Wake up late, shower off the usual night time sweat, go get your already prepared breakfast (containing some of the tastiest and juiciest fruit you’ve ever had), think about what you have to do for the day, quietly contemplate your life, and then briefly sit in absent thought.
your affordable housing
Pay your hotel bill. Say goodbye to the nice masseuse lady who wants you to date her daughter to make sure she has someone taking care of her in the big city.
When she gives you a big hug, at first be surprised that she even likes you. Then be surprised when you can tell she’ll really miss you.
Give her a real hug back.
Get your Covid test, be shocked at how reasonably priced it is (only $6), and when you don’t have enough Thai Baht feel incredibly grateful that they tell you it’s okay to come back and pay them the rest later.
Go to the bar that one friendly-seeming guy hanging out on the street has constantly told you to visit (paying back the money to the clinic beforehand). Sit down and get a weed filled shake.
Look around and spot the kayaking guide who was endlessly enthusiastic about singing, fishing, life, and bioluminescent plankton; who took you on a midnight kayak ride with absolutely no one else, where you both shouted excitedly about the glowing plankton together.
Drink your shake, unsure of whether you’ll enjoy it given that you usually have an aversion to edibles. Be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t even come close to tasting bad (nothing does here).
When a pretty waitress offers you a joint, take a hit and immediately descend into a fit of frantic coughing. Wonder to yourself why you bothered smoking weed when you were younger if you couldn’t even be cool in moments like these. Feel at ease when everyone nearby just chuckles and moves on.
When the waitress gives you the rest of the joint to finish later, take it.
Go to the restaurant you’ve visited every single day, where you were getting on a first name basis with all the employees. Have a small talk with everyone. Think about how you’ll miss them when they ask you when you’re leaving and tell you they hope you’ll come back soon.
Eat one last amazing meal paired with a refreshing beer. Stare at excessively attractive shirtless people as they walk by. Be perplexed at how grumpy some of them seem relative to how perfect life here is.
the best pad thai
Have one last conversation with the chef who made the most amazing Thai food you’ve had in your life, who loves and cares about cooking so much that she struggles to let anyone else do it (even though she’s simultaneously raising her children and running the restaurant). Try (and fail, due a tiny language barrier) to figure out what she wants most for her kitchen so you can get it for her, because her food and personality are gifts which should be shared with as many people as possible (without ruining them).
a cocktail that actually tastes as good as it looks
Say one last goodbye to everybody. To the cute quiet girl who smiled at you every day whose age you were never able to ascertain. To the boss man who always looked slightly stressed but happily shared his food with you that one time (it was delicious). To the waiter who talked with you the most, who made delicious cocktails for you, who always treated you back after you bought him a drink, and who always asked you “why not?” — to which you never had an opposing argument.
Double check that your transportation to your flight is booked (just to be safe).
Walk to the beach, look around the horizon, admire the sunbathers, envy the dads, puzzle at the life jacketers, marvel at the rocky ridges, witness the speeding long boats, size the cascading waves, and gaze at the faraway clouds which never visited the island throughout your stay.
Swim in the ocean and be at peace. Effortlessly glide through the waves as if you actually have some idea how to swim. Let the ocean cradle you up and down as you look around, savoring the memory of the island you briefly called home.
Realize that you’re in the good times, right now. That the growth you went through in getting here, and the wounds of the loss which brought you, were somehow worth it. That your future is bright, and your present not too shabby either.
See the outline of tomorrow begin to form, the blueprint for a new life materializing infront of you. Pack your bags, think about when you’ll come back, and get ready for your next chapter.
sawasdee khap 🙏