It was a slow start to the day Thursday. I awoke at Josh’s place where I was couchsurfing. I still had the place to myself and it was nice to come and go as I pleased. I washed my clothes in the machine on his balcony on the other side of the shower in the bathroom.
What a luxury to be able to wash my clothes properly! I had been using bar soap at the hostel to scrub my clothes…old school style…after my mom suggested it; and would wring my clothes out to hang them up. I was used to the sickly damp smell from hang-drying my clothes in Belfast since it was usually too wet and cold to properly have things dry. But here, the heat in the air whisked away any moisture within minutes!
I sliced and devoured an orange. I sometimes forget how sweet and refreshing simple fruits can be. I checked my emails. Responded to messages that had been delivered in the nighttime hours and did some life admin as I waited for Edie to contact me.
We were heading to Hua Hin, a beach town popular by locals. Goy and Ning—who I later found out OWN Restdot hostel where I had been staying in Bangkok!!—are opening a beachside resort there and so they had invited us to come and stay at their family’s place in Hua Hin because they were doing a big beach party launch on Saturday. I had offered my photo services and told them they could use the images for promotional stuff or whatever.
I was excited to get out of Bangkok…the high-rises, smog and lack of lush nature started to suck out my soul.
I grabbed my—CLEAN!!--dry clothes and packedmy little backpack for the weekend adventures.
Called an Uber and headed to the Victory Monument in the city where vans and buses pick up to take to various off shooting locations out of Bangkok.
Victory point is where the vans pick up. It is a little market with scattered stalls wedged together on elevated ground. People slept on benches, tourists looked around wide eyed, trying to find their rides, traffic ebbed and flowed around the victory monument roundabout nearby. It reminded me of a small Champs Elysees there.
Edie was running late. No worries. I snapped some photos and ate a sandwich I had packed.
She finally found me, two bags clinging to her body. We hugged and went over to the stall to buy our tickets. 180BAHT to Hua Hin. Not bad!
We clambered in a giant 15-seater white van and all the stereotypes of 'stranger danger white-van' warnings came to mind. We were the only foreigners in the van. Every seat was full. It took about 40 minutes to just get OUT of the city and move steadily along.
The roads were bumpy and the driver sped. I fell in and out of sleep, surrounded by silhouettes of the other passengers. The jolt of bumps in the road lifted me off my seat. I felt like I was on an amusement park ride. I smiled to myself and tried not to make any audible noises of giddy content as I didn’t want to bring any unnecessary attention to us. But my heart was happy.
I looked out of the van window and saw the MOON!! This was the first time I had been able to see the moon since arriving to Thailand! Bella Luna, my sky goddess. I thought of Hannah and Corneilus. She the Rock in the sky, is our binding force. And that night there were three parts to her. The Shadow of the moon, the actual white blare of the moon’s rockface, and this lovely yellow glow offshooting around her like a halo. The Trifecta. We were united in that brief moon-spotting moment.
After about three hours, the van came to a stop.
“Hua Hin! Hua Hin!” the driver shouted and we skooched ourselves off of the van.
I texted Goy. She told us their location and asked us to meet her and Ning there. It was a 30 minute walk.
We made our way down unfamiliar streets in the dark, talking and laughing. Our spirits were already feeling better, being out of Bangkok. Edie had been feeling the same sort of thing I had.
We met Ning and Goy in an area called Market Village, an adorable “town centre” type of shopping complex. We tossed our things in the trunk of the car and we sped off to the restaurant where Goy’s family had met them for dinner.
We arrived in this open venue with a roof overhead and joined Goy’s family at the table. There was also a man sitting there who was introduced as TO TO. He is an established painter and friend to the two women. He had helped them paint their new resort.
Goy’s family LOVED Edie. Since Edie had been living and teaching in Thailand for the past year, her Thai was way more developed and she can get by conversationally. She courageously chatted away to everyone at the table and laughs echoed out in the night. Ning grabbed a glass, put ice cubes in it, some whiskey and coke. She handed it to me. A drink was poured for Edie. And then food! We had spicy peanuts with scallions and chillies, corn salad with spices and sweet citrus sauce, fried mushrooms, sticky rice.
This bubble of whiskey, food, conversation and laughter made me feel so at home.
I shared more about how Edie and I had met in Belfast a few years back studying at queens. I talked to Ning about when she had lived in America and studied in Chicago. I asked for help with my Thai from Goy and TO TO and we were all in a nice flow of friendly conversation.
The drinks kept coming.
The night got darker.
Time for bed.
We all piled into Ning’s car and headed 10 or so minutes down the road from the eatery to her family’s bungalow. Dogs greeted us at the gates and started yapping their heads off. Edie and I froze. Ning and Goy cooed to the dogs and dropped some bread to distract them. We had to climb some stairs to a balcony. Edie and I got the room with a double bed and single bed and Goy and Ning retired to the room next door. Chloe the French girl from the hostel will be meeting us here tomorrow and will sleep in our room in the single bed.
The sea crashes and breathes just a mere stone skip behind the house. I can hear it and see the glow of moonlight on the water.
I can’t wait to reunite with her, the open sea. Tomorrow will be good.
Sweet Whiskey dreams and Moon Beams.