I’ve been a laaaazy blogger lately. Four posts in an entire month? I know my three loyal readers have better things to do than sit on the edges of their seats and hit the refresh button, but still. Working six hours a day with zero commute time and no other things to accomplish means that I have about a millionth of the things I used to have to do in Seattle. So what gives, man?
The truth is, I’ve fallen into a routine after a month of living on Koh Rong. While traveling, spending one month anywhere can feel like a loooong time, so the things I do every day have begun to seem…normal. I sorta feel at home. Daily activities on this little stretch of beach don’t seem so novel anymore. Sometimes it’s easy to stop noticing the quirks and differences of a place when you see them all the time and don’t have anything else to immediately compare them to. I found that happening to me, so I decided to write down what a day is really like. This can sometimes jolt me out of the lazy assumption that working on a tropical island is ‘normal,’ because obviously this is something I had no idea I’d be doing as of a year ago (or, actually, six weeks ago!).
7:30 AM. How can one tell it’s morning on this end of the beach? The shrieking of the buzz saws and power sanders, followed by the chorus of banging hammers. They’re building a guesthouse next door and it’s loud and obnoxious and nowhere near finished. My dad once asked what the “dawn chorus” of birds sounds like. The truth is, I don’t know. I can only tell you what the dawn construction sounds like.
7:35 AM. So maybe it’s not always a quiet and tranquil paradise, but it’s so prettyyyyy:
7:45 AM: I walk to the bathroom, which is in a separate building. I go to brush my teeth, but the sink and mirror are gone. Hold up. What? They were there just yesterday…oh, wait, that’s because the water tank fell over during the night, taking that part of the wall with it. Ha. Of course.
8:15 AM: Get my coffee and breakfast, hide upstairs until my shift starts. Mmm, peanut butter-honey-banana pancake. I eat this every day and never get tired of it.
8:30 AM: Okayyyy, must work now.
9-10 AM: This is the mad rush, because the morning boat to the mainland leaves at 10:00. Lots of people seem to think they’re the only ones who have to catch the boat. No, you don’t have time to order seven omelets and four cheeseburgers at 9:30 and have them in front of you by 9:40. Sorry guys!
10:05 AM: The boat has left. I can breathe again!
10:30 AM: A customer orders coffee. ”One coffee, please,” I say to the guy behind the bar. ”No,” he replies, and I think he’s joking. ”Shut it and give me a coffee NOW,” I say. He points to a pile of dirty mugs. Oops…it turns out he isn’t joking. The water has shut off, so there’s no way to wash glasses or mugs. I see if the person wanting the coffee is able to wait a while until the water comes on. Luckily he’s cool about it.
11:05 AM. Going back outside I nearly trip over Barbecue, one of the restaurant’s dogs, lying in the sand with his feet up in the air. “What a cute little dog!” says one of the girls at the nearest table. “This is Barbecue,” I tell her. “He’s for the barbecue?!?!” she asks with a horrified look on her face. “No, no! His NAME is Barbecue,” I clarify, and she visibly relaxes.
11:36 AM. Two other dogs run into the restaurant and start fighting – uncomfortably close to one of the tables of people. A glass of water is thrown, a stool is overturned. Cats flee. The dogs eventually take it outside.
2:30 PM. Shift over! IT’S BEACH TIME!!
5:30 PM. Sun goes away. On the way back to Coco’s, it’s time to go say hi to whoever’s hanging out at Koh Rong Backpackers’. Have a Mai Tai or a Brown Russian (their specialty: a White Russian with Hershey’s syrup added). Play pool. The table is so crooked that all the balls roll to one end whether you shoot them there or not, but I won’t pretend that’s why I lose!
7:30 PM. Must take a shower before the water runs out, but before that, stop to say hi to the scuba divers that hang out at the restaurant every night. The chairs are so comfortable, they’re like a black hole – once you get in, you might never get out. Maybe I’ll sit down for a beer. Just for a second.
9:00 PM. Really must get up soon. Will miss chance for dinner. Drag self out of chair that’s pulling me back with all its force. Order chicken coconut curry. I eat this every day and never get tired of it because it’s SO GOOD. (Creature of habit, I know)
11:00 PM. Now what? Monkey Republic for a creative cocktail? Bunna’s for some dancing? Go for a swim with the phosphorescent plankton? The night is young….