A month and a half ago, we got back from an amazing circuit in Europe and almost immediately, started planning a trip to Thailand. Thailand had been a recurring theme since August because R acquired a car reasonably more comfortable than our old one to cross borders and such. It was only obvious that at some point this year, we drive through the bubble gum horizons of Malaysian highways to the grime and character and sagging thick exposed cables in the heartland of Thailand (that felt so much more like home, I must admit). It was a long long drive and one where we realuzed that at least on this one trip, Indian passport actually makes more sense because you skip immense outdoor queues at passport control and usher yourself straight into the air conditioned cubicle where you fill forms and submit documents for visa on arrival because of course you need to visa for Thailand too.
Long story short, we are in Krabi right now. In Ao Nam Mao to be precise, a relatively non touristy although rather unexotic part of Krabi mainland. The silver lining is a thick one – a beachside villa for a steal, peace and quiet, and short, dirt cheap long tail boats to a much more touristy Railay and an incredibly more exotic Tonsai. We did both yesterday, getting ourselves lots of cold, cold drinks and hot green curries and a crazy tan in the process. This morning though, in a haze of a full eight hour night (a rare occurence when binging on Homeland or Big Boss), and a big hotel breakfast, we almost convinced ourselves that sunning on the hotel beach and reading would be a good way to spend the day. We also conveniently forgot that if we had the choice at tropical 2 pm, an air conditioned room would win hands down. But good sense prevailed soon enough, and we dragged ourselves up the long tail boat and left for Railay. A chilli lemon steamed siakap later, the decision to leave the hotel was looking great. So we ventured further, on to Tonsai an hour or two later. It’s low tide, the boat man told us, and dropped us at the other, much more the road not taken, very rocky side of Tonsai. We walked through hippie central and jungle trails just to get ourselves more coconut water, stare into the distance at what’s quintessential emerald green Thailand, hoping against hope that the tide rises and boats startto run from that side of the island or “we’ll see yaar, what to do”.
And see very well, we did. We were left with two options – walking the entire length of Tonsai and boarding choppy waters for slightly longer or walking throw low tide to Railay and getting a boat back from there. We chose walking on sand over walking on water.
And we sailed off. Against choppy waters, blistering sun, and wind so much in my hair it needed to be conditioned before being shampooed. And it was incredible. Of course there were surfers and rock climbers who may have been feeling much more alive but let’s not get delusional here. The maximum I am capable of doing when I do get on to the other side of sitting and chilling is walking. And sailing. And getting salty wind in my hair. And being a helpful fellow traveler, albeit on the passenger seat, on long road trips.
I recently read, more than twice, some quote about making your life such that you don’t need getting away from it. But my life is already far too uncomplicated. Any more and we will be ready to join a commune of sorts. Anything that takes away from our everyday happiness is promptly discarded. And we move on. No war injuries, no strings attached. I have lived this life since 2008, more so since R came along. A very willing comerade in the choppy waters and sundown apertif. A happy, easy, peacefully predictable life with its moments of impulsive brilliance.
Our lives may change, take strange or nice but both equally grown up turns, we may have more fellow travelers in this very middle class, low maintenance commune of ours. Or not. But I have realised that as long as there is him and there are these trails, some planned, some unplanned, and all of our everyday happiness with Homeland binging and biryani making, arguing over hypoyhetical situations, and just being, I am good. This is all I really want. No bigger purpose, no bigger happiness. This is it.