They started demolishing the wooden dining pier soon after we’d had our first dinner (and our first argument!). We had just arrived in the crushed taxi bus with our bundles and bags, dusk was falling far too fast for my liking, and the possibility of getting around the Thai Island of Samui to check out even one more beach resort was quickly becoming impossible. I fell in love with the pier, a weathered, grey, wooden structure built out on rocks above the gently nudging sea. On top, simple bamboo tables, also bleached by sun and sea air, stood against the balustrade like the deck of a ship. Let’s stay here, I said. And we booked a palm-thatched cabin on the slope behind.
By breakfast the men were out in force with picks and machetes, and the slate-hued wood was jumping and splintering, sending shafts of tension through the early morning quiet. Slowly our dining area shrunk to the size of the hotel’s awning, and the garbage dump beneath the platform emerged scrap by scrap into view. With it came a pungent odour of decaying fish.
So much for our idyllic pier.
One meal further on, and our beautiful sun-bleached deck had become a heap of plastic-clogged weed and broken styrofoam bricks. The soft turquoise sea that had lapped up against us so gently the night before had been replaced by a corrugated slab of white hot sand that stretched into the far distance. What ribbon of blue was visible was now fenced off by a rugged impassable coral reef that left us having to wait hours before we could swim.
Things are not what they appear to be! The idealised empty late-season resort had turned into disenchantment.
That was the first lesson of that particular holiday.
Hopes and Disappointments
What do you do with hopes and disappointments?
With our wishes and longings, we cling a little to the expectation our dreams could still be real. With the things we label bad, we let them go with relief, and ruminate about the horrors that might have occurred.
But the best has always been to move on. Drop the bad with the good and keep on moving. Move into the present moment, where things are not as you’d hoped them to be or even as you’d imagined you saw them. But simply as they are.
Instead of swimming far out to sea, as we had planned to do, we acquired goggles and paddled along the shallow reef ‘s surface, following the fish through their corals and weeds instead.
When you stop wasting energy looking at what might have been, what there is can turn into an ocean of colour!
This little story was originally published in a longer form in The Osho Times International.