Mar 28 11

Rain on Rabbit Island

by Emily Benjamin

About a month ago, we stayed in a bungalow in Nong Khiaw, Laos. For $10 a night, with intermittent hot water and a scoop toilet. That was the cheapest accommodation we’d come across so far. Until now.

On Rabbit Island, or Koh Tonsay as it is also called, just off the coast of Kep in Cambodia, we have a bungalow for only $7. A bargain really, with a double bed, mosquito net, western-style (read: a porcelain bowl with no seat or flush or anything…just the bowl) toilet, and the beach is just outside the door. There is no hot water in this one – no shower at all, actually. Two hammocks on the verandah, but electricity for only 3 hours a day. I think it even comes with it’s own guard dog, based on the scratching and snoring I heard outside our door during the night. But there is one small problem – it’s not waterproof.

We discovered this at about 9pm last night, when we were making the most of the limited electricity to charge the laptops, read the Kindles and get comfy under our mosquito net. The rain started up, which was lovely. Rain at night time usually is – peaceful and comforting to fall asleep listening to the consistent drops on the roof. But then I felt drops on my legs, my feet and my stomach. Not quite as heavy as the rain outside, but definitely rain leaking through the roof. Just on me, mind you, not on Jamie. Damn my preference for sleeping on this side of the bed!

As luck would have it, it rained on and off throughout the night. At first I couldn’t sleep at all; listening to the rain that was always so relaxing now had me mildly anxious, waiting to hear if the drops would get heavier and soak me and all my belongings. When the drops started up again, I’d reach for the blanket – which seems to be made of towelling material, or may even be an oversized towel, in anticipation of such events. Unfortunately the oversized towel/undersized blanket didn’t quite cover two people, so throughout the semi-sleepless night there was a gentle tug of war going on between Jamie and I – when it rained, I needed protection, and when it stopped he pulled it back to stay warm.

When I woke up this morning I checked all my stuff and it’s dry. It seems I was the only one affected because I slept directly under the cross-beam of the bamboo ceiling. Jamie stayed dry, snug and warm for most of the night… but at least I got a shower in the end!

— Em 🙂


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