We all had a sleep in, and although we had a good night’s sleep, the slight change in time zone means we’re all still a little sluggish. We named today “chillax” day. That meant doing nothing too onerous. We will let the day roll past us and do what takes our fancy. Coffee took my fancy first up, so a visit to Starbucks just down the road was a lovely surprise and an hour of internet connection for checking in with the family back home via Messenger.
We waited for a cute little French waffle and crepe café to open up at 11am. Nothing opens until 11am as places are still open at 11pm at night, even on a Monday night! The café was worth the wait too – Dacey enjoyed her first ever waffle culinary delight topped with ice cream and fancy chocolate. The rest of us ordered crepes – banana, strawberry, and me savoury with egg and brioche cheese. Yumbo!
As walked down to the beach, we discovered a playground just waiting for the girls: jet skis, banana boat rides, parasailing, and inflatable rides. There are beach chairs with accompanying umbrellas for 14 Ringgit ($5) which might be good in a day or so when the sun finally shows its rays. We must have arrived after a major downpour as we straddled across large catchments of puddles in the streets and wondered how we would ever get around without getting wet. Today has also been rainy; starting light and getting heavier. But that didn’t stop the girls enjoying a banana boat ride (100 Ringgit for 4 = $25) and being pulled across the bay of Kedah via jet ski on a yellow banana-shaped inflatable. Steve and I could hear their screams kilometres away, and then they got dumped off the banana ride and into the water right in front of us. Lots of fun with wide smiling girls walking out from the water saying “can we do it again? Can we do it again now?”
Steve and I had an hour or two alone in the apartment. We watched the third episode of Game of Thrones and had a rest. The girls went for a stroll down the main road and met up with us at an agreed time. So far so good with their times. It gives everyone some freedom to explore and not always be a huge six-person group all of the time. Charlie and Ash have made friends with a couple of the local beach boys who organise the beach rides on Langkawi Bay. Forget about Bay Watch – the girls were enjoying some attention from the young Malaysian boys. They stayed back with them sitting under an umbrella on chairs talking about stuff like “how long have you been smoking for?” “when did you get your first tattoo” while Steve and I walked over to a beach side café called Yellow Café.
The café walls and furniture were painted yellow which is why I was attracted to it in the first place (my favourite colour being yellow), and I could hear some decent music coming from it. And there we sat enjoying a couple of beers together and pondered the nature of what our Christmas Day this year might look like. We agreed it should be beach focused, and fun for us all. We’re thinking of having a sit down lunch at the Yellow Café and afterwards jet skis and beach chairs.
Charlie is taking GoPro videos but is having difficulty working out the files on her computer. For some reason it’s not as simple as she first thought. Of course all my advice pre-departure to have everything in working order went astray. And due to there being limited to no internet here makes the task of ironing out technical issues even harder to resolve. But we’ve managed to find some internet at the front reception office at Adina Motel so we may have some after all. Not sure of the quality as Steve is there now trying to work out the next stages of our adventure in India: the Indian train online booking system! Unfortunately they don’t seem to like international credit cards…aghhhh!!!
Last night in the quiet when I was lying down in bed I realised there was no end to this. A whole year is a very long time to digest all at once, pretty much impossible, and what we’re attempting here – backpack travelling for 365 days – was something quite unique and out of the ordinary. I could feel a sense of fear appear at the unknown of our journey. I really don’t know how it’s going to work out for all of us, or how we will get from one place to the next. Just travelling all day yesterday via two planes to get here was enough to test the limits of our endurance. But I know there will be more of that testing of our resilience when we’re tired, even sick, and even homesick. I’m banking on all of us getting better at coping with stuff like that when it comes up – losing things, forgetting things, getting lost or disorientated.
Just today, Steve was on a mission of getting things done. But there’s nothing to get done. The way we lived pre-departure, and our Western world of working, doing, performing…are all not required here on Langkawi Island. What is required is a level of acceptance, slowness, and enjoyment and that’s the beginning of the unwinding of our stressful ways. It’s only day #2, but already I can feel the untangling of knots begin and a quietness start to enter my inner world. No work to perform. No house to clean. No meals to cook. No pets to look after. The next 6 days are a trial in bliss and allowing that bliss to come in and stay for a while, not visit and leave, but to stay and embed in my new travel world.
The meal for six of us tonight was 100 Ringgit ($33) that consisted of Padthai, Fried Rice, Tempura Prawns, and seasonal veg in oyster sauce with plain rice. Delightfully tasty and filling. The restaurant was operated 24/7… I can’t imagine someone staying up all through the night to cook for guests but I’m guessing it must happen here. It is rather nice to be able to go out together and not have to spend a fortune on food.