Its Christmas Day! Hooray Hooray, I get up in rather a good mood. Well, it is Christmas! I never had any expectations as to how I would spend it once I knew I was abroad., I figured that I would probably just spend it with myself and that would be cool. But when I surface and make my way to the restaurant for breakfast – Talon the Canadian is there. He asks if I want to hang out, go check out a beach he's heard about somewhere else on the island? and in the absence of anything else to do – I think why not?!
When we get there its perfect. The most beautiful little secluded private Christmas day beach ever. Like it was built just for two. Talon lives “to ride” which is snow board apparently and another sport that I know absolutely nothing about. I guess snowboarding culture must be a bit like surfing as he keeps saying things like “sick” and “sweet.” Still we seem to get on. His hair is strawberry blondish and he has large hazel eyes and I can't help but notice once we are in the water, an awesome body.
He's also a photographer who is building a buisness photographing women in a kind of make/over lifestyley way so part of the afternoon is spent snapping me for practise.
We leave and go to another “secret” beach where the water crashes up against the rocks and they have enormous hammocks for two and spend a happy hour getting to know each other a bit more. He was studying the Agama yoga in British Columbia and completed Level 1 (the course i'm set to do in January) and then he did a retreat in India. He came back to Koh Phangan for a few more weeks to recover in the sunshine and balmy breezes of this gorgeous tropical island before heading back for snow season in B.C
After a pitstop back home to freshen up we head out again in the evening.
“Hey i've heard about a couple of dinners going on, want to check it out?”
So we head off and find a beach in Had Salad, another part of the island. There, we bump into an Australian couple and walk along the beach together. For 500b (about 10 pounds) they are doing an all you can eatBBQ and...well it is Christmas Day! So we stop and choose some fresh fish – he has an enormous hunk of mackerel, I have a variety of steaks and cuts and it comes with salad and fries. I have a beer but everyone else is on soft drinks. Such is the yogic way. Kambucha is a lemony tasting drink nicknamed “yogi beer” made out of fermented mushrooms and served in brown glass bottles.
After dinner we walk along the beach and then get back on his bike.
“Wanna explore the island a little bit” he asks.
“Sure” I say.
The moon is hanging in the sky, the air is balmy and warm – 6 months in to travelling around Asia and I still love the feeling of warm air on my skin. And i'm finally getting used to being on the back of a motor bike too although it doesn't stop me squealing when we hit a bump in the road.
We head off in one direction with the sea a strip of silver on our left, the palm tree fronds darken and fringe the sky above us peppered with stars. The breeze picks up,its chilly in this valley, so I put my arms around him. You know...to warm myself up a bit....
A truck pulls out and swings round the corner in front of us,the back is full of Thai men hanging onto the sides, they are all in santa hats!
“Wanna head back home now, or take the left?”
“Lets go left” I say.
“I was hoping you'd say that...”
After riding around some more he pulls the bike over to the side of the road, leans and around and kisses me. And then we head home.
Speak to most Brits and Northern Europeans and I expect they'll tell you that spending Christmas on the other side of the world in brilliant sunshine, eating BBQ on the beach just doesn't feel...well very christmassy. There's no Dickens, and snow capped rooves, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
But instead this year I got a special private Christmas day beach and a hammock made for two. And it worked out pretty fine for me...