My memory is going!
The other day I said that Hua Hin was about a 90 minute drive south of Bangkok. Not so! It is more like 3 hours ... and this was driving it on a Saturday. Admittedly, our 10 passenger van was not the fastest thing on the road; but even Becky's Porsche would not have been able to navigate through the truck traffic much faster.
Anyway, the Anantara Resort & Spa is right on the beach in Hua Hin. Readers who were 'here' last year and the year before will remember the place.
The first year that the Screwy Tuskers came to the King's Cup we were accompanied by Tong and Tik, two of Watcharee's cousins. But only the truly addictive among our readers will remember that Tong made 'headlines' in the Islamic press by falling asleep ... in a far too fetching position ... while we were still on the road. (*)
Our second year at Hua Hin saw another of Watcharee's cousins with us: Ko ... along with his wife, Noy. As well, my friend, Alex and his girl friend, Nuch, made a week of it.
But, I wander.
Halfway here (about 90 minutes from either 'end') Watcharee remembered that we had left one suitcase back in Bangkok. She immediately called her uncle in Ayutthaya and he agreed to drive to River Garden and pick up the forgotten item and bring it to Hua Hin.
"Must we have all these details, Alf?"
Last night 11 of us had dinner at the hotel's Thai restaurant. There were seven of 'us': Watcharee's uncle and wife and their two children.
* This 'coverage' only came to the attention of THOCBDC due to the enormous number of 'hits' that its New York 'server' traced to the sleeping girl. The bulk of these Internet intrusions came from Ma & Pa Internet shops located in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the various 'stans that were once part of the old USSR. Coming so soon after 9/11 THOCBDC was on the verge of seeking protective custody for Tong ... at least right up until our outsourced translators discovered that Tong's image-link was just a part of a general highway safety program aimed at Muslim car passengers: "Buckle Up".
Yesterday's journal did not tell everything!
I was going to keep this bit quiet ... at least from those not on the field. But, Tilman, a Maoist, pushed me for something 'scoopy' ... maybe out of envy that she is not here; though, perhaps it was out of genuine love and concern for the Screwy Tusker way of life. Anyway, she wrote:
Dear Mr. Alf,
I know that the polo pitch fever hour draws near, and I want to send my best to you and yours. While I am deeply invested in how our sisters compete, I am (to be honest) even more interested in the tournament "dish", so to speak. I think you know that if Annie and I were present, we would be returning home each eve with tales of gaudy outfits, tacky behavior, and bad teeth. Since we can't be there to entertain you, I am begging you to do the same for us. If some of the material is too "touchy", then just send it to the two of us! I think I heard a rumor that pink shirts are making their way to us (love you for that!), so we can don our colors and cackle away. We may even enter into some quick witted repartee. Hugs and Kisses to you and the gang.
Hey, who from Tiger Tops is there? Laurie Jones find her way there yet?
I replied excitedly ... in almost staccato fashion ... and, yes, in obnoxiously too-bold and too-big-a-size fonts:
Tilman, this is the ever loving fucking truth: while Army was practicing today her right breast ... (a rubber one ... half of a set of two that I bought her in Hong Kong; as she is the only one of the Screwless Tuskers not on hormones) ... fell out onto the playing field. Her elephant picked it up with its trunk like it was some floundering polo ball and dutifully 'handed' it to the mahout ... the mahout quickly but gingerly (with fingertips) passed it back to Army. I SWEAR TO GOD THIS HAPPENED!!!!!
Moving away from the sordid playing field: last night we had a BBQ right on our back porch. The Anantara has been providing this 'en suite' service for about a year. It is a brilliant idea and the staff at the Anantara has perfected it to a culinary art. The girls loved it. By the way, the new face at 'the table' is Ah ... she is our Anantara assigned 'girl Friday".
PS: This morning we had a very laid-back practice session with another team ... Tickle and the Ivories Vs The Screwless Tuskers. The Screwless came out ahead by one goal.
Monday Practice Match: A 6-Page Photo Album
After being behind the Q-BAR team 3 - 0 at half-time The Screwless Tuskers came back in the second Chukka to score 5 goals. Four goals were scored by Tak and one by Golf. So, the final score was 5 - 3 in favor of the Screwless Tuskers.
PS: Tomorrow, the 17th, the Screwless Tuskers will play the all-powerful PricewaterhouseCoopers WEPA Nepal team ... manned by Jim Edwards and his sons. The score, I am sure, will be deeply lopsided ... not in our favor.
PPS: By the way, the Q-BAR has its own bar tent on 'campus': staffed with beautiful Thai bartenders and its own DJ.
Yesterday's Screwless Tuskers game was reported in the sports sections of The Bangkok Post and The Nation. (The text in both papers was the same ... perhaps as a result of shared news-gathering resources.)
With the morning free the girls took the pool option.
PS: Though the Screwless Tuskers started well, we finished with a 7 to 1 loss (*). But the girls had fun and they looked good:
"It is not how you play the game ... it is how you look while doing it."
The rest of the day's matches were covered in The Nation.
* The "1" that we started with was the handicap ... not an actual goal by us.
PS: We are leaving right now for the: "7:30 pm TEPA players dinner at the Phra Ratchaniwet Marukhathaiyawan teak palace".
"Don't touch that dial!"
Yes, you'll soon see The Screwless Tuskers dressed to kill.
PS: As promised, the girls moved into adult clothes for the big dinner party at the Phra Ratchaniwet Marukhataiyawan teak palace. The palace was originally built by the current King's father.
This morning the Screwless Tuskers dominated the second chukka ... but, overall we lost the match to American Express 6 to 4. But, the girls played with a style and panache rarely found on a pitch.
You've seen the faces, the bodies ... can you tell them apart by their eyes?
The day's matches were once again covered in The Nation.
[actually, a late dinner on the 18th]:
This morning we lost heavily to the Mullis Capital team ... deeply and decisively ... (our small single digits goals to their small double digits scores). However, we did 'lead' in the first chukka; it was only in the second chukka where we fell apart.
The Bangkok Post reported on all the day's matches.
The Gala Dinner at the Anantara Resort and Spa: 'A Day at the Races'
The Screwless Tuskers did not play today, but The Bangkok Post covered the other tournament action. (The Scotsman also reported on the success of the Chivas Regal team.)
Though tomorrow will see the final games for all the Cups, tonight is the event's 'big social bash'.
But, at 8:30am tomorrow the chukkas will start for the Mullis Capital Cup ... to see which team captures 11th place and which one takes to the cellar. Since the Screwless Tuskers have not won a game since their 5 - 3 victory in the Exhibition Match, the Screwless girls are assured an early morning Sunday wake-up call. This will be the first game of the day (and, probably, the least attended one ... given the fact that tonight's 'bash' is being sponsored by Chivas Regal and its associate beverages). [*]
* As the winning Cups become more 'valuable' (9th, 7th, 5th, 3rd and 1st) the starting times for these games come at a more respectable hour of the day. Though the Screwless girls certainly won't have any hangovers to nurse, they can't just roll out of bed, pull on their shirts and be ready to go.
Despite a 3 - 2 lead after the first chukka the Screwless Tuskers lost to Q-BAR 5 to 3 ... guaranteeing us the 12th spot out of an assortment of an even dozen.
As always, The Bangkok Post reported on all of the matches.
This morning the Screwless Tuskers will drive back home: to Bangkok. Pom will return to her day job at The Oriental Hotel; Golf will start back with her English language classes; Beige will burrow herself in her design work; Tak's university studies will resume; and Army will go back to the books.
Watcharee and I will unpack ... then we'll REpack; as we are leaving for London tomorrow night.
PS: Everybody finally made it back to Bangkok ... along with our 12th place Cup.
PPS: After the tournament was over, Reuters carried a story that we neglected to report! It transpired at the beginning of the tournament, and it involved a slight controversy regarding the rules of the game.