I checked in at my wooden beach cabin and while resting for a moment on my bed I could hear the sea. I walked to the small restaurant of the hotel and enjoyed the wonderful food and friendly people here. It became exactly the kind of week that I needed, everyday fresh fish, coconut and a jump straight from my bed into the warm sea. I think I could stay here forever. Just like Noi and Jack, the proud owners of this little paradise, who met each other in a bar in Bangkok.
He had money and a dream of living in a little paradise at the sea. She wanted a house with birds and flowers…. and money. And here at this beautiful place at the beach they worked for four years to achieve their goal. Now there are 5 little bamboo houses with shower and toilet and a restaurant with a bar. They just have to pick the coconuts out of the trees and ask 40 thb for it. Noi is farming her orchids and is always surrounded by singing birds. At one of the mornings at breakfast Noi started to talk to me "I don't love him one little bit", she complains to me and “He does not want to work anymore. He is drinking beer all day”. Jack is a very skinny man and looks not very healthy. "Heroin and aids" are gossiping the other guests. Every morning when I wake up at 7 o'clock I see him sitting at the restaurant behind his table, with beer and a cigarette. His friends, mostly other local expiates, drink with him.
Noi keeps quiet; after all he bought the land, something of which he reminds her everyday. If she leaves she will loose everything and she will have to return to her bar in Bangkok. And Jack? He can checkout, but he can never leave. After all this is his dream. Luckily for me I do not have to stay here forever … I have a return ticket back home. When I sit in my taxi and look backwards to see this little paradise fading away I think by myself “Really, only the name of the hotel was wrong”.
Remark : Writing this story in 2002 has been inspired by my own experience and reading a wise-like story in a newspaper.
Update 15+ years later : I realised that also I could not leave.