Saturday, July 16, 2011

Somewhere Along the Roads of Phuket...

Sunset almost falls. Silence. Hesitation. Life stories flash like a playback of a movie. The actor is me.

Strangers passing by. I am a stranger myself. Electric wires cross wildly across the sky, the newly built giant Buddha on the hill that I pass everyday is staring at the horizon. Alone.

This is an exhausted, over-exploited land. Exhausted, like many people that I know. Exhausted and overwhelmed, like myself, somehow.

Often we just don't know when the burden or the goodness is overwhelming. We don't know when to pull the brake until we crash. Crash into 'too much' state of being: too sad person or too happy person. Too ignorant, or too care.

If I may bet, the early settlers of this island didn't expect these crowds. As much as many people I know who never expect their life to turn out to a stranger's life. What do the people here think about their lives? Having all the beautiful beaches blocked by luxurious resorts and what they can do is standing as the security guards, tour operators, people who serves - instead of being the landlords of their own lands? Where do they go to enjoy the lush white sandy beach? Would they travel in beautiful boats like us? Would they be served with chilled beverages and beautifully-sliced watermelons and pineapples?

Yet people looks peaceful here. I think I can see the serenity of acceptance in their eyes. "They are okay. Everybody have their own roles in life" - my partner said.
Maybe he was right. Some people who think too much (like myself) often live disputes of internal disagreement. This kind of people often wonders: why some people are unhappy about others' lives? Why won't someone change? Why do we have to change anyway? Who would become the selfish ones among those who is willing to change and who is not? What is an adaptation anyway? What will be the right percentage of acceptance, resilience, understanding, survival skills, evolution that would make a person belong to a place, to an environment, to a society?

If only this island can walk out when it feels that it can no longer fit someone else's shoes, would it shake its shoulder, drop the burden and walk away? Or has it adapted itself and just live with it?

My partner said I should just sit back. Relax. For that I should disconnect all my knowledge on tourism and business exchange in third world's realities. Just be the guest. Being served. Absorb the beauty only, forget the ugly. Ignore those shacks of street foods. Dirty wooden houses. Things that are hidden behind the small path along the suburb. Forget them. Just think of the comfort of our five-star resort, the beauty of the beaches and islands that we travel to. Can I?

Knowledge is a blessing. Knowledge is a curse. It's my knowledge, conspiring with my beliefs on good and bad - justice and injustice that agitated my point of views. I cannot see things "as it is" anymore.

"People have their own roles in life." I think it was his inner Buddhist spirit speaking. Now I have to think of what I was born for, and what are my roles in this universe. The quest, apparently doesn't get any easier...


Not only roads - even the caves around Phuket can't rest in silence...
Everyday, hundreds of tourists paddle the canoes in Koh Phanga


Phuket, Thailand
An evening note on my cellphone, July 8, 2011

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