Never say never

Beach in CambodiaSo here we are and here is the present moment. It takes a bit of adjustment, of time to sort things out in ones head. Travelling to far away places that seem off the planet cause a mixture of intrigue, disgust, gratitude and havoc to ones priorities. Being away from what seems to be normal is like having an excerpt of ones life removed, caught in a stand still, suspended above time, place and comprehension. But than again , it is addicting and thought provoking. A question that haunts us and that has been contemplated over countless meals of traditional Khmer dishes is ”why and who is it to say where and when one is born?”  It could have been anyone of us that was born into a poverty stricken family that was  ”forced” to sell their daughter for a mere 300USD, or that was born to parents tortured and murdered during the Cambodian civil war or any war at that matter. ” Who makes the rules and what are they based on? Luck, Karma, who can tell?”

We arrived in Koh Samui late yesterday afternoon as the sun was slipping graciously beyond the horizon. It was difficult for me to leave Cambodia and again I found myself fighting to hold on to what we had experienced and the relationships we had formed. The tears fell but I know we will return. Attachment, one of the obstacles to happiness. It is a hard habit to break!

20 odd year ago we had fallen upon this tiny island by chance. It fell naturally into our plans during our 3 month adventure through South East Asia. I remember leaving Bangkok and its craziness in the early early hours, catching a very local local bus where everyone smoked DJs at that time, including us. The sweet smell of cloves had suddenly become nauseating and the desire to JUST arrive was over ridden by a VERY VERY strong need for frequent pit stops to breathe. I don’t recall exactly how many hours it took but it was something in the range of ”long”,  very long. Dropped off in Surat Thani, which resembled very little in those days, we caught  an open roof oversized cross between a canoe and a traditional fishing boat. We were few, the sun was scorching, I fell into a deep slumber waking only minutes before this virgin island called Koh Samui which means coconut island. I had never seen anything so pristine. The island was inhabited by a lush green foliage with turquoise waters that serpentines around fine white sandy  shores peppered with towering coconut trees . From afar, it seemed deserted except for a few fishing boats, staggering in the harbour, swaying gently to a relaxed cadence , a forewarning to what we would soon experience. We found an isolated bungalow inches away from the water. No luxury, no electricity no running water but total privacy and a serenity known only to those who dare to let it embrace them. In those days, Koh Samui was reachable via boat and that was it so it’s access was limited. There were miles of untouched virgin sand and at high tide crystal clear waters lapped the edges of the entrance to our bungalow.. Not much to do but relax and that is exactly what we did. It was perfect and therefore we promised NEVER to return.

Well, we all agree that promises aren’t made to be broken but ”never say never” according to some could jinx you. So with a bit of superstition and a lot of coincidence we’ve returned, not just once but 5 times in total!  No, Koh Samui no longer is that deserted faraway island which no one has heard of but it still has that ”something” that I am unable to articulate.

SunsetDoing nothing is debatable cause when you sit you are ”doing”, when you sleep and eat you are ”doing”, when you look into the eyes of a multicoloured sunset you might say that you are ”doing”. Well, if all this is considered ”doing”  I must admit that I like it, a lot!!! The day consisted of yoga solo and then possibly with the kids or a friend, playing with the kids on the beach, in the sea, in the pool, on the deck, in town, eating, eating , eating, swimming, chatting, dancing , laughing even a melt down or two or three and that was about it. That is our holiday in a nutshell or a coconut shell. Oh, we did manage to take the boat out one day for a snorkel and picnic on some off the coast island. The most monumental event was Noa’s( and possibly mine too) kind and thoughtful offer to transport head lice from Cambodia to Koh Samui for free. So a day (or 2 or more) was spent shampooing everyone’s hair, the 4 boys and the 6 adults, stripping the linens, boiling Noa’s clothes and Mylo too (the poor thing, there isn’t much left of him).

There are sunsets here that melt your heart. An alchemy of gold, of ruby, of tiger’s eye and amethyst,  with hints of amber that colour the sky as the golden ball dips into nothingness. As dusk falls graciously,  so does God’s hand as he fills his canvas splashing strokes here and there until the entire sky is transformed into something that is beyond expression.

I am content, immensely so. Cambodia secretly remains in my heart and on my skin,  it took me 3 days in to take shower.  In this moment of ”perfectness”, head lice and all we couldn’t have asked for more. So with extended gratitude for this perfect moment, we wish you well.

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