Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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The tiny town on Lanta is almost entirely suspended high above the water on stilts, making my adventurous imagination kick into overdrive thinking of what exciting mysteries may be waiting on the "underside" of the city. Of course, I didn't feel like tramping through muck to find out.

Though the town was mostly deserted of customers, the restaurants were open and ready for business in anticipation of the upcoming high season. I found a restaurant with a menu of Western dishes and a nice deck, so I decided to give it a shot. Upon entering, I'm presented with an array of a half-dozen teenage girls, all of which look extremely excited to have who is perhaps their very first customer. Each belts out a greeting of some sort in newly-acquired English, and then scampers off on some predetermined task as if the pieces are being set for some live-action board game. I slip off my sandals and am quickly escorted to a table and presented with the menu. Girl #2 comes immediately after with a glass of water, who is followed by girls #3 and #4 who set my placemat with plate and dinnerware. #5 comes a short while later and, given her more developed English, takes my order (I decide upon some kind of pasta with chicken, and some banana fritters for desert). This is delivered by no less than three ... [more]
There's basically one town on Ko Lanta, and it's not much to behold. The main road runs right down a ramp into the water, but not before crossing a single other road that runs parallel to the sea. On these two dirt roads, both of which become muddy nightmares for unskilled motoscooter drivers such as me, sit a variety of dive shops, restaurants, and even a bar or two. In one of these bars I sat talking with a very friendly woman for some time. At the end of our conversation I'm pretty sure she was soliciting herself for sex, though it was so bored and casual I just couldn't quite tell. I mean, so we're talking for like an hour about just the most banal topics. I had the distinct impression that we were only talking out of mutual boredom. As I stand up and start gathering my things, she asks me if I'd like a Thai massage (massage is a big thing down here, and the Thai word for it is spelled "S-E-X"). I say maybe later, and she presses on (but is looking over my shoulder as if not really paying attenti... [more]
In my favorite bar on the island I met several people from a dive shop that mentioned they were having a season-opening party/dive on the day before the season began, complete with food and refreshments. Seeing as how it coincided with my last day on the island, I decided to exploit this serendipitous opportunity for a nice dive. The really good diving hadn't really gotten into full swing and the visibility wasn't stellar, but it was a good time nonetheless: I even saw a tiny black and blue coral snake for the first time. I'm told that the snake is one of the most poisonous that you can encounter, but its mouth is so small that it can only bite you between your fingers or on your earlobes. With this in mind, I made sure to keep it a safe distance away from my ears.

Copyright 2017 - David Barrett -