Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bungalow Nights

  We hauled our luggage off the boat windblown and excited for whatever lay ahead. We wound our way off the wooden dock and toward the commotion slightly further inland. There were people from all over the world surrounding a small hut being bombarded by eager to please natives. There was a poster that displayed the many hotel options for the tiny island and each option seemed to have a local person ready to take any interested party to their desired location. We followed our fearless leader as she scanned the poster and found a reasonably priced situation. Before we knew it, we had an eager guide at our feet ready to take us to our temporary residence.
      We trudged after him through muddy streets surrounded by people of every nationality. Tiny restaurants tempted tourists, offering foods from all over the world, booths promised adventures in every form, vendors sold everything from coconut pancakes to magnum bars, and there was water. Everywhere. It was sold in every kind of container imaginable in varying amounts. I think I realized for the first time, as we were following a local to our unknown location that I was going to have to buy my water from now on. A rather foreign concept for someone who has been known to skip the cup and drink directly from the tap.
   Anyway, the longer we walked, the smaller the crowds became and the less busy the shops were. The terrain became slanted and we began heading upward, then we saw it. Our "hotel" looked like anything but a hotel. There were rooms that resembled tree houses because they were stacked haphazardly on top of each other and leaning right into the jungle. The lobby was a wooden canopy full of bamboo picnic tables, a wooden concierge desk, and an open kitchen. We got to the desk and got two rooms. Alisha and I, who were perpetually together, got a room up the stairs behind the "lobby". We made our way up and opened the door. It was a tiny room. There was a double bed immediately to our right, a slightly busted arm chair sitting in a corner, a fan on a table, and a bathroom. The bathroom was a shower head and a toilet in one room (a practice that was pretty common in Thailand). I was feeling less adventurous than I thought I might as a realized that it was a million degrees and the door didn't even close all the way. We settled in by turning on the fan and taking off our shirts to stand in front of it. While trying to cool down we realized we could see the kitchen and the kitchen could see us through the window we hadn't even realized we had. We waved and continued moving with the fan.
     Eventually we went to find the rest of our crew. They had an even better room than we did. It was much bigger than ours, however it consisted of three mattresses covered with mosquito nets on the floor. They had a bigger bathroom and a hammock as well. However, the ceiling of the bungalow was not attached to the walls.
    After absorbing the amazingness of our rooms we headed to to the beach and hiked the island. We also sampled several types of shakes, including sexy berry. The day was great. As we headed back to our scary rooms eating our magnum bars and trying to avoid stepping on frogs we hoped that they had cooled down. Alisha and I entered our room and found that, not only was it just as hot, but it was covered in bugs. The walls and the mattress had all kind of insects on them. We bravely tried to deal with them for a few minutes before we went to the desk and asked for new sheets. They brought us some and swept the walls and rolled their eyes at us. We slept on the edge of the bed as far from the wall as possible and sweated. It was an awful night.

The Bungalow Room

     The next morning we got up and had another day full of adventures. Delicious food, stunning views, attractive tourists. It was mothers day so we headed back early to Skype with our moms. All five of us crowded in our little room because we got wifi, being near the kitchen had its perk. We spent several hours taking turns on the laptops. Eventually some of us headed to the other room. We watched a movie through the mosquito nets and  waited for bedtime. Near the end of the movie Alisha and Sarah came into the bungalow with the fan in in hand. Now, I figured if the fan, the only source of happiness in our room, was being removed, that was a bad sign. I was right. Alisha told us that a huge lizard had just fallen off the wall in our room and run into the bathroom. (After some intense research she thinks it was a monitor lizard.) Whatever it was, we were not about to sleep in our room with it. So we crowded on the mattresses in the other room and spent a miserable night squashed and sweating under the mosquito nets.

A sign near the lobby

     At dawn the next morning we, Alisha and I, woke up simultaneously and walked to the front desk in our pajamas. We told them our room was unsatisfactory and wanted something better. The clerk told us that they had air conditioned rooms for just a little bit more. We took it and went to check it out. It was tiled, air conditioned, clean, airtight, painted, it had sheets, and there was not a bug in sight.
     We spent the rest of the vacation in luxury with all five of us jammed in our room at all times. I remember the island being significantly more appealing when we could go home to a nice place at the end of the day. Go figure.

I already wrote about Thailand on my other blog but this was one experience that I want to make sure I remember.

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