We're trying something new today. Before you continue reading, please go to www.youtube.com and search "Silver Palimino Bruce". Play the Springstein track and then continue reading... I went to bed quite late night last night. I had said goodbye to all of Bolon's crew as they were off to Phi Phi the next morning although we all knew it was more like a "see you later" as we'd be reconnecting in a few days on Samui
/Phagnan. I also said good bye to my new friends from Paris but as well, with plans to connect in Phagnan, it was also more of a see you soon. Again I set my alarm to wake up to prep my journey to Koh Samui
Me at Viewpoint
I know it is common practice to hate packing, and I surely do practice that commonality, which is unfortunate, as I feel all I ever do is pack my stupid backpack. I guess if this is the one negative aspect of my trip, then it would be clear that the positives strongly outweigh the negatives. I guess when you think about it, life is just a balance sheet of positives and negatives (with obvious neutrals but they would be irrelevant with regards to my following point). If your positives outweigh your negatives, life is good. The more slanted towards the positive, the better life is. Obviously with so much time on my hands to think and reflect, I can honestly say that overall, my balance sheet is immensly weighted on the side of good. I love my friends (who, if they are within my tight circle, are more like family than friends) - I see them at my wedding, my kids birthdays, and my kid's weddings, and thus they would have to be considered family.
The Pier at Old Lanta
Okay, that was a bit of a tangent, off what is already a tangent from my travel blog... But I must continue my thoughts: I have the best immediate family anyone could ever ask for, my health is perfect (knockin' on wood), I love my job and the city I live in, and I love the potential my life offers me. I can't really think of anything negative other than not living in the same city as my family. Not that that is small, it's a huge negative but unfortunately it was a scarifice that had to be made to afford me so many of my positives. Wow, anyway, when I woke up to book my ticket to Samui, I had the options of leaving at 1pm and arriving at 6am or leave 8am the next morning and arrive at 530pm that same day. I made the obvious decision of staying in Lanta one more day and deal with an early morning (which I am presently dealing with as I write this and it's harsh).
I realized that since Bolon's hotel and mine were 100 metres apart and there was our neighbourhood bar between us, I really hadn't left that 100metre span of island in 5 days other than that boat trip. As a result, I rented a scooter and hit the pavement, figuritively not literally. I first drove to a viewpoint where I grabbed some food and wrote the blog for the day before. From there I drove South, then North and then South on the other side of the island. It was soo much fun. I hadn't been on a scooter since I sold mine and it was wonderful. The hot, hot air slapping my face after I passed the skyscraper palm trees and beautiful beaches. An experience to say the least. I think the best part of the ride was seeing parts of the island that weren't tourist towns but rather that of authentic local Thai's.
A wicked big fish in Old Lanta
I walked through Old Lanta which was the old fishing village on the island and is now a Gypsy village and found private beaches where I was the only one there. It sounds a bit lonely as I write this but it wasn't. Scootering, like snowboarding, are sometimes best done solo. When you have two bikes, you are either waiting for the 2nd or feel bad if you make the other wait. I was being so careful never really going past 60km/h which was hard as I would assume the bike was about 125cc and thus could really pull it up to 100km/h. The truth was that I just didn't know the bike and thus didn't trust it and would rather not have risked the enjoyment of my vacation with an accident, which I have stupidly done before in Mexico. Out of all my falls on a bike before, Mexico hurt the most.
At The end of the pier
After the ride I went by the girl's hotel to say hi but they weren't at their pool and thus I just grabbed a beach chair on the beach and read my book watching my old friend the sun say goodnight as it sunk into the ocean. The whole beach looked like Vegas or Tokyo as every restaurant set up lights for Xmas eve. Bolon's hotel even brought in an elephant and thus I was able to pet it. Very cool It was but I am strongly opposed to keeping such animals domesticated. After Africa last year and seeing all the animals in their native habitat, the thought of caging them, and worse, training them such as the elephants, is disgusting. And while on the subject, many Thais keep birds in cages. Perhaps it is a good luck thing but whatever it is, it has made me conclude that birds, no birds, should be kept as pets.
My private beach on the SE tip of Koh Lanata
It is sad to see them try to fly and all they do is move 1ft to left and then back to the right. It is so lame. And for what? To look at them once in a while. Arg! The only exception to all this is rescue. If an animal was facing death vs domestication, then I'm cool with it. You'd get my seal of Approval. Eventually I returned the bike and made my way back to my hotel. It was so hot so I ripped off my clothes, took a shower and lay on my bed under the fan. I was reading my book on my bed which was positioned so it was next to the wall with the window when all of a sudden I heard a noise associated with my window. Blinds were closed, I'm lying in the bed, I'm naked, and it's Xmas eve. All of a sudden a hand reaches into the window as if to see if they could get in.
The Sunset once again
I couldn't see the hand as it was pushing the curtain but I grabbed it. The hand jerked and I heard running. I peaked my head through and saw a Thai guy running away. Idiot. I grabbed a late dinner after finishing my book (which I will say was stupid now as I'm on a bus with nothing to do - hence this poetic and thought out blog entry) and then made my way to Mong's to meet Em, Ev, and Sophie, their mom. I had bought them each a small gift for xmas as I liked them and I enjoy making people happy (sometimes). I bought Sophie a big slab of dark chocolate as we had discussed how we both like dark chocolate but she said she couldn't find it here in Thailand. I got Eva a necklace which was blown glass and I got Em a black headband as I noticed she wore a black shirt the night before, and wears her hair back usually.
Lag and I - Waiter at Mong's - look into his eyes, lol
They were all so nice to me, it was the least I could do. At some point Eva left as did Sophie and Em and I just sat for hours chatting. I think I'll make the bold statement that if I were to date someone who doesn't have a North American accent, I'd prefer French next. As in it being their 2nd language accent; even preferred over Uk, Auz, SA, etc where it would be their first language. I could have listened to Em speak with that accent until the sun resurfaced. She's really a sweetheart and im glad we met. She also seems like someone i could be friends with over long periods of time with no maintenance but, to be fair, i hardly know her and thus that might be a premature statement. She tried to kiss me but I said no thanks. Lol, just kidding, not that it happened reversed, but I thought that would make her laugh when she eventually read this.
Fire Show at Mong's
If and when :). Okay I Guess... I could write for hours about my thoughts but it would risk you not being interested in reading this as well as risking you, whoever you are, be it you or me, thinking I am a little nuts or perhaps more suitably titled "different". I'll leave on one thought I had when driving past some shacks while on my bike. These locals, their lives, they are so simple. Not that it is a bad thing as I hold no judgements as doing so would be too arrogant. No tvs, no brick houses. Just shelter, nature, and their immagination. I thought about my childhood and my fondness for television, which to be honest still exists (although rarely fulfilled) and how different that one thing makes my childhood from theirs. Trust me, I was fortunate, there are thousands of differences, like running water, but the tv thing got to me.
Em and I
These kids just play outside, go to their parents work, and fill time organically. To be honest, I'm a bit envious of the possibility of letting your mind grow so much by forcing it to entertain you for so many years. That being said, they're destined, sadly, to be fisherman, or tourist monkeys, or taxi drivers and thus have little opportunity to escape. But again, me assuming they would want to is presumptuous and arrogant. Not everyone wants what I want. I know that, I just can't get that. I'm on a bus and I'm listening to the same song you are on the Devils and Dust album by Bruce Springstein. Times Are well my friend. Catch you on the flip side. Xo.