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Wednesday 5th September 2007

The weather was lush today, but I wasn’t feeling on top of the world, with my cold and sore throat getting a bit worse, so I didn’t go off on any adventures and so just read finishing my Mark Haddon book and starting one by Julian Barnes and doing a bit more writing. All holiday I had thought the headphone socket on my iPod was broken, as it was working when I put it in the speakers, but not when I plugged in headphones (and I’d tried a couple of different ones). Embarrassingly today I realised that the reason I was not getting any sound on the headphones was because the sound on the iPod was turned down to zero, but this eureka moment at least meant that I can now listen to music outside of my room. This made the sunset experience even more enjoyable.
As I have hinted at I am thinking of these twelve days as a kind of decompression chamber in which I maybe decide to leave behind some of my old bad habits and come back to England as a new person. As I wrote about this in my Thai notebook, wondering if it was pipe dream and deciding that almost certainly nothing would change and I would be as lazy, hedonistic, unfit and drunken as before, my iPod shuffle decided to play Ben Folds telling me that there was never going to be a moment of truth for me and that I’d just have to learn to live with what I am. But Ben Folds is probably just trying to sabotage my dreams of a new life. He’s always been jealous of me.
I then decided to listen to an album that had been very significant to my last girlfriend and me. I hadn’t really thought about that when I put it on, but it was a dangerous decision, listening to some emotive music, whilst alone on a desert island and thousands of miles away from anyone you know. It might open up those vast metaphysical doors to the garage of pain. But though it made me feel a little unsettled, I enjoyed the album and the memories it brought up. Having time to think on one’s own can be a danger and usually on holiday on my own I have a couple of nights where everything gets on top of me, but this time I am coping with those feelings and fears and really enjoying my own company.
In any case my new Australian friends arrived at that point and distracted me from my self-indulgence. I am not being racist, but there isn’t an Australian on the planet capable of understanding anything emotional, so we just got down to doing all the Antipodeans can understand, drinking and eating barbequed food.
In another example of how unadventurous and lazy I have been, after dinner we went for a walk up the beach. I had thought there was nothing up there but one other hotel, but I discovered there are in fact a whole row of Thai cafes and a couple of little shops and bigger restaurants. Because of my assumption I have spent nearly all my time in my hotel and eaten all my meals here and now at the last minute I realise there are some other options. What a dick. So I might take my chances up there tomorrow. But I am making no promises about what I might do, because it seems likely that I will probably just read in the hammock directly outside my room. It’s a good job I am not an explorer.

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