Koh Tao is chaotic and full, mirroring precisely the chaos of my own head. Traffic is suicidal. There are too many people, Thai and tourists alike, but I love it. I love the sentiment of utter disorder. It means that my own turmoil has its place in the world. At the back of a scooter, my hair curling in the wind, I feel each hill as my own emotional rollercoaster ride. Koh Tao is a battle of self-trust. Even the food fights back. My stomach loses. My whole body rebels; even the water infects my ears from too much abuse.

Koh Tao is chaotic and full, mirroring precisely the chaos of my own head. Traffic is suicidal.

We spend the days discovering curry flavors, mixing the ingredients together to let our tongues intake the pleasure of the spices. Each mouthful is its own unique aroma. The sauces are rich and thick, sweet coconut-based or sometimes spicy. Powerful. The food is a colorful work of art and the fresh vegetables crunch under my teeth. The rice balances out the dish, keeping all the ingredients from killing each other with their strength. I inhale deeply to keep the flavors forever in my mind. The air is wet and salty. The colors of the sky are pastel pink and blue and the horizon of the ocean disappears in a gradient of pale blue. I cool down on lemon shakes and marvel at the deep greens of the forest. When the colors disappear in the blackness of night, the rush of the waves calms my excitement and I count the stars. A snake visits my house, I’m sure it is lucky.

With precision and ease, they light up the night; each turn and toss perfectly calculated and practiced, respecting the power of the tool used.

We need to dance to let go of the heat from the day. This night is young and we are free. After a meal that had us all running for our lives, we descend on the beach, following the aura of happiness that prevails here. Our energy flows high and we swirl in a musical rhythm. As our feet step in time and our hands held high, we pass around buckets of mixed alcohol and watch as spectacularly muscular Thai men make fireballs dance amongst us. With precision and ease, they light up the night; each turn and toss perfectly calculated and practiced, respecting the power of the tool used. The night is theirs. For a cheap thrill, people come up close to them and light up cigarettes on the bright flames and proudly step back inhaling the tobacco. Our feet in the ocean, keeping with the movement of the waves, we dance again and again, reflecting our freedom. More buckets of gin and rum and red bull are passed from hand to hand in hopes of bringing us to the state of drunkenness we crave. As our inhibitions disappear and our hilarity takes over, we create friendships for one night, united by our common experience.

After clearly needing some rest, I embark on a 16 hour journey to Bangkok.

             

The Writer

I write stuff for fun, if it was for a living I would be homeless.

Find out more about me, Stefanie, here.

Quotes

The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it. Rudyard Kipling