When we first arrived in Koh Samui, I was immediately drawn towards the ocean. The waves twinkled in an aqua-coloured blue and the sea seemed to stretch until the end of the world. Best of all, almost no people were to be seen, it was as if we found our own piece of paradise. When I stepped onto the sand barefooted, I found the sand to be rough; more tiny rocks than finely grained. The rocks on our beach in Koh Samui had not met intense waves or herds of tourists. When we walked into the ocean we found the water pleasantly warm, kind of like walking into a giant bathtub, with a clear never-ending sky and tiny fish swimming around us. Even still, sharp rocks were found at the bottom of the ocean and when we got out we discovered tiny cuts upon our feet.
Yesterday, I went swimming in Malibu, California. I have been to California many times in the past year and and although much of that time was spent walking on the shore of the ocean, or admiring it from afar, I had never swam in that edge of the Pacific until yesterday. After driving for forty-five minutes or so we found ourselves on the shores of Malibu. I looked towards the distance to see the twelve-foot crystal waves crashing upon each other. The waves were frightening and beautiful to me after seeing the gentle tumbles of Koh Samui. After I changed we trudged to the shore of the ocean. The sand felt smooth, soft and warm beneath my feet; a contrast to the sands of Koh Samui.
The beach was full of people enjoying the beautiful weather. Children surfed on the smaller waves with boards and many people lay sunbathing underneath candy coloured umbrellas. When I first put my toe into the water it felt like ice, a contrast to the swelteringly hot weather of the air. I walked further in and felt shells and rocks on the earth below. Waves took me by surprise as they hit me on my back and off of my feet. With each lash came a smooth undertow, as the water retreated to lash again with the lull of a fifteen foot smooth wave. I stayed in the water for at least a half hour feeling one with nature and exhilarated by the cold water.
After we left the beach we went to a nearby diner called “Neptune’s Net”; a place frequented by motorcycle gangs and famous for its clam chowder. I watched eccentric people walk in and out of the restaurant and waited for my order of fish and chips. On the wall behind us was a net with plastic fish intertwined between it and a sign proclaiming “Southern California”, with a painted blonde woman in a bikini at a beach. Various sayings were taped around the walls and instead of a tip jar, there was a “karma jar”, which I thought was clever. The fish and chips were lovely, crispy, lemony and drowned in vinegar (my personal preference).
If you ever head to Southern California, going to the beach is inevitable and quite enjoyable. With perfect temperatures, many seafood dining restaurants, and the beautiful waves it’s a lovely place to be.