Asia | South East Asia | Thailand | South Thailand | Ko Lanta – Sister, sister!
20.12.2003, Saturday, Koh Lanta
Little idiot, thats what I am. Beautiful early morning and there I was again, trying to be romantic, walking barefoot down the beach. And I got what I was so obviously asking for, just before I entered the internet cafe – I stepped on something sharp and felt the pain shoot up my leg. My foot hurt a little and I winced, but the pain passed quickly, so I made nothing of it and went in. I still have the mentality of a ten year old, I fall, I scrape my knees, I get up, dust my shorts down and keep walking, never stopping to see what actually I might have broken.
I went into the cafe and looked for the girl who called Suza Hut for me the previous day and smiled when I saw her, but she didnt. She was looking down at the floor, where I was leaving my bloody footprints. I hobbled to the toilet and washed the deep cut clean of sand, while the girl rushed to the pharmacy and came back with a stack of gauze and bottles of Iodine. She helped me bandage my foot and waved my questions away when I asked how much did she pay for all of it. She was sorry I cut myself in front of her cafe. I was awed. I felt like rattling out that it wasnt like that, that it was all my fault, I was walking barefoot on the beach, and even if I wasnt to blame, there were still the tourists, not all of them nice caring people who didnt leave pieces of broken glass lying around where theyd been drinking. But she seemed hurt already when I wanted to pay for the Iodine, so I just thanked her and checked my mail.
21.12.2003, Sunday, Koh Lanta
Its been raining all afternoon yesterday and most of the night, a steady, warm drizzle. I woke up late and crawled to the restaurant, where I stood dazed and not really knowing what I wanted. I looked towards the sea and I saw a man in shorts looking like Craig, a Canadian with whom Id been trekking in Chiang Mai. I went to the beach and looked after him, but I couldnt tell from behind. The man could have been about anybody. So I decided it wouldnt hurt to ask and I ran after him. It did hurt. My foots still not in shape for running, but the man was Craig. And seems like Merels here as well. Thailand is such a small place, we keep bumping on each other all the time!
Nick sent me an e-mail today, saying that the day after I left the real storm started and theyre all stranded in Koh Tao. There have been no boats leaving in the last three days. Is it that Im lucky or do I leave only disasters in my wake?
Well, they do certainly catch up with me at times. I keep hurting my feet regularly, for instance. And the chair infested with gigantic poisonus bamboo-eating wasps is always the one I choose to sit on. Luckily theyre no news to the staff here, who just sent a girl with a plastic bottle to scare the buzzing things out of the chair. She was quick about it, knocking on the wood till one huge black inch-long insect after another crawled into the bottle. Then we just shook the chair to hear if there were no more and I was able to go back to my writing.
The Long Beach on Koh Lanta must be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Its 5.5 kilometres long, for one. The sand is white, soft, at places mixed with shells which only make it look even more appealling. There are no sky-high hotels as far as I can see, only bamboo huts and open-air bars, decorated with fairy-lights at nights and usually playing anything from Tracy Chapman and Norah Jones to Bob Marley and Barry White. For techno and the like one has to go over the road, but I wouldnt be counted among the eager. I like it here. Most of the places might be rough, but their friendliness makes up for all the discomforts. And if not friendliness, then for sure the food. I used to think Mexican was the best one could get, but Thai cusine beats it by far.
So thats how Im spending my time here – swimming, reading on the beach, writing. Craig says it gets boring after a while and I believe him, but once Im bored with idleness there are caves to be explored with colourful spiders the size of ones hand, season-opening parties to go to, horse riding on the beach or boat excursions to the islands around (spelling for Koh Phi Phi in a local travel agency: Go to Pee Pee with us today!; a couple sitting at the computers takes it further and jokes about going to Koh Poo Poo; they laugh their heads off).
Theyre not the ends of pipe cleaners, Craid told me today, listening to my diving story. Theyre feather dusters. We went for a dinner to a pizza place and talked for hours. But what made the biggest impression on me happened only afterwards, when I came back to Suza and was sitting at the bar, watching The Lord of the Rings. James, the Thai owner, wanted to see the football game which started halfway through the movie, but he kept reassuring me that they wouldnt stop me from watching what I was. Nevertheless, he asked me if he could check if the game started already. When he flipped to the right channel, it was already on. I got up and wished everybody goodnight, saying Id seen that movie far too many times by then anyway. At that James looked at me and smiled an amazing smile, saying: Marta, youre a really nice sister. And thats as good as it gets.