Letter to Home

Bailieborough Community School

Bangla Road,

Patong,

Phuket,

Thailand

 21/07/2019

Dear Aoife,

I know it’s been years since we’ve been in contact but what better way to fill you in on my life than through a good old-fashioned letter! As you read the address on this letter you were probably as shocked as I am, that I’m back here on the sandy beaches of Phuket. Of course, it’s not the same experience as it was the last time, seeing as I’m here without you, my partner in crime. But this place is bringing back the memories of the good old days when we hadn’t a care in the world. Honestly, I think you’ll be happy to hear that Phuket has barely changed since our last adventure 25 years ago, it’s still as breathtaking as ever and everywhere I look I see another reminder of the summer of 97’.

I’m currently supine on a red and white sunbed with pen and paper in my hands and the soft grains of sand between my toes. I suppose even after all these years, you can’t forget the pleasure that your feet feel as your toes are nourished by the sand that they sink in to. The waters of the Patong beach are still as crystal clear as before and are an even deeper blue than the cloudless sky that shelters it.  Earlier today I saw two youngsters speed boating, with the wind pulling back their hair, the utter joy in their smiles and the trail of bubbles that followed their path. It was like a flashback into the past, as if it were me and you again. The thrilling feeling of our hearts sinking into our stomachs, when we would turn the boat to another direction, and were almost parallel with the water line as the boat tilted, it’s unforgettable really.

Last night I ate in the La Gritta restaurant, I had to. It was our favourite and I was shook that the place is still standing. I have to say, however, the restaurant itself is unrecognisable. It seems to have tripled in size and it has definitely changed with the times. I must admit at first glimpse I had my doubts but now I seem to love it even more than before. One footstep onto the newly refurbished floors and I was captivated by the intense rich aroma of the spices that filled the air. This was when I realised that it was still the same restaurant that we were in awe of 25 years ago. I played it safe and stuck to what I had the last time, the fried chicken and cashew nuts served with Thai style fried noodles. I have to say it did not disappoint. The burst of exotic flavour with every bite and the Thai sauce that added succulence to the dish was just sublime, I demolished it in a matter of minutes.  I went to a small cocktail bar beside the restaurant after the meal, but I can’t deny the fact that it wasn’t the same. Undoubtedly, the nightlife was amazing years ago when we were in the prime of our lives but right now without you being beside me to laugh and reminisce with, it’s a bit of a letdown. Next summer you must come back with me for one last venture around the glorious beaches, and the mouth-watering restaurants on the island of Phuket here in Thailand to relive the summer of 97’.

Lots of love,

Ellen xx