Old Patong: The Start Of Eco-Tourism

One afternoon we went into Phuket town and hung out at the bowling alley for several hours.

They served the best curry in town and Patong Patty was addicted to this one little shop located inside the bowling alley. While we tried to bowl, she wisely ate curry!

Janie, a would be reporter/journalist[ie:freelance writer hoping to make a few baht on local stories],local cabaret singer/entertainer, her husband Pong, Texas Larry and his darlin’ Anong, Patong Patty and myself had already bowled a few games when in walked the Governor Of Phuket, he had arrived in his “official” ride, a rather large “Kennedy” Lincoln and was for some reason in the bowling alley dedicating something to somebody.

Not to miss a chance at a story, Janie immeadiately put her bowling ball in Pongs lap, and ran, with her little snapshot Instamatic camera clicking away at the dignitaries and asking rapid fire questions of the Governor at the same time!

“Why did the people burn down the Tantalum Plant” and “When will the Government stop letting the mines pollute the islands pristine beaches,etc” Janie screeched, the Governor, like a true politician deftly side-stepped the annoying questions and continued on his way, returning to the big white Lincoln and disappearing into the masses of vehicles near the big open air market.

Janie returned to the lanes, a huge grin on her kisser, “these photos will get me a storyline with the Bangkok Post”!

We were all slightly taken aback, cept ofcourse Pong, he’d been married to Janie several years and knew she could and would do the most inopportune things imaginable. Like the time they were having a “discussion”, that is, Pong was on top of their pickup truck as Janie wildly drove and swerved, trying to dump the hapless Pong into the klong or a “moving” coconut tree, all the while yelling at Pong to “get back into the truck”, Pong was wise for such a young man and hung onto the windshild wipers to keep from getting bounced from this wild bull-like ride!

Janies moods could subside into sugar without taking a breathe, just as fast as they could mount into small earthquakes that would rattle those around her to take cover!

Anyway, we never saw the article that Janie was gonna make the big Baht in the Bangkok Post, but later that week they had a huge ralley in Phuket town, Janie of course was there to do her journalistic magic, but somehow the crowd destroyed her small motorbike and grabbed her little Instamatic camera and flung it onto the side of a building, Janie and Pong were most fortunate in escaping into a nearby cafe as the 90cc Honda burnt brightly!

The crowd was entirely pro-tourism and anti-mining plant, it was an ugly time on the island, but soon passed from memory as the bigger and bigger hotels replaced the tin & mineral mining on Phuket, it was difficult to tell which had done the most harm.

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