Actually, more like sand fleas, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
When I woke up this morning, I had no idea I’d been laying my head down tonight in the place where I started almost five months ago – Sam Sen Sam Place in Bangkok. And yet, here I am, doing just that! I thought I would squeeze every last glorious minute, every last stunning sunset, every last wave of warm sea water out of Koh Chang. Initially I even thought I’d return to Bangkok the day of my late-evening flight, but that seemed risky with the tuk-tuk to the ferry to the tuk-tuk to the bus to the taxi to the airport scenario. So instead, I added on an overnight and then another. Before I knew it, I had booked three nights here and wondered what I’d do with all that time. Now it’s up to four, much to my surprise (nice, they take 100 baht per night off the room when you stay 4 or more nights – an added bonus!) – and I must say, I’m really excited to be here! Seems all that rest and relaxation gave me a last-minute spurt of energy and I’m running with it!
I knew something was brewing when I began packing up and organizing my things a few days ago and then noticed what I was doing. Hhmmm, that’s interesting, I thought, I’ve still got plenty of days here, I wonder why I’m packing up – ? But I didn’t pay it much mind – I just thought I was doing my Virgo thing and that was that. Then I found myself becoming acutely aware that this was my last week of the trip and reflecting on how I want to spend the time.
A few things occurred to me:
*After all the isolation, quiet and solitude of the beach, I feel like being more active and maybe even around more people and energy.
*When I think about the many highlights of this amazing journey, one has certainly been all the amazing massages I’ve received – so I’ve decided to have a massage every day for my final 7 days – YUMMM! – what an incredibly luxurious and fun gift to give to myself! I’ve had my first two back-to-back (!), but had to miss today with having just traveled for 10 hours; but I’ve decided I’ll just do two in one day and that will feel even more luxurious!
*I’d like to do a wee bit more shopping and the best Bangkok market is on the week-ends, so now I get to go there tomorrow.
*The dental clinic on Koh Chang was closed for the month of June, but I still want to get a cleaning and maybe even get the rest of these metal fillings taken out and replaced – Bangkok is the place for all that, easily and affordably.
*Unlike the resourceful people I ran into in Vietnam and Lao when things needed fixing, no one on Koh Chang thought my camera was worth or could be fixed. “Oh, just buy a new one!” Yikes, had I already returned to the West? I’m not yet convinced it’s a total gone-er, so I want some time to look for someone here in Bangkok who might be able to fix it.
*I’d still like to have some time and space to write and with easier internet access.
*I thought I was templed-out, I thought I had seen enough sights … and yet … Ayuthaya is calling. I want to spend an afternoon there surrounded by and absorbing the ancient energy of the place. It’s just an hour bus-ride from Bangkok, so that’s on my list now, too.
*Surprise, surprise, but it seems like there’s still a little bit of travel left in me, even though I’ve got less than 100 hours until I board my plane! So I’m following the energy!
*This is all gonna take some time, I figure; and having absolutely no interest in shifting out of my lusciously languid pace or getting hell crazy-frantic in my last days, it’s obvious that I need more time in Bangkok – so here I am!
But I didn’t realize quite all that until I was already on the bus here.
The process started, unbeknownst to me with that packing that was going on some days ago. And then it really came to a head this morning. Around 2:30, I woke up to the attack of the sand fleas – mind you I haven’t ever seen or even felt the bite of one of these fuckers … but this morning I was savagely brutalized in my bed by them. I am not exaggerating. While I’ve had plenty of these itchy, red welts all over me for the past two weeks, I now have more than 100 of them – I look like someone who has a serious and likely highly-communicable disease. It is not pretty. It feels like my entire skin is itchy. I feel like I look like a dog with fleas – you’ve seen them, how they get started with the scratching and they just won’t stop – well, that’s me! Whine-whine-whine!
By 4 am, and after a few showers (cool water helps some) and dousing myself with magic, anti-itch potions that occasionally work; I couldn’t stand it anymore. It was time for a walk. It was then, as I was walking on the wide-open, empty beach under very dark and stormy clouds that I got the sense that I would leave today. I actually said out loud, “Today? Really? Are you sure?” And the answer was yes. When I returned to my hut, saw that my bags were practically all packed and ready to go, I knew I couldn’t face another day and night of more bites. What had all along been only annoying and more than tolerable had escalated to grueling discomfort. I took it as a sure sign that the Tiger Hut/Koh Chang welcome mat was fraying around the edges. It was time to say good-bye.
So without much fanfare, all of a sudden I was standing on this beach I’ve come to cherish and sending out my gratitude and my good-byes. And now, here I am, late in the evening in Bangkok. Unbelievable. And I’m still itchy. I think I’ll add visiting a pharmacy to the list because really, I’m a bit worried about my skin. There’s some medication that’s good for itching that I should remember from my hospice days, but I can’t recall it right now. Maybe the pharmacist will know.
I’d like to post this and even keep writing, to find my way beyond what feels like just the reporting of these details. But I’ve been awake for almost 24 hours and I’m tired. It’s been a long day of travel and I’m glad the last big leg is done. The airport is nearby and I’ll be there in four days.
Until then, I’ve got my bonnet on here in Bangkok, but I’ll try to stay away from those bees (and fleas)!