Today was the day I had decided was going to be a day where I went exploring. Levi had given me instructions about what I could find to the left and the right of By Beach and now was the day to put it to the test! Mind you, today was also sunnier and therefore hotter and more humid than it had been so this was really going to test my stamina.
This time however, I was going to protect my feet and it worked! Out came the bandaids, socks and sneakers. A much better way to get about the place. My first stop was to check out the little grocery store at the entrance to the resort. Once again I was faced with the challenge of being in an environment where I didn’t speak or read the language! What I could understand was branding! After all Pringles still looks like Pringles even if the writing is in Thai. That said in a world where nations – especially industrialised, colonising nations – tend to take a very ethnocentric position over others it would seem that when it comes to money and capitalism, such nations are more than happy to “share”!
There are also many beautiful shrines and symbols associated with Buddhism. The funny thing is yesterday it was the bottle of soft drink in the shrine that helped me to recognise that I was in the right place!
Anyway, today was a day for exploring and that I did. First I wandered west for about 15 minutes until I came across a Family Mart. This is a supermarket that is larger than the little grocery store I mentioned earlier but only about the size of a 7-11 back home. Here I bought some water and some snacks. I don’t really know what they are but thought I’d give them ago. I’m actually glad I bought the water because I ended up walking further east than I expected and was able to use it to refill my water-bottle.
As I walked I noticed once again just how high the hills rose in the centre of the island. Where the built up areas are located is clearly at the bottom and there seems to be a clear demarcation between civilisation and the wild rain forests. It reminded me of the book “One hundred years of solitude” where civilisation battled to keep nature from taking over.
As per usual I ended up walking east further than I had anticipated but along the way enjoyed the sights. I found the infamous shell shop. When Levi first told me about this shop I did wonder how good it could really be. It was beautiful and there was so much to see. I did make some purchases including a simple but lovely pair of pearl earings.
I also discovered the cutest table and chair set – yes sheep! I had to sit there and enjoy a ‘health smoothie’. And how delicious and refreshing – honey, coconut, banana, milk and something else but hey, it was great! And yes the humidity…
My next adventure was lunch. It really was pot luck! One of those places where they cook on the street. Well it was actually a very delicious meal. The chicken was to die for. I have no idea what they marinated it in but it was the best chicken I’ve eaten yet. The veggies on the other hand were so hot that I had to eat the cucumber between each mouthful! The poor lady who prepared the food profusely apologized adding she only used one chilli!!! I laughed and reassured her it was me. She laughed too!
By that time I was ready to return to By Beach. So I grabbed a taxi and got back to my air conditioned room. Very quickly I realized that the remnants of the storm had passed and the high tide was much calmer. So I donned on the togs and spent the afternoon sitting at the edge of the retaining wall lazing around. There are moments when I feel I should be doing something but I am so so enjoying doing nothing.
Oh the staff here are currently having bubble fights to see who can blow the biggest and most bubbles! Now they’re taking photos with the bubbles and balloons! Anyone would think it was Christmas and they were getting ready for tonight’s Christmas party! Of course I had to help them out with a photo so they could all be in it! And yes tonight they are all in red and even the chefs are wearing bright floral shirts!
My cocktail tonight is a ‘long island’ as recommended by Sam, the waiter and yes it packs a punch!
Now the musician has started. It’s really going to be a lovely night. I really do need to get myself a guitar again.
Now for one of my favorite meals – satay chicken and spicy Thai fried rice.