The mundane reality of a life not worth writing ab
Trip Start Jan 08, 2007
23Trip End Jan 2008
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I guess the instability that comes from not having a job, not having a future husband, not having a clue about what you're going to write your paper that's due in tow days on is not something I ever assumed that I would miss and pine for, but there you go, I'm pining for the life of a teenager that I feel went way too quickly for me. Not that I'm ready to commit to that lifestyle again at all. A couple of weeks ago were the end of the semester for my kindergarten and I was given a much-needed 5 days off. I needed to unwind, to collect my thoughts, to relax so when it came to choosing between the Philippines, Shanghai and Thailand, I opted for the safest choice and headed to my travel destination of choice, on 5 different modes of transportation. After a raucous beginning of my journey, aka my plane was cancelled an I had to spend an extra 5 hours in the Taipei airport, and 24 hours of travel to a destination I could have arrived at in 5 hours total with better planning, I came to the magical island of Phi Phi. This place is known for combining elements in nature that you wouldn't typically see together. Jagged rocks and towering cliffs, on top of a crystal clear ocean displaying the most diverse coral reefs I had ever seen, surrounded my the jungle out of which monkeys, lizards and unmentionable creatures emerge at any given point. And of course, given the place's natural beauty, there are about a billion tourists, with their braided hair, flimsy dresses, board shorts and sarong wraps. The island looks like a figure eight drawn by a 3 year old, due to the sharp edges of the cliffs meeting the ocean. The middle of the eight, the thinnest point, is where the pier/town are. Tiny little sand streets, not an inch of it paved, curl around restaurants, bars, souvenir and clothing shops, and of course diving and tourist shops offering boat tours o any part of the island on a "secluded" tour, where you can snorkel, dive and photograph to your hearts content. An ideal place for people traveling by themselves since there are tons of activities and tons of people to meet and hang out with. Unfortunately for me, that week I was feeling completely anti-social and judgmental. So, I opted for a beach far away from the town. A place I could lay on in solitude, read my book, write my journal, draw some pictures and seek peace and answers in my eternally tumultuous soul. It wasn't exactly like I imagined, I wished I could do yoga on the beach and not wonder whether that guy 70 yards away will think I'm a total freak. There was some stress in taking the long tail taxi boats since they never wanted to take just me so I would have to wait around for random stragglers who wanted to go to long beach. One night, I had to hike through the jungle to get to my beach from the town because I figured that I'd make it back before complete darkness, but apparently, what ages of hiking through the woods in Russian and upstate New York did not teach me, was that it gets dark in the forest one hour before it gets dark everywhere else, you know, due to the large canopies of the trees and all.
So it goes, the rest of the time I spent laying on the beach, reading novels, watching the sunset, swimming for 4 hours a day, snorkeling and such. One day I took some time off from my solitude and went scuba diving with another girl. My scuba instructor taught me a lot. The experience in general, was really amazing and mysterious at the same time. There is nothing natural about being underwater and being able to breathe. Every time I looked up and saw the surface of the water alight, all I wanted was to go back up and my body convulsively and impulsively started to float to the surface. That's why my instructor was there I guess, to pull be back down into oblivious and show me some crazy sea turtle, or a puffer fish or a neon purple anemone. I did two dives and both of them were quite amazing. I saw so much life, things you don't see above the water. The immensity of the coral system is so beautiful, from all the tiny plankton floating around you, to the sea slugs and barnacles that chill out the surface of the bright red coral, to the giant eel emerging from under a stone violently snapping its jaw. The fish come in the most diverse shapes, patterns and sizes. Your rhythmic breathing is the only connection you have to reality when you're under water. It's the only semblance that you are still a body and a human. Perhaps the other thing that I felt that made me realize I was still a body was the fear of touching anything: the panic I felt when getting too close to a coral or the idea that from anywhere at any point, a banded sea snake with emerge and with its deadly 6 minutes till death poison, kill me underwater. But to all those that know me, that's just my casual paranoia that's always in the back of my mind, only later to develop into some sort of psychosis, I'm assuming.
Being back here is so hard after the vacation. The days and weeks drag on and on. I feel like that world of beach and Thailand is so far away in the space-time continuum even though it has only been ten days. That space-time continuum will continue to drag on until Liza gets here. The anticipation and excitement I feel for her arrival only delays it further and further and I barely know how to control it. I keep on thinking how cool it will e to bring in my sister for show and tell in kindergarten, in Chinese class and in my adult class and those moments can't come quickly enough. So I'm thrilled. There's a sort of pessimistic, cynical tone to this entry. I feel like the book I have been reading for what seems like an eternity, "Atlas Shrugged", inspires this tone. I'm so immersed in its reality that I feel like life is exactly as Ayn Rand is describing it. I'm assuming this feeling shall pass when I'm finished with page 1069.
Peace, knowledge and love still prevail