they say the universe works in mysterious ways, but i think if you make an effort to fine tune your cosmic detective skills, the clues are fairly easy to read - and following them to the 'master plan' (which usually bears little if any resemblance to YOUR plan) - sniffing out the fruit that the masterplan tree proffers andf then being able to recognize that fruit, even if it looks like a vegetable - saves you from any disappointment that could otherwise manifest when your trip veers off the map in your lonely planet (or in my case, stack of papers printed from the internet).
my sole reason for visiting ko lanta was to attend time for lime cooking school - the idea of learning how to make tom yum with the andoman sea as my backdrop was enough to pull me from railay.
.. it was a long trek to lanta, and i booked a bungalow for 200 baht a night (about $6) thru a tour office in krabi at a resort called blue andoman... a long ass bus ride (half of which i had a sweet little girl named ruby sleeping in my lap) and two very slow ferries later, i arrived at the nearly empty, totally secluded resort famished and exhausted... the sea was too rocky to swim in, the enchiladas i ordered were total crap, and the first thing i saw upon entering my bungalow was a HUGE roach scurrying under my bed.
after a much needed sleep, i awoke to a beautiful day and rented my very own hot pink motorbike. i scooted (at 20km/hr, on the shoulder of the road) up to time for lime, only to learn that they were closed for low season.
needless to say, i was crestfallen... junie, the owner, a californian who lived in norway for most of her life before relocating to lanta six years ago, saw the disappointment in my face and offered to A) bring me along to her favorite fusion restaurant on the island (red snapper - simply exquisite) and B) give me a free, private lesson on how to make curry paste from scratch. being someone who loves, loves, loves intimacy - it couldn't have worked out better...
the rest of my time on ko lanta was highlighted by a visit from a wild monkey while i sat on a lonely stretch of sand sketching - an awesome swim in the bath-warm sea with three thai children holding my hands, laughing hysterically and climbing up my neck when the waves came - a trek thru the jungle on the back of a 40 year old elephant named chow - getting a massage at sunset with the sound of lapping waves in the background - getting plugged in and playing a set for all the guests at my resort and, yes, the curry paste.
thank you universe... keep the surprises coming!