Day 7 – Day 12 Koh Samet paradise
Heavenly bliss – the island was everything and more what we hoped for – lovely beaches, blue water and luscious green around. We could feel our relax mode starting to work immediately. This was exactly why I wanted to come to Thailand in the first place.. and I was extremely pleased that we had made the decision to come. Thank you Nadia, for helping us get there.. The hotel Sky Cottage looked very nice and clean with all the modern facilities we need, the beach was around the corner. Finally Bliss… The sea was warm, the sand soft and everybody looked relaxed. Now it was our time to get relaxed. For these days I have nothing much to report as we did not do very much. Almost every day we went to the beach, we swam and then in the evening we had dinner on the beach. It was great that we could just walk along the sea to the next beach which was a lot busier but looked so inviting and charming in the evening with all coloured lights and lanterns, like a fairy tale. On one of the mornings we wanted to walk on the beach in the direction of the one little village which is on the island. The more we came into that direction, the more people we encountered and most of them were Chinese groups who had taken over the hotels and restaurants where they were staying.
This holiday it was becoming clear that tourists now are from all parts of the world, where like 10 years ago it mostly the Western people taking holidays and doing travel. Not only Chinese people were here, but also many people from Russia. I think it is good that they can now travel freely and connect with the world and other cultures, I hope we all get a better understanding of each other this way. I have always believed that travelling is the best way to open yourself up for other ways of living and this helps to understand that we all have our different ways but also that we are all human beings first. Travelling brings peace..
On one afternoon, my friend Carole went on a 6 island speedboat trip and I stayed at the beach – I decided to visit this little place on a small hill between beaches, as Carole had told me it was a magical little place where you can have lunch. As I arrived I saw this wooden cabin, with a wooden terrace on stilts – it had lounge seats and it looked very inviting. An older Thai woman, well probably my age, greeted me – she had a shirt on with lots of wholes in them and was smoking a cigarette while talking to a man who was sitting there about an experience she had in a shop where they had taken her for a tourist instead of a local. It seems she does not quite fit the picture of a typical Thai woman, she is a rebel. The pirates flag was hanging outside her cabin which said enough and on the cover of her menu she had a picture of a witch flying on a broomstick with the title Noina’s Mystic Kitchen – and subtitle: “enter at your own risk”. Now this felt as my kind of place and I immediately felt Glastonbury magical vibe, my home away from home. I had just given my order as this bubbly American woman enters and immediately says to me: “hi, what is your name?” A bit taken aback but in a pleasant way, I replied : I am Manon. “Ohh”, she says, “you speak English, how wonderful”.
She tells me that she has been staying with her Thai friend and her family and most of them do not speak English. Her name is Stacy and she is fun and enthusiastic, it made me smile. Then she makes me smile even more when she suddenly announces that she wants to sing. She takes out a little speaker and her phone – she asks Noina to turn the music that was playing off and then she turns on her speaker. “Do you know the Dixie Chicks”, she asks and I nod cause I have heard of them. She turns on a song and starts to sing along loudly and without any inhibition – I am in awe – firstly it is not bad and secondly it takes guts to just do this in front of strangers, I know as I perform myself. This day is getting better and better. I video tape her with my camera and then when she is done she asks me to sing along – I did tell her I am a Jazz singer – we both sing along to a song by Clearwater Revival – if I say this correctly.. I love this spontaneous happening. Then she asks me to sing a song and I sing Summertime – Louis Armstrong version – and it gives Stacy goose bumps, or so she says. What a splendid afternoon – but unfortunately it had to come to an end. We promise to be friends on Facebook and stay in touch. I walk away with a feeling of positive encouragement – as I had not been feeling that wonderful the last couple of days. Doubting a lot about myself – that is what a holiday can do – when you are not distracted by anything, feelings that have been pushed away come up. But Stacy showed me how to be in the moment and to just enjoy – thank you for that Stacy – I needed this.
The next day we meet up with my friend Nadja and her friend Anja, who were instrumental in getting us on the island. I had met Nadja only once in The Netherlands when I organized an Earth festival. She works with horses and she organizes tours to sacred places like me but more with the focus on horses and working with them intuitively. I followed her posts on facebook and saw she was in Thailand – she had also been in Pattaya and had gone to Koh Samet – Carole and I had been trying to decide which island to visit as we did not want to be in Pattaya for 10 days and this helped us to make up our mind. We did choose a different hotel and ended up at the perfect spot with a perfect little peaceful beach. So while we were having lunch on this beach on the second day of our stay, Nadja and Anja found us by magic, although we did tell them at which hotel we were staying, but then still it does not mean that we would be at the beach when we were. Anyway, it was so lovely connecting and we chatted away about all our experiences. They were going to stay a few more days and then travel in the direction of Cambodia – both of them were going to travel at least for 1 or 2 more months more. Anja told us that she had quit her job of many years and wanted to take this time to think about her next step. I think that it takes courage but it also proves to me that when your heart is not into what you are doing anymore, that it is wise to change course. I did this once and I know I will do this again when needed. It always means giving up certainty and it is this fear of the unknown that keeps a lot of people who would like to follow their heart from making that decision. It is the ultimate life challenge to trust that everything will be all right and that you allow yourself to be supported by the universe. Life is too short to feel trapped into a situation that gives you stress.
We met Nadja and Anja again 2 days later for dinner – another magical happening – as they had chosen a restaurant they thought nice for which I happen to have had a discount card from the manager of our hotel. What are the odds as there are many restaurants around that area. We had a very funny time with a waiter who had a crazy laughter which made us laugh even more. His history was not so funny though as he had to flee from Cambodia years ago when the country was in a state of chaos and war. But he was now living and working on Koh Samet, found friends and was happy.
We did rent a scooter one day and we drove to the south point of the island – only about 20 minute drive – we went to a beautiful beach called Ao Wai where we had a little picnic on the beach. We felt free and relaxed.. hope we can keep that feeling going.
But as I am writing this, we are back in Pattaya in our apartment and had to get back through this crazy town filled with people, cars, pollution and more. It immediately depleted our energy. We also spotted a lot of older Western men with Thai women or just on their own sitting in café’s waiting for Thai women to approach them. This made us even more sad.. Sex unfortunately is the major activity trade in this city but for me it feels like a symbol for men craving love and attention, which in this case they turn into lust. I do not want to think of all the young women and men probably even children who are used for this gain. A big culture change is needed for the Thai as they seem to accept this as normal and a good way to get an income., but at what cost? and of course we need a big culture change too…