Saturday, November 26, 2005

trouble in paradise

it's all fun and games til monsoon season, and this is the worst in years according to locals. unfortunately i did not prepare. living miles from civilization gives you a sort of happy nonchalance that can be a bit dangerous. so now, with flash flooding, torrential rains, bungalows crumbling into the sea, no electricity for most of the day and night, no clean water supply, and a forecast of at least another week of doom (plus a week after that before my village will be accessible to the outside world, and vice versa) i am greatly mourning the fact that i did not stock up on canned goods, water, and food for my puppies! (note the plural, i now have two, sigh).

thong nai pan normally

thong nai pan now

bungalows sliding into the water

the upside is i have a very nice house. it's not much fun hanging out in the damp darkness all day while my pups growl blamefully at me. but at least there is shelter.

my house

'o' has had to come join me here, as his house is completely flooded out. (no he is not my boyfriend again, though i do slip up and refer to him as such. actually it's working really well as friends! i pay him to cook and drive for me and he leaves me alone otherwise...) last night i had fluffed up some mats and blankets on the floor in front of the tv for him, and plopped myself down on the bed to sleep, when suddenly i felt a pinprick on my skin. i then noticed the scorpion sitting next to me- i don't know if it was the shocking visual, the quick action of the venom, or the fact that he stung me again that turned the pain into a screaming stabbing throbbing pain like a sliver of molten steel being injected into my arm. i squealed and jumped up, swatting at my arm, and flicked the scorpion onto 'o', who was promptly stung on the neck and hand as well. sigh. scorpion venom seems to magnify feelings of panic, that's for sure, and i have never felt such pain in my life (still do, a day later). not a fun night, as the electricity went out shortly after (and was not to return until about 18 hours later). we sat snivelling over our wounds and imagining our prolonged deaths far into the night.

vampire scorpion

i would like to tell stories of all the fun i am having with my lovely friends (claudia the taxi driving hippie german writer with the weird mannerisms who unfortunately just ran away because her thai boyfriend - my dear friend 'w'- is a cheating bastard, "susie" the surprisingly straightforward, honest and very crazy ladyboy who is becoming my best pal and 'o''s employer, the israeli guy who is totally nondescript until he sings, at which time you can't help falling madly in love with him and his lyrics, the group of hunters in their humvee with rifles who bring bloody carcasses of wild pig and headless birds home every day next door, etc. etc.) but to tell the truth everything is on hold til this storm dissipates and life morphs back to something more resembling the paradisical reality that is normally my island.

Friday, November 18, 2005


i realized i could do the same post all over again this month-

festival (loy kratong, spent at a weird party on a dirty pier)

puppy and one of her multitudinous and greedy friends

a humongous moth that this picture does not do justice to who lives noisily in my room

and here is a bonus pic of the main room in my house- yippee!


Saturday, November 12, 2005


i have been waiting for the full moon to reappear so i get some of my mental clarity back- i am just too scattered and useless until then to post anything too extensive or interesting.

in the past couple of weeks i have moved from one side of my happy island to the much better other side (at the beach! thong nai pan). i live smack dab in the middle of the village, surrounded by thai-speaking, sarong-wearing, betel-nut-chewing old grandparents peeking into my windows and burning the bushes around me at all hours. their yards are full of chickens, rabbits, mongooses (or is it mongeese?), and assorted other peculiar wildlife, including about 6 new mongrels who have adopted me and my puppy-dog as their best food-providing pals... the day i moved in a karaoke bar coincidentally opened right next door- sigh. i don't understand the attraction of karaoke in the first place, let alone for those who couldn't carry a tune, but there is a certain charm to listening to their hopeless squawking at all hours of the night (not). otherwise, my new house is huge and pretty nice for 5000b/mo., except that it has a grotesque thai style bathroom (squat toilets are not my favorite and a bucket of water rather than a spray hose doesn't cut it for me, use your imagination to figure out why). but i have farang-ified it a bit by putting in UBC cable and ADSL internet, and i paid a guy to set up hot water (though so far he seems to have destroyed my entire water system and disappeared). i can walk to the loveliest beach in about one minute, and though all my friends are gone on vacation in this the height of monsoon season, i am anticipating happy reunions in the next month, with lots of cheery cocktails under the moon.

i also was laid off from my american job (last quarter, it's inevitable) and was offered a new one by my boss in the same week. hmm! such luck! i am offering my guardian angel sexual favors in hopes that it lasts!

...but the biggest thing that happened was that i finally and successfully kicked out 'o'! yessiree boys and girls, i am not such a fool after all. when he disappeared again for a couple of days with no word and then raised his fists threateningly at me when i complained upon his return, i took a sober stock of the situation and a whole lot of emotions i thought i might have for him conveniently slipped away. it was not easy to get rid of him peacefully, and i had to pay his rent on a new place, unfortunately in the same village (he refused to leave otherwise)... but he is officially out of my house and good riddance to him. though i care about him and his welfare (a bit too maternally in retrospect), i am tired of his taking advantage of that fact, and i have realized he doesn't care about me much at all beyond my pocketbook, so, adios. the challenge is going to be to keep him away! he has already developed a habit of dropping by whenever he pleases to watch tv or smoke on the porch. i think i will have to find another man, of similar education, interests, and ambition as i have this time (who is hopefully smoking hot as well), and flaunt him a bit before 'o' really gets the hint and gets his own life. but hey- it's high season soon and the scandinavian boys will be coming in droves. i am not too worried.

the past week i actually left koh phangan on a visa trip, first to bangkok to take care of some personal business (where i fell in love with the dirty, chaotic city all over again and had second thoughts about my island), and then to penang malaysia, where i am now acquiring another triple entry tourist visa for thailand. it is so nice to have time to myself, and i miss travelling so much. though i don't particularly like penang much and in an effort to avoid the hissing obscenities spouted by loitering indian and muslim men i have spent most of the time holed up in my hotel room working. but things are starting to fall into place. i plan to spend december and january on koh phangan (my baby sister is coming to visit me too!), save as much money as i can, and in spring of next year maybe get back on the road and see what i can see.