But by the time we'd crossed over on the ferry, the van driver had put the fear of God and mosquitoes back into me. After some chit chat about where I'm from -- "New York." "What?" "New York." "What?" "New York." "What?" "America." "Oh, America!" He practically sang it! -- he broke the news. "Nirvana Resort is very far. About an hour from the ferry." (Both he and his wife, who was in the front seat with their young son, struggled with the letter V.)
"Oh, that's exactly what I want -- to be far away from everything." I tried to convince myself that two days of seclusion was precisely what I needed after the disappointment of Koh Chang and the hustle and bustle of Pattaya, but I was a little bit nervous. If this place was another dump, I'd be stuck there because there'd literally be nowhere else for me to go. It wouldn't be the first time that the masses displayed poor taste. I decided to put myself in the hands of good fortune, sit back and enjoy the ride up the mountain, down the mountain, up the mountain, down the mountain, up, down, up, down, all the way out to the middle of nowhere.
I spent a day and a half at Nirvana in complete solitude. The only time I spoke out loud was when I was ordering food from the restaurant across the foot path from my bungalow/cabin. I wrote, slept, ate Pad Thai (twice), watched good movies (Jack Nicholson's tears at the end of About Schmidt get me every time) and paid half-attention to so-so ones (I still can't believe the Academy picked Cher in Moonstruck over Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction), watched and wondered. I watched the world standing still outside and wondered why it had taken me so long to join it.
Better late than never, though. It may not have been an experience filled with epic adventure, but then even a confirmed party boy like me needs to get away sometimes and enjoy peace, quiet and natural beauty that's not dancing shirtless on a platform. I may live to go camping yet.