Yes, I got a tattoo. Two actually. I was warned repeatedly not to get one. Each time I would read anything about this island, it warned, don’t go home with a KPN tattoo – be careful! (KPN=Koh Phangan) Yet, on my second day, I without warning ended up with two small ones – one on my back and one on my right thigh.
Now, the tattoo’s I’m talking about aren’t nice drawings of dragons or spiritually charged Japanese Kanji characters. The ones I have are described in guidebooks as the ones that either result from your tender-skinned body sliding along a bitumen road at high speed with few clothes on, or from the inside of your leg touching too hot exhaust pipe of the moped. Or, as was my case, attempting to navigate a 30+ degree dirt road full of boulders and potholes… following a prospective landlord up the hill (who made it look easy), I decided I should try and before I knew it I was making a high-sided and jumping clear of my bike to save myself. This meant landing square on my side, my phone jamming into my leg and a sharp rock meeting my back… It could have been much worse…My iPhone could have broken. Kidding, kind of.
That was the low point of the week. Its been all up hill from there (or downhill?). Deciding against renting the house up the dirt track of death, I eventually landed at a nice place called Bovy Beach Resort, a new place with a hippy vibe near my Yoga Halls and right on the beach (see the video below). There is a deserted island feel here, only with WiFi, warm water, fridge, AC and a nice women who is supposed to come clean for me once a week… so just a step up from a Robinson Caruso fantasy.
I’ve taken care of the essentials when arriving in a place like this for an extended stay:
1. Securing comfortable long-term accommodation
2. Moped Rental
3. Finding the vendors with cheap fruit and pad thai.
4. Finding the Expat who knows everything about everything and runs a nice café with her Thai husband with awesome fruit and vegetable shakes.
And the one thing I haven’t found yet is a Thai masseuse (although I’m hot on the trail of one).
Wait – I thought this was supposed to be a spiritual trip? Yoga and meditation and profound states of Samadhi occurring daily under coconut trees? We’re getting there. Yesterday I began a Vira Workshop led by Swami Vivekananda Saraswati, the directory of the Agama Yoga school. Here I will continue the curriculum I began in Rishikesh last year and participate in several meditation retreats. I’ll expound on these in great detail soon enough.