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Saturday, March 25, 2006


"Those who sleep close to the water find tranquility." legendary Hawaiian belief

We arrived here in Langkawi island yesterday after a 55 minute flight from K.L. There was an hour delay at K.L. We had boarded the plane and were waiting to take off when we were suddenly told to deplane and go to another boarding gate for a new plane. Some problem with overloading or something. Anyway it all worked out okay and in spite of the rain storm at the time we arrive safely on the island.

The Langkawi Lagoon Resort is about 10 mins from the airport. Our efficient driver was there to pick us up and deliver us. The setting has a backdrop of green jungle-covered hills and low mountains and the surrounding lagoon with a beach of white sand by the Andaman Sea. There is a cluster of traditional fishermen's type Malay houses on stilts on the edge of the lagoon which can be rented as units but we are staying in the hotel itself. We have a very nice room with a view of the lagoon and hills. After the ultra posh Mandarin Oriental, we've become a little spoiled, but realize island life is different, not as sophisticated as in Kuala Lumpur. And this little enclave seems to be very Muslim. The restaurant bar by the pool serves "mocktails" and no alcoholic beverages are listed on the menu. It is possible to get the boy to bring drinks from elsewhere however. And there is a little bistro bar on the beach where you can get drinks and enjoy some live music in the evenings.

I wanted very much to go there last night but after our early dinner at the seafood restaurant (also a part of the enclave) my friend wanted to retire. She's used to going to bed at 9 pm and I haven't done so since I was about 10 years old. I am so used to solo traveling, just making up my own plans and being spontaneous, so this really threw me. I wanted very much to go out to the bistro, but observing that this is a very Muslim area I didn't feel comfortable doing that. Even in liberal Turkey women don't go out unescorted after 9 pm. So I just sat on the balcony and listened to my music. I listened first to the CD William had made me and felt Anibal close to me last night. I played all the music I know he liked and sat there all alone for a few hours. The stars came out and I knew if Susan were there she'd be naming the constellations and we'd be dancing on the balcony. I wondered how I would sort out this dilemma because I didn't come all this way to go to bed early at night and not have any fun once dinner was over. That just isn't my style and why should I do that now?

I woke up early this morning to the sound of cheerful birdsong. There is a serenity here. Everything is so still and if it weren't for the humming of the airconditioning fans, it would only be the sound of the birds and at night the frogs in the nearby river.

We went for breakfast early and then for a refreshingly long swim in the pool. Unfortunately we've been informed that the pool will be closed for maintenance the next four days. And you can't swim in the lagoon unless the tide is up which isn't til evening. I tested the water yesterday and it was warmer than the pool! So we might just splash around in it anyway.

The tour agent came to see us and made arrangements for our half-day tour and pickup for the airport next weekend. And we organized some other tours. Tomorrow we are going island hoppping. We found we couldn't get to Penang in just one day so that's out. And another day we have another excellent tour to the Mangrove Forest. Meanwhile, tonight we took a taxi into the nearest town Kuhau (Kwa) . We meant to go to the night market but instead found an excellent mall where there were all sorts of shops with good stuff to buy for ridiculously low prices so we went on a shopping spree. Even bought a bottle of brandy at the duty-free shop. Had dinner and then came back to the hotel. Ruth suggested we go to the bistro so we did and enjoyed the music for a little while. I'd not have minded spending more time there but wanted to write the blog and so here I am. But at least it won't be 9 pm when I go to bed!!!

Tomorrow I'll report on the island hopping tour which will include a swim at one of the beautiful beaches.

"Things are not as they seem -- nor are they otherwise," Lankavatra Sutra

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