Here we are, one magical moment, such is the stuff from where dreams are woven … tall in this room overlooking the ocean.

“This is going to be horrible.

It’s horrendous.  You’ll hate it.”

“Oh god, I’m not looking forward to this.  It’s gonna be shit.”


Poor Donna was so stunned by my increasing sense of doom and despair that she felt the need to hide in the toilet trying to squeeze out any surplus fluids in case my fear of being caught short manifested itself in a long traffic jam in a jam-packed minibus with no air conditioning.

The stuff of middle- aged lady nightmares.

Yes,  we were going on the road,  and the sea, to Koh Lanta.

I kept saying, “I’m hoping that by telling you how awful it will be you won’t find it so bad.”

And she, and I, didn’t in the end because it was a fairly pleasant journey apart from not enough legroom and an unfortunate, for me, incident at the toilet stop. I am not very good at those squat toilets and somehow managed to wee in my own face.

Upon arriving at our hotel we found Reception was deserted. In fact so was the bar.

Eventually we found someone to check us in. We’d booked adjacent bungalows with little porches out front. Two bungalows because they’re so cheap at the moment and definitely not because Donna likes the room to be fridge temperature and I prefer about 20°.

I’d already warned Donna that they wouldn’t be as luxurious as the last place but she was fine with that, even when she saw a cockroach in the bathroom and had to balance her kettle on a structure of glasses and sundry items in order to plug it in to the only socket in the room.

I am scared of electric showers in foreign countries so that was my chief concern. Sitting on the floor having a wash under a knee high tap was the imperfect solution to that issue. The water started off brown but soon ran clear.

We were absolutely starving after our journey so set off in search of food.

Easier said than done on a sleepy island in low season.

We managed though.

Klong Nin Beach, where we’re staying, is a tiny place with hotels, bars, and restaurants lining a single street. On one side the buildings also overlook the sea.

To me it’s Paradise.

If you ignore the shit that the rough seas have fetched in.

I know that the flotsam and jetsam of discarded bottles and flip-flops and bits of driftwood will be cleaned up and recycled before high season but they do spoil the otherwise perfect view a little bit. 

We had a choice of very few places to go to in the evening, so sat in Rasta Baby at a table overlooking the ocean until I spoilt it by wanting to chat to a group of locals who were sitting at a table as far from the sea as physically possible. Still, we learnt some new Thai words that we promptly forgot, and then set off back to sit on my porch.

“Ooh they’re waving at us!”

Much like in the film Labyrinth, a secret bar had appeared seemingly out of nowhere and we couldn’t resist taking a peek, so we stepped over a three-legged street dog and gate-crashed a little birthday party.

After drinking the bar dry of the one bottle of wine they had, we poured our own 7-11 wine and chatted to two western ladies who had relinquished their treadmill lives and moved to the island. Each had a Thai boyfriend/fiancé and each had been imbibing something that made them both happy and chatty. It’s refreshing to meet couples where the woman is the westerner simply because it’s normally the other way round.

“They’ll be talking about old wood”, said Ellie the American of hers and Natalie’s other halves. “That’s all they talk about: old wood.”

We didn’t talk about old wood though.  We talked about Natalie’s upcoming nuptials and how she’d do her hair, and how Ellie couldn’t get married because she already had a husband who she was reluctant to divorce because of the large life insurance payment she’d get if he died.  She has a calendar reminder to check his hoped for demise on Google once a month. 

The ladies, and their lovers, appear to lead a charmed existence. 

They’re smiley and funny and contented. 

And they demonstrate that anything is possible.

Except for Ellie moving to or even visiting the US with her beau is impossible because Thailand has blacklisted since the last World War.  Marrying him wouldn’t solve the problem.

It’s a funny old world when a country built on immigration rejects such a hard- working, hardy,  generally pleasant race of people.

Given the choice though, I would choose living in Thailand over living in the US any day.

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