchy bungalow.


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