Saturday, August 29, 2009
First Day on Thang Nai Pan
I think it was 2:30 in the afternoon by the time i had settled into my bungalow and hit the beach. i got a table on the sand and ordered a coconut juice. I continued reading Hitchens, which made me laugh out loud more than once. I sunproofed, heavily, and got back in the water. An hour later I returned to my table and had a large Beer Chang (I should get sponsorship dollars).
As i sat there, a yellow kayak appeared around the far end of the bay. I watched it for a good 10-15 minutes. As it came ashore, the man, 40ish, dropped the oar and pulled the boat high onto the sand. The woman stepped out and hoisted a boy, 3 maybe, up on her hip. A little girl, around 6 years old, climbed out as well.
They stomped through the sand and sat at the table directly in front of mine. They were speaking German, I think, but that was the furthest thing from my mind.
I talked about this later with Victor, who I met an hour later and whom I will describe in detail very soon. It struck me, quite vividly, and as a validation to my ignorance, that a family doesn't necessarily adhere to my ridiculous assumptions. In my naivete and inexperience I have always felt that marriage and children were equivalent to concrete. And, it goes without saying, that that is not necessarily a negative. Yet, here i was presented with a reality that hadn't previously occured to me. They sat and ate and laughed and played in the surf. The scene was enough to jolt the hardest of hearts.
And perhaps I am romanticizing.....to avoid that, let me tell you about Victor.
Victor is from Norway (but has never read Knut Hamsun). He's 35, single, ripped to the bone, tan. Perfect teeth. "Been coming to Thailand for 15 years. This is my favorite beach in the whole world. It's perfect." He's all casual, unassuming, mellow. He invites me over for a beer, to his neighboring table, and we are both watching a pair of German girls a few more tables over.
Victor proceeds to tell me about their entire day although he hasn't spoken a word to them. He's been sitting on the beach all day taking mental notes. He tells me that they are staying at a group of bungalows a few places over. They arrived this morning, took a dip, and went shopping in the village. Now they are eating an early dinner at our place. He then predicts that they will have a post-dinner drink at the place just beyond ours (thus completing a full sweep of all the spots along the beach).
He plans out the duration of the evening. He suggests that we go to our respective bungalows, "power nap," meet at ten for another beer, and head into the 'village' (only 4-5 different little places along the road into the jungle hills behind the beach). He is certain that we will find them, half-drunk, and can "chat them up." His confidence is entertaining (if not staggering).
I had to laugh, and I did. Not since university had I encountered such carefully deliberated steps to seducing women. I, unfortunately, don't possess such motivation.
This was my first day on Thang Nai Pan and I have already heard two people say it is their favorite spot in the world.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited about it.