More from Susan in Thailand…

It’s better than warm milk or chamomile tea, works faster than counting sheep–it’s snooker, the best sleep aid around. Found totally by accident while staying on the island of Phuket, this 9-ball billiard game became a nightly ritual. At the wonderful Boathouse Hotel, we are afforded the luxury of not only a beachfront room, but also a television. The channel selection, however, leaves a lot to be desired by American standards. In the states, my husband has splurged on digital cable which offers up several hundred channels with everything from food shows, classic movies, sporting events of all kinds from every country, and nature programs to your generic run-of-the-mill PBS, CNN, ABC, CBS, and Fox. Phuket, by comparison, airs only eleven channels and a rotating in-house video movie. Of the eleven channels, four are Thai-language channels, one German, one Australian, plus ESPN, CNN, CNBC, BBC, and an obscure channel called TV5.

Having exhausted the in-house movies, late night TV leaves is wanting and channel surfing reveals that the highlight of the evening is ESPN’s World Championship Pool Tournament being held in Cardiff, Wales. Every night we program our TV to the sleep mode and nod off to little balls rolling into leather pockets. We learn a new vocabulary, meet players from Japan, Germany, France, Taipei, and all over the world, and begin to decipher the scoring system showing at the bottom of the screen. International professionals ply their cue sticks in front of large audiences, vying for the title, and a total of $300,000 in prize money. While this might be riveting to some–and judging by the audiences and newspaper coverage, there is a large following–we find it relaxing and conducive to sleep.

I am hoping that when I return home, one of my myriad of cable television channels will be offering snooker, or some variation, for those inevitable sleepless nights.

Postscript: The World Snooker Champion is Mika Immonen of Finland, taking home the title, $65,000, and a silver cup so large that winners of Wimbeldon would be jealous.

More to come…



About Susan Brady:
Susan Brady has filled various roles throughout her nine years with Travelers’ Tales, having been with the company since its inception. She is currently director of production, responsible for book and catalog production, scheduling, inventory, print buying, and general office management. When not slaving over books, she lives the life of a typical soccer mom in the suburbs with her husband, three children, two cats, and iguana. Before coming to Travelers’ Tales, she helped birth babies rather than books as the director of The Birth Place Resource Center.