local time: monday, october 4, 2010, 1:15 p.m.
i'm in ao nang in krabi provence. the trip here was . . . interesting. after a two hour ferry ride from ko phangan to donsat, i took a bus to suratthani, where i got on another bus for the rest of the journey to krabi town. the air conditioning was broken and there weren't enough seats, so i spent the bumpy four hour ride standing sandwiched between two spanish men who had apparently never heard of deodorant or inside voices. fun times! i arrived in krabi sweaty, tired, and cursing spain and shared a taxi to ao nang with some other people going that way.
despite having assured me that he knew exactly where the guesthouse where i'd planned on staying was located, the driver got lost and ended up just dropping me off on a random corner. but it's low season and there are plenty of inexpensive rooms to be had, so i found other lodging without much trouble. my room here is nice - clean, comfortable, and full of creature comforts like air conditioning, tv, and hot water. it's a few blocks up from the beach, but i can see the water. but i have to admit that i miss my little beachside bungalow. i think that the pace of island life rubbed off on me during the twelve days that i spent there, and last night i felt a little overwhelmed by ao nang. my hammock has been replaced with a plastic chair on the patio; the soothing sounds of the ocean and the nighttime chorus of frogs that lulled me to sleep have been replaced by traffic noise, thumping music from bar after bar, and the shouts of vendors selling their wares on the street below; the shimmer of moonlight reflected in the water has been replaced by endless rows of neon signs. it's not necessarily bad, just different. i'm glad to be seeing more of the country, and i keep reminding myself of something my friend zin told me when i was feeling anxious on the night before leaving ko phangan and worrying that no other place would measure up: "if you no try, you no know. and if you no know, you no win."
and so i try. i'm doing my best to keep an open mind, hoping that the torrential rain will let up a little and trusting that i'll find something amazing once i get out and explore more of ao nang and the surrounding areas - railay, ton sai, and the nearby islands. but i think i left my heart in thong nai pan. i had vivid dreams last night (a rarity for me) that took me there, and i woke up with its music in my ears and its people's smiling faces in my head.