Archive for the ‘The Art of Doing Nothing’ Category

My initial three days on Koh Mook, Thailand stretch into 2 ½ weeks. It’s the perfect deserted island in Southern Thailand. No cars or ATM machines, white sand beaches with crystal blue water. Every morning, I drink ginger tea and eat banana pancakes. Walk two minutes to the gorgeous beach and settle down in a lounge chair in the shade. Read and swim for hours. Eat a delicious $2 curry lunch. Take an afternoon nap before sunset yoga on the beach.

Occasionally, I venture to the other side of the island for the only spot with a strong internet connection. My side of the island was developed for tourists. There are no local businesses, just restaurants, hotels, bars and dive shops exclusively catered to tourists. The other side of the island is a fishing village, primarily for the local residents. The journey is a short 5-minute ride by motor bike. Most of the houses are on stilts, several feet above muck and garbage, with no sewer systems. There is a rank, putrid smell in the air, like the nose-shriveling aroma of old water in a vase. Because of the heat, the smell just rolls over you in pungent waves. The stark disparity between the locals and tourists is like a slap in my face. My paradise is pretty one-sided.

Arriving in Phuket is a complete shock. It’s loud, crowded and overpriced and I spend most of my two days holed up in my air conditioned room watching TV. So it’s a total delight to arrive in Bali. Less than an hour from the airport, we pass by rice paddy fields and my entire being sighs. My first three days in Ubud, Bali, I stay in a small guesthouse nestled in the rice paddy fields. The owners treat me like family and the grounds are gorgeous – flowering trees, Hindu statues, birds of paradise and teak furniture. I attend yoga classes daily and it’s amazing to gaze into the rice paddy fields and hear the croaking frogs and buzzing cicadas.

Now, I’m on Gili Trawangan, a small island off the coast of Bali. The snorkeling is sublime. So much color with neon blue, yellow, pink and aquamarine fish. Can’t believe nature has such extraordinarily bright colors. The coral is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and I want to create jewelry or paint these amazing shapes. I chase after a turtle, laughing underwater and smiling with glee.

I have perfected the art of doing absolutely nothing. I’ve been on this small island for six days, and still haven’t rented a bike to see the other side of the island. Hours and days pass, and sometimes I feel a fleeting pang of guilt that I’m not more ambitious in my plans. Going to the beach and yoga class are major events, and I have many more months to be more adventurous. In a few weeks, my friends from Seattle will arrive in Bali and we’ll be jam-packed with plans. For now, I’m content to just lounge about and contemplate where to eat my next meal.



Read Full Post »