We have been staying in Prachuap Khiri Khan for the past week, a nice little town about 4 hours by train from Bangkok. It is on the Gulf of Thailand so this is in theory a bit of beach holiday, but in practice it has been cloudy most of the time so we have just been enjoying some walks, books and game development - great stuff!
I know we often talk about the food on our travels but that maybe just because it is easy to describe. What is hard to explain is how wonderfully relaxed the atmosphere is. People just get on with their lives without rushing and it is a joy to be back in the country.
This morning we decided to rent some bikes and head back down to the air force base just to the south of town. Visitors need to sign in and out but they have a really nice beach and we wanted to make the most of a reasonably sunny day. They also have a small population of spectacled monkeys that are very mild mannered and will very gently take food from your hand if you offer it to them. We had fed the monkeys previously and decided to go see them again, hoping to see a baby because they are a completely different colour (apparently golden, but I would have said ginger).
What we didn't count on is that while a small amount of food will be taken quite politely, a whole bag of peanuts is far too exciting, and before I knew it I had a monkey running along my arm and trying to bite its way through the plastic bag, only to miss and graze my hand slightly with its teeth. Annoyingly it was enough to draw blood so it was time to wash the wound and go visit the hospital for a rabies jab, but before we got around to that there was the small matter of my tendency to faint when I see my own blood, which I did about a minute later (can't rush these things, I'm on holiday).
I woke up about 20 seconds later and was somewhat surprised to find that I wasn't in a hotel bed and that the vivid monkey dream I had been having wasn't a dream after all. Still feeling very faint I sat up and had a drink and some food while waiting for the ambulance that someone had called. The rest is prime example of the warmth and care that we have received in Thailand - we were taken by ambulance to the military hospital where I had the wound cleaned and was given the first rabies jab as well as some antibacterials, and then we were dropped off by ambulance back next to our bikes. Because we were on a military base and went to the military hospital it was all free of charge, but I owe them a big debt of gratitude.
Thank you to all the people that helped me today and got me back on my feet. And as to the monkey, well played to the victor by knock out!