Seat For Monk
Where there is KO, there is entertainment. That is guaranteed. This time around, she almost outclassed herself.
And so we found ourselves seated at the Krabi airport in Thailand, waiting for a flight back to Bangkok. This would be the last leg of our trip to Thailand.
I sat quiet and glum. The thought of leaving the beautiful beaches of Krabi and the laidback atmosphere of the little town and its friendly folks playing on my mind. I had exactly 48 hours left in Thailand. 48 hours before I returned home, to the normal humdrum of everyday life.
An announcement played out. In Thai. KO and I rose from our seats assuming it must be the boarding call for our flight. We began heading for a queue that was forming at the departure gate when we realized it wasn’t our flight.
KO decided to cover our faux pas quickly and dived into a row of vacant seats nearby, hoping nobody had noticed our enthusiasm for what was obviously not the correct plane.
I stood around for a while before making my way to where KO sat. She happily patted the seat beside her, gesturing for me to sit there. What followed was this:
- Me: (Glancing above KO’s head) “KO, look!”
- KO: “What?” (Glances up at the wall on her right)
- KO: (Gasp of horror as she reads the sign above)
- Me: (Guffaw of delight)
What can I say? It was literally a “sign”. Kob khun ka!
Just Smile and Wave
Language was our biggest obstacle in Thailand. Still, we managed. Even if it meant hopping into 11 different modes of transport to make our way to see a rotting bridge. Even if it meant gesturing wildly and making “paarping” sounds to signal “van” or smiling sheepishly as a kindly lady conductor told us in no uncertain terms – in pure Thai – that we were blundering imbeciles who had overshot our stop a long while ago. I picked up a little Thai during my time there. I suppose knowing "thank you" and "the next station is...." in Thai may come in handy some time.
Sign language held us in good stead most times. Except in what was possibly a dire life and death situation. A girl waved to me from the sea. I smiled back. KO followed suit. (She imagines I even waved back. The blazing sun really did her in, poor thing).
Only a good while later we realized the truth. The girl’s partner was floundering in the water. She was struggling to drag him back to the boat. Her “vigorous wave” was a distress signal. Her “cheery smile” was, in reality, a grimace as she struggled with his dead weight.
In a word?
The Paddle Puzzle
“Get in, bum first” said our kayaking guide. So we did. Yours truly at the helm and KO behind me. Mangrove kayaking at Ao Thalane, Krabi. We had looked forward to this for a long time.
We enthusiastically dipped our paddles in, trying to propel ourselves forward and at the same time turn the kayak around to head toward the mangroves.
Complete amateurs, absolute blunderbusses.
We went straight under the pier and remained stuck there until the guide extricated us.
The last thing we heard as we headed towards the silent green mangroves in placid waters interspersed with rocky coves was hoots of laughter from experienced kayakers on the bank.
Can We Throw Him To The Sharks?
American stud to Indian-born, UK-educated girlfriend: “You get them at the grocery store. You know what a grocery store is?”
Where is a big killer wave when you need one?
Read KO's accounts of our trip: Part 1 and Part 2.