PHUKET GAZETTE Forty Days and Forty Nights
Somehow in the last minute rush to get out the new format of the Phuket Gazette this weeks Property Watch column fell victim to space constraints. All remains good and while we like the new look and feel of the islands major news source, personally the original article remains at least from this corner a good read…here goes….
The jungle drums of rainy seasons pounding on the rooftop of my office tend to lull me into some tribal trancelike state.
Perhaps my secretary sneaked some kava-kava into my morning java. It's all blurring into images of tiki bar tackiness or coconuts falling as gorillas line dance in the mist.
As the sun fades away from summer and the storm clouds gather momentum anxiety disorders island-style tend to create a repetitive disorder each year in Phuket.
Despondent real estate brokers and hoteliers trade tales of Mayan calendars of doom. Seasonal related suicide trends remain to be a cultural phenom with Scandinavia, and often the US Northwest leading the pack in some truly Steven Kingish “The Shining” moments.
Being online I take a spin to that source of all knowledge 'Bible.com' and find a tract about Noah's Ark from Genesis 7:4 “I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights.”
A lot can happen in forty days, even if all these increasingly depressed business people gather in pairs and try to find the nearest ark or perhaps the uncanny similar looking vehicle a Toyota Fortuner.
My editor at this prestigious paper has often warned me about rants and ranging into dark territory so heave ho, land sighted, we are headed back to the subject at hand.
Not having any kava root handy I take a spin about the current state of affairs, while wet and soggy, brand Phuket remains a bright spot even at the worst of times.
Take May as an example. Hot on the heels of lighting up more TV's and Breaking News Stories then I care to remember and of course the 'red shirt epic' debacle the island have the highest airport traffic figures during the past 6 years.
Count em, yes six meaning those good, bad and ugly years all rolled up.
With total passengers tallying in at 424,456 this was an 18.1% increase over the same month in 2009. Perhaps more telling was the compelling statistic on aircraft movements which showed at 25.1% uplift in 2010's May, or 3,561 versus 2,846 a year ago.
For many tourist destinations the largest stone wall to success is 'you can't stay there if you can't get there.' But for Phuket the availability of flights continues on the up escalator.
Fast forward to our two angry, frustrated expat businessmen at the bar on their fourth round of Heineken's blurting out “tourists, I can't see any where are they? ”
Valid point and yes perhaps we need have a quiet word to the bartender to cut these bozos off, but okay lets humor them.
The island's hotel supply has continued to grow, new condo and villa projects are renting out units in the accommodation market, more residential units with part time and fulltime people moving in, and yes a blossoming service sector with healthcare, educational institutions and the other growth segments including yachting and technology.
As I que up for my antidepressant with the guy in front of me looking eerily like Jack Nicholson's character McMurphy in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest', I slip the colorful looking capsules into my pocket just like Jack.
Life is good, and Phuket remains a vital life force here on Planet Earth.
Perhaps Charles Dickens said it best in A Tale of Two Cities as I close out this week's column in quintessential style “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” Nothing could be closer to the truth.