Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Paradise Found: Koh Samet

 This past Saturday everyone from Loyola plus Fresh took a two and a half hour van ride and a thirty minute ferry ride to the tropical island, Koh Samet. I'm sure you've seen my pictures by now, which obviously cannot do any justice to how incredibly beautiful the beach was. It looks like the tropical paradise you see on exotic vacation resort commercials, or the tropical desktop background on your computer. When we got to the island we walked from the immediate coastline through the small town and out to the beach on the other side. The beach was lined with spacious bars and restaurants with people serving food all day. All kinds of food! I was so happy just to have a tuna sandwich and fries. We walked through these places toward an area of bungalows that Fresh was familiar with.  Our accommodation was basically a small hut with a giant bed as the only piece of furniture inside. The bed nearly took up all the floor space. Fresh, Walter and I split the cost of the room, each paying only 100B. A pretty sweet deal for a tropical beachside bungalow overlooking the water. As soon as we paid for the room we threw down our bags and ran down the hill to the ocean. The smooth white sand was the finest I've ever felt, and the water was certainly the warmest I've ever swam in. I like to compare the water temperature to bath water, which I loved. It was still refreshing because the sun there was so brutally hot. Once I jumped into that water I felt the happiest I've been in a long time. The feeling is difficult to describe, but I could really savor the moment of being at such an exotic location half way around the world. I guess I realized how far I've come (or gone) since my transition to Loyola. 

  My day consisted of hanging out with everyone on the sand playing soccer and frisbee, and swimming together until a small storm blew in. The thing about storms here is they never last very long, so it gave me a chance to go back to the hut and take a short nap. I was running on two hours of sleep after The Club the night before, so I had to recharge for the absolute chaos that night. Fast forward to around nine o'clock, when we all went down to the beach for a fire show. This entails young men dipping weapons into kerosine and then igniting them to perform dazzling acrobatics. With weapons ablaze they spun the objects to create an orange blur of flames. The Thai performers stood along the beach on each others shoulders while spinning and even little kids as young as fifteen years old were part of the show. Needless to say I was amazed and impressed by all the performers. The night really got going when the audience was allowed to participate - something that would never, ever happen in America. No, we didn't flail any weapons around; that would just be stupid and dangerous. Instead, we tried fiery limbo and jumped through a burning ring of fire. Limbo was just absurd. One of the Thai performers bent so far that his back nearly touched the ground. At this position he put a cigarette in his mouth and lit it on the burning limbo stick. Incredible. I only went under a few times at the highest point - flexibility is not one of my talents. After limbo the performers propped up a giant fiery ring that we all jumped through. You can see a picture of me mid-air on Facebook. I made it through safely, even jumping hand in hand with a friend. However, one of the girls in our group drunkenly fell into the hoop and seriously burnt her legs. So that was the end of that. But thankfully she recovered for round three: the tribal beach rave. 

  The fiery ring was laid to rest and the crowd lined up on the beach holding hands as the music started. Suddenly we all ran in a line toward the dance floor on top of the sand. While in line, Thai performers painted tribal designs on our faces with fluorescent paint that glowed under the black lights. Pictures from the night displayed that I had a giant pink cross on my face; horizontally across my forehead and vertically from my forehead down to my chin. I don't think I've ever danced harder in my life. It was probably one of the best, if not the best night of dancing ever for me. I literally danced with anyone and everyone. I even cut a rug with some cute Asian chicks. The atmosphere was just overwhelming - dancing to my favorite electronic music on a tropical beach with a bunch of my friends. Amazing! I must go back! 

Song of the Day:
I know I recently posted the original version of this song, but I want to post a great remix that I know I heard during the beach rave. 
Flo-Rida - 'Club Can't Handle Me' (Sidney Samson Remix)

No comments:

Post a Comment