Perhentian Short Story: A familiar face

The day after I arrived, there was a snorkel challenge. Once somebody completes their Dive Master Training (DMT), it is customary for them to do a snorkel challenge. That entails all the other DMT students, Dive Masters and Dive Instructors, getting together, watching the DMT student get grilled, then watch them drink a stupid concoction of alcohol through their snorkel.

The snorkel challenge was off to a good start. There was sufficient alcohol flowing. The free food was being gobbled up but he audience. The host was witty. And most importantly of all, the DMT student was being a very good sport. Taking in her stride the insults as they came her way, completing the increasingly difficult, increasingly ridiculous and increasingly hilarious drinking related challenges.

Halfway through the snorkel challenge, there was torrential downpour. But, the show must go on. Everyone took to cover. The challenge continued. When the challenge finally finished, 10 or 20 minutes after the rainfall started, everyone took cover in the two bars nearby – Oh La La and Monkey Bar.

It was still only my second day on the island, so I was at the party, mingling and making friends. Whilst in mid conversation, I saw somebody who I immediately recognised from Koh Rong in Cambodia. Two Swedish girls – Sofie and Lina – that I had sat chatting to in a bar in Koh Rong, then took a bus away from Sihanoukville with. I recognised Sophie because of her nose. She has, as I explained to her afterwards, the most unique and distinct nose that’s very hard to forget or mistake for someone else. After several months of travelling, it was great to see a familiar backpacker face.

She was helping out at the Beach Bar – the go-to bar on Perhentian Kecil after 10pm. They have a great fire show, cheap drinks and some pretty awfully mixed music unless you’re pretty smashed. So a great place to go at night.

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