Friday, 27 January 2012

Kho Phangan, jungles, buses, Bangkok...

And so Furious George and myself arrived at the beautiful island of Kho Phangan to chill out after the Bangkok madness. It doesn't matter if you do nothing in Bangkok, the relentless psychopathy of the city will charge towards you like a drunk rhino with a disorganised infrastructure.

There's beaches. There's sea. There's a beach bar. The sun shines and the water is warm. We lie in hammocks and drink beer. Basically, it's a bit like being in a film, albeit a slightly boring one for anyone watching.

And so, to get some excitement back in our lives before leisure morphs into complacency, we hire motorbikes to go around the town. We're in the north of the island, which is quiet but far away from a lot of the partying action that goes on in the south. I'm on the motorbike for roughly ten minutes before we fall off, me cutting my elbows and shins up, Mr. Furious escaping with a grazed knee.

Unsurprisingly, my companion then insisted on driving us everywhere because, and I think I'm quoting this verbatim, "you'll fucking kill us". At least a nice old Thai man gave me something for my cuts. Bless him. He clearly sees cocky, moronic, no mark twats like me crash mopeds that ten year-olds can ride all the time.

On our motorbike travels, someone tells us of a Jungle Experience Party. I like experiences and parties, and I've never been to a jungle before, so going sounds like a good idea. So, a couple of days later, armed with little or no expectation, we get a taxi into the jungle.

And it's bonkers.

Thumping trance, fire juggling, beautiful dancing people, "happyshakes" (not a sex thing)... the whole night passes in a blur of illegal-in-the-UK Red Bull, intense dancing and yoga (the latter I was doing when my brain actually felt like it was going to fall apart into the darkness of the jungle and chewed up by the jungle sex elves). I don't really wanna bang on about it, as relaying having an awesome time partying isn't that entertaining for the reader, and it would also just come off as a predictable traveller on Kho Phangan partying story, so I won't pretend it's anything special in the big scheme of things. It was pretty fucking awesome though.

Anyways, after much sleeping and recovery on the beach, we head back to Bangkok on the bus. It takes ages and ages, but we get back to The Overstay, our home away from home. Everything's quiet. The owner is asleep on the sofa.

My companion and I sit down to rest, since it's 5am and all.

Then fifteen Thai guys burst in, glasses raised, cheering and shouting. I'm bolted out of my lethargy. The owner leaps out of his sleep, immediately sticks on some reggae, begins pouring drinks, and encouraging Furious and myself to indulge in some MCing over some reggae beats. We oblige.

Welcome back to Bangkok, infuriating, inconvenient and awe-inspiring in equal measure.

Today is our last day in Bangkok (probably... we say this every day). Last night, both myself and Furious performed at a poetry night (which took us two fucking hours to get to). Excellent fun, and a couple of people had some extremely interesting stories/poems over a slide show of illustrations. Live narrated graphic novel is one of the future expansions of spoken word. It can be so engaging and wonderful, adding real texture to the words you're hearing. Some genuinely inventive stuff and a really attentive audience. That said, I'll always have a special place in my heart for screaming at people who are completely ignoring me. One of our company, Dan, got irate with the "liberals" in the audience and shouted at them: "Let's burn down the nearest 7/11". It was a fair effort to turn a relaxed crowd into a rowdy, viscous mob, and you can't have a go at the man for trying.

Personally, I think an ex-pat riot against their own exoticism would've been awesome, a bit like Millennium People.

And yes, I will be referencing Ballard in each blog I do.

I think that's all from me for now.

Over and out.


1 comment:

  1. mate! wtf! it's been nearly a month.. keep this updated!