Better than most long distance calling plans

I feel if I don't document all that Arin and I have done in the last two days, I never will because Arin and I seem to filling every moment with one worth documenting and at some point I won't be able to keep up.


Yesterday Arin and I decided that probably the easiest thing to do would be to rent a scooter so that we would be freer to run errands, and go to parts of the island a little more removed for dinner, exploring, hiking and so forth. Arin and I were hesitant at first about renting a scooter, mainly because Lonely Planet makes riding a scooter sound like a death wish. But renting a motor bike has got to be the best way to see this island. And for a mere $5 per day, it is also probably the cheapest. We started off a little wobbly from our hotel and headed first to The Big Buddha, a 30-40 foot, golden Buddha overlooking the water. It was an amazing site, and given how early it was, it was quite deserted - which was nice considering that it is Koh Samui's most popular tourist sites. At the base of the wat (temple) we did some much needed shopping and probably paid too much for a pair of pants for Arin and me just in case shorts are not appropriate for places we plan to visit later. No matter. We hopped on the scooter and headed for Chawaeng for a much needed swim as it takes about, oh say, 3 minutes out in the open air to sweat completely through your clothes. We stopped for lunch first at a popular restaurant on the beach called "Poppies." It wasn't all that, but it wasn't bad either. After lunch and after we took care of our travel arrangements to Bangkok we had our first taste of a Thai rain storm. There we were, putting along when the winds changed, and it grew a tad darker. We looked up at the sky at some rather questionable looking clouds and I asked Arin, "what do you think those clouds are going to do?" After careful consideration she spoke loudly in my ear so that I could hear through the helmet, "I am not sure, probably nothing." That sealed our fate right there, a jinx if I ever heard one. Not ten seconds later the clouds literally opened up and started dumping buckets of water. We had only a few seconds to pull over and find a place to stay dry. Cafes on Koh Samui must love the rain, because we found ourselves surrounded by others with the same idea. We sat down, bought some postcards, ordered some milk shakes, and waited for the rain to stop.

And just as quickly as it started, it stopped... right when we finished our milk shakes. So, we hopped back onto the scooter, and proceeded (with a stop here and there) to drive around the island. What a great way to see this place. If you are ever visiting Koh Samui, rent a motorbike! We saw parts of the island that we imagine most people don't bother with. A shame really - the rest of the island, especially the interior is absolutely beautiful. At some point we pulled over to go to a market to see if we could find ourselves a durian - a fruit found only in Southeast Asia renowned for its rather grotesque smell. It is something I may not have gone out of my way to do, but Arin has a kind of freakish desire to try every fruit on this planet, and durian being one of the more well known and most talked about asian fruits was at the top of her list.

It wasn't until later in the evening that we found the time and the place to cut open the fruit. You have to be careful where you open one of these things up; there are some places in Thailand that will forbid you even bringing a durian on their premises. Some people say durian smells like rotting flesh. I haven't had many occassions to smell rotting flesh, but it didn't seem that bad. That being said - it was pretty bad. As for the taste, which is nothing like it smells, I didn't really care for it. But then again, the fruit had pissed me off from the start. First, the outer shell is hard as a rock, and it is incredibly spiney. So cutting into one of these things with a pocket knife is not only difficult, it is dangerous. Arin cut herself on the fruit (not the knife) at one point. The fruit has the oddest texture - and if it doesn't smell like rotting flesh, the fruit probably has the consistency of it. So no, I am not a fan of durian. If you want the opinion of a conossiuer of fruit though, then ask Arin.

But I digress.

Once we got back to our hotel, we were ready for one thing: a Thai massage. We had been talking about it all day, so we were pretty pent up by the time we made it to our favorite pair of women situated on the beach not 50 yards from our hotel. We had visited then the day prior when I got a Thai massage, and Arin got a foot rub. Massages there are, without a doubt, some of the best massages we had ever received. And the most amazing thing about it was the fact that a full 60 minutes cost only 200B (about $5). Cough, cough, wheeze, wheeze. Yep, that's right - about $5 an hour, or about 8 cents per minute (that's better than most long distance calling plans!), but who's counting?

Ok, so that is only one day. I started writing this entry yesterday, so I am still behind 2 days. At some point I will find a way to catch up. But for now just know that Arin and I are having a time we will never forget.


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