A few days ago some friends and I enjoyed a gorgeous day of beach hopping. Tom, Nick, Bailey and I rented two scooters and cruised down south to Klong Nin and Klong Nui, two of Koh Lanta’s most beautiful beaches. I was truly struck by the wealth of natural beauty and resources that Thailand possesses, and equally struck by the sense of joy all around me. The word that kept dancing around in my head was “abundance”. And so I want to try and share that feeling here.
Before heading out, Tom and I made a visit to “Mama” – the sassy old Thai lady who sells (THE BEST) mango sticky rice and fruits at the Saladan market. Tom had an easy way with the woman (as he does with most women), and we bought two large bags of fruits – mango, papaya, dragon fruit, apples, bananas, and rambutans. Mama reminded me a bit of my own grandmother. Hard-lived and tough, but warm at the core.
With fruits in tow, we met the others and hopped on our bikes (Bailey and I had the hard job of holding on ;). ) And honestly, the drive is half the fun. Wind against your skin, arms around a handsome man, cruising through a lush paradise on a sunny day… Yeah, it ain’t bad. Looking out at the palm trees over rolling hills of green. Seeing a baby elephant on the side of the road. Having a sense of all things that grow. The intense feeling of being here. Being present.
We stopped at Klong Nin, a long white sandy beach where clearly the classier people vacation! There were a few sprinklings of families here and there, but not nearly half the fuss and noise of Long Beach, where we stay. It was the perfect spot for enjoying our orgasmic mango sticky rice and cooling off in the water. Mango sticky rice here has one key, magical ingredient that it doesn’t have at Thai restaurants in the states – coconut cream to pour on top ☺. Yum! We shared two big servings of it then splashed around in the water and turned cartwheels in the sand… Friends. Sunshine. Breakfast made with love from Mama. Abundance.
Nick, who always has perfect hair, has been cruelly dubbed “Backstreet Boy”. He’s become a sport of laughing about it, though. While we were in the water, I said he should go on American Idol. He quipped, “My name’s Nick, and I’m going to be doing a song by Maroon 5,” in the voice of a teenage boy. It was priceless. He kept taking selfies with his iPad mini and Bailey kept making photobombs behind him. We even got one really awesome photobomb with Bailey doing her funny face, and Tom unknowingly doing his James Dean. I couldn’t have asked for better company.
Our next stop was an intimate little beach called Klong Nui. My yoga instructor described it as a place where “you can sunbath nude and no one will care.” No, we didn’t sunbath nude! But there were few people on the beach and you easily could have. Klong Nui has a cozy, circular shape framed by rocky cliffs. The water is so clear and blue you can see your feet even when you’re in up to your shoulders, and the sand is fine as powder. Bailey and I decided it would be fun to play Marco Polo (the child’s game where you chase your friends in water with your eyes closed.) Tom had never played before and it was funny to watch everyone frantically jump around. I felt aware again of how good it is to laugh. For a few minutes I laid on my back to float with a big smile on my face. The water was so calm. And I was easily lifted.
Before the sunset we went for one final beach stop. I think it was Klong Khong, but honestly I’m not sure. We just saw a nice place to stop. Tom sliced open the papaya, a fruit I’ve never eaten before. I felt like a kid staring at the inside, so bright and full of seeds. And so I had to get a picture with it, of course (see here ☺). Props to Tom for spending the better part of the day slicing up and feeding us fruit. And to Nick for capturing it all on film. To be honest though, I learned I didn’t like papaya. All the same I was grateful for the experience. Life is so full of strange and beautiful fruit…
We watched the sunset with sailboats in the foreground, and (ironically) we felt equally in awe of the “luxury bathrooms” with flushing toilets at the nearby beach resort. Then we made one more stop on the drive back home – the night market. I’ve said before that Thai street food is the best and this market was no exception. So many choices of meats, rice dishes, noodles, fruits and sweets that you could spend hours there just salivating. And so cheap! It was here I thought to myself what a wealthy country this is. Yes people live in simple houses and close together, but to me it feels more natural, more real. More honest? To see the delight in a Thai man’s eyes when I eat one of his sandwiches and come back for a second saying, “Mak ma,” meaning “I like it very much.” Again I felt the people and the connection. The energy. The abundance.
On the chilly drive home I held on tight (partially because I was cold). Tom commented that sometimes he wished he could be in two places at once. It was in the moment I felt my freedom. Realizing there’s no other place I want to be than right here.
One thought on “Abundance”