I’m on Koh Phi Phi, its a quiet little island (until the hangovers wear off). The cycle here is simple, wake up late, eat (probably something with carbs to help with the hangovers), maybe go for a booze cruise or a kayak to one of the breathtaking beaches around the island. Around 7 or 8pm is the time to grab dinner before the exciting stuff starts. 9:30 onward things start to pick up, bros walk around like packs of hungry animals searching for the most hoppin spot to show off their newest tank top (the one with the elephant or some sort of pattern that represents a culture that they are not taking part in, usually). I think its a sort of interesting play to watch, I don’t think its wrong to be an actor but I didn’t go to acting class so I feel more at home watching the characters play their specific parts.
If you make it to 2am when all the bars close and there is no more music to gyrate to than you are usually left to group up for the confusing, not so steady, walking back with new friends or the group that has mysteriously broken into smaller bands throughout the night. It happens every night in much the same way.
I did not come here thinking I would enjoy it, but I am a person that believes in trying things despite the chance of it tasting awful. I know I’m better in small groups of one on one, the big groups of strangers make it hard for me to feel like myself. But I wanted to push myself into that fear so at least I will have given it a fair chance before I continue on with my pensive journey through SE Asia.
I really didn’t know where to start at first, I ate dinner too early and than I was walking around wondering why it was so quiet in this notorious party town when someone stopped me to ask if I knew where the beach was. I didn’t really know but I walked with Tom until we found it and than I joined him and his friends for a drink (of sprite for me, the others thought that was humorous). I was surprised to find that I felt relatively comfortable where I was, talking with a few new people in a rooftop bar. I eventually had a couple beers and by 2am I had a rather large group of people to walk with back to their hostel, unfortunately one of the group had gotten separated and I felt able to respond (responsible) to give the search a try. I wandered down the beach and through most of the streets, I was also trying to get my bearings for my own walk back to my room. I eventually ran into a Tom and Sam and walked them back to their hostel which felt sort of ironic for me since my room was situated down several very dark winding alleys and their hostel was on a brightly lit street. It was out of sheer luck that I managed to walk directly back to my room without wandering around for an hour or two. I was only stopped once by a handsy massage lady that nearly physically dragged me into the massage parlor before I broke free.
It was an adventure for me, like a jungle trek but in a jungle that is more foreign to me than any wilderness I’ve been in. I wonder sometimes what it would be like to be one of those people that feel at home in the haze of alcohol, dancing, and meeting strangers. I don’t own a tank top or a pair of Ray Ban’s, or flip flops.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll get some Ray Ban’s just to see the world that they see.