A Beautiful World

Ralf has written stories since he was 7 years old. Since 2015 he is jotting down ideas for a novel. He finds writing an intricate, great and loving process. The book’s main story is a frame tale, and will feature several long-short stories which he is currently writing.

Here he presents a random story he wrote when visiting Koh Phangan, Thailand.

Enjoy the read!

A Beautiful World

Eat.co is a vegan brasserie anno 2019, located just outside the Koh Phangan harbor, where steamboats and speed boats pour out endless streams of bronzed tattooed youngsters. They are mostly mischievous, full of desires, landing on this tropical island for the full moon party, or to its cleverly concocted half-moon party. There are also calm tantra-yoga-meditation-massage-kundalini-breathing young women and guys. The first group packs in songthaews, a taxi pick-up truck, with their huge backpacks on the roof, off to God knows where, laughing and screaming. The latter group veers to Eat.co like a magnetic attraction. So does Zach.

Mind you, this is Thailand, with excellent pad thai (rice noodles with beansprouts, scallion, peanuts and sauce), dragon fruit shakes, fried rice with seafood, tom yam kung, and spicy papaya salad. In this brasserie there are crafted wooden tables, plastic vines hang from the ceiling, and there is an assortment of Yogi teas. The waitress, with Mediterranean looks and long black hair, occasionally zonks off into some distance space. Zach wonders if it is a depth of calm which can be uncomfortable when meeting someone like that in the middle of the hectic world, but which is, of course, a good thing here. She hands him the menu which includes everything ranging from sourdough bread with turmeric humus to ‘three gluten free pancakes with coconut yoghurt and berries’. Yummy!

Looking around at the amount of youngsters and people, Zach is reminded of the fact that there are twice as many people living on this planet than when he was born. And that it has never been as easy and affordable to travel as now, something the people of Venice, Barcelona, and Amsterdam could tell you more about. Zach realizes that he is doing his part. Sadly, it doesn’t feel very much like the Thailand Zach loves. Surely such mass tourism does change a place.

Luckily, a few days later Zach does find genuinely friendly Thai people on the island, living at some distance from all tourism.

Zach likes the focus on veganism and health on Koh Phangan and in other parts of the world. He finds this a positive development: more awareness of your life, (‘you can choose how to live your life’), of your body (yoga, raw food, veganism), of your spirit (meditation, religion), and community (social gatherings, courses, dance, tantra). And all that automatically results in more awareness and care of the environment.

A skinny girl sitting at the table beside Zach highlights some sentences with a huge yellow marker on the last pages of Eckart Tolle’s ‘The Power of Now’ which she is reading. “Over 3 million copies sold” it says on the front. Quite impressive.

Goa Trance/Ibiza/Koh Phangan beats, or whatever it is called nowadays, comes flooding out of the speaker. It is one, continuously pumping, low beat which is easy to dance to, and a bit worse to write to, which is what Zach’s neighbor is trying to do, his feet nervously tapping to the beat.

A girl sits with an Apple laptop with a world map case around it, and another girl is swiping on a gold colored iPhone. She wears white earplugs, maybe she doesn’t like the music, is Skyping or does not like the chattering about veganism, detox or multiple orgasms without touching.

The child of a family has a tantrum about the food, even if it is a plate of waffles with slices of dragon fruit.

A guy is eating mindfully with his eyes closed.

These vegetarian, vegan, tantra, yoga, kundalini breathing people are beautiful. Their skin. The luster in their eyes. The friendly warm smiles.

It starts to rain a little – in January it rains sometimes in the South of Thailand. An elderly woman asks an Israeli girl with white nail polish on her hands and feet, who is eating and simultaneously chatting on Facebook, if she likes her dish. The girl looks up utterly disturbed. Oh, smart-phone world.

While they are making a ‘dirty chai’ at the espresso machine, two girls and three guys sit at two small tables. The guys haven’t ordered anything to eat. It is clear that one of the guys, good looking, strong and well trained, with a huge tattoo of deep water diving in a grotto on his arm, is together with one of the girls. The other two guys look around nervously. They are meat eaters. One of the guys is interested in the other girl, who is larger and who has embarked on a long explanation of a special breathing technique. Zach can only imagine that if they end up going out then she will feel a strong desire to turn him over to the world of no leather, no eggs and nothing that talks, walks or crawls.

On the book shelf lay The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky, Osho’s A Cup of Tea, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Lucid Dreaming, The Power of Positive Thinking, Voyager Tarot, and the Healing Code.

Zach’s food comes, it is delicious. Two guys and one of the girls leave. The meat eater immediately starts chatting up the girl. “I heard you talking about this breathing technique,” he says. She smiles broadly. Pamphlets about ecstatic dancing and an upcoming tantra retreat lay on their table. Zach is getting a feeling of everybody standing in a circle holding hands, loving each other.

What a beautiful world Zach has come to!