Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Beaches and Dog Days
Two topics today. First, we went diving yesterday at a place called Koh Nangyuan ("koh" means island). I got lots of pictures from ground level, but to appreciate this island, you need to see it from the air, so I'm including a picture I got from the web. It's three small islands joined by white sandbars. I came here ten years ago when I first visited Thailand, and it was nearly deserted. I was the only one walking on that sandy beach.
Ah, development. Now there's a resort there (although it is tastefully done as huts on the hills), and tourist boats show up all day with curious onlookers. Fortunately, most of them aren't divers, so it wasn't crowded underwater.
It is beautiful, though, and the diving is spectacular. At one point the water temperature was 90--that's 32 for those of you using celsius. Warm and colorful. One weird little fish, black and blue and about 2 inches long, followed me and kept nibbling on my leg. It hurt a bit, more like an annoying tickle. I kept trying to chase it away, but it was persistent. Later, the dive master told me it was a "cleaner" fish, and that I must have an open wound. Sure enough, it was eating the skin around an abrasion I had just below my knee. Very weird. On the second dive I wore a lycra suit to keep that bugger away.
Glorious diving, but it was time to come back to the resort. Always sad to surface on the last dive and then surface in the real world. Thankfully, I don't have to do that for another month or so.
Back at the resort, we had dinner, surrounded by our favorite eating companions: the beach dogs. On every island in the world, there are beach dogs, all who look like relatives to each other. Here on Koh Samui, it's no different, except that in this Buddhist culture, people treat them relatively well--respect for all life.
The one in the picture is our current favorite, a puppy we've named Rufus. (Of course, after naming this dog, we found out it was a girl.) Anyway, she sits on my lap before the meal and lies under our table during. What a cutie pie. We often have many other dogs around us as well. When the servers ask if we want them gone, we let it be known vehemently that we love animals. We feed animals. We encourage their attention.
If I could I take Rufus (and all of them) home. What a surprise.