Today we rented a scooter from the resort so that we wouldn’t have to be dependent on the shuttle bus or tuk tuks. So fun to drive a scooter once more! But my Scooty in Mysore was much better than the light-weight Honda the resort provided us with here. We also went on a little excursion to Railay beach by longtail boat. More beautiful sceneries and white beaches.
Tomorrow is moving day. We decided not to go to Phuket but to stay in Ao Nang and leave directly for the airport from here early on Sunday morning. That way we save some time and can enjoy tomorrow here and also we didn’t feel like going to Phuket for just a day and a half. But we have to change hotels as we had only reserved five nights here. We found what I hope is a good deal closer to the beach, we’ll see how it looks tomorrow.
On today’s agenda was a speed boat trip to Phi Phi Islands. The boat first took us to Bamboo Island.
Then we drove via the Viking Cave to the Pi Leh Bay lagoon.
After snorkeling outside Phi Phi Don island we headed for Maya Beach, which is “The Beach”. I also wanted to see James Bond island but that will have to wait until next time.
Via Monkey Bay back to Phi Phi Don for lunch and then some more snorkeling in open sea before returning back to Ao Nang. All in all a nice day at sea.
After another night of little sleep we headed for the airport and the low-cost carrier terminal on Sunday morning. With almost no traffic it’s still about an hours drive from the center of Kuala Lumpur to the airport. The Air Asia people were more allowing in KL than in Bangalore but I’m still glad that this time I had remembered to buy cheap extra kilos when checking in online. After some waiting we finally got to board the plane where I fell asleep before we even lifted off ground and woke up only as they announced that we were about to land at Krabi airport about 1,5 hours later. From the airport we took the shuttle bus which delivered us to our resort in Ao Nang. The Supsangdao Resort is a nice place. Maybe a bit too far from the beach but with free shuttle bus service three times a day and cheap tuk tuks it’s not really a problem. The resort is nice and calm with a good breakfast, nice owners and decently priced. We arrived just in time for me to lay by the pool for a while before we headed to the beach and the main street of Ao Nang beach for dinner. After a nice long sleep and a nice breakfast today was spent mostly on the beach with a one-hour thai massage (costing 200 baht – 5 euro) and lunch in between. A taxi-ride back to the resort, a quick shower and then we again headed towards Ao Nang beach and the main street for a little shopping, a pedicure and dinner.
Ao Nang beach
The boyfriend arrived in KL late on Thursday evening and we went out for a late dinner at one of the many street restaurants. On Friday we walked around the neighbourhood of Bukit Bintang and had coffee and lunch before heading for the Petronas Twin Towers. Travellers tip: book ahead! Tickets are limited and we witnessed many people left without. Luckily I had booked tickets for us so we had the pleaseure of taling the elevator, first to the 41st floor and the skybridge and then to the 86th floor. What else could one expect but an amazing view of the city!
In KL it was been mostly cloudy with some rain, which was probably lucky for us at it was still very hot and humid. India was hot as well but the humidity takes it the heat to a whole different level. And with no scooter to ride around the city on we were mostly walking. But on Saturday we took the monorail to KL Sentral, the central railway station, and the KTM commuter train out to Batu Caves. Interesting experience and a nice change from the sensory overload of central KL. Everything was so loud there and it’s impossible to get away from the noise. Even inside the bed & breakfast we could constantly hear the noise of the city; ventilation pipes, building sounds, the traffic, music… The B&B was otherwise very nice and clean with nice staff but it was almost impossible to sleep until after the bars in the neighbourhood closed.
Restaurants on the stret
Petronas towers skybridge at level 41
Level 86, KL Tower (420 m) in the background
At Batu Caves
Crappy internet connection but I’ll try to post something.
Yesterday morning I had my last practice in the KPJAYI shala in Mysore. It felt weird going, knowing that Sharath wouldn’t be there. Seems that many students thought it was a good day to get some extra sleep as there were a lot fewer people practicing and we even got to go directly in when we arrived, no waiting at all. It felt a bit odd starting my practice with so many different people around me, students who normally finish before I start. I thought the practice would suck without Sharath in the room but actually it felt oddly liberating and I had a really nice practice.
A few hours later I carried my bags down the stairs of the building that was my home for two months and got into the waiting taxi. The four-hour drive to Bangalore was I uneventful and I slept for the first two hours. And except for the irritation of having to pay for five extra kilos, those Air Asia guys don’t let you get away with anything (i.e. remember to do the web check-in and buy extra kilos and pay much less for them than at the airport!) everything went smoothly at the airport. Even had a surprisingly good masala dosa there.
I arrived at Kuala Lumpur international airport just after midnight. After clearing immigration I took a taxi to the bed & breakfast where I’d booked a room, arriving here at around 2.30 am, quite exhausted after a long day. A hot shower and then I could finally get into bed where I slept until after 10 am this morning, leading me to miss breakfast. In urgent need of coffee I walked to the closest restaurant and asked for a coffee. It was just as sweet as Indian coffee. The rest of the day I’ve spent sightseeing and walking around the city. I went up into the KL Tower, saw the Central Market filled with actual nice stuff, Petaling street in Chinatown filled with pirate stuff, took the monorail to Bukit Bintang and walked around in a supersize mall, had a foot massage and managed to find my way back to the B&B. Some general impressions: it’s really humid here, everybody smokes, they eat a lot of chicken, it’s a shoppers paradise, Christmas is definitely around the corner as Christmas songs are played everywhere, my feet may never get clean again, Starbucks coffee tastes great here also. I’ve had a nice day although I forgot how tiring it can be to be a tourist. Now I’m waiting for the boyfriend to arrive.
Almost everything is packed. I’ve said goodbye to the friends staying behind. Thank you all for joining me and Maija, who’s also leaving tomorrow, for a last lunch at the Green Hotel and a last coffee at Pascucci. I’ve said my thanks to Sharath. One more night, one more practice (but without Sharath in the room as he will be away for a wedding tomorrow) and then it’s time to jump into a taxi and head for Bangalore. After intensely resisting the thought of leaving after only two months I am, after all, ready to go. Of course it would have been nice to stay, to see where another month here would have taken me. But I do feel ready to leave this yoga cocoon. I feel ready to go out into the world and remind myself that there’s more to life than this, that there’s more to life than the practice that is so intense here that it easily takes over all of your life.
This trip has been very different from last years trip. That’s of course not a surprise as I am in a very different place now than I was last year. This past year has definitely taken its toll on me, more so than I ever thought it would. But it has also been a very educating year. Most of all I’ve come to learn to know myself, the good and the bad that makes up the person that is me. And little by little I might finally be able to start to understand and accept who I am. Whether other people do, whether they are willing to see me and accept me as I am, well that’s up to them. In the end I am the one who has to live with myself. And while the road of self-discovery and self-improvement that I’ve chosen to walk is a difficult and never-ending one I’m still determined to keep walking it. Forget perfection, forget enlightenment. If those things exist I will certainly not reach them in this lifetime. But if I can be a person that is more good than bad, someone who brings more happiness than sadness, more joy than sorrow to others, then I’m pretty content. If I can be someone who can make someone elses day a little bit brighter, then that, I think, is pretty great.
Before returning to the cold of Finland I get to enjoy the sun and the warmth a bit more still. And the beach! I can’t wait! From Bangalore I’m flying to Kuala Lumpur where I’m meeting my boyfriend. After a few days in KL we head to the south of Thailand for one week at the beach before I return back home just in time to squeeze in a few days in Helsinki before I head north to celebrate Christmas with my family. Can’t wait to see all of you back home, especially the newest member of the family that I’ve only seen pictures of so far.
Another day of ups and downs. Funny how things can turn so quickly. Suddenly I’m so ready to throw in the towel. And after all the crap of the past weeks, months, years I might not even need a plane ticket home. Someone could just mail all the pieces I feel like I’m going to break into…
I’ve kind of been waiting for the breaking to happen. Many people warned me that something like this might happen, that it happens quite often to people who have gone trough something very stressful (like a PhD). So maybe this is what needs to happen. Maybe this is what this trip is all about. Maybe I need to break into pieces so that I can rebuild a stronger self. But it’s not fun. Luckily I am not all alone in this. And after a long skype session with the best sister in the world I have managed to pull myself back together again, at least to some extent.
It’s time to move on. Time to go see what else there is. I am sad that I will be leaving with a seed of doubt growing within me. Not a doubt of the system, but of the practice here. I hope that I can come back a stronger person and maybe I will see things in a different light then.
A few more days left here. I will try to make the best of them. At least I will spend them with friends. And after family that’s the best thing there is.