I can only describe my time in Thailand as a roller coaster ride with all of the rises, dips, and unexpected corkscrews. It's a warm country, in temperature and hospitality. Outside of the cities, I always felt like I was on an island. Thick jungles and laid back attitudes create this sensation.
The final leg of my Thai trip included four days on Koh Phangan. Monsoonal storms had stirred up the ocean really well right before I boarded a Lomprayah catamaran. Two hours of misery. Within' a half hour, fifty people had become seasick. Women wept in agony, some carried away to the bathroom. Every half hour the number of people vomiting seemed to double. The three cute girls in my row lost their allure as they lost their lunch. After the one next to me puked for the third time, I lost my own gut. We made it to Koh Tao but the 20 minute stop provided only a false sense of well-being. The remaining journey to Koh Phangan was just as filled with yacky goodness.
My time on the island was rockier than the boat ride it turned out. I won't go into it in this venue but much appreciation goes out to Mozart and his symphonies for calming my tortured soul. And huge thanks to Myleen for buying me a 'comfort meal' of sirloin steak and roasted potatoes. I wish you were there to enjoy the meal with me because eating alone while watching Red Dragon (prequel to Silence of the Lambs) was a bad choice.
The day after the Full Moon Party, things seemed to sort themselves out rather oddly. It was one of those times you shouldn't ask why but just smile and appreciate the peace.
The sun was laughing at us as it shined the day we were leaving the island. This, after four days of rain and gloom. Perhaps the heat had distracted me as I'd somehow lost my boat ticket between the bungalow and the pier. I had to buy a pricier ticket as spots were quickly selling out. My friends and I mused that everyone had to lose something on Koh Phangan (for them, it was two pairs of sandals and 700 Baht). A dimenhydrinate-hazed boat ride brought us to Sura Thani where hundreds and hundreds of young people poured out of the ferry like soldiers of boozing. Big backpacks were strapped to their backs. Each one was either off to Bangkok or going south to other islands. I wondered why we couldn't mobilize so many able bodied people for a greater cause than partying. Everyone likes to have a good time, sure. But imagine what a force like this could do. I entertained ideas in my head of 'parties for peace'. 10,000 people on a beach in Thailand and what do they have to show for it? Hangovers, hookups, and empty wallets. If it were 10,000 people building a village, how much better would we all feel getting off that boat?
A bus and a tuk tuk later, we were on yet another night bus, perhaps the most uncomfortable night bus we'd been on. Lesson learned, last minute cheap seats mean sore necks in the morning.
In a couple of weeks, I'll be back though and I can't wait to see how Thailand will treat me then.