I’m in a rare place, the shade. In front of me, in the background, a behemoth of a waterfall, man made. Cascading down the rocks is the water from the upper level pool. In the foreground, partly impeding my view, are two workers installing a sign. They’ve been at it for quite a while. To my left, a child splashes into the turquoise after shooting out the half-tube slide. The wind blows through the palms, no clouds in a blue sky. That’s the scene at 4pm. Today was a scorcher. We walked to the laundry, then to lunch. A sad lunch when compared to others we’ve had, but brightened by a refreshing lemon slush. The fruit here is so good. A melon tastes like a melon, and an orange an orange: ripe, juicy, sweet goodness. Fresh. That’s the word for this place. Upon returning from our midday errands, I had to plunge into the pool. It was hot today, hotter than usual. And now, I’m in the shade, talking to you.
I’ve been asked if I miss a social life, friends. And in the same sentence, my friend who asked me this said, “I’m sure it’s better hanging out with your wife instead of random friends anyway.” Absolute truth! Do I get bored? Not as often as one would think. Actually, not often at all. This is our 24th day here. We write, edit pictures, and work on our website. We swim, go to the gym, and enjoy the sun. I play Rummikub, chess, and study poker. The days are full, but not of driving, working, and pretending. Full, instead, of mile walks to the market, massages, and sunshine. When I even think of being bored, I think of where I used to be, this is better. Way better.
Those guys are still working, they seem proud of their sign. One with a level, the other tapping the wet cement around the posts. A little kid just scampered by, wearing a float around his waist, ready to leap into the pool. Today is another good day. There hasn’t been a bad one. Except when I got caught with 2 jokers and 4 13s in our Rummikub game…that kinda hurt! I am looking forward to Valentine’s Day and returning to Natans. The red meat here is scarce, so a steak will be nice! We eat so clean that it’s tough to get enough iron. That coupled with copious amounts of sunshine can be dizzying, literally.
No one is negative here. Ever. Everyone is full of smiles, happy, every day: the workers, the residents, the children, and me. Especially me. When our time is up in March, I’ll be excited to get back to the States, and then to France. I miss my family, and our kitty, but that’s all. I love the positivity of this place, all of SE Asia really. I wish everywhere was like this, happy, content, and peaceful. My wife asked if this place, where we live, would be considered a resort or an apartment complex. I call it a retreat. A retreat from people trying to take advantage of their fellow man. A retreat from pretend people in a shallow world. A retreat full of happiness and all that is good. Utopia. I’m a utopian, I always have been, and this is my place, my retreat, my happy.