Weathermen can’t be trusted. (Apologies in advance to all of my loyal readers of the weatherperson persuasion.) As far as I am concerned, weather prediction is right up there with fortune telling and tarot card reading. It is all a guess. Possibly an educated guess, depending on the information being provided, but in the end, the predictor is a teller of tales. Maybe it will rain. Maybe you will marry the billionaire man of your dreams and live on a yacht. Maybe the empress card will be drawn and in nine months you will welcome a new addition to your family. Maybe. On a scale of not possible-probable-likely, these three divinations rank in the same place: possible, but not probable.
This last weekend, we went to Krabi, Thailand to celebrate the long Christmas weekend. (Thank you President Obama for granting all federal workers Friday off!) We got in late on Thursday night, so just had dinner at our hotel restaurant and wandered the grounds to get a feel for our surroundings. (oh yes, and to the family mart to buy the toothpaste that we each thought the other had packed.)
But on Saturday, we were ready to hit the town. Our first stop was the beach, via tuk-tuk, of course. We grabbed a quick lunch at a diner along the way and then wandered down the shoreline. An armada of long boats was leaving the beach as we walked, their colorful flags waving their departure as they headed out with loads of people bound for snorkeling on various islands just beyond sight. Farther up the beach, we found a small cove overrun with macaque monkeys. These being my least favorite of the primates, I kept my distance. No need to get chased into the ocean by an evil little creature on the first day in town. I’ll happily enjoy their partner grooming and fruit-throwing antics from afar.
As the afternoon rain set in, we headed back to the hotel for a bit of downtime, out of the pouring rain and to regroup before heading back to town for dinner and nighttime meandering.
Evening in Krabi is a fantastic time of day. I love it! The sun has set, meaning for the first time all day I am not baking like a toasted cheeser. (Yes, I ended up with a sunburn, but a rather mild one. All said and done, I think I had more pain from the back massage I got than the reddening of my skin, so for a tropical vacation, this counts as a win in my world!) Night is when the shops really get hopping, strings of fairy lights are everywhere and flyers for everything from massages and pedicures to all manner of fashion/variety shows dance on the sidewalk where they’ve been abandoned by hapless passersby.
It was during this evening stroll that I happened upon my new BFF: Jackie. Jackie is a gibbon who, along with his owner, hangs out on the street at night to make a baht or two off tourists. I am just the sucker he is out there for. I will gladly pay 100 baht (just over $3) to hold his fuzzy little self and take a few photos. Much like the Agnes in Despicable Me, when she spots the stuffed unicorn and squeals, “It’s so fluffy, I’m gonna’ die!” I wanted to squeeze his little self until I died. There were definitely thoughts of just sprinting away, Jackie clinging to my neck. I am sure that plan would have worked out well…
On Friday night, we made a plan for Saturday that included packing up one of the backpacks with towels and books and heading to the beach for the day. After walking its length the day before, I was excited to go hang out and do some serious people watching. (Krabi was *amazing* for people watching. I could sit for hours and examine the varied- both in terms of style and quality- tattoos adorning youthful bodies in their late teens to a bit more saggy versions on the senior set. And, apparently, bikinis are no longer just for those with model-like bodies, as I saw women of every shape and size sporting two-piece swimming outfits. Big and small, young and old, bellies all over southern Thailand were soaking of the sun this Christmas holiday.)
But, thanks to the roll of the dice/fortune cookie type predications foretold by weather.com, my Saturday plans had to be reworked. You see, clad in my own two-piece bathing suit, I decided to do a quick weather check before we headed out for the day. Knowing it is rainy season, we expected showers at some point in the day, so were just trying to figure out how early we should head to the beach. Well, weather.com predicted 95% chance of rainfall starting at 10AM. 95%! That’s not a “maybe” kind of prediction. 95% pretty much means that short of divine intervention, it is going to rain in the 10 o’clock hour. It had the same percentage for 11AM and noon, dropping off to and holding steady at 80% from 1PM until evening.
95% chance of rain means a change in plans.
Rather than set up on the beach, only to be run off by heavy rain, we decided to go for a walk, having lunch at a restaurant on the beach (with umbrellas) and then see where the rest of the day took us. Our morning at the beach was called off.
Did it rain on Saturday?
Nope. Not a single drop. The entire day.
I could have had hours of watching the pasty folks from Eastern Europe turn pink and then red in the glaring sunshine of the tropics. I could have shooed off hawkers trying to get me to put my blonde, lower-back length hair into cornrows that would look about as ridiculous as a cat wearing a party hat. I could have enjoyed a corn on the cob, roasted on the beach.
I could have…
But, I didn’t. I gave in to the Nostradamus-like predictions of weather.com and nixed my plans for lounging on the beach. It is my one regret of the weekend. (On the upside, I did run into Jackie again, so took a second opportunity to snuggle the adorable little gibbon!)
Weathermen of the world, you may have foiled me this time, but I’m on to you. From here forward, your predictions of chance shall be left where they belong, on the boardwalks of Coney Island and in the dark parlors of Victorian England. Get thee hence!