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Society & Lifestyle
Here we present unique adventures from the modern society and lifestyle.

Green Without Envy: The Rainy Season in Phuket - Thailand!

2007-09-23
A major tourist destination located in the South of Thailand, the island of Phuket is known for its white sandy beaches, friendly locals and exciting nightlife. Yet during the months of June to October the nightlife comes to a screeching halt. Unfortunately the rainy season in Phuket has not been dubbed “the green season” because of the colour of the money that comes in, but rather from the lush green vegetation that is a result of four months of almost constant rain.
Phuket,Thailand,bar,beach,tourists,people,low season

Photo (for illustration). A bar in Phuket, Thailand. © Travel Explorations.

During this time many small bars and restaurants simply shut down since they are either ill prepared to handle the weather or the costs to remain open are higher then to close for the season. The clientele of the few bars that do stay open tend to be the employees and their families. More often times than not the employees outnumber the customers. It was in the middle of a downpour during the green season that I happened to take shelter in a bar on the southern tip of the island.

The bar was completely empty on a Friday night in Phuket—a rather unheard of occurrence during the high season. The three women who worked at the bar played pool in the corner and listened to bad Thai pop music on the radio. Laughing and telling jokes, the employees of the bar seemed to be enjoying themselves.

It was obvious from the women’s enthusiasm that I had been the only customer in the bar that night. Engaging me in conversation with their broken English, the employees of the bar were all friendly and polite—except for one. Glaring at me since I entered the bar, she held a cigarette between her small fingers, sucking on the filtered end as if it were a lollipop. Using her hand to form a fake lighter she lit her cigarette and took a puff, blowing pretend smoke through her lips she looked at me with a smirk on her face. Her shirt was pulled down so that her nipples were showing and her hair was matted to one side. She couldn’t have been more than four years old. I couldn’t stop staring.

Filled with the usual Thai bar décor of bad animal print furniture, various ratty pool tables and a bamboo floor, this bar would never have passed U.S. Child Protective Services as a decent place to raise a child.

Yet during the rainy season in Thailand it is normal for mothers to have their children at work with them—even if that meant having them in a bar until dawn. While the women were friendly and attentive towards me, they either didn’t notice or didn’t care about the little girl sucking on cigarettes.

Around closing time, the little girl disappeared and reappeared, sans cigarettes, wearing a worn-out t-shirt as pyjamas. One of the employees, apparently her mother, followed shortly after. Holding her hand, the woman waved good- bye, lifted the little girl onto her motorcycle and drove off into the damp, dark night. “Sleep now,” one of the other employee’s says pointing to the little girl “long day.” For some reason I felt the same way.

Michelle Lillie, 20 September 2007

Additional information

Presentation of the author:

As Michelle Lillie introduce ourselves: I have climbed to the top of Mt. Zugspike in Germany, ridden in the cargo storage of a bus for 5 hours through southern Thailand, snorkelled at Tortuga Island off the coast of Costa Rice, taken cover behind a couch during a street shooting in Istanbul, been struck in traffic for 2 hours waiting for a moose to cross the street in Alaska, seen a pet ostrich get stuck in a revolving door in Paris, fallen in love with an Irish boy while walking through a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Luxembourg, survived on $40 for one week in Turkey when my bank account got shut down, surfed off the coast of Kauai, ate pizza with the cardinals of Vatican City in Rome and inadvertently sat in the men’s section of a boat on the way to Morocco but I have yet have any of my travel writing published—until now...

Information about Phuket:

The city is called Phuket Pearl of the South - in the Land of Smiles, by the tourist industry. It`s Thailand's largest, most populous and most visited island. Population: 83,000.

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