Monday, April 4, 2011

The Rain

The Don Muang airport is in the north bangkok. The airport is run down. It was built in the early part of the 1900s. It closed for a short time when Suvarnbhmi opened in 2006, but you couldn't tell. The decor is at least thirty years too old. The seats are well worn. A thousand people have sat on the pieces of plastic wearing in grooves.

I purused the books in the small book store by the boarding gates. Oddly the majority of them were Gay and lesbian themed academic novels. One book contained lesbian erotica. I flipped through the pages. It seemed very emotional.

"That plane doesn't look like it will crash," She said as we walked out to the plane. The twin engine passenger plane was large, and weathered like the airport it serviced. We boarded the plane and I opened my book.The flight to Surat Thani was short. Airplane rides in Thailand take an hour, an hour and a half. Its doesn't matter where to. Its always about an hour. I read the novel for a while and then nodded off. My thoughts looping over and over imagining the plane's engine falling off. We would crash into the ocean and drown. I woke up when the plane landed.

We took an hour long bus ride to the ferry building. The seats were filled when we got on the bus so we took the first two empty seats. The upholstery was threadbare. I sat down. The rain leaked onto the seat. The sky had opened up and the rain was falling regularly.

"Its supposed to rain all weekend," she said. "I read the weather report."

"I don't care, it will be fun. I've never been to koh samui before and it will be nice just to go somewhere with you," I replied.

Her mouth smiled slowly. I could see her teeth.

The bus stopped at a ferry building. The boat wouldn't come for an hour. We ate over priced sandwhiches and fried rice. Hers had egg in it. The small cafeteria filled with backpackers. Their whispy beards and repulsive fashion filled the room. I wanted to leave. The ferry came. We got walked over a wobbly plank onto the the boat. The rain made the plank slick. It shook as I walked across it. We went down below.

She sat next beside me. "Every time I travel I sleep the entire way," she said.

She leaned her head against me. The boat bobbed up and down with the movement of the waves. I looked out the window. The water kept falling from the sky. The bay of Thailand's surface rippled.

We arrived and took a mini van to the hotel. We were shown our room. It was large with a hot tub. The next night we sat in the tub. The jets bubbled the water. The rain outside continued. We drank white wine.

We checked out of our luxiorous hotel and sat near the beach. She made a phone call. She looked at me.

"The ferry has been shut down, the road from the ferry has flooded. What do you want to do? If we take a plane from the airport on the island it will cost an extra 4,400 baht."

"We should take the plane. Its less of a gamble," I said. The showers had picked up in intensity and fequency. The downpour was harder. We sat underneath a villa watching the ocean rise. The ocean water was a dirty brown. She saw me look at it.

"Normally the water is clear and green," She said. She hung up the phone. "I booked us a flight for wednesday."

Two more days. We watched Mad Men in the room. I heard saw flashes of light outside. The crash of thunder boomed. I wondered what happened when lightning struck the surface. We took a cab the next day. It cost an extra hundred baht to go to Chaewaeng beach, the main tourist area. The main road was flooded. The roads we went down were brimming with water. Several motorbikes tried to get through. They were water logged. The cars that passed on the street looked less like automobiles and more like boats. They pushed water to the side as they came down the street. I felt the water shake our taxi. It was like being on the ferry again.

We arrived at Xin city in the downtown area. We moved into our room. We unpacked. The rain continued. We got food. We went to bed. The morning brought continuing rain. She called the airport. Our flight had been canceled. All the flights for the day had been canceled.

"All the flights have been canceled. What should we do," she asked me. I looked at her from the bed.

"Let's go to sleep," I said. Outside the water levels rose slowly rising. I wondered if and when they would reach our hotel room. We were on the third floor. Houses on the other islands had been washed away.

"Well have to stay two more days," she told me when I woke up. I nodded. I went to the bathroom. The faucet didn't work. "The power is out."

I looked out the window. Still the rain came down. It changed from a heavy storm to a light drizzle then it would drench the land again. A few people tried to navigate through the water. I looked at them. Their thin ponchos barely protected them.

A half an hour later the Hotel's generator came on. The lights worked, the internet didn't. We walked through the streets. The water came up to my shin, almost to her knees. We waded down the main thorough fare. I thought of Gene Kelley tapping his feet on the sidewalk of Koh Samui.

A note came under our door the next morning. The hotel wouldn't run its generator the entire time as gas on the island had run out. I wondered if we should ration our money. The atms weren't working. I thought about how I should have spent my last few years in a survivalist cult instead of doing muay thai. I looked at her. If it wasn't for the sport I wouldn't be here.

"Its like the world is ending," she said.

"The world has been ending for a long time," I replied.

"Next year is 2012. Sometimes I hope the world ends. Its not supposed to be raining this time of year," she said. She reached her hand out the hotel room door and felt the rain drizzle on her hand.

I took her wet hand and squeezed it. I imagined Gene Kelley and a thousand back up dancers doing synchronized swimming after a tsunami. Fires would burn on broken houses at the highlight, the aftermath of the show would be radiation leaks causing tumors in the spectators.

"Maybe it will end today, maybe it will end tomorrow, arai ga dai," I told her.

The rain continued.

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