Started writing in Phuket, Thailand, finished in the air and posted in Umalas, Bali, Indonesia.
I am on the plane from Phuket to Bali, as I type these words we haven’t taken off yet. People are still boarding, I think. Ah, we are taxiing. Soon a flight attendant will come and tell me to put away my laptop. And there he was.. how come male flight attendants ore so often gay, no matter which airline in the world you take (except when you go to Iraq though: stern looking flight attendants with big moustaches who look like prison guards you see in movies)? Anyway, I will be back in 15 minutes..
It took me longer than 15 minutes. I have been listening to some music and dozed off a bit, arriving in a timeless space: the same space that I see reflected when I look through my window now. Let me take a picture (posted above). The song that is playing on my iPhone is by Herbert Grönemeyer, a German singer. My German is not good enough to really hear what he is saying but the title is “Der Weg” which means “The Way”, “The Path” or “The Road”. There is some pain in his voice and strength, passion, perseverance and hope.
I am carried through the air to my next destination, not knowing what it will bring me. Looking at the clouds I get a feeling of endlessness and beginninglessness. I am moving through time and space, over mountains, rivers and lakes.
Departure was at 06.45 in the morning so my alarm went off at 04.50. Yesterday I left Koh Phangan by ferry at noon. We were transferred to buses that were waiting for us in Suratani. There were pink dolphins swimming around slowly in front of the pier. The bus to Phuket took longer than I expected or hoped.
As usual I didn’t plan anything and had no clue what kind of place I was going to. In the bus I borrowed a Lonely Planet and found out that the airport was quite far away from the city center. I decided to go a town nearby the airport after arrival in Phuket, to prevent an hour-long taxi ride at 04.00 in the morning.
According to my bus ticket the bus should arrive at 18.30 but at 20.00 we were still driving. I felt the urge to start asking around but realized that asking questions would not make the bus go any faster so I decided to practice patience and surrendered to what was. I heard the Thai lady behind me speak pretty good English on the phone so I asked her if she knew the town I had chosen and how and where I could find a taxi upon arrival. When she looked at the map in the travel guide she said I would have travel 30 km back after arriving. I realized that it would be more convenient for me if I could get off the bus earlier. At that moment the guy who sells the tickets comes into the cabin and shouts ‘airport, airport’.
A minute later I find myself along some highway with a vague sense of the direction I need to go. Before I have time to smile at the lady who is waiting for another bus and put my backpack on my back some guy who was hosing plants and I believed to be a gardener is already negotiating a price with me for a ride to the hotel. I name the town of my choice and am amazed how seamless things go. I find out that my taxi driver actually does not own a car but a motorbike. And as I get on the back of the bike I find out that his breath smells of alcohol. Of course we are not wearing helmets and I just hope my journey doesn’t end with my brains spread out on the asphalt of Koh Phuket but that everything goes as things are meant to go.
My motor taxi driver speaks little English and seems to be trying to convince me to go to another place than I had in mind. I stubbornly keep repeating the name of the town I found in the Lonely Planet assuming that this method will be sufficient to arrive at my destination. Minutes later he stops at a place that is NOT in the town I had in mind and clearly the place he had in mind all along. But I do realize that this motel is very close to the airport and cheaper than the resort I had picked out. I decide to stay, pay my driver and pay for the night and arrange a taxi to the airport. After having some decent food I am in bed at 21.00 and get about 7 hours of sleep. Perfect.
Let’s knock on wood to not jinx my fortune but I am amazed about how fluent I keep moving from place to place. For seven months almost all planes, trains, ferries and buses left in time and I always got to the place of departure smoothly. Every time I need a transportation solution and don’t know what it will be the solution is already waiting for me. I might not know where I am going, there always seems to be somebody who take me there, giving me the feeling that although I might not know myself what it is there is a higher power with a plan running a very slick operation.
Same thing with the experience from the beginning of this post: music bringing me to a timeless space where the boundaries of my body dissolve and then seeing the same timelessness outside of my window. It feels like the Universe is communicating with me and I am listening although not yet fully comprehending. There is some melancholy in me and a very spacious strength, passion, perseverance and hope.
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