Meet: Pepe

Pronounced "pay-pay". It's his nickname. And it's Spanish, he informed us with a flick of his hand.

He runs Lanta Resort, a cool chalet on Long Beach where I stayed during my recent super-excellent Koh Lanta holiday.

Pepe is friendly, kind and very generous. He's also very gay. In fact, Pepe was once a winner of a beauty contest in his district. (No, that's not a typo.)

On our last night in Koh Lanta, Pepe and his friend (and resort staff) Gung, threw us a little farewell party. Squid thai salad, BBQ-ed fresh pomfret and lots of Samsong (killer Thai whiskey).

A farewell party that was financed from their own pockets.

Pepe is one of the coolest people I know. No, not because of the free food. But because he's completely comfortable with himself. No inhibitions. No trying to be overly-cool. He's just himself.

He wore short purple lycra tights and a too-small purple shirt (with purple stars) when he played beach volleyball. He did a perfect mime of Anatascia singing. He told my friend she didn't look "very fresh" when she had a hangover from too much Sangsom. He took a photo of me with his camera phone, and insisted he takes another one because in that first photo, I looked "very ugly".

If you don't like him, he doesn't care.

We liked him. And he cared.

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