Koh Samui- Paradise Found
Wednesday, February 24, 1999
One hour and ten minutes flight south of Bangkok is Koh Samui. Ho hum. Another island paradise. My only serious preparation for the trip had been to remove my wristwatch. Our hotel transfer met us at the quaint airport and carried the bags to his pick-up truck. I was a little afraid of going into premature labor on the very bumpy road but we arrived safely at ‘Montien House’.
We took a walk on the beach to the south after we checked into our hotel. It was already dark but many familiar stars lit our way. We walked back along the road which was lined by batik hawkers and the like.
The next morning we got up late-what a joy to finally be over jet-lag! Breakfast was served at our hotel until 11 – 11:30 so it was no problem. Next we walked north on the beach (Chewang beach). We arrived at the furthest point around noon. A non-pregnant person could probably walk the entire length of the beach in 45 minutes but it would take me about 2 hours to waddle that far in the heat in my condition.
A steady breeze kept things cool. We stopped to view some serviced apartments called ‘Muang Kulaypan Hotel’. And stayed and stayed. Sitting in a ‘Lanna’ style booth at the hotel restaurant (Budsba) between the beach and the pool Al hatched an idea.
Not knowing our future after September, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of staying in a serviced apartment on Sukumvit (in Bangkok) for a few months after we left our house. Al said, “Why don’t we come here instead?” I loved the Japanese Zen design of the place so I said, “Yes.” That was if another job doesn’t find him first.
No doubt if you look up the definition of ‘laid back’ in the dictionary it will say See ‘Koh Samui’. I saw another pregnant woman wearing sarong pants tied under her belly. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was planning on wearing her navel ring during labor? The unpretentious wasland is a favorite with backpacker hippie types. But we were just old rich people pretending to be hippies for a few days. None of the beachwear vendors that I saw were wearing their wares. We saw lots of dread locks, men with long hair and tattoos. Not to mention body piercing. Just us and five or six thousand Germans.
If you really get bored you could get a 1 hour massage right on the beach for about US$5 an hour. Or if your hair was long enough, you could get your hair braided into cornrows with little colored beads put on ends.
Our second day on a tropical island paradise. Never mind wearing shoes to breakfast. I suppose if I showed up in my nightgown (as I regularly do at home) no one would bat an eye. There was another reason for me not to wear shoes though. I found out why they are called ‘sandals’. Wading in the surf the previous day allowed enough sand to stick on the Velcro of my Tevas to rub blisters on my feet.
We experienced a duplicate idyllic morning. Al went sailing on a rented catamaran (Hobie 16) while I sat and read ‘Cruising World’ magazine and watched him out of the corner of my eye. The people watching along the beach is great. Naked children. Absentminded European women who had forgotten to pack the tops to their two piece swim-suits. Real people with real bodies. I saw very few perfect bodies but lots of very sweet extremely old couples holding hands.
Is ‘leisure activity’ an oxymoron?
My lunch was so good that day that despite intending to eat only half of it (brown rice with sweet and sour fish) I ate all the rice. I really don’t have a lot of space for food these days as the baby is pushing my stomach up against my ribs and I was very uncomfortable. I thought the skin on my abdomen would split so I went into the toilet and smeared suntan lotion all over my gut.
During my walk to dinner I regretted learning any of the Thai language. We overheard many comment on my protruding stomach. Roughly translated the comments were all variations of, “Wow! Look at the size of her huge belly!”
Day three found us in a rented jeep circumnavigating the tiny island. We found the ingredients for a perfect lunch; sea, sandy beach, surf, 85F degrees, 3-4 Bft breeze (enough to keep the bugs away). I guess the waitperson was the cook’s husband eager to show off his wife’s cooking talents augmented by the best service he could offer as the lone waiter.
The next day’s lunch was perfect as well. We went back to Budsba Restaurant and claimed a Lanna style hut. The baby seemed to really be lulled by the woosh-woosh of the waves. A little squall was brewing so the wind and waves picked up. A steady stream of peddlers offering bright batik sarongs, charcoal grilled sate (cooking as they walked) and corn on the cob went by our hut. I bought two very large rectangular scarves.
Koh Samui has a darling airport. Our airline offered all the complimentary bananas you’d like in the open air waiting area. Cute trams ferried passengers from the terminal to the planes. I was asked THREE times how many months pregnant I was before being allowed to board. Or maybe they just thought I was trying to sneak a whole boneless ham onto the flight under my shirt?