Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Paradise smells like..

On the flight from Colombo to Bangkok, I realized I smelled a little funky. I was clean, don’t get me wrong. Just…spicy. The smell, a mix of masala, Indian detergent, and, I think, mold, lasted only a few days. I could smell it in my luggage, as well (I’m guessing the boxes I sent back home are equally fragrant. Something to look forward to!). Now that it’s gone, I miss it.

I spent two amazing days doing f*ck all in R and T’s apartment on the outskirts of Bangkok. T is a teacher at a Thai/Chinese school and R is a writer. They’re from my home town and they’re lovely. I hung out in my air conditioned room , took a hot shower, fretted about my smelly luggage, and watched Law and Order (two months without TV!). The trip from Kochi to Bangkok took almost 24 hours, which meant I needed at least two days to recover (because I am OLD and SENSITIVE!).

My third day I decided I needed to head to the islands as per my plan. A small glitch: my lower back had started to spasm after my journey (I spent a lot of my second day rolling around on a cricket ball, relieving pressure from my sacrum), and I realized a 12 hour train journey + ferry + longboat ride was out of the question. So I flew to Koh Samui and ferried it from there.

Why Nam Beach

I headed to Koh Phangan, home of the mythic fully moon party. Coming to the island for yoga, I really had no interest in rubbing fluorescent paint on my bare skin and dancing to trance tunes, so I skipped Haad Rin and boated to Haad Tien, and then walked to Why Nam beach where the yoga is. I stayed at The Sanctuary the first night, a rather rowdy place for a yoga and detox centre (not where I was going to practice), and then moved to Why Nam beach proper. It’s kind of like paradise: a small, barely used beach, a wooden hut in the treetops, yoga on top of the waves…
View 1 from my bungalow. 

A bit of a hike. 

View 2.

Except for the smell. The place only gets electricity for about 12 hours of the day (five hours officially, from 6pm to 11pm, but usually there’s power by noon), and the source of this energy is a behemoth of a generator that belches exhaust continually. As luck would have it, my bungalow was just above the generator. I went to bed early the first night and woke up around 10:30, coughing and feeling sick.

That little concrete roofed specimen, there. 

Sometimes when I’m stressed out, I imagine smells. At the Banff Centre, for instance, I walked around for two hours questioning all the staff about a “paint” smell that no one else could detect. But this one, kids, is not my imagination.  When I asked at the restaurant, one of the men said, “sometimes.” And he’s right! It’s gone! Oh, and now…it’s back.
Winter scenes on my bungalow's roof. To keep occupants cool? 

The smell issue was unfortunate – this place would have been pretty perfect otherwise. I mean, I was sleeping in a shack and my bathroom had no sink, but it was quite picturesque otherwise. But after three frustrating nights, I left Why Nam and headed to Mae Haad. I discovered that parts of the island (okay, most of the island?)  is really a party place. My last day at Why Nam I walked to Haad Yuan and came upon a disco full of drugged out dancers partying it up at noon. I found out later that The Sanctuary is busted by police about once a month (there's a weekly Friday blow out that goes until 6 in the morning).

All this to say it’s a bloody good thing I didn’t come here 10 years ago – I would have died.

Anyway, Mae Haad was lovely. I left yesterday after a week of practice with O.
View from Bungalow #2 at Wang Sai Garden.

The garden.

Mae Haad beach. Koh Ma in the back there. 

More beach. 

Trip to Bottle Beach - gorgeous!.

I breathed clean air and frolicked in the warm water and practiced every morning in a proper shala. I really started to feel the island vibe - a different frequency entirely.

Just in time to leave and come to Bangkok! I'm staying in a quieter neighbourhood, a 20 minute walk from Khao San Road, although I did wander there today. It reminded me of a ramped up St. Laurent street festival. Maybe tackier and with better fruit.

And the smell here? More diesel fumes, pollution, tar. I've had to break out my inhaler twice today. Looking forward to heading north to cleaner air in a few days time!


Anonymous said...

i'm french and i'm planning my trip to thailand.
As you did, i'd like to stay at wang sai garden.
Do you have their email adress or phone number still?
Thanks a lots!

oakleyses said...

nike air max, replica watches, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin outlet, jordan pas cher, oakley sunglasses wholesale, replica watches, christian louboutin, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, gucci handbags, nike free run, longchamp outlet, jordan shoes, sac longchamp pas cher, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, ugg boots, burberry pas cher, nike free, prada outlet, kate spade outlet, oakley sunglasses, air max, tory burch outlet, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany and co, nike air max, nike roshe, polo ralph lauren outlet online, longchamp pas cher, polo ralph lauren, polo outlet, louis vuitton, chanel handbags, louboutin pas cher, christian louboutin uk, michael kors pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses

oakleyses said...

vans pas cher, nike air max uk, nike air force, michael kors outlet, uggs outlet, north face, michael kors outlet online, replica handbags, ray ban pas cher, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet online, sac hermes, burberry handbags, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, converse pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, true religion outlet, burberry outlet, nike roshe run uk, mulberry uk, coach purses, true religion jeans, timberland pas cher, nike air max, true religion outlet, sac vanessa bruno, coach outlet, ralph lauren uk, lululemon canada, coach outlet store online, hollister pas cher, polo lacoste, nike free uk, guess pas cher, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, kate spade, oakley pas cher, michael kors, hollister uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, ray ban uk, uggs outlet, hogan outlet, nike tn, north face uk, michael kors outlet online

oakleyses said...

iphone cases, longchamp uk, timberland boots, mcm handbags, north face outlet, celine handbags, herve leger, ghd hair, iphone 6 plus cases, hollister, nike air max, wedding dresses, nfl jerseys, p90x workout, ralph lauren, hermes belt, vans outlet, ferragamo shoes, beats by dre, baseball bats, instyler, new balance shoes, giuseppe zanotti outlet, ipad cases, nike huaraches, soccer shoes, nike roshe run, nike trainers uk, reebok outlet, asics running shoes, iphone 6s plus cases, mac cosmetics, mont blanc pens, s6 case, insanity workout, lululemon, iphone 5s cases, babyliss, iphone 6 cases, north face outlet, bottega veneta, hollister clothing, louboutin, iphone 6s cases, oakley, valentino shoes, abercrombie and fitch, jimmy choo outlet, chi flat iron, soccer jerseys

oakleyses said...

hollister, louis vuitton, hollister, wedding dresses, barbour, canada goose, canada goose, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet, ugg pas cher, links of london, converse outlet, ugg, juicy couture outlet, toms shoes, ray ban, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, moncler uk, canada goose outlet, canada goose outlet, nike air max, supra shoes, swarovski crystal, moncler, montre pas cher, doudoune moncler, ugg uk, moncler outlet, barbour uk, converse, gucci, replica watches, moncler, louis vuitton, karen millen uk, pandora jewelry, swarovski, moncler, lancel, pandora charms, canada goose jackets, coach outlet, canada goose, moncler, thomas sabo, canada goose uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada