Stranded on an island

The ferry I rode landed. The tourists who rode the ferry, minus me, immediately walked up the street a bit and caught a ride. Me, I walked to the gift shop area to check out what they were selling. I thought I’d pick up something to eat too. This delay, though, stranded me.

Shortly after, it started raining, a trickle at first but quickly after an out and out downpour. The rides stopped running. What kind of taxi driver wants to drive up and down crazy steep and narrow roads in the rain, especially when there aren’t many passengers paying ’cause of the rain? I took shelter under roofs erected to keep the souvenir shops dry.

And it rained.

It rained so much that a lady started walking around with a broom, poking the ceiling to push the tarps up so the water would dump off instead of collecting and then crashing through the roof. Other than that, though, all five or six of them just waited. What else was there to do?

I waited too.

The next ferry wasn’t landing for a while, so I figured none of the taxi guys would come around for a while either. I thought about making a run for it, just taking off on my own down the road in the rain. It couldn’t be that far around the island, I thought.

But then I remembered I had my laptop in my backpack and nothing to really keep it dry. I didn’t want to take the chance that the rain would get through my bag and ruin my computer. I didn’t want to take that chance because it was almost a certainty that the rain would get through the bag. We’re talking tropical, rainy season rain here, not your usual morning trickle.

I finally sat down, placing my bag on a chair next to me, one of the few dry ones in the area. The rain sounded amazing, rattling the metal roofs and the hanging tarps toward the front. It looked amazing too. I love the rain. Well, except maybe I don’t love getting stranded so much.

Waiting, I decided to start thinking of what I’d do over the next week, my last week or so in Asia. I started trying to work out how things would go down back in Korea.

  • Tuesday, meet with JLS and work out my pension, making sure I have the money I should have in my account.
  • Wednesday, hang out in the Myeongdong area and then get together with people from church.
  • Thursday, organize to meet with former coworkers from JLS, grab an interesting dinner with them, then plan the rest of our evening, the last we’ll spend together.
  • Friday, regroup from the night before, finish off any last things I need to do before leaving, like sending money home, and just walk around (if it’s not raining).
  • Saturday, attend the Bennett wedding and join the fun with them all day.
  • Sunday (launch day), just make it to the airport on time.

Just a rough list. Somehow, I ended up with more stuff to do than days to do it. Of course, the nights were the crazy part to plan. I realized that most of them, except Friday night actually, had the high potential of turning into all night events. How long can I actually go without sleep again?

The rain started slowing. Oh yeah, I remembered, I’m supposed to be trying to find a place to stay for the night on this island. Maybe the rain will let up now.

Actually, it did anything but that. In fact, as it turned out, it only stopped raining for about an hour or two the whole day. The rest of the time, it either poured rain or drizzled, classic rainy season weather.

Eventually, another ferry showed up, though, and I grabbed a ride with a group that landed with it. Eventually, I found a somewhat dry place to stay (the lobby’s still felt soaking wet since I’ve been here). Eventually, I reflected on the day and realized how amazing it is to be stranded on a jungle island in the rain, somewhere off the coast of Thailand and Cambodia.