I ditched my sister and friends at the Sunrise Resort—as their journey is nearing its end, mine is just beginning. I walked a bit before I stumbled upon on the Lotus Hostel. It’s the low season in Koh Tao; in a dorm with 8 beds, I had the room to myself before Jamie showed up. He had just landed in Thailand and Koh Tao was the meeting point for him and his friend Annina.
It was mid day as the gloomy clouds came out to play—the sun was done with me. I wanted a coffee, so I meandered over to my spot called The Brothers Restaurant. I ran into Jamie and Annina so I pulled up a chair, ordered a fruit shake and a coffee, and they started listing their options for the day. They settled on a trip to Freedom Beach before getting their tickets to Cambodia, and they were kind enough to let me tag along.
Freedom Beach is on the southern part of Koh Tao, which is much quieter than the northern part. Plus, the beach is actually a beach, not just a few feet of sand before the tide is at your feet. The view from Freedom Beach was breathtaking. Words cannot describe how stunning the rolling hills were, scattered with lush, green palm trees and sporadic houses. I’m kicking myself in the ass for not bringing my camera—like I knew I should have—but when I’m back in Koh Tao, there will definitely be pictures.
It was Jamie and Annina’s last day on the island, and time was getting away from us. The ticket shops would be closing soon, so I told them I’d never talk to them again if they didn’t go and get their tickets. We designated a meeting place and after I had finished my first Chang, they strolled in, took a seat next to me and immediately started speaking Finnish. I always joked with them that every time they spoke Finnish they were talking mad shit about me, but it was okay with me because they were super awesome and kind people. Besides, if I can be their entertainment then that makes me just as happy.
We were all relishing how thankful we are to be in Thailand where it’s warm. Even if it’s not always sunny or we have to bear the afternoon rainfall, we aren’t in the snow. In Finland it’s especially cold this time of year, and the sun doesn’t stay up for nearly as long as in the winter, even shorter than US winters. I’ve been told that back home in Missouri, Mother Nature decided to skip the fall season and has gone straight to winter.
After I scarfed down my burger—which they were both envious of—and the food settled, the conversation steered into their realization that it was their last night. They switched gears and started talking in Finnish again. After this quick back-and-forth, Annina piped up and asked me if I wanted to go to Cambodia with them. I wasn’t really sure if she was being serious since it was so last minute, but after making sure they were for real I decided that my adventures would take me to Cambodia. The only problem at this point was the shop to buy tickets was closed, and we were all determined to have a good time for our last night on the island.
The next morning was a frenzy. I had most of my stuff packed, but I still had to tie up some loose ends. I woke up at half past 8 and the taxi for the pier would leave at 9, so I had half an hour to get my tickets, find my sister, grab the other bottle of medicine from her hotel, and I couldn’t forget my Tokyo-bought, wasabi-tasting toothpaste and toothbrush. I frantically pounded on their door with no answer, and the time was tick-tick-ticking away. I wasn’t panicking yet, but I could feel the fire under my ass so I searched a few coffee shops nearby to no avail. I started heading back to the Lotus because I had about 5 minutes to spare when I finally spotted them at no other place than The Brothers.
I ran up to my sister, frantically asking for the key to the room. I didn’t have much time to explain before I sprinted down the street and barged into the room—halfway breaking the key on the way in—snatched up my stuff, locked the door and bolted back to The Brothers. That’s when I was finally able to make out the words, “I’m going to Cambodia with these Finnish people, the taxi leaves in 3 minutes, I’ll email you when I’m in Bangkok and let you know where we end up!” She couldn’t really get a word in edgewise because I was in such a hurry, but we managed a hug and a quick “I love you, be safe!” before I sprinted off back to the Lotus. But I had one more stop to make: coffee. I could tell that this restaurant wasn’t quite open yet, but there was someone behind the coffee bar so I blurted out “I need an Americano to go but I know you’re not open, can you help me out? Puhhhleeeaseee?” He flashed a grin and gave me some grief in perfect English, but in the end it was just fun to him and I continued on with my coffee.