There’s a spider in my BCD

{This was an email I sent out to my contacts on my first trip to Asia in 2002}

we’ve left koh tao and are back on koh samui in our apartment. i think we’re just going to stay here one month instead of two, we really loved koh tao and want to spend a month there instead.

we’ve rented a jeep for the month we are here to explore the island. there are some great waterfalls and hidden coves and beaches that are impossible to get there without a jeep, so we’re going to be checking those out soon.

tomorrow we are enrolled in a cooking class. we’re to learn how to cook four dishes: steamed tofu in banana leaf (hor mok), green papaya salad (som tum), massaman curry (gaeng massaman) and pad thai (pad thai). the owner of the place is vegetarian, so it was a welcome relief from struggling to explain what exactly i can and cannot eat.

on my second to last dive in koh tao i was on the boat getting ready for my dive, suiting up and getting all my equipment together when i noticed that my bcd was moving. (the bcd is the jacket type thing that the tank of air straps to, it can inflate with air allowing you to hover at certain depths, like an air bladder in a fish)

i jumped back when i realized what it was that was moving, the biggest spider i’ve ever seen. bigger than any tarantula or anything. it was brown and with its legs it was about the size of my whole hand, fingers extended. its largest body segment was the size of a golf ball, and it had these huge fangs! i brushed it off me and it ran the width of the boat faster than my cats could. my diving instructor grabbed one of my fins and tossed the thing overboard, while the thais on the boat were doubled over in laughter at our overreaction to the situation.

i thoroughly checked the pockets before i put that thing on again.

its the tail end of the monsoon season here, and every now and then these dramatic black clouds roll in and it rains for about 20 minutes. its the hardest rain i’ve seen, sheets of water pouring down, knocking coconuts out of the trees and palm fronds to the ground. it washes out the dirt roads in minutes, leaving huge ravines in the road. if you go outside during one of the rains you will be thoroughly soaked in under five seconds. it leaves the air refreshing afterwards, and lowers the temperature.

One Response to There’s a spider in my BCD

  1. Mom says:

    I loved reading this again all these years later. I can’t imagine the horror of that spider incident. I loved that the Thai’s were laughing…and also i loved the way you described the monsoon season. I miss Thailand a lot.

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