I bid farewell to my hotel sisters and hope to return after the monsoon season; I also say goodbye to Om, who insists I come stay at his parent’s place next time I visit. Apparently his mother is super kind and loves guests.
Sticky rice, sticky rice, I enjoy. Financial anorexia.
I hop in the last seat of a white minivan, which travels on two separate barges and then a long road back to Krabi town. The ride is not nearly as scenic as the catamaran ride but is the more economical alternative. I snuggle next to a Korean boy who snoozes the entire three hour ride back to Krabi. There is an amorous couple from Barcelona in the seats in front of me and I translate the directions from the Thai driver to my only Spanish speaking compatriots. It was fun to use my limited skills in such a tongue, an experience I thoroughly enjoyed during my days working in a NYC restaurant with the majority of men behind the scenes (although those words were undoubtedly less polite). We all jump out at the large black crab statue near one of the night markets beginning to awaken at the seaside, the ladies eagerly setting up carts of noodles, red and green curries, fruit and chocolate rotis, Singha, and shakes.
I return to fetch my backpack first, the contents and yoga mat all at peace. There are no rooms available at the same hostel so I leave by big bag again (for a short moment) to search for a room, which I do, but not as cheap as desired. Afternoon arrival in towns is never good for budget accommodation acquisition.
Travel tricks have become second nature, the most important skill indisputably is PATIENCE with a capital P. One must throw away one’s watch, remove any conceptions of time, and be with the flow of nature. A true New Yorker may be a bit uneasy of such a way of life where one must let go of all reigns of control. Trains and buses schedules are bonk, reservations online for hostel beds more often impractical, and it is always more polite to allow fellow guests to begin eating before all plates arrive for the staging of dishes an impromptu show. And eat on the street and never in the restaurants. The food is constantly more authentic, delicious, and cheap. The stands offer 5-8 dishes all with native ingredients and are prepared with love. The cafes try to recreate Western stuff in addition to the traditional plates and one is simply paying for ambiance (which clearly depends on how one defines such a concept) and liquor licensing. I mean, truthfully, how possible is it to do Thai, Chinese, Indian, pizza, pasta, pancakes, smoothies, and steak well? Go to the hawker cart. One last dining tip…be mindful of the manners of the land. In Brazil use a fork and knife, a spoon and fork in Thailand, chopsticks and a small soup ladle in Laos, ones hands in India, and all of the above in Malaysia. It is all too fun! Locals assisting with reading maps? No bueno. The translation of street names is frequently wrong, the reading of English a challenge. Best that one learn the resident language, a courteous gesture well appreciated (study the basic phrases and one will win sincere smiles). Ah, yes. Smiles. Smiling is the universal expression of kindness. Give your neighbors random smiles, do the same when in foreign lands, smile at yourself for being awesome.
So I will leave for Penang Malaysia tomorrow morning, my time in Thailand finished for now. Penang is a stop en route to Bali for I have a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali on March 20th. My intention is set to attend the Bali Yoga, Music, and Spirit Festival the last weekend of March.
Universe, I request assistance in making this dream become a reality. Any support, financial or otherwise, is appreciated with the utmost gratitude. Love and light to all.