Daily Phuket #80: 1 November 2021 – Waiting for the Bus

I had to go to Central Festival to teach a student today so I decided to take the local wooden bus from downtown. The biggest advantage to this is the fare is 15 baht compared to the 100 baht I would have to pay for a motorbike taxi. But you should be prepared to wait if you take the porthong. Today, I was at the bus stop for nearly thirty minutes during which a number of motorbike taxis, gypsy (unlicensed) taxis and even a mini-van tried to coax me into taking them instead. They will say almost anything trying to get the business, shameless with the lies — “No bus today” being the most common. Even despite the governor’s warnings last week on the eve of reopening to tourism, these guys can never simply take “No” for an answer.

No matter as I now know the bus arrives closer to the top of the hour and half past at that particular stop. I will adjust tomorrow. The weather was relatively present and I enjoyed watching the smattering of pedestrians walking by. An added bonus was that I had the ZZ Top song stuck in my head.

As for my student, she arrived thirty minutes early which meant that I could end the lesson thirty minutes early. This is a young girl whom I began teaching when she was four or five years old; she’s nine now and, as of today, has 236 hours remaining for pre-paid private lessons. At the moment, I teach her for 90 minutes per week so I figure I will retire (or die) before she completes the contract! This was her first lesson since 8 July due to the COVID-19 restrictions on schools.

I start another in-house course tomorrow — a group of 7-year-olds. There is still no word on when my school will reopen nor if that will mean online or in-person classes. They do like to wait until the last possible second before making a decision!

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