Sat 31 Jan 2015
Andre is from Brasil and has a PhD in philanthropy. He is one of those larger-than-life characters and makes for great company. I admire his outlook on life and how he perceives other people’s way of life.
Andre, Maja and I had breakfast at the Muslim tea house; a great place to experience a bit of local culture and good food. Rotis, naan bread, chick pea curry, fried eggs, toast, samoosas, tea and coffee. We paid about $5 in total. How do they make a profit?
We organised a tuk tuk to Maunmagan Beach, where we spent the day. I brought out the plastic ball we bought in the market and started kicking it around with a local kid. Within a few minutes some teenagers joined us and we had a good sized circle, trying to keep the ball in the air.
We were the only tourists on the beach and dozens of locals asked if they could have their photo taken with us. We’re supposed to be the tourists, but we seem to be quite an attraction for the locals. I swam in the waves with the teenagers, who spoke surprisingly good English. They were all college students studying to become teachers.
We ended up having a free lunch with a group of men who took an interest in us. We joined them under the gazebo on the beach, sitting on a raised platform. They offered us different fish, sand muscles, whiskey and beer. When they saw that we wanted to buy more food with our own money, they gestured for us to sit. One man, who turned out to be a customs official, went to the back of his car and brought us more dried fish. He even organised for it to be warmed up on one of the restaurants’ fires. We communicated in broken English. When it came time for them to leave, they wished us well and went on their way. They expected nothing in return for what they had given us.
Andre and I played football on the beach with more kids, while Maja befriended every dog she could find. Swimming in the Andaman Sea while the giant, orange sun sets in front of you and the moon rises behind, satisfies the soul.