Friday, October 28, 2005

October 12: Ko Lanta

(1) Attitude is key. I decided that I would only spend one more night on Ko Lanta, and would make the most out of my final day. The next order of business, then, was to rent a motorbike from Lanta Villa and see what else this island had to offer. After half an hour of figuring our how to actually ride the damn thing, I set off on the main road, traveling down along the island's eastern coast. On the way back, I ran out of gas. I couldn't help but laugh at the fact that I was reading Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. A little girl approached me as I was pushing my motorbike up a hill, and offered to bring me a liter of fuel for 30 Baht. I handed her a 100 Baht bill and she ran off back to her home, leading me to believe that insult had just been added to inury. Several moments later, she came back down to the road, clad in her Muslim head-cover. Appropriately dressed to venture off into public, she sped off on her own motorbike as I sat with her family in their home. The kids were sprawled out on the floor watching a DVD while the mother fixed a torn fishing net for the father. The little girl soon returned with a plastic baggie filled with a pink-ish gasoline. She handed me my change and emptied the bag into my fuel tank. I tipped her for her generosity.

(2) One of my problems when I'm on the road is taking far too many photographs of sunsets. I'm addicted, and Ko Lanta was like crack cocaine. After my great day of traveling the road on my motorbike, feeling like Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, this gorgeous, changing sky was a perfect way to cap my short stay on the island.

(3) There wasn't much nightlife on Ko Lanta while I was there, but I was fortunate enough to be able to hang out with the owners of The Laughing Leprechaun. A young, Irish guy and his lady run this small, but friendly tavern, and actually live there with their dog, Guinness. They had opened during the previous year, however things turned sour for business when the tsunami hit. The night I showed up in their bar was the first night they opened for the season.

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