There are places that are just refreshingly beautiful and charming. We fortunate, rich people seem to spend so much time working to buy more, that we forget the important parts...the people In our lives, friends and family and even acquaintances who just haven't become friends yet. Not that we can give up working but I think the people here remind you of the importance of people.
As we walked and biked around this portion of a mini paradise, we saw people working hard...a lot physically harder than most of us...yet stop when a child runs up and picks them up toss them in the air. The joy at work, the greetings as they pass, the shy flirtations. From our perspective it looks like they have little enough, and it's not like they don't want to get ahead and improve things for their families, it's that they still seem to keep people in mind first.
A serenade of gentle waves lapping the beach and muted sunlight woke us in the morning. After a delightful breakfast with a wonderful spicy glass noodle soup and lots of fresh papaya (there was actually many more choice available but when one is papaya, well, what more need I say?) we headed off for a neighboring village to see the famous standing Buddha looking out to the sea.
This island also has many cats and dogs roaming the streets. We named one the buddha dog because no matter how close the bikes, scooters and cars came, he never flinched. There's a dance to the driving here. The people walk on the sides, yielding to everyone. The bikes come next, weaving around the people, ringing their bells and dodging larger vehicles. The motorbikes/ scooters come in to the melody, weaving around the lesser road users and sounding their louder horn. Next we have various kinds of tuk-tuks, usually a motorcycle with an attached trailer for carrying people. Smaller versions might have a bike with room for four or so, another version has a bike with a side car for two...or four if they are kids. They are also dancing along the roads with their various horns adding to the music. Now we see the cars enter...not too many but a few, impatient to drive faster than the current musical dance is flowing. They get their moments for speed and horn but not as quickly as they'd like (probably a wealthy foreigner anyway).
Now you add in the various work trucks and serious people buses...still open air style but large. Their presence sends the lesser folks giving way to their yet louder horns. The hotel buses have to get in the mix, though most are not too large but still demand attention and get it. Finally, the serious BIG buses join the cacophony, taking up the entire width of the road, requiring everyone to drop off the side while they thunder past, horn blaring. Fortunately there are few of these. We did, however, somehow manage to witness three of them, coming from different directions, arriving at the same point where a small tuk-tuk driver was meekly minding his own business. The buses jostled for priority, finally squeezing by the lone vehicle, one at a time.