28: me vs nature / i lost πŸ—»πŸ’ͺ


I turn 28 lately. I went to Krabi to see Saran, my middle school friend, who is a doctor in a rural area of Krabi. I went hiking with him.

We came to see each other recently after many years of no contact. We had so much to catch up about. He’s still my geeky nerdy serious friend.

We talked about Acheulean ax, the Genesis object of mankind. He’s brought some slate rocks for me from somewhere in Krabi. I dig the story, he sticks to the stone and the object. Talking to him, I really miss science and geology class in high school.

When he asked me to visit Krabi, I said yes without knowing much of the details. I just want to be more active and I was bored.

He told me to run a 10k first. and I did. But running 10k can’t compared to climbing up a mountain. I learned it in a hard way.

People asked me why I went hiking. I’m a fan of human invention and technology who really love how human progress. I never give a fuck about getting to the peak of a random landscape. I don’t like outdoor. It was out of my character.

I just wanted a birthday out of town like Jodie Foster. I just want to get out of the screen and electrically-wired life to get some air, refresh and think. I’m glad I did go.

First, we went to the sea at Railey Beach. Saran taught me fundamental climbing technicque. It was a brief climbing. We got to the top to the viewpoint in 45 mins.

At the beach, Saran got some injury on his leg, cut his artery, but he remained calm. I have fear of blood. I had some fun climbing rock. Being a doctor, he always had some fun fact and tips about the human body, health like a walking webMD. He has to be out here alone and He knows so much about the physical world while I’m so dumb.

Up the mountain: off the civilization

When Saran invited me to go up the mountain, I said yes reluctantly, out of curiosity. I did trekking a bit in Vietnam and Phillippines. But it was so basic, easy and touristic. At this time, there is no facilities and the risk is real.

I tried to run regularly to get fit. Turns out I was not fit enough. On first 20% of the mountain track, I gave up. Anyway, he helped me to the top and way back to the world. I have no pre-existing knowledge of camping in the wild. Never felt so incompetent and stupid. He cut some wood along the way to help me balance body and not fall too easily.

Saran gave me a brief lecture before and sent me a presentation of how to prepare for hiking. I bought all the stuffs. But that’s the theoretical part. I felt so useless and incompetent. My survival skill in the real world is lacking.

I didn’t give a fuck about getting to the top. I just want to survive with enough water and no serious injury. My goal was humble but it seems to difficult at that time. I know my friend won’t leave me even I asked him to leave me somewhere.

looking from afar. the top looks cute. but the trail was tough.

Fact: Phanom Mountain is 1.3 km in height. Highest in Krabi Province. It takes around 6 hours or 8 km on foot up to the top. Good for 2-3 days trip. We had to carry everything. No facility, no internet.

A lady at her 50s she’s even more healthy than me ! 

We set up camping on the top flat part. Other people set up the fire. I was too tired.

Climbing up a rocky fall. Knowing which stone I could land on was new thing for me.

I got lots of small injuries and scares. I’m still recovering. This is good evidence my body is weak. I really hope I get better. It will take time. But life is long. Relax and optimize.

Before the trip, I wrote about a word: Ungoogleable in a day. I rely on the internet for most of my life since very young. Now I’ve learned what is ungoogleable, when I was in out of nowhere with no internet access and I was unsure which path to take and i wondered if I will survive and get out of that mess in the wild.

I got cut a bit from some piece of wood in the woods.

Rural lifestyle: choices don’t exist

On those couple days, he is my personal trainer. He is totally different from me. He is so good with the 3-dimensional world. He did triathlon, marathon. Being a rural doctor required strength in mind and body. Work hour is long and stress is tough.

His home only has items of necessities. Like he moved in a week ago, but he moved there a couple years ago.

I came to realize that my career doesn’t exist outside the city. My occupation is so unnecessary, I’m the luxury item of late capitalism. I thrive on unmet needs and unnecessary desire and service for insatiable clients. It’s so good getting out of my comfort zone and social circle.

The rural hospital doesn’t smell like a large city hospital. People are sick and tired in the same way.

In rural, When you’re a doctor, you’re a doctor everywhere, off and on the uniform, outside of the hospital. He saved my life but as an occupation, he saved and helped many. I still can’t think of a way to pay him back. I can pay for his coffee for the rest of life but I still feel like I owe him.

He will be forever my childhood friend who is so weird and intelligent, who is so good at math and physics. He has grown a lot. He saved my life but with his occupation, he saved and helped many. I still can’t think of a way to pay back. I can pay for his coffee for the rest of life but I still feel like I owe him.

I’m just a weak spoiled kid who is self-centered. I take everything for granted. With the help of my friend, I survived and did it. But guilt is tremendous. I wanted to become stronger.  I live an easy life because of human progress and all the technology. 

Everything is invented.
Language.  Childhood.  Careers.
Relationships.  Religion.
Philosophy.  The future.
They are not there for the plucking.
They don’t exist in some
natural state.
They must be invented by people.
And that, of course, is a great thing.
Don’t mope in your room.
Go invent something.
That is the American Message.
Electricity.  Flight.  The telephone.
Television.  Computers.  Walking on
the moon.  It never stops.

– Maira Kalman (And the Pursuit of Happiness)

Imagine someone like me who always embrace the indoor world, internet culture, to leave my room of comfort for a while. I get used to having options. This really changes me inside fundamentally. The nature is so vast. The sun is god, as William Turner said.

In two days, I have learned a lot. I came to realize that life is long. No hurry and no worry. I hope I will become stronger mentally, and physically. Lots of change are coming. πŸ”₯ Being human is so fluid. You won’t know what you will do next.