My Life in the Tropics

I woke up this morning at 6 am with the immediate feeling that something was touching me (speaks well for my unconscious self defense, no?). Turns out that it was a GIANT (3-inch) red millipede, poison status unknown. After spraying it with high powered Thai bug spray that’s not quite lavender scented and losing the bug in the depths of my bed base, I decided that returning to sleep was an impossibility (imagine that).

I made myself French toast in my electric wok. They were delicious and exactly what I wanted, if a bit impractical, incredient wise. It’s definitely not an item on the Thai menu, and not even something a backpacker could even really make for themselves. But I left the world of backpacking a while ago, when I started buying items I had no room for, like extra cloths and laptop speakers.

It was a delicious breakfast and the satisfaction of cooking was nice. There is however, something sad abut French toast for one. A breakfast, or really any meal that takes time to create, should be shared. Whether murmuring over Merlot or sharing coffee, food is better with friends and lovers. My last few days have been spent on independent activity, so the loss feels a bit deeper today. That fact that my current iTunes play list has some rather melancholy music, and I just finished reading the rather depressing The Virgin Suicides… well, I guess I was setting myself for a pity party this morning.

It struck me then– look at where I was! Look at what I was doing! Yes, sometimes it bothers me that I am nowhere near… that I’ve left that path that me and all my friends started on together so many years ago. When we whispered and dreamed about the future, as if we had any clue as to what would happen.

For the present, it 8:30 in the morning and a cooling breeze rushes through the kindling heat, ignorant to the detractors. It took less than 10 minutes on the scooter and here I am. A quiet little beach where waves ceaseless tease the shore and clouds paint shadows on the distant hills. I’m happy to have found a beach with shade.

Literally, look at where I am!




I’m happy that my favorite songs, filling my ears but unable to fully mute the crashing of infinity don’t seem so sad anymore

I’m happy to feel the community and energy of the beachgoers around me, whether the old, fat German man in a speedo, the Russian mother/daughter pair with complementary animal print bikinis, or the Thai couple swimming in full clothes. I’m happy.

… But if someone could get me on that 3-story yacht over there, I wouldn’t say no.

Um, yes please

The Pineapple Incident

My friends here in Thailand will tell you that perhaps I have been a bit irrational when it comes to approaches the street vendors here. After a couple incidents where I felt a little ripped off as the “single, foreign travel girl”, I am a little wary off approaching transactions where the cost is not clearly marked and irrefutable.

There is also such a culture of bargaining here, that the price a seller might tell you on a sarong or t-shirt is completely and totally negotiable, but I really don’t know if I have the presence to negotiate. I think the attitude to walk away has to be ever present.

In any case, I think food is a bit easier on the price because it is so cheap. Fruit is about 20 – 30 baht and hot food is probably 30 – 40 baht (30 baht equals 1 American dollar). It’s a lot easier to point and ask for what you want and food, more than any type of good, has to be sold. So I think they’re apt to quote a fairer price to anyone, farang or not.

Many of the vendors that sell food have their little kitchens attached to platforms on their motorbikes. The fruit-man comes around the the gym area and honks his horn to alert the camp to his arrival. He has a glass box filled with ice and fruit. You point at what you’d like they finish the chopping process and stick it in a bag for you (everything comes in bags here, including soup).

Obviously, the process is much easier and less mysterious than I imagined. Therefore, I’ll provide a step-by-step instruction of just how simple it was.

Step 1: Find the fruit man

Step 2: Point to the fruit you’d like and watch as the fruit man packages it up

Step 3: Enjoy!