Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I couldn't resist painting my toes one last time.

I leave in just a few hours. The beginning of my epic journey home. And I couldn't help but take some time to visit the beach one last time - say my final goodbyes to what has become such a wonderful and relaxing place for me.

Just now, I've just ordered what will be my last meal in Ko Lanta. Mm that has the sound a bit of a death sentence to it, doesn't it? Perhaps a little dramatic, but in a sense, true. This journey has come to an end.

Of course I can't help but be set to reflection on my time here. It has been an unexpected experience. I almost can't put it into words how I feel about my trip. I've loved it. I've hated it. I've wanted to leave. I'm upset I have to go.

This yo-yo of emotion has been a staple of this trip for me. Some things have been so tremendously difficult. Some have been unforgettable in the most amazing way. I would never give up my time in SE Asia. The memories I have now are etched deep and I love the gentle scars and shapes it has left on me. (And I can say scars in the literal sense. That monkey bite did leave a thin white reminder to never withhold a banana from a little creature,  no matter your reasons.)

I don't have a lot of time to write, now, but some more stories are in the laundry pile waiting to be cleaned up and shown off. These will have to wait until I'm back on Canadian soil.

So for now.. cheers... "To living life and experiencing all it can offer no matter what you're faced with. To the good, the bad, the amazing, the horrific, the fantasmical and everything in between. Cheers!"

The Wandering Quad

Monday, March 30, 2015

Best meal in Ko Lanta

Hands down the best meal I've had this far. Steamed spanish mackerel and fried *something something* fish. Both freshly caught by Pierre and his lovely lady Evelien (who may have done more sunbathing and relaxing than fishing but who could blame her) and prepared by the gracious staff of Blue Moon restaurant in Ko Lanta, which is run by the exemplary Geng. (Funnily enough the *something something* fish was my favorite - and the forfront meal in the photo - but when I googled the spelling of what I thought I was told it was called it showed something completely different.  So..... a replacement of the *something something* name is forthcoming.)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

My last hut

I've got to say - aside from the ability of kamikaze insects to barge in and create night time adventures - my last hut is my favorite hut.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The good, the bad, and the amazing.

The good:

(Written in the morning,  March 29th 2015)

Welllll it took me a while but I seem to finally have unwound the small coil of anxiety that was quietly plaguing me this whole trip. I think it happened the moment I found my last place to stay in, and realized that I have naught to do but eat, sleep and be merry until I go home. No more planning,  no more finding places, no more worries how I'm going to get there and the physical struggle and fatigue that can be involved in that, no more transfers that cost a shocking amount more than I anticipated... just relaxation on a stunning beach. And thanks to the generosity of my amazing parents, no worries about making the last of my baht stretch to the very end. I can just enjoy. Thank the various gods for that!

The bad:

I worry about writing too negative of posts, but the truth is this has been a very challenging trip. I've found SE Asia to be hard on an ambulatory quad. I unfortunately have missed out on some phenomenal opportunities due to fatigue or physical inability. Or experienced financial restraint if there was an option that I could do, but it, of course, is more expensive.

Even now I sit in a simmering cloud of green jealousy staring out at all the people renting scooters to drive about the island of Ko Lanta. I hate jealousy. It doesn't suit me. I like to find alternatives and find experiences for myself. Unfortunately I can't ride a scooter - or, I suppose more accurately, this is not the place to learn, and I'd likely need adaptions to a vehicle in order to provide more safety in the face of my physical limitations - and although I no longer have to worry about accomodations, food, and the occasional drink, (thank you thank thank you mom and dad!)  hiring a tuk tuk to tour the island is just a bit too exorbitant a price to pay.

So, I guess I'll just get a cheap massage and rest by the beach again. Haha. Hard knock life, hey? :p

Ah, well.. I'm looking on the bright side but if I'm honest it does bother me that I can't do something I want to do. I'm certain all peoples with a disability have felt this at some point. A thick frustration that festers like green slime on your resolve to enjoy life to the fullest.


The... amazing?

Huh.... I paused in my writing this to have a conversation with a couple new friends I met here and now it seems they might be willing to have one of them drive me on a scooter I rent with me on the back, and the second would drive their own scooter!  HaHAH! Go universe providing! Green slime washed off and down the drain. Hahahahhaa!!!

The amazing!

(Written the next morning, March 30th 2015)

Sooo that turned into a perfectly phenomenal day. I owe a serious debt of gratitude to Pierre and Evelien for sharing their day with me and giving me an opportunity I would not have otherwise been able to enjoy.

I got exactly what I had hoped for. We scooted almost the entire circumference of beautiful Ko Lanta. We stopped at stunning beaches and snorkeled with the fishies and crabs. We played games with shells in the sand. We ate on the pier in Old Town. Shopped a bit (and an extra thank you to Pierre for suffering through that!!), and drove back as the sun set.

With the wind cooling us in the dwindling light as we cruised along we saw the people of Lanta go about their daily life,  elephants riding trucks, kids hooting and yelling while piled up on the backs of bikes, and more beaches which we managed to reach just in the nick of time to catch sunset.

For me,  this was an absolutely incredible day. That feeling is heightened because I had thought for certain I would miss out on the experience. I may forever owe these kind people for what they gave to me today. I think they may not even know how special this was to me.

I am so wonderfully content in this moment. And so thankful for the generosity of people. You've capped off my trip in gold and sparkles.

Thank you.

The grateful Wandering Quad

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Drinks on the beach? Of course drinks on the beach!

I'm confused by how often I'm questioned,  "You want a drink, now?", here in Ko Lanta. Who questions a person if they want a drink on the beach? The correct answer is, "Um... you DON'T?"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Heat stroke?

Every time I stand up I see stars. This very nice French man who was walking me to see a hut I may rent had no idea I was politely stumbling along behind him with sparkles blurring my vision and a quiet chant in my head repeating "don't pass out.. don't pass out.. don't pass out.."

Also, his croissants are absolutely phenomenal. (Justsayin)

Low blood pressure is an issue I struggle with constantly as a result of my SCI. Perhaps I'm just not getting enough salt out here (despite the gulpfulls I choked back in the water the other day because of a faulty snorkel spout). Whatever the case, time to take it super easy and rehydrate to the max. Gonna hunt me down another coconut...

Here I go!!

(Don't pass out.. don't pass out.. don't pass out..)

Monday, March 23, 2015

No dengue for Kristina

So today a nice lady on my island hopping tour informs me that the dengue carrying mosquitos are slightly bigger and black and white in colour. Up until now, I have seen not a one of the lil buggers. Until I sat down this evening for some dinner. And one lands on my arm.

Que Kristina's 'mad dash' back to her room for her bug spray. And the little bastard DID get his sucker into me in the brief milisecond of his landing and my subsequent shooing, because an all to familiar welt has presented itself on his landing site (miniature, in comparison to a full suck-fest,  but eye-squintingly ponderous nonetheless).

Ugh! Eulgh! Blrgh! Please do NOT be a carrier of the dengue! I've got just over a week to go and I am on track to spend it getting as atrociously dark skinned as I possibly can. No breaks for brutal fevers and sickness allowed.

And that is final. Final you hear!

Ps.. the fucker is stalking me.. he avoided Death by the skin of his blood sucker. Next time, I spray instead of clap....

Yeah that's right you little dengue bastard! You better watch yoself!

That is all.

No babies for Kristina

I just don't get what's so damn attractive about babies. When people swarm to a little creature and coo and burble and make truly absurd noises and doe-eyed-love-struck faces at this little stranger thing covered in snot who is, at any second, about to cry so hard a bit of its mucousy goop will land on your bottom lip.

Okay, so I don't know that snot will come flying out at any random passerby of a baby, but any parent knows that one WILL get covered in any number of bodily fluids whilst caring for the little noise makers.

No, thank you.

Now, as a young woman of 30, I've noticed its almost assumed that I will be one of the mushy faced adoring masses. Parents with babies will give me a sort of knowing and welcoming smile as they near me with their little thing, which slowly falters and cracks into an expression of uncertainty as my face likely registers a mixture of fear, revulsion, and panic.

Okay I'm getting all dramatic and exaggerating again. But I'm sure my face does look at least a couple shades of unnecessary green.

So here I now sit at my bungalow bar and not one, not two, but three sets of parents with snotmakers are here at the restaurant (and I secretly pray, not actually STAYING here, although I definitely heard at least one obnoxious baby cry in the night).

Already I fear I have made some proud parents upset at my obvious lack of enthusiasm towards their spawn, and sit with a sort of wild eyed and mildly disgusted bewilderment any time one of them approaches me.

Clearly... no babies for Kristina.

*disclaimer to all my friends with spawn: I love your spawn. They are the cutest things ever. Obviously this post has nothing to do with your squishy potato of love. I would never be afraid of rogue snot-balls being flung at me from your precious little creature. Never.


Thank god you still love me anyway.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Oh the joy of travel delay!

Written earlier today:

Oops... problem with the airplane. We've been deplaned and there's a frantic rush to try and make sure everyone gets their connections. Mines a bit special too because not only do I transfer planes in Bangkok I have a transfer on to a boat in Krabi to get to Koh Lanta. Yikes! Wish me luck!

Written now:

Well it was bound to happen eventually. An airline has misplaced my luggage. I've been promised it will be sent my way tomorrow. I'm trying desperately to believe that.

My first thoughts when I find out:

1) shoot... I have no idea where that mini toothpaste has gone.

2) damnit!!! I don't have any bikinis in my carry on!!!

Clearly my priorities are in the right place.

Well anyway after a much longer travel day than planned, and sans the majority of my clothing, I have arrived on the island of Koh Lanta. Here I now sit in the restaurant of my little budget bungalow (aptly named: Budget Bungalows) sipping on a $3 mojito and thinking about the pretty beetle that greeted me upon entering my little hut. Playful little devil... crawling onto my bag in the time it took me to take a much needed pee break.

I just about squealed bloody murder (out of surprise more than anything else - I swear) but managed to keep my cool and very gently flicked the little loki away.

Alright... dinner's here! And it's time to order another mojito.

Missin you all!

And I still need that luck! Just in the form of baggage arrival rather than me arrival haha. (Also maybe to keep little beetles out of the bed and only on purses where I may keep a keen eye on them... not that I'm scared.)


Addendum: March 21st, 12:30pm local time:

My bag has arrived!!! Huzzah!!!
Go Bangkok Airlines go!