One of the perks of being an expat wife in Singapore is the possibility of scenarios like this: My friend Hannah and I are having lunch and discover that both of our husbands will be on business trips the following week, hers to India and mine to Russia. I mention that maybe we should consider taking a trip together while they’re gone. We get together the following Monday and discuss the possibilities. Within a couple of hours we’ve booked flights and a hotel in Phuket for Wednesday through Friday of that same week. Thailand here we come!
We were able to time the flights so we had almost three entire days in Thailand. The forecast called for thunderstorms but we lucked out with three days of sunshine and thus spent much of our time by the pool or on the beach. On our first day we had lunch by the pool, served by our buddy Porn (no joke!) and then took a stroll along Karon Beach to some souvenir shops. Hoping to get some of the handicrafts I’d seen in Bali and Khao Lak, I was disappointed to find mostly Bob Marley t-shirts and obnoxiously bright sarongs. Souvenirs in Phuket? Lame!
The second day was more of the same, but with a very special excursion in the evening… a ladyboy show at the Simon Cabaret!!! Since I had failed to convince my brother and husband that this was a must-see (for some reason they preferred Thai Boxing… go figure?) I was glad to be in Thailand with someone just as interested in it as me. We arrived a little early and waited our turn for a photo in front of the fountain outside the show. While waiting we were able to do some great people watching, including the couple below with matching shirts AND a matching print on their shorts. If only I could get Michael to match me… we could be this cute.
There were no photos allowed during the show, but I was happy to sit back and just watch the ridiculousness. This included throngs of tourists with assigned seats pushing (I think I actually took a fist to my back because I was moving too slow) to get to their seats. This was followed by people hanging their heads over the back of the seats to see what number they were, when a quick glance to the seat in front of them would have revealed the same result. Once everyone was settled the show finally began.
I didn’t know the first song and apparently the performer didn’t either. The lip-synching to this song was terrible! The girl was opening and shutting her mouth at random just like the colorful little koi found in ponds everywhere in Singapore. Some of the other songs (done with much better lip-synching) were by American artists (Lady Gaga, Cher, Christina Aguilera) and others were popular Thai, Chinese, and Indian songs. The theatre itself was kind of shabby, but the costumes were spectacular and the choreography was fun. I was able to snap a few pictures after the show (between the throngs of pushy tourists) and then Hannah and I escaped to the bus where we patiently waited out the crazy crowd in order to be delivered to our hotel.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was surprised to discover that these ladyboys appeared to be 100% woman. There clearly had been operations to remove junk and adam’s apples, add breasts, and in some cases alter the facial structure (‘Cher’ definitely had cheek implants). I could have run into just about any of these women on the street and not suspected a thing.
On our final day we relaxed on the beach and got the last of our daily 350 THB ($12 USD) hour long massages by the Andaman Sea. We arrived home just in time to greet our hubbies returning from their own (less exciting) international adventures.
See the rest of my Phuket photos here!