The old man driving the tuk-tuk is smiling a grin that is mostly broken brown teeth and gums, a small chuckle accompanies his smile. Linzay and I hailed him down after seeing people scatter from the beach, the shop owners slamming their doors shut. It seemed a strage start to the Thai New Year. When we asked why the rush, the lady answered simply.
When we told the driver this he laughed. “The sea will go 1km out before Tsunami” He said with confidence. “Yeah, but we want to be 1km inland by the time that happens” I told him. We both looked at the beach as we passed, the fisher men and longtail boats where collectively taking off for deeper water. Not a good sign.
The old man settled my nerves by the time we reached our hotel, about 10 a min walk to the beach. Lets update our facebook so no one is worried, I told Linzay. Half way though her message we heard a dreaded noise.
The Tsunami warning system blaired with an eerie effect. Linz looked at me with panic. Quickly, we made our way to our room. “Just grab the essentials” I yelled at her. “What essentials!” she wispered back. Good point, what do you take for this? A submarine? A heli?
I settle for cleaning out the minibar of water and beer, my journal and my camera. With that we headed for higher ground.
No one knew what was happening. The thai people simply pointed to the towering limestone hills, so we headed that direction. Fear was starting to build as I thought of Japan, Chirstchurch and the 2004 Boxing day tsunami.
The road we where following simply ended at the Murcure Hotel, a stunning brand new building. By the time I turned around to look for another route, I realized 20 some people following us. “Where do we go now?” yelled one of them. “I guess up” I yell back, about that time deciding that I’m not getting paid enough to be these peoples emergency tour guide.
A towering thunderstorm is starting to build overhead. Black clouds block out the sun.