Travel Journal: Fear and Loathing in Thailand

JOURNAL ENTRY # 5 – Wednesday, 5th of January, 2011

“Mental note: take malaria tablet today.

Buddhism

The seed of Buddhahood – the capacity to wake up and understand things as they are – is present in each of us, we only need to water it. Apparently when we join our palms and bow to another person, we acknowledge the seed of Buddhahood in him or her. This is interesting seeing as how 90% of the Thai population are Buddhists and they always bow to you when they say thank you. It’s 11:30 in the morning, I’ve been awake since about 8; I’ve been waking up surprisingly early in Thailand.

Today is my first day of solitary confinement, I am in my hotel room on the 2nd floor, the stairs are a bitch to get up and down and it is stinking hot outside; I really don’t have it in me right now to snail around in the slimey heat with crutches. D’s gone to the beach and I wish I could join him, I REALLY WANT TO SWIM! I haven’t swam once since getting here, well I did fall into the ocean while I was peeing at the full moon party, but I don’t count that as swimming. Funnily enough the reason I have this bung foot in the first place is cos we were all kicking back at this bar overlooking the ocean and I really wanted to go for a swim, Z and D both got on their bikes and headed back to the resort to get some swimming shorts, so I hopped on the back with D (I spent most of the day on the back of the bike with him looking for one for myself to hire, but couldn’t find one). D had never ridden a motorbike prior to this day but he was doing ok on it, and I trusted him; an accident was the last thing on my mind.

We arrived at the resort and I decided to ride with Z on the way back to the bar cos he was a self proclaimed motorbike guru, and I figured considering we were drinking I may as well ride with the best. About 10 seconds after getting on the bike he clumsily crashes it and we both plummet into a world of hurt – the concrete. A lot of strange coincidences have been happening. For example, a couple of days before the trip I took the day off work to go to the zoo, I called my boss and told him I couldn’t work cos I had crashed my bicycle (which I hadn’t) and hurt my leg, to which he replied ‘what bad timing!’ Also, the day before Thailand I was in hospital at 2am getting a last minute Hepatitis immunisation shot… maybe these were all omens?”

The next two pages from my diary

The Bird

The Xanax

& The Pizza

“The buddhists have an interesting way of getting their message across, one such example, which I can relate to now more than ever is: ‘when we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is happiness. But later, when we don’t have a toothache, we don’t treasure our non toothache’ Right now I know that when I can walk again I will be overcome with happiness, but days, months or even minutes later I won’t treasure it anymore. ‘Practicing mindfulness helps us to learn to appreciate the well being that is already there’. I have a long and exciting journey ahead of me, I just know that when my leg is better I will appreciate and use it to its fullest potential, I am going to be constantly mindful and appreciative of my ability to walk and I owe that all to the temporary pain and suffering I now have to endure, a sacrifice so to say (to this day, 28/09/11, I still hold this buddhist saying close at mind, and fully appreciate my ability to walk; often times while walking I’ll look at my feet and my thoughts will smile at the whole thing).

Right now I am in a cocoon waiting for the butterfly to realise its new wings. In my moment of absolute starvation D opens the door with a whole pizza, a bag of crinkle cut paprika chips and a bueno bar! He even brought me continental breakfast this morning. I told him I would never forget this and I meant that with all my heart, one of these days I am going to return the selfless care he has given to me. Just you wait El Roberto! I just took an antibiotic and am about to have the most satisfying post food cigarette ever!

Apparently it’s 4:30pm now, R, N and Z just burst into my room with smiles on their faces from the happy endings they just forked out 2000 BHT for. They all got their dicks sucked wearing condoms, which I reckon would be a waste of time as you wouldn’t feel anything, but they insisted the girls knew what they were doing and it felt great. Supposedly the girls had baggies of MD and let them snort lines off their tits. Z was the only one that fucked his hooker, haha good for him! R was ecstatic because the girls apparently kept telling him he had a big dong haha, he got a major ego boost from that, even though I’m sure they say that about everyone that walks in their front door with money. What happens in Thailand stays in Thailand! (I guess I’m breaking that rule by posting this here, but that’s why this post is password protected)

R just came back into the room – after bragging about his experience to C – looking for his cigs, he looked quite distressed and I said ‘not so happy now R!?’ Turns out we’re staying another night in this den, I want to stay at the bungalow down the road so I’m not so bored while I’m trying to recover. Our room started to stink of piss or sewerage and the water coming out of the tap was yellow, so we changed rooms to 201, just down the corridor.

Yellow water...

This room is a lot smaller but much cleaner and more comfortable. We are paying 900BHT a night to stay here, that’s roughly $30AUD and only $15 each for me and D. That’s fucking cheap coming from Melbourne. I caught my first glimpse of the Thai equivalent of the Hells angels, a motorcycle chapter in Thailand calling themselves the Renegados or something like that, the gang seems to consist of white tough guy locals, eager to make a name for themselves on new land. They all wore leather jackets bearing their chapter name and logo, and shaggy blue jeans. I also forgot to mention that the Thai police here look badass, they’re all short and stumpy and look like they’re made out of stone, dressed in all black even in the thickest of heat; you wouldn’t want to mess with them!

Quick recap: we’ve been here 6 days, I’ve been out of action for 4, the others have 29 days left, D and I will roughly have 17 days left after they leave, giving us 46 days left. 9 pages for one day, that’s pretty fucked up! Probably because it’s been a day where I’ve been most alone with my thoughts and this diary. Think about how many thoughts fly in and out of your head every day, if you wrote everything down you could easily fill 20 of these books in one day!

I just got back from the clinic with D, we quickly hailed a taxi, only it was a taxi taxi, similar to taxis of the world, Koh Samui is a lot like Bali I’ve noticed, very different vibe here compared to Koh Phangan. The taxi driver didn’t take us to a clinic, but a hospital, the Thai International Hospital. It was a lot bigger and more established than the tiny 3 bed Thai Inter Clinic in Phangan. The receptionists and nurses were beautiful! Considering it was a big hospital I assumed it would be very expensive to get a doctor to clean my wound so I asked prices first, the nurse at the front desk wrote 1,800 BHT on a piece of paper and slid it over to me. I said it was too much: ‘paeng mar!’ and we settled on 600BHT. The doctor poured water over my bandages which felt really nice, and this super cute Thai nurse checked my pulse and blood pressure. Once the bandage was unwrapped I was face to face with a very ugly looking foot! The cut on my big toe looked mega infected, the doc cleaned me up without saying a word and then whipped out the glorious iodine. He told me to definitely come back everyday or I could lose my foot, he also said the stitches could come out in 10 days. D went to an internet cafe and logged into Facebook, apparently F sent us both a message saying she has been having bad dreams about us the past 5 days, seeing what we have been seeing. I’m going to bed now, today has been a very long day…”

D reading 'Myths to Live By' by Joseph 'the man' Campbell

TO BE CONTINUED.

2 thoughts on “Travel Journal: Fear and Loathing in Thailand

  1. Pingback: The Worst Party in Asia | Roads & Kingdoms

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