Others of slender means - Unchained Melody - CycleBlaze

January 24, 2024

Others of slender means

Trapped in Sareena Resort

Dear little friends,

Why oh why oh why. It’s not the rainy season, yet here we are, waking up to a pounding rain, a rain that pounded all night long. Checking our various weather apps was not encouraging, one showed a mass of activity to our north, the other one to our south, either way we were on the edge of a lot of storm activity. 

We’re in an isolated “resort” (a euphemism for a string of small bungalows, not the cushy experience you may be thinking of) near a not terribly busy highway, but there were a few trucks rumbling past.

“That’s thunder,” Bruce declared. “Distant thunder.”

He has better hearing than I do but I was skeptical. The sliding glass door was covered with thick curtains, and I pulled them aside and immediately saw lightning. It was daylight enough to also see something else, and I ordered Bruce to come over to see immediately. Down on the little terry-cloth doormat on the porch were two small cats snuggled and sleeping soundly. He grabbed his camera and started filming them and another cat appeared out of nowhere and woke them up and started making trouble.

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Our morning buddies.
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Bruce had to bring the papayas inside, the cats were hungry and curious, trouble was afoot.
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The rain fell steadily. The weather radar grew more stern. We weren’t going anywhere.

Patiently waiting.
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Things could be so very much worse, we had very speedy wifi, we had breakfast fixings, we had a hot shower, we weren’t camping. That’s pretty much my index for misery, “At least we aren’t camping.” We’re on bikes, it’s not like we can jump in the car and drive 100 miles out of the present storm system in dry comfort with a radio station. Well, actually, during the 16 straight days of torrential rain in Vietnam’s central coast in 2016 we eventually got on a bus and did that but we certainly weren’t expecting to deal with a mini-monsoon in Thailand in January.

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We’re in a pink bungalow. The blue ones are a little more low-rent.
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But once you realize you’re in for a hole-up day, well, you’re in for a hole-up day. So we settled in and started updating our journal. We would do some writing, post the text, Bruce uploaded the photos, we did the captioning and placing of photos, and put three entries to bed. That took much of the day and we felt like we had accomplished something.

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The cats disappeared. It kept raining. Now it was mid-afternoon and we discussed dinner at the restaurant down the road. In a brief respite from downpour I grabbed our towels and some money and went up to the office to pay for another day. Our guesthouse owner is a really jovial fellow and he brought fresh towels, water, coffee packets, and change to me in a wink. Then he handed me a purple umbrella and I walked back to our bungalow, wading through a small stream running down the sandy/gravel driveway.

The reason it was ME doing the business with the owner was because I carry a very lightweight set of extra sandals, something I’ve lorded over Bruce the entire trip. They’re made of that lightweight compressed rubbery stuff that Crocs are made of and probably 90% of all footwear in SE Asia is made of. They weigh as much as a baby’s conscience, dry in ten minutes, and are super comfortable, I wear them all summer long at home. Bruce had his dog-wounded Keens that he wasn’t keen on getting soaked. So I donned my Dawgs and waded out.

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Eventually we knew we had to eat, now or never. The rain wasn’t as bad as it had been. We took the purple umbrella and marched down the road, trying to avoid the spray from passing cars. Somehow walking on the narrow shoulder of a highway is far more terrifying than riding a bike on the same shoulder.

Oh noes!!! The restaurant was all wrapped up in that green mesh stuff that people use here to indicate their completely open-air restaurant/business/stall is closed. But the little adjoining store was still open and grandma was manning the cash register. “Ahaan?” We asked hopefully. Oh, yes, yes, she went running back to the kitchen. Hope arose. Then back she came, no no, there was no rice made, sorry. I guess she had checked the rice cooker and they probably just had enough made for the family.

You know what that means. Well, it can mean a lot of things. It can mean we eat muesli for dinner. It can mean a Clif bar and some peanuts. It can mean ‘better luck tomorrow’. But today it meant ramen from a package with water heated up in our nuclear fission kettle thoughtfully provided by the guesthouse. Mushroom flavored ramen, the glorious staple of college students and others of slender means.

A quick inventory of our supplies showed provisions to be scant.
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Trust me, I know how good we have it. We have shelter, some creative work to do that keeps us busy and absorbed, I think of all the refugees or people in freezing winter weather or some other very troublesome and tragic circumstances. People who don’t deserve it are getting bombed, or drowned at a border crossing or enslaved in a scam center or fishing boat. People are trapped. That’s not us even though we think we are.

Tomorrow will surely be better. All the radar apps are telling us that. It’s all to the north of us, it’s all to the south of us. I spitefully kind of hope it’s to the south of us even though we are traveling in that direction because that means the full moon parties on Koh Phangan and Koh Samui are getting whammied and I’m just shrewish enough for that to please me. Either way, we’re right on the edge and surely it will be better soon and we can get back to the paradise we have traveled so far to but don’t deserve.

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Scott AndersonExcept for the closed restaurant nonsense it looks like a perfectly delightful day. Nice that you had camp buddies to keep you company!
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3 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonIt was a nice day, rain on the roof all day. The cats were pretty cute how they came to be with us. Turned out they didn't even belong to the guest house at all. Must have been the neighbor's cats. We didn't know we had neighbors!
Fortunately the wifi was super fast here and we spent the time to get caught up on our journal. We never dreamed we would have a rainy day this time of year.
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3 weeks ago