A big smile breaks over my face as I got on the jet-propelled vehicle. My orange life-vest screams boldly against the empty colour of space. Seconds later, I am skimming through the water pretending to ride a motorcyle. No, this is funner, Im on a jetski. I need no skills to ride it. I can swerve like a pro and create surges behind my path. I ram through the waves and ride in the air for a quick moment. As soon as I land back on the water, I am ramming through the waves again, totally enjoying the sensation created by the joint elements of water, wind, and sun. There is no other place I would rather be.
A jetski zooms across the distance and I notice the tiny fountain coming up behind the watercraft. I wonder if mine does the same. I look back to check but alas the guide sitting behind me obstructs the view.
Oh to be on the steering wheel! The sound of the revving engine, the wind against my face blowing my hair, the freedom that I feel, they all seem surreal, yet it is real. I am racing against myself. I am speeding on the water and the space is all mine. I can turn sharply to either side to create a massive surge. Excited, my hand pressed tighter on the accelerator which is also the power button and I feel like flying. The momentum is building up and is not about to end. My journey has just begun.
I am soaking up the view around me. A sprawling resort on one side, an open sea on the other. Hotels and houses look as if they are racing up the hill. Below them, yachts and sailboats are moored on the shore.
I cant believe I am jetskiing in Patong totally nonchalant of any thought of danger lurking in a distance. Just a decade and a year ago, the day after Christmas, this place was ravaged by a tsunami. The festive spirit on the day before was matched by the catastrophe on the next day.
For 11 years I thought I would never get over the sad memory of that tragedy. I didnt see how Patong got back on its feet but I heard that it was restored just a few weeks later.
The beach resort behind me shows no trace of the calamity and the people seem to have no recollection of that fateful day. Perhaps they have moved on and so must I.
A big splash breaks my reminiscence as I ram into a wave. I rev the engine up determined to reach the rocky crag but it seems I am not getting nearer it.
Realising, I actually only have 20 minutes to go and another 20 to go back, I ask the guide how many minutes I have left. Its time to go back, he says and I am quick to oblige but not before he takes a photo of me. He dives into the deep blue water holding my phone up with one hand while the other is flipping to keep him afloat.
The ride back is not as enjoyable as I anticipates. I am driving against the wind and the waves are a bit too hard to tackle. My untrained arms are getting sore but I dont want to slow down.
Just like this place, they probably had a bit of difficulty getting back up but they persisted. With financial aid all over the world, they eventually restored the former glory of the resort.
Acquiescing tiredness, I ask my guide to take over until the water is calm again.
With a few more minutes left, I ride leisurely now, avoiding an enclosure where swimmers are kept safe from the jetski riders. They too have the right to enjoy the water, I know.
As I get ready to alight the jetski the guide motions to carry on. I ram on to the sand bringing the vehicle to a sudden halt almost catapulting me but leaving a huge grin on my face.