Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Full of Life

Ah, the tropics. It's full of life. Black butterflies floating everywhere. Lizards scampering, crabs poking in and out of their holes, mosquitoes drinking my blood, birds begging at the tables, fish darting around my legs. It's wonderful. And the highlight are the resident semi wild monkeys. They will just wander in to the beach area and hang out by the soccer nets, have their pictures taken accept a few bananas and then leave. I never had my camera with me at those times, of course.

I started out the day eating at the morning buffet with all the Japanese tourists. We come from a time zone two hours ahead so we were the first ones there. After breakfast I headed down to the beach. There are only limited times when you can swim due to the tides, so I took advantage of the first opportunity. Of course I forgot my suntan lotion and had to spend $10 at the hotel to buy a bottle. Turns out it's suntan oil. Yuck. It worked okay, but I still got pink. Swam and lazed on a beach chair and read my book. Came back up the cliff to my room, took a nice bath and headed back to the beach for my scheduled Thai massage. Lying amonst the palm trees, on a blanket on the grass getting worked over by a bussinesslike Thai woman is just about heaven. You could hear the surf and the children playing and the sounds of the birds and monkeys was awesome while a gentle breeze keeps the heat from being oppressive. Afterwards I ate lunch at the beach hut. Terrible pizza, awesome blue tropical drink. Went back to the room and read and took a nap. Then in the early evening caught the shuttle to Patong Beach. That's the beach you saw in all those incredible videos of the Tsunami. The only signs that anything has happened down there is that all the trees on the beach are young and have framework to hold them up. Otherwise it is back to being the sleezy, tourist trap it is famous for being. A nice British couple invited me to hang out with them for awhile. We walked around for a long time, being harrassed by every tuk-tuk driver, sidewalk salesman and go-go dance bar carney. We ate dinner at some scuzzy outdoor restaurant where the food was delicious. Unfortunately I was so hot I drank more soda than ate food. After dinner I set the sweet couple free of their duty of watching after me and headed for the shops. Haggling is standard here. And I'm not a good haggler. But I did it fair enough. Basically I set my standard at 250 Baht (thats about $7.50). I got a lamp, a skirt, a shirt, thongs, and a sarong all at 250 Baht each. By that time it was 11:30 and time to catch the shuttle back to the hotel. I really could have used a drink before taking that journey again. It's very hair raising. There is this mountain in the middle of the island and the road that goes up it is scarier than any roller coaster I have ever ridden. There are places where the grade has to be 25 percent, and a zig zaggy four lane road with 6 lanes of traffic vying for the best spots. It's absolutely crazy. But I survived and got back to my pretty little room. Oh, I forgot to tell you about the hotel. The public areas have no walls. Yep, no walls. It's the most luxourious bamboo hut complex you've ever seen. Really!


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