The Belly Button Window Details

About Belly Button Window

The Semi-Regular Newsletter


Thailand, January 10, 2000

Beach Living is Tough!

Thai beach living takes years off your life!

No, don't send me to the beach again!
My current briar patch
Hey, if kids can ride these things, why can't I?
Remember, the LEFT side!
trouble starts when the sun goes down
No! Not another sunset!
Ooo, now ya know what fun I have with a digital camera!
I sleep in the red.
I know ya'll are thinking that after two weeks on the tropical Thai island of Koh Samui, I'd be the most relaxed person in the world. Well, I'm not. Life is tough in paradise, and 'm gonna tell you why.

First, each morning, at an unforgivable hour, I'm awaken by the many birds, lizards, crickets, and random insects that come alive at sunrise. They fill the air with their songs, chirps, clicks, and odd noises, rousing me from my slumber. This onslaught of sounds drives me to the fresh fruit stand next to my bungalow at Meanam beach.

There, under the watchful eyes of the proprietor, a lady who told me on December 31, she was too poor to have any Y2K problems, I am served a fresh banana shake. On some days, I am even forced to consume a mango shake to! She then loads me down with pineapple and papaya slices and pushes me onto the beach.

After such a rough morning, I usually try to catch up on my sleep, but I'm constantly awakened by vendors of all sorts, demanding I partake in their fresh fruits, foods, or booze. I shoo them away, for if I am to be conscious before noon, I at least want a decent view of the topless European sunbathers who frequent the beaches around me.

By lunchtime, I attempt to escape the sun's warm rays in one of the beachside cafes, which, to my continued dismay, only serve fresh seafood, rice, and vegetables. I'm tired of the red snapper, king prawns, blue crabs, and rock lobster served to me straight from the fisherman's net. I miss the wheat noodles of Beijing and odd hot pot of Hong Kong. I want the mystery-meat shashlik and caviar bliny of the countless restaurants I wandered into off the trans-Siberian. I would trade the weak Thai beer and strange local whiskey for good vodka, or at least strong piva, if only I knew how.

With a full belly, I reluctantly trudge back to my bungalow, for a long afternoon nap. Rested and bathed, I grab my diskette and head to the local Internet cafe, risking my life for ya'll as I try to drive a moped on the left side of the road. Surviving the journey, I return to prepare for my nightly excursions to the main tourist beach.

Filled with foreigners, Chaweng is more a tourist trap than a nightspot, but its here that I try to douse the pain of Koh Samui living with copious amounts of banana daiquiris, strong margaritas, and an occasional Mai Thai. I'm joined in this hopeless task by an odd assortment of Germans and English, with a smattering of French and even an occasional Russian thrown in. We toast Ra, the Egyptian sun god, and when the local waitresses are looking, throw in a toast to HM B. Adulyadej, the Thai king as well.

I usually stumble home late, filled with sweet libations and even sweeter dreams, longing for a deep, restful sleep. Usually, my desires are fulfilled, except when there is a full moon, a New Year, or a random Tuesday. On these nights, the phantom disco starts early and does not stop until well past daylight the next morning.

I say 'phantom' disco, because, this past Tuesday, I was unable to sleep due to the constant, rhythmic thumping of base. Wanting a decent night's sleep, I rode around on my moped, looking for the source of my discomfort. Only when I'd circled Meanam beach twice did I discern where the noise was coming from. Across a wide bay from Koh Samui, is Koh Pha Ngan, another island with legendary all night parties that, to my displeasure, are audible from my bungalow.

Yes, feel my pain. Life is tough on Koh Samui!

Enter your email for Belly Button Window updates: