Friday, February 12, 2010

Three Things: Golden Retrievers, Karma, and Thanks.

Golden Retrievers? Huh? Yes, an odd thing to speak of in a blog intended to chart the path of my adventures, but please bear with me. Years ago (I'm terrible with the dates) our family lost one of it's dearest members. Pelly, our faithful Golden Retriever had to be put down, due to cancer. We had him oh... 9 years? A wonderful dog and it was devastating to lose him. This isn't about him though... I don't think.

   I'm not a religious man. Spirituality? Karma? Existentialism? I guess I have a "pick 'n' mix" take on that aspect of life. Well, I'm starting to believe that perhaps Pelly is looking out for me, or that he as least sending me a sign from time to time that I'm on the right path. I have not one, but two occurrences to back up my crack pot theory.

1. December (or November) 2008, Koh Samet, Rayong Province, Thailand. Tara and I were escaping the seediness and noise that was enveloping us in Pattaya. The trip was also meant as a nice romantic getaway for the both of us, as she had to return to England not long after. We were a new couple, and a few days on a secluded beach in a wooden bungalow away from various pollutions (noise, air, prostitute) was just what we needed. I was head over heels for this girl, and life was just... perfect. One day we forced ourselves off the beach and headed to the north end of the island. The National Park end. We hiked around, took some photos, watched some fishing boats. It was picturesque (honest, I have the pictures!). Out there, at the far end of the island, a dog appears.
Not your typical Thai flea bitten, scabies ridden, patchy, gross looking mutt you'd fear to touch with 39 1/2 ft. pole. This was a stunning Golden Retriever. Out in the backwoods, of some small Thai Island, here is a brilliant dog. Clean, happy, just looking around for something to eat in the rocks and grasses. In the moment of snapping this picture I thought of Pelly, and how he seemed to be saying to me, "This is a happy moment, don't forget it." Something along those lines...

2. January & February 2010, Pattaya, Chonburi Province, Thailand. The Bum hole of Thailand. You've all listened to me describe it many times over, and to be honest I'm running out of descriptors. If you don't know what Pattaya is about yet, read back through my posts. So, I'm in Pattaya, but still managing to have the time of my life. Great friends, okay diving, but I feel most importantly, a great outlook on life. I was, quite honestly, high on life. Over the course of a few weeks, going about my business (my business being teaching diving, drinking, and socializing), everything was grand. I had passed the mental hurdle of not only being shafted by the shop manager, but also being newly single. I had made a select few, great new friends (preciosa...), and I was soon on my way to Koh Chang. There he was again. Another beautiful immaculate Golden Retriever. I saw him in the morning on my way to work. I saw him at 3am in the morning outside a Beer Bar. I saw him wandering happily with a female companion. The universe/god/Pelly/my own overactive imagination just letting me know life was good, and the world's not such a terrible place. Crazy? I'm not a psychiatrist. I'll leave the diagnoses to Alison!

   A quick note on Karma - Walking Street, 3am-ish, all my friends lost. Getting money out of the ATM so I can have another drink or 2 and keep dancing in the club. Standing there outside 7-11 entering my PIN and a small boy comes up next to me and starts begging. So here I am, drunk Farang (foreigner) getting out 5,000Baht, and this cute starving kid with big eyes looking into my soul. I can give him the last 100Baht I have in my pocket, can't I? That's what, $3? $3 and a bus ride home. Nothing in the big scheme of things. So this little munchkin runs away 100Baht richer, and... the ATM won't give me my money. I'm stranded on walking street, chump change in my pocket, all my friends lost to the wind (or nudie bars) and no one answering my texts. Luckily, I have a drunken glow about me, a positive attitude and I'm feeling good about my good deed. Let's try the next ATM! I begin my trek up Walking St., hoping to stumble upon help or another bank's machine. Not 5 minutes up the road (that's not very far on walking st, with all the people and the state of me), I bump into my good friend Casey, on his way to catch a baht bus home. A ride home, and he pays for me! Totally worth 100baht. Wasn't much of a short note, eh?

   The Past Few Days - Not much has happened really, in the way of activities. We've explored some more book shops, watched a few movies. I've wrestled with my youngest brother Creighton. Little savage he is... I think his best move is when he grabs a finger, any finger, and snaps it backwards near it's breaking point. That one, or the pinching. I told him pinching is a girls move, but then he snapped my pointer finger back till it popped. Um... hmmm... anything else... Oh! YEAH! My Dad Mike just gave me a 1998 Jeep Cherokee! Needless to say I was speechless. I couldn't find the words...

   Perhaps through this medium I can try and better express my thanks. Thank you. The gift of a vehicle, any vehicle is above and beyond what a scummy backpacker such as myself would expect after 4 years of traveling the world and living in a basement, only making/spending enough money to fund his next trip. The gift of a vehicle that will allow me to have Adventures this summer... Diving, Camping, Hiking. I'm already plotting where to go and what to do. The independence I will gain from having my own set of wheels... it makes me so happy. Just as long as I don't spend too much on fuel! Once again, Dad, Thank you. I'll be sure to fill this blog with the tall tales of my experiences. Not unlike what I've done the past 3 months!

Thank you, See you later,

1 comment:

  1. You are most definitely NOT crazy! Pelly is and always will be an amazing dog! :)

    I'd like to think Czar will still be there protecting me when he passes :)