Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Upgrade Pt. 2/The Beach Wedding

One of the challenges of maintaining a blog when you're a long term resident in one location is the risk of sounding repetitive in posts. Yes, today was much like the other days. I woke up, practiced yoga, ate, rode my motorbike, socialized and went to the beach. And same same to the previous six times in the last three months, I moved houses once again in Koh Phangan.
Yesterday my landlord called me saying he had rented out my room to another (assumingly higher paying) customer. Within hours, I said GOODBYE to my luxury tree house in the jungle, and HELLO to my even newer, ocean-view room in a brand new house further down on the property.
No longer surrounded by the tree-trunks (and the accompanying hordes of ants) of my "Princess Porn-y" bed, I've moved over to a much more subdued Queen Size with fully functioning mosquito net.
Although I loved the Western bathroom in my last room, I won't miss the unidentifiable rotting smell that came from the wall by the toilet. When I asked my landlord if he thought it might be a dead gecko, he said, "I don't know. But I haven't seen my cat in a couple weeks."
My new bathroom, sans smell, is complete with a brand new sink and flushing toilet,
storage shelves plus a fully stocked German literature library,
and a hot shower.
And just in case I feel like showering expends way too much physical effort...BAM!
And of course, my favorite part, my outdoor "closet." (Hey, you've got to be creative when you live in a room with no shelves).
This evening I sat on my terrace enjoying the jungle view,
and soaking up the last hour of daylight before a brilliant seaview sunset.
I love my new room in a same same but different way to the tree house. However, when my landlord came into my room just hours after unpacking my backpack and asked if I would move tomorrow to a bigger jacuzzi room for three days and then move to whatever he had available after, I smiled politely and said "hell to the nah!" I'll be sticking here for my final week in Koh Phangan.

On a totally unrelated note, I saw a bride and groom emerge from the sea today.
The bride tried to throw her seashell bouquet at me,
but I stood by with my hands superglued to my sides and let it go to this happy bachelorette.
 I hope she finds her island love.
#loveandinternationalkisses #besosbisousbaci.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My House is a Very, Very Fine House/The Upgrade

Thanks to my sister for making me her Delta travel companion on my last birthday, I've become a bonafide resident in the world of standby travel. I've experienced the lows of budget travel like getting the last non-reclining seat in the back of the plane next to a toddler and the inverse highs of scoring a massaging seat/bed in business class next to warm cookies and an ice cream sundae. Therefore, I'd say that I am no stranger when it comes to appreciating an enormous upgrade.
The past two months in Koh Phangan, I happily made my home in a basic beachside bungalow. I grew accustomed to the simple exterior of my bungalow made of twigs.
(If the Big Bad Wolf showed up, my house would have definitely blown down).
I learned to accept the manual non-flushing toilet and cold shower as everyday practices in patience and creativity (ie how many friends could I make on the island with hot showers).
And the springy, yet board-like mattress became a welcome place to lay my head at the end of a long day massaging. It also doubled as a nice armoire since I had no shelves or drawers in my hut to unpack my backpack.
It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment my acceptance of the beach bungalow started to wane, but it happened around the time when the beach rat living on my roof sounded like it was going to fall through my ceiling, a prehistoric-sized gecko decided to call my shower towel her home and the cockroach living in my toilet brush dive bombed into my pillow then licked my toothbrush.
As the hippies and yogis say, the universe was sending me signs to find a new home. I began asking various friends and contacts if they knew of any houses opening up. This being the height of high season, I knew that it was going to be slim pickings, but luckily a friend from a local dive school told me about a room opening up in his house. It was on the same bay as my bungalow, but further up from the beach in the jungle. Intrigued by the proposal, I went to examine this potential home and as they say, the rest is history.
I said goodbye to my little wooden box on the beach and hello to my house on the hill.
No more springy mattress for me. I've upgraded to a king-size Princess bed. (Or as some friends call it a "princess porn-y bed").
(My gal pal Julia was happy to call my bed her home for the last week)
Goodbye wooden window shades that offered no natural light. Hello balcony with a sea and jungle-view!
(Here's Julia again enjoying the view and smoke)
And my favorite part of all....THE WESTERN BATHROOM. Complete with flushing toilet, hot water and a glass-enclosed shower that isn't over the toilet.
All this for $11/day. Thank you Thailand!