It doesn’t take long to understand Ko Samui.
Once you make your way through the small and provincial airport working at a leisurely pace, locals shouting in Thai across alleys lined with wet laundry, past umpteen massage parlours and Italian restaurants, shops selling knockoff bags and footwear, past some more western-cum-local food restaurants, Europeans walking around bare feet in luminous baggy singlets, helmet-less vacationers on 125cc motorcycles zipping the wrong way down wet sandy one-way streets, and everywhere the smells of BBQ meat and seafood, fresh coffee, and the breeze blowing in from the sea, it is immediately clear that the force which drives this place are tourists.
From December 7 to 13 in 2013, we took a vacation to Baan Chaweng Resort and Spa along Chaweng Beach in Ko Samui, Thailand.
It was nearing the end of monsoon in Ko Samui. The clouds were mostly covering the sun, hardly blessing the crowds. And on some days the sky is a solid dark grey. Dreary, it bleeds down from the sky covering everything. It would rain, and it would seem depressing. I remember the third day, when I woke up and it was nearly as dark and wet as I left it the night before.
For the week I mostly stayed within the resort reading ‘One Day’ by the pool. I was drifting in and out of sleep when ‘Material Girl’ started playing from the resort’s speakers, competing with the sound of the crashing waves by the beach. I sat up startled, but not surprised.
Maybe it was the bright and luminous orange cover of my book, it caught the attention of a little girl playing by the poolside. She stared at me for a while.
“Don’t you have a Kindle?”
“Not even a Nook?”
“No. I don’t have any of those.”
She stood up and ran towards her mother nearby.
“Mom, he doesn’t have a Kindle or Nook!”
Unable to judge her volume from the song playing overhead and the waves, the mother said to her: “Maybe he can’t afford one.”
You can listen to ‘Material Girl’ from my musicBOX on the top-left panel if you’re on the desk- or laptop.