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Finding Christina Helene

Nushaw, Amber and I arrived in Phuket exhausted but on a high. This was the first time in four years I’ve travelled to another country besides our yearly 4th of July surf trip in Baja, Mexico. Everything was exiting to me and the lack of sleep only brought on bits of giggles.

Nushaw and I left Maui 42 hours earlier. We had one layover in Honolulu and one in Melbourne, where we met up with Amber at the airport. Before loading onto our flight in Maui, we lucked out with an airport attendant who not only had lived in Thailand for six years, but also knew the ins and outs of Australia. Apparently for Americans in Australia, we have to pay $5o for a visa to leave the airport. Nu and I had an 8 hour layover in Melbourne and she had convinced me to explore. The angel of an attendant not only checked us into our flight, let me give Nush the checked bag I wasn’t going to need and got us each an Australian visa for free. We then boarded the first leg of our journey without really understanding how much trouble she had saved us until later.

In Oahu Nu and I had an 8 hour layover in which we thought we’d try to sleep. It was that, or leave the airport with our backpacks and find the supposed military bar that would still be open at this time of night. We opted to try to sleep, with Nushaw barking at the guards who tried to move us from the cool spot we found to lay just outside the designated area for overnight international layovers. One thing about traveling with Nushaw, you always will have entertainment on hand.

Exhausted after no a night without sleep, we finally boarded our 13 hour flight to Phuket. Now, having taken 6 flights so far on our trip, Nu and I knew there is always an empty row on the plane ready for the taking. On this flight we happened to be across from such a row. Nu hit her all button to speak with the flight attendant about possibly taking that row so she could catch up on her lost night’s sleep. Her and I weren’t too keen on repeating the bunking system we had engineered on the long flight to Hawaii.

The trouble with Nushaw’s plan to politely ask to move to the empty row is that the evil woman in the seat ahead of us heard the conversation. “You an move one the plane has lifted and the turn seatbelt lights are off,” spoke the flight attendant. Before she left us, the evil woman in the row ahead stopped the flight attendant to complain about the man in the banana shirt in front of her who had leaned his seat bak. It had encroached on her personal space so badly that she found the need to repeatedly hit the seat in front of her over and over again. It looked to Nushaw and me that the lady was raising the roof in front of her, instead of the classic dance move of pushing the roof up above your head.

10 seconds before that seatbelt bell went off, boom! The evil lady and her friend kicked the husband into the empty row. Not only did her take the seat in the middle of the empty row, he spread his legs so he was sitting in a straddle position, like a venus fly trap awaiting his prey. Nushaw and I, exhausted from our long day of travel with no rest, found this woman and her travel mates to be so rude and thoughtless to those surrounding them. We began to make up a dane move of pushing the seat in front of us and obnoxiously continued this move throughout the flight. Remember, if you’re having a hard time traveling, you’re not the only one. Poor banana man.

When we finally got off that plane, we were a mess. Nu was sad to leave Hawai’i and the crew we made while we were there. I was nervous as all hell for Thailand and worried who this beautiful blonde who was to be joining our new crew was going to be like. By chance, we ran into Amber in the food court and both Nu and my troubles reseeded. Amber is as beautiful inside as she is out, and Nu and I could tell instantly that this new Thailand crew was going to kick ass. Only one more long flight to Phuket!

Landing in Phuket was like landing in a different world. Not only was there no english, but there was also no wifi in the airport. Looking back, this is crazy sine there is easy to find free wifi everywhere in Thailand – something I miss often in New Zealand when I need to meet up with someone or get something done. Luckily I had taken pictures of the instructions for our hostel – they had a car waiting for us and once we found the car we were home free! We had our own room and bathroom in the hostel and it was the perfect place to make camp for the night.

Our second night’s hostel was walking distance to Phuket’s colorful tourist street.

Exploring Phuket the next day was…. interesting. The city is dirty and hot, and while it’s near water there are no beaches that we could figure out how to get to. We did make our way to a colorful street to shop and have our first real Thai meal. The girls shibori at home and had a field day with all the shibori stores.


Needless to say, we were ready to get on that ferry to our next destination that Nu and I had booked months before…. Tonsai Beach.

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