Later in the week I took myself out on a trial dive. This was the first time I’d ever been diving and I flaked between being excited and nervous. On the diving boat we went to two nearby locations. To be honest, diving in Phi Phi is awful. You get to see huge shoals of fish, coral, turtles, pretty much every fish in Finding Nemo bobbing around. Its terrible, total waste of money. I’d never do it again. The consolation was getting to see the beach where they filmed the movie ‘The Beach’. This was a pretty continuous joke from any women about wanting to touch a piece of land that Leo Dicaprio had touched. So needless to say, tourists typically swarm the place like ants. Leo’s one of these celebrities that I’ve never really ‘gotten’ though. He’s just not that pretty to me… Now Jake Gyllenhaal… Oh yes…
Looking at all the people on the diving boat I started to see the different mix of a few couples and friends. I was one of the few women on board, and the only one alone. Needless to say it was a little like watching bees surround a honey pot. A woman travelling alone (who on top of this appeared to be slightly adventurous). Yes, I was catnip. It’s a strange thing to realise, especially having been a size 20 with serious self esteem issues less than a year ago, to suddenly find yourself irresistible by men of chipendale- esk beauty.
When you’re travelling by yourself you do find these illusive female creatures wondering around by themselves. But as soon as most opportunities arise they will typically find other illusive female creatures and stick to them like glue. The typical result is that they will both have a mix of what they do. Typically not really doing what they wanted to do. I couldn’t help but think this was driven by the fear of being alone. Because the assumption everyone I know makes, is that if you’re alone, you are lonely.
Again in Phi Phi I was also starting to see again the pattern I’d seen on the Camino. The people who travelled for a number of months to tick off a list of doing something. And the people who were travelling to find something greater than themselves and were living in places to experience the place. Here the distinction was a lot easiest to see. The travellers were the diving instructors. The other people claiming to be travellers were tourists. I didn’t fit into either world. I just wanted to sit on a beach and write. People occasionally enticed me out of my little crab shell for a little walk or to go for a dive. But otherwise, I would snuggle down with my laptop and notebook, my personal lovers (until the Magician would hold me in his arms again).
During the evening I started to go out to see my hostel in full swing more and more. Here a number of the tourists would consume vast quantities of alcohol (and drugs if they could get hold of them), whilst locals would put on fire shows. Using Poi and sticks to display their dexterity by flicking the first wildly into the night. During one of these nights I met an Italian who’d used to perform on the beach. And I wondered at anyone who would want to play with fire round combustible drunk tourists. Hum?
A day later I left back for Phuket. I’d be flying out the next day to see the Magician in Nepal. Hoping that once we’d seen each other that our arguments would be behind us, and we would be back to the easy and intense love we’d felt for each other in France when I’d stayed with him for a short week. Only time would only tell though. And I didn’t even know at this point if he would want me to stay with him for more than a day.