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I don't have time for a long blog entry tonight. I'm exhausted after a very long "half-day" tour which ran from 11:30 this morning until after eight tonight (including a lengthy motorcoach ride each way).

The sea kayak trip was all it was advertised to be and more. The only small disasoopintment was that by the time we got to Monkey Cave, it was too dark to see any of the gibbons that inhabit the caverns. (In fact, it was almost too dark to even see the rock-carved steps so it was difficult to explore much further than the reclining Buddha without risking a misstep into a bottomless pit or something; I spent most of my time ducking from the bats flying about. We also had to wait out a downpour in the cave before sprinting back to the bus.)

My favorite part of the day was probably paddling through the sea caves and laying in the bottom of the kayak to avoid cracking my skull open on a stalactite. James Bond Island was very scenic and I also enjoyed wandering around the Muslim fishing village, although I couldn't shake the persistent little bugger who was trying to sell me a book of postcards. While there, I had my photo taken with two different monkeys, one of whom started squeezing my nose just as Tim snapped the picture.

I'm starting to get really annoyed with Lek. She's been angry with Silvio for the past couple of days and has been taking it out on various guests. Yesterday, one of the Canadians took a bathroom towel to the beach. She tried to charge him 1000 baht (about $25) to have it cleaned; when he refused to pay it, she called the police ("friends of mine," she must have repeated twenty times). Tonight, it was my turn as she tried to charge me for a bill I already paid as well as for a dinner I never ordered (twenty minutes before she had put a plate of spaghetti in front of Silvio and I saying she'd made too much and I could have it at "no charge"). When I tried to explain this and produced a bill for the earlier-paid bill, she began screaming in front of the other guests that I was calling her a liar and a thief. I finally just paid it to avoid further conflict but Lek kept harping on it all, despite everyone else trying to explain to her that I was right and she was mistaken!
. Also, she never gave me my change from the 500 baht note I handed her even though I kept telling her how much she owed me. The worse thing is she doesn't actually work at the hotel - she's just here helping out Silvio while on holiday. Well, what can I do? I'll just stick it out until Friday and hope she finds a new target.

Tomorrow, I plan to transfer some more photos to CD, finally get to the post office (which has been closed since last Friday for New Year's), and run some other errands in town. And, I'll try to book an elephant safari as well.

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