Welcome to part two of walking through hell, and eventually, getting out of it. In part one, I cried myself to sleep, said more “anicca’s” then a priest says rosary, and tried to figure out why we put our family through this. I figured it out. Cuz life on this island is worth it, and working for Koh Rong Dive Center is beyond worth it. That’s why we go waaay out of our comfort zone sometimes- to get something we want. Island life isn’t a five-star hotel. Daily I speak to those exiting who don’t want this rawness, and quadruple that number who do.
Today’s post looks at what happens when you grow too fast, when you don’t have the resources to contain overnight becoming the most popular kid in the class, and what happens when The Nomadic Family walks back into a tropical paradise which cannot accept them. (Hence, the ever-loved putting our kids to bed in a bar part. )
In Which Overnight Exponential Growth Is Unmanageable
See, the island here has a population of about two hundred and, true as of December 2012, a tourist population of about 300. Now, February 2013, the tourist population has doubled. Then, there was a morning boat and an evening boat arriving, Two boats. Now, two morning boats, two afternoon boats. Count them: one, two, three, four. Hostels are being built beach-side, weekly, and are being filled, immediately. Most hostels provide mattresses on their porches and balconies for the overflow. Last night, backpackers slept on a make-shift boat-dormitory arrangement, and several, like us, on couch cushions and the like.
We arrived and knew we would wing it, like we always have. We returned to the local guesthouse we had stayed in 6 short weeks earlier, all ready to embrace our Christmas-blessing Khmer family (video) again. Our patio-heaven-outdoor-ocean-breeze-wet-dream- mosquito-netted-mattress-on-the-floor and private room for $6 TOTAL were no longer an option. She refused to use the patio like last time, and now, whenever she will have room she wants now $20 a night!
In Which We Admit To Being Who We Are
For the record, we did drop rice, spill water, and make gooey messes that splashed through the planked floor on the family below. And we wai-ed [bow in thanks or apology] and said “som-toe” [sorry in Khmer] profusely each time, but still that sucked of us. See, we’re messy and clumsy and socially inept and have Israeli chutzpa, so it’s a bad combo. I get that. We’re also loud and we break things unintentionally. Our kids fight and Kobi and I raise our voices, and well, I would love us to death and still not want us in my hostel if I was the owner. And Tyty loves us. She said so. She told me, through a teenage translator, that our singing and joy and that magical Christmas dinner brought her family so much joy. I believe her. But, in all honesty, if I could pick my family or some drunk and/or stoned and/or sex-crazed backpackers for my hostel, I’d go with choice B. So, I understand why she didn’t want to overturn guest-and-drool-occupied beds to empty a space for us.
Still, there was no place for us to sleep. And Kobi and I combed the island that afternoon and for hours the day after. We agreed to stay under conditions we would have never previously agreed upon. That is what led us to sleeping at the CoCo Bungalow’s Bar. They were so nice, the message mattresses were totally comfortable, and there was something oddly comforting in the bass up your butt. Oddly comforting. And though our living under a bridge bucket list wish has not bore fruit yet, this we were not ready for. We felt stuck, choice-less, and tried hard to put on a strong face for our kids. With no better available choice to us, we slept on cushions in the second floor of the bar.
Surely you have something to say about the little mess we’ve cooked up for ourselves. Say it. I’m feeling the cool Koh Rong Island breeze on my face, and right now, right now, and again right now, I just bowed to that turquoise endlessness that surrounds our dot of dryness. I love living on an island.
The Good Week Series:
This has become a nice little instant playback series on what we went through. This series relays our adventure through exhaustion, homelessness, and sexual assault to salvation. So much fun all bundled up in one, and if you don’t want to miss any of it, please subscribe to the rss feed to get our posts directly to your inbox. We’re loving your comments on the blog, your likes in Facebook, and your subscriptions to our Twitter and YouTube Channel. That online attention directly funds our journey, as I use your measured interactions with me online to show organizations how worth it it is to work with The Nomadic Family. So, follow the series, subscribe to the blog, YouTube Channel, Twitter, and/or leave your comments. Knowing you are out there, seeing your e-footprints, reading your comments really truly helps us more than I can even tell you, economically and emotionally.