Friday, September 09, 2005


lost my voice for a bit is all.

am i still in thailand? yessirree and no (real) plans for leaving, though i did have an episode in which i was fed up with this country, packed and said goodbye but didn't follow through (yippee!). if i can not find a way to be satisfied here (at least for a few months) then i have a problem. this is my favorite jungle and paradise-beach-having island! 9-5 america? ha.

the newly begun monsoon storms are theatrically scary and vampiric, and things crawl out of the jungle to take shelter at my cheerily lit home (if our motorbike makes it home on time we squirm our way in too). a flitting firefly even trapped itself in my room, conveniently when the electricity and satellite were out (nice!). toads singing becomes a deafening roar. thunder prickles the hair on your chest (if you have any- neither 'o' or i do). everything shuts down and i develop anxieties about natural disasters, er, for some reason, and gulp fish oil caplets to lubricate my worrywart brain. it’s hard to tell the muslim calls to mecca (or wherever) in the jungle across from my house, from the werewolves that come out later in the black night and howl at the monsters (apparently). but the overall peace and quiet of being in nature by the sea is good.

my home is homey. i sleep late in the huge bed, dangling a hand over the side to keep my teething puppy ('gogo') from squealing mercilessly at my feet all night long. my other puppy, ‘o’, drapes heavy limbs across me from my other side. my neighbors almost killed gogo in the street but brought her rather presumptuously to me instead, 6 weeks old and covered in carnivorous fleas. her favorite thing to do is pee in new and exciting places on the floor. her favorite food is feet. she presented me with my first ever view of a tapeworm, and she howls at night right along with the werewolves (probably drunk English hippies) but i had forgotten how happy unconditional love makes me, and when I took her to the shelter to get rid of her, I managed to change my mind and get her a flea collar and lots of toys to play with at her new home (-gasp! ties!). i take her for races in our huge weird yard, or to the beach nearby. she pokes her head up out of my shoulder bag and causes other girls to swoon. ‘o’ has started feeding her bits and patting her on the head, which is good for isaan people, who trade dogs to butchers for free plastic water buckets. i also have a pregnant cat who has defiantly adopted me as her caregiver. and various other neighborhood animals who drop by for their share of the loving. animal lady. barf.


other than that it’s just ‘o’ and I, and the neighbors, who are ridiculously, gorgeously perfect. from brazil. newly married and fond of f***ing loudly and voraciously in the daytime (to 'o's' excruciating embarrassment and my bored delight). .. the sweet retired couple who own our house (and about ten others) likes to dally in the garden outside, in garish flowered shirts and big hats. the woman has the rosiest cheeks I have ever seen and giggles like a pig. the man is shy, but industrious, and sets about planting new and wondrous plants every day in no particular logical fashion. the yard is lopsided and we are unsure how we will eventually traverse it when the bushes he drops randomly spurt growths. it’s nice though, to stumble upon the jackfruit tree, or the trailing vines full of colorful and unusual (big) spiders. we can walk to the beach, through some scraggly jungle yards of other thai people in sarongs and startled expressions, with monkeys tied to sticks outside their houses. the beach here isn’t anything special, except that we usually have it to ourselves. low season gives you a lot of time for introverted musing (and forced peace, though hard to accept for some idiotic reason, is so necessary).

this island life is entirely different from my past island lives as there are not a lot of people in it. I am isolated, with no real selection of nightlife except a girlie bar. but have everything else I could possibly need (except perhaps faster internet) and feeling fine.

on weekends when I am not working diligently on my laptop from my airy porch, with some music or another drifting out from the house where ‘o’ cooks, we pack up our motorbike and go spend the day in the paradisical thong nai pan. we no longer have good friends there (we realized with sad confusion), but we did manage a couple of days lounging on the powdery white sand under a shady tree on the beach without a care, surrounded by an astonishing lack of beachwear being worn and awe-inspiring natural sights such as a hawk soaring over the water with a snake in it’s beak. we play badminton and have a see-through float. we spent a lovely evening at a small party at a great place, with huge swings near the cliffs, a belly filling barbecue, and the most adorable thai indie band (the girl sings like mazzy star and the boy plays plaintive bongos) ever. some of the boys lit hoops on fire and took turns jumping through, drunk. people danced. ‘o’ and I laid on lounges near the beach with candles. later we raced home through the jungle in the dark.

other times we go to had rin, which is not so thai but full of annoying people like certain barboys that ‘o’ has an unfortunate acquaintance with & that I try not so discreetly to dissuade him from. ugh. but it has good foreign food and I am not above laying down 500 baht or so to share with ‘o’ a thali and chai. I can even get burritos, and it is sometimes interesting to observe other island lovers in their actions…. had yao is good too, with a similar white fluffy beach to thong nai pan, but with an added sunset. and thong sala is a must every day- waving through speeding town traffic to get to the market, to buy roast chickens or plump fruits, check out all the travelers at the 7-11, and say hi to some musician friends we managed to meet. on the way home I love to visit the herbal sauna at the temple, where you shut yourself in a dark steamy room with unknown accent-having people, until you start to freak out from lack of oxygen, and emerge into the fresh early evening, filled with dogs, flowers, and smiling monks stoking the kettle of wood behind, sipping hot herbal tea and checking out people in their skivvies.

at home we watch extreme makeovers (poor, poor people), play guitar, tickle gogo, argue, I make grilled cheese or spaghetti or salad (the only 3 farang dishes possible here I think) and ‘o’ covers the grilled cheese with jelly (ick). i read many many many brilliant books but fail to write one, again. ‘o’ pouts because his friends in Bangkok stole his school books from the mail and tries to plan a future in Thailand (poor thing), & I am planning for a Christmas trip, hopefully to Europe but probably to Nepal. maybe with ‘o’.


rodddy said...

Hi Elocin,

Wicked blog you have. I love your writting style.

I have two questions for you -

What was the name of the Thai indie band - sounds interesting.

Where is Koh Phan Ngan would you suggest staying. I'm going to be there for New Year. Don't want to stay in Had Rin as I'ge been there before and it's okay for partying, but...

12:20 AM  
Henry said...

Hi Elocin:

I sure do enjoy reading about your adventures in Thailand and your new home in Ko Phangan. i am doing something very similar to you, although I am in a different age group and do not have the great storytelling ability that you have. I am living in the north of Thailand in a house that I recently built with my wife. One of the expat sites just published my story about buying land
and property in thailand
. Anyway, I wish you all the best in your future journeys.

5:16 PM  
elocin x said...

nice article henry, thanks. i think i know your lawyer joe! (hi joe)

9:34 PM  
alissono said...

hi elocin,

weird, i started reading (sporadically) your blog before i went to thailand last year, anyway now just for some reason i just checked it again (haven't for a long time) and just reading this, wow, i really think your writing is getting better, good for you, and you sound happier too. (i think that rhymed. soryy, i'm a bit drunk).

3:03 PM  

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