Greetings from Koh Tao… and twenty-six! I do want to thank you for a lovely outpouring of birthday wishes and responses to my big birthday post. Unfortunately, the year has gotten off to a bit of a rough start. For the second time in as many weeks, I opened my laptop to a black screen. While the first issue lost me a day of work and a heavy chunk of change, it was fixable and I brought my laptop back home the same night. This time, no such luck — my screen went kaput, a fairly simple under-warranty fix back in New York, and a borderline nightmare here on a remote island in Thailand. I literally priced out some flights back to the US yesterday, where this problem would be fixed with a few hours at an Apple store.
Instead, I’m staying put and my computer is on its way to Bangkok, slated to return in three weeks. Fingers crossed the screen will be repaired and the entire machine won’t be replaced, or I’ll end up with a Thai language keyboard — which, frankly, I didn’t pay thousands of dollars for when I bought a top-of-the-line machine. In the meantime, I’m using a friend’s laptop — an extremely generous loan that I’m forever grateful for — but because of the differences between our operating systems and other boring technical blah blah, many of my programs don’t work and much of my day-to-day tasks are going to take infinitely longer to complete. So far I’ve lost three full working days and quite the fistful of baht on this disaster, and I can’t say I’m looking forward to the three weeks of exasperation ahead. Considering one of the main reasons I am here is to catch up on work and replenish my savings, it’s a fairly frustrating setback.
But. I am reminding myself that this is the paradise tax — the price we pay in occasional frustrations for getting to live on a gorgeous, inspiring and magnetic island. It might not be the best place to have a technology malfunction, but it is a pretty darn good place to go paddleboarding, laugh with friends, take hikes, and try a rainbow array of cheap and cheerful fruit shakes. And on that note, a few happy photos from this past week.
Another peril of island living
I actually took this photo the week before last — in sunnier times! — but forgot about it until I dumped my memory card today
Stopping to smell the flowers and the coffee at Coconut Monkey, a friend’s new cafe
Which photo is your favorite?