A chance encounter with sage pete and an odd night with wo/men
The day after our night of battle we opted for a relaxing day. Just off from Koh Tao is a little island called Nangnuan which is basically a diving sanctuary so we decided to head over for a look. To get across we got to ride in one of those classic Thai longtail boats (finally!). We ambled down to the beach and climbed into the boat. Our driver showed up and fired up the epic engine. The engine on a longtail boat is this massive, loud, growling mass of engine with no cover that roars and rages as it propells you through the waves. It looks difficult to drive as our thai power packet throws the long handle of the engine back and forth, lifting it over coral on the way out and pushing every which way as we cruise over the waves to the island. Coloured flags all over the boat and a bacardi umbrella bring a festive note to the travel and its just like riding a tinnie out in the harbour. We docked against another parked longtail and began the long process of ferrying my lesser sea worn accomplices onto land. After a scamper across the boat and up a shoddy 'ladder' we were all on deck and about ready to relax. The island itself consists of two smallish mountains joined by a thin stretch of beach, and boulders scattered everywhere and wooden walkways joining it all up.
Got the snorkels and jumped in. Its so nice and peaceful under the water and luckily I hadn't forgotten the trick to diving low with the snorkel and expelling the air when you come back up. We all kind of cruised around and dug the crazy ocean landscape for a few hours. I saw a sketchy kind of fish about as long as my arm and thin like a pencil with a sharp looking snout. I dived through a school of vibrant rainbow parrots and tailed Nemo. It was a good swim. The only restraunt on the island was a bit of a gib of course but it was a nice meal. For some strange reason the waitress had a kitten and through some odd serious of events the kitten ended up sitting on someones plate with a side of salad next to it, meekly taking its fate as the next step in burgers. But we were all pretty full and the little kitten returned to its strange origins as we went for one last food filled swim before returning for beer'o'clock. Just as we prepared to leave a horrid storm arose and wild wind whipped the previously peaceful island and slanting rain bit and rammed everything. Everyone was a bit worried because the ride over had been a little bumpy and that was with smooth weather. I said not to worry because the drivers do this all the time but no one seemed to listen so I left them to their devices. I really enjoyed the ride back but I might be alone in saying that. Well the driver did to. We would crest waves and get a little air, dive down into troughs and the whole time the wild man on the back swinging this massive mass of engine around to keep us moving through the shifting world of water we were navigating. I was whooping and hollering and slapping the water totally taken in by the wild ride and me and the driver had a grand old laugh as we sailed across to Koh Tao. The others thought we were as doomed as Ahab but we could have swam the damn distance if we flipped over. Anyway just as we pulled into the beach and I started to say 'see its all fine yea?' we were jolted forward as the boat hit a big coral outcrop. There was silence for a minute as we waited for the boat to fill with water but the driver laughed and we kept going. It was just about time for a beer.
We had a little shopping sesh and got some Thai staples, singlets and a tooth necklace. As we were cruising a guy offered us %20 off to eat at his place so we was hittin that fo sho. I had possibly the best meal of the trip at this restraunt, a yellow curry that was almost unacceptably tasty. We then found a place called 'lotus bar' that was like an early relative of the bars on Chaweng beach on Koh Samui. There were no lights and fireworks and animals but we were fine with that it was kind of time to chill a little. There were big coconut trees and little fires made in sand castles around us. The waves crashed on the beach near us as two fire twirlers came up. These guy were epic twirlers and they twirled the shite out of those fire sticks. The older guy was a kind of restrained casual style who swung fire on rope and the younger kid was this wild kind of fire jedi who swung a fire staff like he was battling a Darth. They had some serious speed and rythm going.
It was then time for another ladyboy show. Yes that is a strange sentence. This show was a lot weirder than the one on Koh Samui. Samui was refined and almost classy but this one was wild and underground, like the rest of Koh Tao. The lady boys at the door had deep bass tones as they asked us to come on in baby. We had had a few buckets shared at the lotus bar and continued this great traditino at the show. This show was full of camp classics and we whooped and sung along to the wild display until the apex when I saw a new contender for weirdest sight ever. A wo/man came out dressed as a granny with those glasses that have fake bulging eyes. 'I will survive' came on and the granny started to dance in a fashion that no granny could or should dance in. Then if the show was not odd enough for anyone, after much posturing, climbing poles and tables and what not the 'granny' pulled out a large fake penis from her frock and again did things that no granny should do, at least not in public. It was truly a strange thing to be in the vicinity of.
Because we hadn't finished our buckets we bailed out a side door from the show and set to work on them as we ambled down a side street. But then we came upon the open door of the changeroom for the lady boys! Outside there were racks and racks of cross dressing gold and we all started to dress up in hats and dresses and things (Not I says the pie, at least not dresses says the pie). After posturing and acting our own show some of the lady boys came to the door and we had some interesting conversations about what it was like to be in the business and all other sorts of questions that im sure you also would ask of a ladyboy. I had seen enough to know for sure that these ladyboys were lady in name and dress only.
We were basically back at our acom. on windy beach when we realised that we had lost Sophie and Leoni, two of the girls with us. Just as we were preparing to maybe worry we heard some delicious reggae bumping nearby and drew towards it like moth to that well quoted flame. Turns out the bar was hidden behing trees about 30 metres from our rooms at the accom. So we sat down and played some Jenga, some connect four, some guitar and some hammock time. Just chilled and had some tigers just diggin. And then who should turn up at our hidden underground bar late at night? Yes it was Pete the sage from our first trip to Koh Tao. Pete was heavily burdened by his prodigious use of that dirty cabbage and was well on the way. Pete was with his wife, who we had not met last time we were there, whos birthday it was was. We were overcome by the randomness of our meeting. We had a big hearty laugh and sung 'Happy Birthday to petes-wife!' (Her name was hard hard hard to say). Two other people we were with were Rachael and Richard who were from Northern england. I couldnt bloody understand a thing that they said but they were funny. Richard says really crazy things like when we were coming into Koh Tao how his top two animals to see in Thailand were a camel and a monkey. We heard of a beach party but couldnt get our ragged crew together so we all sorta drifted off too sleep. At some stage Sophie and Leoni turned up soaking wet and well gone. From the looks of things they had had a good night, something about tables, buckets, bikes, boys and water. We crashed to a well earned sleep and prepared for a hellish checkout the next day.
The next day was pretty funny, there were some white faces and a think some undercover regurgitation from our scottish friend. The dudes who work at windy beach are pretty cool. Theres one guy who wears a pink cowboy hat and one guy with gnarly scars who wears ray ban shades, and the owner who kinda rocks up and sits next to you, real quiet, and then leaves just as quietly. As our hangovers either increased or decreased we waited for the ferry. We got a taxi to the beach and said goodbye to Koh Tao. This time the ride was pretty good and we cruised out over the blue sea as the sun shined on down. I blasted some wantstock tunes from the ipod, surrounded by new friends and new love and having a pretty good time. Coming into the dock at Chumphon on the ferry is a really great view of the place. Its very coastal and working and there are those comical cartoonlike thai fishing boats that are adorned in all colours and oddly cruise their way out to sea, looking like a weird oversea fish. There are empty hangars fronting the inlet with men playing cards on a lone table, some kind of underground meeting in the next hangar and even a little girl standing alone watching the boats go by.
I had a cough thats been building and after the weekend im kinda worried about it so im going to see the doctor tommorow. It was a good weekend of chance encounters, and excellently odd and cerebral activities. Sleeptime.