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S’ok tokay

A few days into my elective, I noticed a weird sound coming from outside my dorm. I initially thought it was a child playing with a loud squeaky toy, but I later assumed it was a reptile of some kind. I would hear it calling each night, usually every hour and it became one of the reassuring sounds that took me through the two months I was there.

Halfway through the trip, P and I partied with a group of people and on a Monday night close to the Khao San Road, R – one of the group – started talking about the Tokay lizard and imitated its mating call. A piece of the puzzle clicked into place! Fantastic, I was no longer in the dark (bear in mind that I had typed ‘lizard that sounds like a squeaky toy’ into Google weeks earlier) and I felt a greater sense of awareness during those evenings where I’d wear nothing but a sarong, drink strawberry milk from the 7-11 and read foodie books. The Tokay would call and I would instantly smile internally and I must admit that I missed it upon returning home.

Fast forward to February and R and I are taking an evening walk to a bar in Bali. We hear a familiar noise and start walking towards it. R imitates the noise, but we don’t see the Tokay – they’re rarely seen out and about. I take a drag of the clove cigarette I’m smoking and look up at the sky littered with stars. I smile properly this time. The pieces of the puzzle continue to fall into place.

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