When we left our hero, he was being ridiculed by a Thai Cabbie for not indulging in the delicacies of Thai massage...
I arrived at Ekamai Bus Depot and went upstairs to a restaurant with an Internet cafe and air conditioning to catch up on my writing.
It was here that I met Amie (pronounced 'Amy'). I was sitting at at table here in the restaurant upstairs when she approached me; Amie is a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Mongolia. She's from Iowa. She asked if I knew how to get to Kao San Road. I told her I only knew a 'Kirsten Road' (sorry Ted. I just had to get you one more time for that one..) She said I had a friendly face (see, and no beard Dennis) so she sat down and told me her story. She is leaving for China in a couple of days but she just met an Englishman on one of the Islands. He's going home tomorrow but they arranged to meet tonight at 9:30. She borrowed my ...yellow pen... and gave me some information on a good place to stay on the Island she was just on.
Okay, I have to tell the yellow pen story. I would have included it in my three picture day but I didn't get the picture and it was an inner experience anyway. Just before I met up with my notorious tuk-tuk driver Joe, I was walking around the markets on a whim when a man came out of the crowd holding up a pen. He bowed to me and presented this yellow pen. I stood for a moment, stunned, then I put out my hand and received it. It was as if everything in that swirling market of activity was silent for a moment as I took it from him. He smiles and disappeared into the day. I call this my Magic Pen now.
So then I met Dennis, Jook and Monkey. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Dennis met these two women (and a third who couldn't join us this weekend) while travelling up North in Thailand. They invited him to stay in their apartment building at Samutphrakan, just south of Bangkok. That's where he's been while I was in Sukhothai. So now we all teamed up for a weekend trip to the Island of Koh Samet.
You just can't imagine how wonderful it is to travel with companions who actually can speak the language. They took wonderful care of us. They bought the tickets and took us for a snack and even held our hands as we crossed the street, like we were third graders (Dennis, more like a second grader...).
We took a bus to Rayong; a seaside resort and launching point for the Islands. We got hotel rooms overnight. Fortunately, the beds were not bamboo slats like in Chiang Mai so Dennis didn't have the same complaint about me making noise all night...yes the women had their own room... you bloggers are so nosey...
We were up at 6am to get ready to take a boat to the Island. This is the sunrise from our balcony that morning.
Monkey and Jook took us for a traditional Thai breakfast. They didn't tell us what was in it and we didn't ask.
Our friends went to a market and got a lot of fruit and other food for the Island and then we got on the boat for the half hour trip to Koh Samet.
I have to say, I wasn't really prepared for how beautiful the Island was. We stepped out of the heat and walked straight into a jade green ocean that was bathwater warm. The sand felt like sugar to my feet and I a warm breeze blew around us in a sunny blue sky.
Jook and I swam out and lay on our backs in the salty water and let the sea's buoyancy float us effortlessly with the current.
We stayed in side by side beach huts, a minute from the ocean. We went for a barbecue that night, right on the beach, eating pork and chicken shish kabob, and fish that we chose ourselves. We looked at the clear night and the 'rabbit moon' overhead and the stars, as we listened to the surf nearby and watched as a man twirled flaming batons on the sand in front of us.
We ate wonderful food. We drank beer and wine coolers on the beach while listening to Thai music being played near us. We sat under a palm tree and laughed and talked and rested on sarongs spread under the night sky.
Then, we headed to our separate rooms and I got into the very large bed and relived the memories of this Magical day. Finally, I turned to my companion and said the only words left to say on this most incredible day; "Dennis if you roll over I'll kill you."