Day XXIII – April 10
Today brings the final goodbye with Levi, very mellow and quite impersonal… “Bye, have fun, have a good life.” My first on-the-road crush and I skrewed it up by not undertaking any action.
And here I thought I’d figured out by now one of my lessons was to follow things through, where I used to throw in the towel because I think I can’t do it or it might be too dangerous or scary, but live like there’s literally no tomorrow.
I make another trip to Blue Lagoon, by tuktuk this time, with Dave, David and Kevin, the two Germans we met here in the hostel. And besides swinging and splashing in that lovely pond, we go up to the cave and take the big walk around, wandering into the dark.
Dave has a sort of torch and it’s a lot easier, this one. But still a nice little adventure with lots of clambering over rocks, discovering new holes, and again some really nice views.
When we come back, we sit down at a diner for a good meal and some Family Guy. We try to leave, but before we’re done paying a new episode has started. Near the end I’m contemplating on having icecream for desert, but decide against it so we can finally leave, after just sitting for over 2 hours.
It’s this thing here: everywhere you see screens playing reruns of Friends, Family Guy and the occasional Southpark, and travellers captured by the moving images. It’s easy to get stuck waisting time like that.
We skip the river and just have a quiet evening at the island. It’s a Buddhist holiday, so there isn’t allowed to be any loud music.
Again heavy rain and thunder pour down this evening. It’s getting closer to the rainy season, or it’s coming sooner this year. But we’re safe in our little cabana.
I get a Kate Hudson (in How To Loose A Guy) from Kevin.
It’s another common thing: comparing people you meet anew to celebrities.
David lights my potential last cigarette, [that lasted for 4 days… Sorry David,] and we have interesting conversations, until he gets drunk – for the second time in his life he claims. That’s what Vang Vieng does to you…
Did I mention how over time your standards of hygiene adapt?
At first I used a wipey ceveral times a day, cleaning my face, hands, feet… Now just washing with water every once in a while is fine for my hands, and the daily shower will do for the rest.
I still want my toilet paper, but don’t mind if it’s a squatter.
My feet get real dirty, but that just suits the local belief that they are not just physically but also spiritually the lowest part of the body.
I used to ask for ‘no ice’, now I hardly check if it was purified. The whole in the middle of the cube should tell you it is.
You extend the amount of time it’s OK for clothes to be worn.
And make up: I bother to do it once every so many days now. It’s too much hassle to sit down every day and spend 10 minutes staring into a mirror.
Mosquitospray; I started out applying it several times a day. But still, especially those first days, my legs and feet were covered with bites. Over time I applied less, only at dusk, until I left it all together. Now I just use that Columbian after-product my brother gave me after his trip there, to stop the bites from itching and me from scratching. I mean, it’s not like I’ll get bitten any more now; less actually. New bites every day, of course, but still.