The 2 hour ferry ride back to Koh Samui was long, hot and just a little tiresome. By the time we got to Bankrak pier, you could say that tempers, particularly parents’, were somewhat frayed…
After some, um, “intense” negotiations over what amounted to about $4aud with a variety of unappreciative taxi drivers, we managed to all pile into a 6 seat 4wd. All 6 of us. And the driver. And his son… And our bags. Thankfully the drive was a mere 10min hair raising dash along the rubbish strewn concrete roads to our resort, and I think I only had to yell at a child once. Small miracles…
Some of the crew had stayed here on the trip over so we were welcomed with open arms, smiles and given our choice of rooms, plus I only had to show my passport to book in. All of which was a godsend, for as we know, cold beer waits for no man.. It was all a very nice change up to our last couple of weeks; Swimming pool complete with day beds and a grassed area, absolute beach front rooms and ocean views from the outdoor restaurant. Bliss.
Now I hope you’ve paid attention to these waffling descriptive paragraphs, as a couple of points I mentioned were to come back and bite me fair square on the arse over the coming days. So be warned, concentrate. This may even count towards your final marks. 🤣
Immediately upon arrival, naturally the kids had all made a beeline for the pool, and the adults, after checking in of course, unsurprisingly gravitated to the bar. The staff were very accommodating and even took our bags to the rooms. A perfunctory check of bedding, toilet and bathroom facilities and we were more than ready to get neck deep into a few quiet drinks while the kids were occupied. Dump, run and drink. Quite the theme to the whole holiday really. 😉
Fast forward a few hazy hours and I managed to finally wrestle my two water logged children, now both closely resembling pasty devil spawn, into their respective beds. Grace was ungraciously starfished in my bed after a semi meltdown over sleeping arrangements, and Albi was passed out face down on the single mattress on the floor, long ago having given in to the tirades of his overtired sister. I pulled the sheet up to his knees, cranked the aircon down (up?) to 21deg, closed the curtain and sliding door, leaving just a sliver of light emanating from the bathroom door as boogy-man repellent, and slipped back out into the balmy night to rejoin the frivolities that were now in full swing.
It was one of those nights. You know the ones, the retrospective classics. The last two weeks spent living together had formed a whole new set of memories and escapades that we all now took great pride in reliving and recounting. Eye watering laughter and snortles abounded as one story segued into another. Drinks flowed. Stars shone. Children slept. Golden times, great friends.
Finally at one point late into the night, some wet blanket (probably me) gently reminded us all that as much as we would like it, unfortunately there is no snooze button on our kids, and after the late night they had, us “grown ups 😂” being hungover and corpse like in the morning would not amount to an enjoyable day by the pool. So with a stumble and a slur of goodnights, we trundled off to our respective rooms.
In my semi incapacitated state, it barely registered at the time that the door to our room was open some 20cm. Nor was it immediately clear that anything was out of place, or indeed, missing full stop. I totally missed the big greasy hand print smear on the glass door, and it wasn’t until I went to grab my phone, that had been charging on the bench, that my spider senses started to prickle.
I immediately glowered at the sleeping, drooling figure that was Grace, fully ready to wake her up with my own tirade of abuse at her using my phone instead of sleeping. But alas, the angelic picture snuggled up under the sheet seemed to have not moved since I put her to bed. With an increasing sense of dread I looked desperately to Albi, subconsciously hoping that he had for some unknown reason, decided to make an international call to a grandparent or batman.
For a heart stopping moment I couldn’t see him. Where the tangled mess of sheets and Albi lay previously, was now just a lumpy sheet. In raw panic I yanked back the cover, and thankfully, for my heart as much as anything, there he lay. Fast asleep and totally oblivious to his father’s potential heart attack.
Even in a murky, half drunken haze, it still only took me all of 15 seconds to then realise that contrary to my assumptions, the kids were innocent and that somehow, beyond my current comprehension, we had been robbed. Both our carry on and check in suitcases were gone. My phone was gone. Wallet, passports, laptop, ipad, camera, everything. Gone.
I ripped the door open and basically yelled into the darkness, raising the alarm and quite possibly the dead to boot.
As friends and staff alike ran down to see what the hell this crazy bastard in a Hawaiian shirt was yelling about, the first gut wrenching dose of reality hit me. Our passports. Fuck. My atm cards. Double fuck. Our bloody clothes; fuck, fuck, fuckety fuck!!
The staff immediately called the police and my friends set about the task of consoling me and the kids. I was further enraged and sickened to my core when the realisation that some dirtbag had not only slunk into our room where my children slept peacefully, but had gone as far as covering Albi with his sheet so he couldn’t bare witness to the robbery.
I can, without fear of persecution, tell you that I would happily beat this theiving prick to a bloody pulp for that alone. Take my shit. Steal whatever, but you DO NOT go near my children. It makes my blood boil just thinking about it.
The police swanned in about an hour later in true Thai style. Full of smiles, laughter and a distinct casual attitude. They made a cursory sweep of the area and the room before heading to the office to watch the CCTV footage. I swear to god, they were only missing the popcorn for it to be the complete homemade family movie night with all the laughter going on. Luckily they took some high quality footage on their standard police issue mobile phones. We all know that sketchy film of a film really help make a police case stronger. Thankfully though, they also managed to take a couple of selfies on the beach. Its always very important to prove that you’ve actually attended a crime scene. 🤔
Trying to get their attention was met by a scowl and gruff instructions to go to the police station to make a formal report. Apparently the fact that I was a) a tourist without vehicle and b) just got robbed and therefore didn’t have any money, was not their concern. So a friend, not for the last time, jumped in taxi and came with me to the station.
Now I don’t know what the usual experience at a Thai police station is like at 4am in the morning, but I am hoping for anyone else’s sake that it was more pleasurable than mine. After being directed upstairs, then back downstairs, then up, and yes, back down again, we finally managed to sit down with the duty officer on shift.
To say he was not in his happy place, by the way he shoved a pen and piece of paper at me, was quite clear, as he urged me to list everything that was stolen. He then simply proceeded to copy my list, totally incorrectly (more on this in another chapter) and almost illegible of course, onto an official police report. And that was that. Except when I tried to take the offered triplicate and he slid out the other greasy palm, looked me dead in the eyes and said “200 baht”. I explained that as I was robbed I had no money, which he naturally assumed was a feeble attempt at bartering and dropped his offer to 100thb. Again, with veins just about to pop out of my temples and my usual calm demeanour stating to fray, I gently reiterated that I had no money due to the reasons I had previously explained. He shoved the report at me and in no uncertain terms described how to exit the building.
We hailed another cab, the previous one having left long ago for greener pastures, and made out way back to the resort.
The resort staff kindly offered the put us up in another room for the night and I extracted the kids from what resembled a mini dance party in our friend’s room. Distraught, exhausted and bewildered we shuffled off to bed.
The reality of what had just happened started to sink in as both the kids clung to me in bed and literally cried themselves to sleep, fearful that someone was going to break in while we slept. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly relaxed myself, and clung to them just as tightly as I took a final glance at the bedside clock that now read 5.30am. Just before I passed out I kissed them both on the head and thanked the universe that we were all safe. Small miracles…
I am glad that you and the children are alright. Sadly in any country in the world now…an open window is an open invitation to take what is not theirs. Scary when they have been in and any occupants didn’t know. Worse when kids of any age are involved. The loss of cards and passports a major hassle. You need a belly bag that keeps cards/passport/wallet etc on you, even for evening frivolities. Tourists are watched so closely. Thailand sadly very well known for thieving. Awful experience for you all. Learning curve too sadly…