“Ah, I actually will have one” I ordered a beer to go with the two others at my table.
A new town and already surrounded by people I could be friends with. Sometimes friends while traveling don’t seem like the kinds of friends I’d have at home but the beginning to my first night in Phuket was with two Germans with conversations that flowed easily.
I’m getting a little more used to the flow of partying, I’m getting to know what I need in order to feel comfortable and keep up my energy. It takes water, not too much alcohol, and I usually need to do something physical to not feel sleepy. Its an odd skills to have and its definitely not much of a skill for me but its good to feel like I can enjoy myself in that environment.
At dinner we joked about going to the Hooters, “it seems like the reasonable thing to do” one of us said. It really did seem like about the plainest thing to do in Patong Beach, even as we walked out to find the Hooters the night was waking up. Before long we were called at for massages and we had a flier shoved in each of our faces every few steps. We stopped for a few seconds to get our bearings but we unwittingly stopped in front of a massage parlor, in those few short seconds the girls came out and blocked our way forward, the Germans went right and I went left. I went the wrong way, they all surrounded me and for a very uncomfortable second of them groping me I wondered how literally running from them could be seen as anything but I pushed past. It had a few of the massage girls grab me or slap my ass in Koh Phi Phi but that was even more uncomfortable.
Hooters seemed mostly tame, we stayed for a few drinks and another group from the hostel arrived. By this time I was feeling pretty tired having gotten 9 hours of sleep in the last 4 days. I was glad when we got up to walk around. We walked down the busiest street, the one with the most bars and strip clubs and ping pong shows. It was fully awake and everything filled my senses so It was hard to like I was there, I couldn’t hear myself think or myself if I tried to talk.
We walked into one of the bars with lots of girls dancing on poles. I hadn’t ever been to a place like that, I ordered a water even though it was more expensive than beer. I turned to look at the kinds of people that sat around me. There were lots of people, no clear types. The thing about Patong beach is it feels like a guilt free zone because there is always someone who is more guilty, and its just normal. You are the odd one out if you aren’t watching the girl ten feet from you spinning on her pole. Its an experience to do because you can tell your friends back home “Yeah, it was crazy in Phuket, you’d have to see it for yourself”. Of course not everyone feels this way, and there are many places just for the people who want to dive into Phuket.
Pretty soon I was falling asleep sitting up. One of the times I opened my eyes to realize they were shut the older white guy at the next table was staring at me, I didn’t mind being there with my group but I was uncomfortable with the kind of person that actually feels totally comfortable in a place like that and he seemed like that person. Some of the guys in my group were taking a few pictures and he kept telling them to give money to the girls dancing for the pictures. I don’t know strip club etiquette but apparently he did…
I headed back to the hostel to catch up on sleep and waited for the morning to get caught up on the rest of the happenings after I went to sleep.
Patong beach is a haven for hedonism.