Monday, December 31, 2007

Lost in Lanta

Our original plan was to head to Ko Lanta for a few days then take the ferry back to mainland Thailand, then out again and spend a few days in Ko Samui. We reasoned that this way, we'd get a feel for the islands on both sides of Thailand, Lanta in the Andaman Sea and Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. Plus, there are whale sharks in Ko Samui. And Matt really wanted to see whale sharks. I'm not sure WHY he wanted to see them, since they look like THIS when they're eating. But whatever. He wanted to see them.

We had the best of intentions. We really did. But after our miserable four-hour ferry ride on the Ao Nang Princess I AND II (neither of which made us feel the least bit like royalty), we were exhausted. When we landed in Lanta, we were drastically overcharged to get to our resort. As we sipped those first beers at Funky Fish, we started to wonder whether or not we should just bag our trip to Samui and stay in Lanta.

Two days later, we were spending our Christmas at Coffee Asylum. And we just, well, we got stuck. It was the kind of day that lazed on forever. The kind of day that makes you think to yourself, "I went to school so that I could get a job where people have to dress up and jump up and down just to make a point? What is WRONG with me? I could have been anything! I could have owned a coffee shop on a beautiful tropical island!" It was the kind of day that I used to daydream a lot about when I was younger. See, a few years ago now, my brother took a trip to Europe with a few of his closest friends. If memory serves me correctly (note: I was about 12 when he went on this trip, so my memory MIGHT be a bit off) while he was in Greece, he changed his itinerary to spend a few extra days in the island of Corfu. He told my parents that he sort of got lost on Corfu. "Lost," I remember thinking, "how do you get LOST on an island? Didn't he know where he was?" But now I get it. I see how it's possible to get lost somewhere where you're perfectly content to be. It's a good feeling. It's a "come what may" feeling, a "free from school at last" feeling.

So we stayed in Lanta and never went to Ko Samui. We heard that we did the right thing, that the weather there is bad this time of year, that we wouldn't have wanted to waste an entire beach day sitting on a boat. We agreed. We spent six days losing ourselves in Ko Lanta. Six wonderful, sun-drenched, beer-soaked, careless days. We ate the best spring rolls I've ever eaten (thank you Thai Cat!), had some interesting political discussions, and really got to know our way around a large Chang Beer. But most of all, BEST of all, we actually relaxed. And since that was the purpose of going to the islands in the first place, I think we can safely say that our trip is off to a pretty good start.

No comments: