Sunday, February 25, 2001

Here's Looking at you kid.

I went for my swim this morning, 20 minutes over to a little beach and twenty minutes back. Even in the morning the water isn't very clear and as I was almost back to my starting point I could barely make out the bottom a few feet below. Suddenly I felt a terrible stinging on my belly and the back of my right leg. I hadn't seen a thing but obviously I had run into a jellyfish. It is a little weird when you have been stung by something but you don't know how bad it really is or how bad it is going to get. Fortunately there is a little first aid clinic here. I walk by it all the time on my way to my bungalow. I've even stopped there several times before because they have a table out front with used books for sale. Half price if you give them a book. I had just picked up my second book yesterday having finished Paul Theroux's Mosquito Coast. The nurse put some liquid from a little plastic bottle on it which helped take away some of the pain. She gave me the bottle, which was marked "ammonia" in magic marker and told me that if I needed it to come back for an antihistamine. The charge was 30 baht, or about 75 cents. A bit different than our Emergency room at home! It still stings a bit over an hour later, but I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to get any serious reaction. It does make me feel like it is time to move on to a new place. The question is where. I think I'll try one of the islands a bit further south which the guidebook says is less crowded and has better snorkeling. It would be hard to find much worse. The water is cloudy and almost all the coral is dead and covered with a greenish gray coating. There are only a few little fish, though I did see a large turtle the other day.

I took my pliers and wire to breakfast along with a postcard of The Dance by Mattisse. It was fun. It made me look a lot harder at his painting, I can tell you that! It is going to be be a real challenge to create The Dance in three dimensions. The funny thing is that I know this sculpture is going to work. I can feel it.

Railay Bay is also know as Sunset bay for reasons you can imagine. The Buddha made an appearance a couple of nights ago as you can see.

Later that night there was a fire dance on the beach. It is amazing how much people seems to love it. There were a whole bunch of people in the troupe, including some kids and women. A lot of them used "fire chains" which have the burning flames on the end of a short chain. With one in each hand they look really easy to twirl around yet it looks quite impressive. I'm ready to try it so I can teach it to Sophia and Sam in a few years.



I was ready to go to Ko Lanta from here since the Rough Guide said the snorkeling was good there. Then on the way back to my bungalow the couple staying next door asked me if I spoke English because they were leaving and wanted to give away a couple of books they had finished. I answered that I tried and we got talking. They had been to Ko Lanta and said that the water was even worse visibility than here and the place was pretty much a dusty dump. They said if I wanted to get good snorkeling I should go to Ko Phi Phi and just not stay in the crowded town. They said the water was clear and there were pretty fish and coral right off the place they were staying. a little bay so small that it isn't even named in the Rough Guide. Sounds good to me. It is also a shorter boat ride.

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