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Alan Brewis

About - What's your Samui Story?

Like many of us ex-pats here, I came for a holiday (just over 20 years ago), and kept coming back… and back… and back again! Samui was reeling me in like a fish on a line 🙂

I met my wonderful lady (La-on) on my second visit here, and we were soon an ‘item’… how she has put up with me for this long I just don’t know! 🙂

I have been leaning towards Buddhism since my early 20s, but La-on (being a strong Buddhist) showed me the true meaning of living a life based on Buddhist precepts. Because of her I became a Buddhist monk for almost 3 months in Wat Khon Kahram here on the island (some 18 years ago now). I didn’t know it at the time, but I was the first non-Thai ever to be ordained as a Buddhist monk on Koh Samui… an honour I hope i lived up to then, and and hope I continue to do so to this day.

I slipped easily into Thai life, and soon after my stint at the temple I became a volunteer First Responder/Paramedic for Samui Rescue, and – again unknowingly – had the honour of being the first non-Thai to do so. The Samui Rescue volunteers are the most amazing people, with many putting themselves on 24/7 availability to respond to accidents and other incidents around the island.

The 10 years I was with Samui Rescue were among the most amazing in my life, with many ‘incidents’ that made us laugh (trying to catch a big Tokay Gecko which had got inside a small house had all 6 of us rescue staff screeching like kids as we failed time and time again to catch it lol), but – sadly – way too many incidents (read ‘accidents’) that brought tears to our eyes and lumps in our throats. However… we would be ready to go on the next call-out, whenever it came. It was a total honour to work alongside the most amazing people… many of them still in their teens… who gave their time to help others, with the only reward being ‘Sabai Jy’ (a ‘comfortable heart’).

I decided that – after 10 years – I needed to stop with ‘Rescue’. The tragedy was starting to affect me personally… not a good sign in this line of work… so I left my love and appreciation with all of my fellow volunteers and ‘retired’… or so I thought!

Being involved with so many accidents and incidents with Samui Rescue brought me in touch with local Royal Thai Police (not Tourist Police) on a daily basis, and friendships became inevitable. And so it was, that only a few days after ‘retiring’ from Rescue work, that I was visited by a couple of the local police and almost literally dragged to the local police station and told to sign-up as ‘Tam-loo-ut Baahn’ (Village Policeman) for the area in which I live. Despite some of the stories you may hear, I can say ‘hand-on-heart’ that our local police are a great bunch of guys, and work hard at trying to be ‘good’ policeman… in their own (Thai) way of course 😉

And yes… yet again… completely unknowingly (honest!) became the first non-Thai to work (volunteer) with the Royal Thai Police on the island! What can I say? 🙂

Although age is fast catching up with me, after 8 years with the Royal Thai Police here on Samui, I am now ‘semi-retired’, and still occasionally go out with the local police when/if needed – not that I have much choice, with the new local police station now only 200 metres from where I live! haha

Although these last 8 years with the police have had their tragic moments, on the whole it has actually been a lot of fun… much more than I ever expected!

For the last 16 years my wonderful Lady La-on and I have been running a very successful firework business on the island… shooting relatively small-budget firework displays for weddings and other types of celebratory events. Sadly ‘Covid’ stopped that in its tracks, and – like many other tourist-related businesses on Samui, our business has effectively been put on the back-burner… hopefully not for too much longer!

Currently I spend my time ‘Playing’ with my bikes (Honda cb1300; Honda cbx750f powered hand-built low-rider/chopper; and an old Honda cbr750f Hurricane); making and selling bonsai trees; and acting as ‘Bird Rescue’ for injured or abandoned birds around the island… as well as looking after my own ‘flock’ of 30+ Zebra Finches and ‘Tommy’ (my Sunset Conure parrot).

And all of this on a relatively small tropical island paradise in the middle of Gulf of Thailand 🙂

Welcome to Samui life… it may not be perfect, but it is way closer to it than many of the other places I have been to!

Welcome to my world!