Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cards stacked against us

Will we ever get off of this island?  It's beginning to look like some supernatural force is holding us here.  The first day that we would have been able to leave marked the start of the typhoon which halted boat travel and essentially paralyzed travel all over southern Thailand.  As soon as the wind and rain died down, a few overloaded ferries made the journey without us.  It wasn't more than a day after the sun came out that a major dam broke on the mainland.  So, now that the boats are running, passage through the mainland is obstructed.  We can get on a boat, but the boat can't take us anywhere. 

Since we've been here for three weeks already, Robyn and I decided that any change of scene will do, so we decided to hop onto the nearest major island, Koh Samui, a stop on the way to anywhere.  We booked our ticket, showed up to the pier, and the boat has been canceled.  Why?  The language barrier makes it hard to know the reasons, but it sounds like the boat has been somehow broken.  We wandered away from the pier after hearing this and, off in the distance, saw a ferry on the water with black smoke billowing out of it.  That might've been our boat.  Then again, that might just have been exhaust.  It's hard to know. 

We haven't given up yet.  Another boat (also delayed) is to pick us up in an hour. 

Why don't we just stay put you ask?  Well, when things calmed down a bit, we knew that we wanted to move on and thought about heading to Malaysia.  We heard that the roads had been washed out and thought that flying would be a better option.  That way, we can skip all of the devastation and get into a big city that can handle these kind of situations better.  Sounds like a plan.  We booked our ticket and the next day, that dam broke.  We can't get to the airport on time.  We rescheduled our flight and decided to get to an island that has its own airport so we can fly to make our flight if it is necessary.  It's all gotten very complicated and quite expensive quite quickly but, if we have any luck whatsoever, we'll be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia around midnight on Friday. 

I'm looking forward to seeing the city for the second time.  My father and I traveled through the region seven years ago and we were both such novices when it came to adventure that we mostly just wandered around with our eyes wide open.  That isn't to say that I'm an old hand at it now, but I hope that I can see the place in a deeper way. 

For the meantime, Robyn and I will be hopping around in an attempt to get closer to the airport while the much wiser and more studious Jevin will remain on Ko Phangan studying yoga until travel once again become simple and inexpensive.

David J Parker

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