Pardon the language for this following entry. I am not one to pepper my conversation with too much vulgarity but today there is not any other better word to describe it other than this:
Today has been a series of OH SHITs and WHOAs. I woke up at 7am this morning after a late night that ended somewhere at 3am, thinking “Oh shit, I haven’t finished packing yet” followed by “WHOA. I am REALLY leaving for Koh Samui today and I won’t be back in a month” and a realisation of “Oh shit, I REALLY have NO IDEA what that’s going to be like”.
Fast forward an 1 hour later, I am scrambling around my apartment combing through last minute items that needs packing and praying that I did not forget anything. And I am thinking “Oh shit, what else? what else?”
As I had promised my parents that I will be dropping off my car at their house, and I am trying to squeeze in breakfast with L, the thought of “oh shit, I am going to be late” ran through my head amongst all the other thoughts that were already there by then. He saw me this morning and asked “why are you so kancheong (panicky)?”
I had to get his help to lug my 17kg worth of luggage down to the car park and at some point, the strap he was holding on came off. Like totally busted. And we both looked at each other and went “Oh shit, that doesn’t look good”.
Off to breakfast we went, and I eventually made it to my parents. Thankfully, we had a spare luggage and I transferred everything to it in less than 10 minutes and off we went to the airport. In the car, I looked at the stuff that will be hand carried into the plane and thought “whoa, how am I going to carry my yoga mat AND my black carry on stuffed with my camera, laptop and notebook?”. I actually contemplated leaving behind my mat but the thought of sharing those sweaty mats made me feel the temporary amount of discomfort lugging these stuff will be worth it. I am after all a germ-a-phobe to an extent, there is only so much love one can share in a retreat, and dried sweat (eww) can’t be one of them.
When the plane took off, as I realise that I had both seats to myself while the rest travelled in pairs (well it IS koh samui after all!) it dawned on me that “WHOA, I am travelling solo to a place I had never been before”. Yay to being brave and adventurous!
When we touched down, I looked over at the small Koh Samui airport and you know what, it was just WHOA. This had to be the first airport that I’ve been to that practically resembles a spa that’s been plonked in the middle of an airplane runway. Immigration was a breeze and as I wheeled my luggage out to the meeting area, I passed a couple of Thai airport staff. Most of them women who direct passengers to the taxi stand. One of them asked if I needed a cab to which I declined politely. She asked “you are here alone ma’am?” and I nodded yes. There was a look of awe combined with maybe a flash of concern as she said “Ooo, you better be careful ma’am”. Not sure what that meant but it certainly sparked a “Oh shit, I had better find these Vikasa pickup dude real fast before I start panicking”.
I guess it must’ve been easy to tell that I am here for a yoga retreat. The mat that is on my back, which looks like a bag containing a meriam buluh was a dead giveaway. The ride to Vikasa was pleasant. We chatted about the demographics of the other students (I am the only Malaysian and 1 of the 3 asians in this intake out of a group of 25). As we drove past Chaweng Road, which is apparently the busiest stretch of road in Samui, I thought to myself WHOA this had to be the most touristy, mish-mash of culture that resembles everything but the Thai culture that I know of. From what I could see in that initial drive there were italian restaurants, starbucks (!), irish pubs, tattoo parlours, and a huge confusion of every western culture I know thrown onto one street.
Vikasa is perched on the cliffside, towards the higher plains of Samui. It was originally known as Beverly Hills (hotel? residence?) and was bought over by Kosta, Vikasa’s owner recently. The bamboo hut that I am staying in, was just completed a few days ago. So brand spanking new it is, that I am officially the first to stay in one of the 5 huts they just builts. Awesome. From the inside, it locks with a bamboo stick that you had stick through a hole which then blocks from outside people from pushing it open. Obviously this sparked the thought of WHOA… bamboo stick for a lock! Really!
While I was unpacking, I discovered that my tea tree essential oil leaked through since it wasn’t capped tightly. Bummer. And I knew this the instant my nose smelled the familiar tea tree note hovering around my luggage. Oh shit, I hope there is enough of whatever is left to last me for the next 29 days or so. In the distant, I can hear reggae songs playing in the background. Even now as I am typing this from the lounge area. perched high up and over looking the Samui coastline, that is still the background music. I had better hope the music I hear tonight are the sound of waves crashing and crickets singing and not Bob Marley crooning about no women, no cry.
I gathered my mac, and phone up to the lounge. And let me tell you, it’s a HIKE to get back up here. I will post pictures up in a couple of days as I settle in. But for now, imagine hiking up steep hills and endless numbers of stairs to reach the top. I am instantly reminded of my trip to Capri Island during our Italy trip with Z earlier this year when we climbed endless number of stairs that just kept going up, up, up, never really knowing when we will actually arrive to our destination.
As I reached the top, mac and phone in tow, I stopped by the bar to ask for a glass of warm water. 2 men conversing (and I have a very strong feeling they will be with me throughout the teacher’s training course (TTC)) about downward dogs and scorpion poses. And therein my ultimate Oh Shit of the day, thinking to myself “oh shit, this will be the kind of conversations I will be having for the next 1 month” *cue Lululemon famous ad “Sh*t Yogi Says”*
With that said though, I am writing this down from the lounge area in Vikasa where the seats are bean bags and your table are low coffee teak wood tables. The breeze is softly weaving its way through the are and I am overlooking the entire coastline of Samui and a glimpse of Koh Pangan in the distant. I smell some thai food being cooked from the kitchen. And darn it, that reggae song is still going strong in the background. Tonight I get to meet the rest of my fellow TTC students. Once the initially novelty that shocks my senses right now settles in, I am pretty sure this will be on helluva fun retreat.
Sawadeeka Koh Samui, and Namaste!