If I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers.Albert Camus, An Absurd Reasoning
Despite the many pleasures of these magical islands, it’s a rare joy to find a truly great cup of coffee. I’ve spent so much time in the world’s great coffee cities that I’m spoiled for world-class brew. And here… well, sometimes even Nescafé is better than the local beans.
On Koh Samui, a small café and bar called The Road Less Travelled finally filled my cup. They roast their own beans, have home-made dark chocolate treats, and know how to pull an espresso with the best. It’s a coffee-lover’s heaven. It’s worth a trip off the beaten path if your travels ever find you in the Gulf of Thailand.
Fifty-one weeks after my last day in Argentina the process to organize, import, transcode, sort, log, keyword, transcribe, translate and most importantly review and annotate 128 hours of footage is complete. My bullet-point notes add up to 87000 words, 350 pages of observations and insights. My plan was four months. It took almost eight. It’s a tedious process, and though I learned a lot and experienced some spine-tinglingly-great moments, I’m very glad it’s done.
Now on to the next phase of creative work: to transform a few moments from the mountain into 90 minutes of movie magic.
Some places sing with their vibrancy. On Koh Pha-Ngan, it’s the sky. Reflected in the shores and water, the beehives and trees, the sky fills the place with fluorescence. It’s as if the island glows from within.
I love to just bask in the colours and let them refill me.
The forecasted tropical storm didn’t materialize.
Still, the water kicked and rolled, welcome cool air blasted my face and colours and clouds roiled in the wake of the wind.
Once in awhile, you need to wander to get lost
In Georgetown, former colonial capital of Malaysia for a visa run. Conveniently, the Thai consulate decided to close for a few days which gave me some extra time to wander and explore.
I wish 15-year-old me could see me now. All of the struggle to earn confidence and courage without losing sensitivity and soul… it has all been worth it. I don’t cling to stasis or predictability. I flow, move, change and adapt to new knowledge and understanding. I am capable. I feel capable.
I think the teenage me would be both a little impressed and a little shocked with who I’ve become. I suppose my most-often reminisced regret is not learning so many of these lessons sooner. Ha… I guess hindsight like this is the gift of old age.
For most of my life, saying goodbye has been emotional. It’s filled with wants and needs wrapped in a dramatic parting, or so my heart tells me. And this trip has been full of goodbyes: to friends, to family, to home, new friends and places I’m just beginning to understand. This is one.
At the same time, I’ve never been able to stop moving. More than two months in one place and my feet start to itch.
Island life is calling, and the smoke is hard to take. So, it’s two trains, a bus and a ferry to a new place with fresh air and long sandy beaches.