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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.

Photo A

Beware of Falling Coconuts SignAnother peril of island living

Photo B

SUP Koh TaoI actually took this photo the week before last — in sunnier times! — but forgot about it until I dumped my memory card today

Photo C

Koh Tao CoffeeStopping to smell the flowers and the coffee at Coconut Monkey, a friend’s new cafe

Which photo is your favorite?

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45 Comments...
  • Anca | Globaloud
    November 10 2015

    I’m sorry you had all that trouble with the laptop. It reminds me of my last South East Asia trip in the Philippines when our brand new Go Pro Hero stopped working after only one week of our trip. We end up taking photos with our Ipads which meant no underwater photos at all. I was so pissed.

    Also, I’m giving my vote to Photo B – only because there is a half naked bearded man on it 🙂
    Anca | Globaloud recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Ah, that’s so upsetting about the GoPro 🙁 And ha on your photo vote — BB is a great model.

  • Laura
    November 10 2015

    Oh my god that flower is beautiful. One of my favorite photos-of-the-week yet. Simply amazing. I literally said, “oh my god!” out loud at work.

    Also I’m so sorry to hear about your computer but I hope everything turns out okay!

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Thanks Laura. It’s going to be a setback but I’m trying to keep eyes forward!

  • Gemma
    November 10 2015

    Oh I’m going for the sunshine. Can you get vitamin D from staring at a photo long enough? Love from Rainvouver!
    Gemma recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Ha, I’m not sure if you can… but I do love the idea 🙂

  • Ashley
    November 10 2015

    Think I have to go with Photo C this week! Your laptop issue sounds like a nightmare, but hopefully it will be fixed and back with you in no time!
    Ashley recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Fingers crossed! It’s humbling to realize how dependent I am on that little hunk of metal.

  • Patricia
    November 10 2015

    When I saw the “beware of falling coconuts” picture, I thought that it’s not completely fair because it’s such a great photo that everybody will vote for it, but it looks like it’s not so and I’m giving it the first vote 🙂
    Patricia recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Haha, I love that sign so much. Glad to hear it’s got another fan!

  • Dominique
    November 10 2015

    Oh no, I’m sorry to hear about your computer issue! Picture A has cheered me up, so thanks for sharing! I hope this positive message will cheer you up too! 🙂
    Dominique recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Thanks Dominique! Indeed it does — commiseration is always much appreciated from my fellow wanderers and entrepreneurs.

  • LC
    November 10 2015

    Oh, what a pain. Hope your laptop makes it way safely back to you with no more dramas! I like picture C – makes me feel very calm and relaxed looking at it.
    LC recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Sounds like I need to be staring at that photo intensely right now — I’m still pretty rattled by my work setbacks!

  • Susan
    November 10 2015

    Isn’t that just the way with technology?! All of this stuff is supposed to make us more efficient, make our lives easier, but then screens go dark and other such glitches! (I work in the software world so I can’t be too upset with technology, but still.)

    I’m voting for beautiful image C, because I know how hard it is to get those littlest bits of the flower in sharp focus, and you nailed it!
    Susan recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Thanks Susan! Yeah, it’s amazing how you can go from feeling on top of the world to feeling like you’re in a sea of chaos all because a hunk of metal decided it was time to go to technology heaven. I’m starting to sweep up the pieces of my week today… wish me luck!

  • Ashley
    November 10 2015

    Oh no! So sorry to hear about your computer troubles– darn technology! Here’s hoping for a speedier recovery than three weeks.

    In the meantime, watch out for those falling coconuts! I’m definitely voting for photo A– that sign is great.
    Ashley recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Thanks Ashley — made me smile on a frustrating day!

  • Dani
    November 10 2015

    Photo A! Mainly because I live in a country abundant of coconut trees, too. Though I haven’t had the fortune of hearing about somebody who was a actually hit by a coconut! (Using ‘fortune’ is a little mean but where I come from, it’ll be a very funny story to hear.)
    Dani recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Every time I hear one fall I shudder to think how painful it would be to have been standing under it! They make a deafening thud!

  • Justine
    November 10 2015

    Oh man Meihoukai! I can’t believe that your laptop decided to crap out on you right when you were trying to relax, hunker down and do some serious work. It’s always something, isn’t it? A Thai language keyboard would be a challenge. Here’s to hoping it comes back without one of those 😉
    Justine recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      Fingers crossed big time. It’s definitely frustrating that after paying thousands and thousands of dollars for the computer and the Apple care, I have no say in what’s machine comes back to me — a machine that I’ll be working with on a daily basis for years to come. Argh! But as they say… This Is Thailand.

  • Kacy
    November 10 2015

    My computer almost died about halfway through our 5 months in Brazil and I though I was going to lose my mind. Crazy how much is attached to this little piece of technology. I hope you get yours back soon and enjoy your time on Koh Tao. All of these photos are simply stunning, I can’t chose!
    Kacy recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 11 2015

      I know. It’s humbling to realize how quickly your life can fall apart. Honestly, if my friend hadn’t been able to lend me his computer, I think I’d be on a plane back to the US right now. There’s no way I could take the loss of income otherwise of not being able to truly work for three weeks. It’s scary!

  • Jael
    November 11 2015

    “It’s humbling to realize how dependent I am on that little hunk of metal.”
    This. All the time. Well, at least I assume now that you’re on Time Machine and all, everything’s backed up and ready to go once you get your laptop back? Makes me so jealous of Mac users at times! Wishing a speedy recovery for your laptop.

    And my vote goes to photo C. For the hibiscus and the café that has the word “Monkey” in its name.

    As for photo A… Lost credit because I’ve seen a similar board. For durians. Nightmare x1000!

    • Meihoukai
      November 15 2015

      Yup, I’m crazy vigilant about backups! The only thing is the mac authorized retailers in Thailand are not the most reliable, from what I hear — I can’t be sure if the machine I get back will have a Western keyboard, or have the exact specifications and upgrades that the one I bought and paid for did. So that’s a little stressful :-/ But at least I do have my data!

  • Janice Stringer
    November 11 2015

    Photo A for me… those coconuts are very dangerous!
    Janice Stringer recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 15 2015

      I know! I jump everytime I hear them thud ont he ground…

  • Kristin | Eat.Fly.Love.
    November 11 2015

    I love Photo C – hibiscus and lovely coffee to start the day off right! So sorry you’re having computer problems, and it is such a world of difference when you can’t just bop down to the Apple store! Hoping it gets fixed quickly for you!
    Kristin | Eat.Fly.Love. recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 15 2015

      I know. I’m trying not to think about the fact that this would be an overnight fix at home… it just pains me too much!

  • Steve
    November 11 2015

    I’m going to choose C. Flowers & coffee, what a combination.
    Steve recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 15 2015

      It’s a funny choice for me since I’m actually not a coffee fan, ha! But I do love the smell, and the visual…

  • Laryssa
    November 11 2015

    Oh my gosh. I SUPed on Koh Tao at sunset and it was AMAZING. A personal highlight of Thailand, I’m still kicking myself for not having a GoPro at the time.

    On a more serious note, I can’t imagine what a nightmare trying to get your computer fixed has been. Hang in there, Meihoukai!
    Laryssa recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 15 2015

      Thanks Laryssa 🙁 I haven’t been out on the paddleboards at sunset in a while… I think you just inspired me to do so again soon!

  • Julia Nix
    November 13 2015

    photo b….Mr BB is back! lol …show more of his guns please 🙂

  • Rashaad
    November 14 2015

    I choose Photo A because I have sometimes drunk from coconuts.
    Rashaad recently posted..

  • Britt
    November 14 2015

    ‘Beware of Falling Coconuts!’ – such a quintessential Thai phrase.

    Laptop woes are the worst. My retina screen was chipping and are exams were done and I finally had the ability to take it in I was very scared I was going to be without my laptop for a long period of time but luckily for me it only took a night!
    Britt recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 15 2015

      I think that’s what this would have been if I was stateside. Argh! Ah well, paradise tax…

  • Amy | Toothbrush Travels
    November 15 2015

    Oh no! So sorry to hear that your laptop has broken. Hope you manage to get it resolved fairly quickly. I’m going for photo B because there’s so much sunshine and looking out of my window all i can see is grey skies and rainy windows! xo
    Amy | Toothbrush Travels recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 21 2015

      We’ve definitely been seeing lots of rain this monsoon season… but I also have plenty of sun to be grateful for!

  • Izy Berry
    November 17 2015

    My favorite one is the b i always want to that
    Izy Berry recently posted..

  • Marni
    November 20 2015

    Photo A! I’m so sorry about your laptop troubles. My fingers are crossed for you.
    Marni recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 22 2015

      Thanks Marni. Hoping for an update soon!