January 13, 2023
Around 6 a.m. cockadoodledoos start to fill the air. Shortly after, birds are chirping and a scooter starts up and speeds off.
It’s harder to keep track of my spending here because everything is done in cash. Most of my meals so far have been around 60 baht. The scooter rental is 200 baht a day which Amy and I are going to split. Entry to the hot springs was 100 baht. Snacks and street food cost anywhere between 20 to 60 baht. The costs are cheap but I haven’t yet fully transitioned away from dollars to bahts. I feel like I’m spending $60 when I’m really spending 60 baht, which is only $1.82. One of these days I’ll get an hour massage for about $6.
For breakfast today I opted for the omelet with a salad and two kinds of fresh fruit. And another fresh OJ. After breakfast, I walked to Amy’s and we rode north to meet up with a group who planned to hike the Ban Na Chalong River. About 15 of us set off down a dirt road that cut through the mountains. Everyone were westerners, hailing from Wales, England, Germany, France and the like, and everyone I spoke to worked part of the year and traveled the rest of the year.
One such woman works six months a year in Norway for the Flam Railway, which I happened to take in 2019. After working the six month tourism season in Norway, she leaves for the next six months and travels somewhere warmer and cheaper. Others take any job they can get, just to save enough to go back to Asia as soon as possible. This short term mindset is one I’m still working on.
We hiked about three miles out to a hot spring right next to the river, and cooled off in the cool river. The hot spring was quite hot, with bubbles surfacing from the earth. After mixing and meeting everyone for a little while, we trekked back and grabbed lunch at a new Chinese Vegan restaurant. A Chinese Vegan restaurant in Thailand is a bit much for me to comprehend, but I went with it and am glad I did. We ate buffet style and all of it was delicious! For only 55 baht ($1.67), it was a hearty and tasty lunch.
After lunch I finally picked up my laundry! Yay for clean clothes! Then it was time for a proper shower. Yesterday morning I attempted a shower in my cold bungalow, but the water barely got above room temperature. I realized morning and night were not the times for showering. Afternoons, when I was hot and seeking refreshment, was the time to shower.
Booked my ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan for next week. Hearing tunes of Take Me Home, Country Roads from afar.
All the Food
Went up to the walking street intending just to look at more of the stands and ended up eating some gyoza. Then met up with Amy for dinner. Got the green curry and brown rice. Perfect.
After dinner, Amy and I walked a bit to find her breakfast for the morning. We happened upon a stand selling some kind of fried worm. 15 baht later we were eating them, cringing when the skin broke and it’s juice filled my mouth. We laughed through our frowns and ran across the street to get some water. A short while later we came across some kind of strawberry, read bean and rice delicacy. Amy had a whole body experience when she bit into it 😄 I’d say she loved it.
Next we hit up the chocolate stand and each collected a truffle, before running into Jeromy. Eventually Amy retired and I joined Jeromy for dinner. We talked about our challenges with long COVID and moving away from small towns. After dinner Jeromy went off for chocolate and tea and I went to bed.