Day 30 Ko Samui

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French twin turbo-prop aircraft surrenders on the runway when engine number 2 goes on strike.

Disembark.

Watch for several hours as 8 men sit around the plane, looking at it, 3 more walk around the plane, looking at each other, and 2 men climb up a ladder to look at the engine. One man produces a laptop, but it looks like they’re using it to play angry birds or something, not diagnose the engine fault.

Announcement says we’ll be off at 2pm. At 1:45, staff hand out delayed flight meal vouchers for use at the adjacent restaurant. So we’re not going at 2 then? Yes, yes, going at 2…

Restaurant staff reveal that voucher is worth 18000 kip. Cheapest item on menu, 30000. Bangkok airways, you’re too kind.

4 other flights come and go, and then a flurry of activity. The 37 strong aircraft repair team and hangers-on exchange high fives and thumbs-up and laugh hard as if they’ve just discovered that the pilot had simply forgotten to press the on switch.

We’re away, and soon arrive in Bangkok, which looks nice from the air at night but not in a way that can be captured on a mobile phone camera.

I’ve missed my connection, but there’s a later flight so I make it to Samui a couple of hours late, and haven’t missed much because it’s raining. I’ll still be able to catch the ferry to Ko Tao tomorrow as planned, and an engine problem on the ground is much better than one in the air.

The hotel is a total dump, nothing like the pictures online. It is right on the beach as promised, but it’s too dark to see anything, as you can see in the attached photo of my sea view.

The darkness extends inside the room when the power fails, leaving nothing much to do but listen to the rain and the ocean and drink the rapidly warning contents of the mini-bar, most having expiry dates sometime in the last century…

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