25 August, 2010

Slow boat: Slow life

It was last week when coming back from Koh Samet, a small island in Thailand, that I got thinking about the benefits of a slow life and how society constantly drives us to lead a fast life. The island lies just of the east coast of Thailand and is easily visible. We (myself, my wife, and two young daughters aged 2 and 4) caught the 'slow' boat service back to the mainland.

This service takes a mere 1 hour and is on one of the boats which services the island with supplies as well as offering a passenger service. After having a leisurely breakfast on one of the restaurants that fringe the beach, a horn sounded to call the passengers to a barge which ferries them to the main boat mored just off the beach.

All in all it was a great adventure for our daughters. After the transfer to the boat we were able see huge numbers of fish surrounding the boat while it waited to be loaded up. Once on the move we also were able to see a great variety of jelly fish gliding past the bow of the boat, and even the occasional flying fish.

While enjoying the trip, it seemed to me that the passengers on the many speed boats going past us were missing out on so much. May be we were not getting the excitement of the speed of these boats but I'm sure that would soon wane and be replaced by the constant noise, wind, and bumping of their journey.

Why is it that speed is always promoted and sold at premium - surely this only encourages us to stay in the fast lane and on many levels miss some of the most important things in life.

Yes, I have a fast internet connection, but when traveling or choosing a place to eat out, I will always chose the slow alternative whenever possible. And yes, this includes taking the boat and train back from Japan where I live to my home country, the UK (when I was single of course).

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