Sunday, July 13, 2008

The yawning chasm of deleted personality represented by young male toplessness of the washboard stomach variety

A short meditation on the positives and negatives of Ko Tao, where we have arrived again, and which was given a perceptual boost due to the severe unpleasantness of our recent trip to Ko pha ngan, cannot take place in any real sense without ones thoughts returning again and again to the twin pillars of despoiled heaven that are creepy crawlies (including lizards) and roaming parties of young men walking around proudly and conspicuously devoid of clothing above the waist (and below the neck).

Such is the despicable view I've arrived, it seems, inevitably at, that I am rethinking the above use of the colloquialism 'creepy crawlies' as a description of them rather than the cockroaches around here (another word which, incidentally, would suffice).

I'll back pedal: We arrived on Ko pha ngan ready for a party. Good music, cool people, nice times. An achievable goal, it seemed, and still seems I'm sure but it was too tall an order. Around every obnoxious tout growling an agressive and confrontational Hello, How are you? trying to sell you a ride in a taxi boat or dinner in his restaurant there was another drunk harem of guys, all of whom, in heat that didn't require it, roamed slovenly about the dingy streets breathing with the top 10% of their lungs that they may hold in this cobblestone street of stomach, flexing every single beer in their abdominal eight pack. Drunk, all of them, on one of the most heinous beverages I've ever come across.

A sangsom bucket: A bucket (as in bucket and spade) hewn of plastic in a primary colour is the vessel for a bottle of thai rum (which says 80 proof on it, but it couldn't be, could it?) mixed with ice, coke and red bull. It is garnished with four straws, the presumable intention of which is sharing this monstrosity, the result of which is that one guy drinks the lot with four straws. The leering lechery and attempted hopeful wanderings towards debauchery, the likes of which would shock the jailers of sodom, is turned into almost farce, on that island at least, by the desperation inherent in displaying, not unlike mandrills are said to do with their bottoms, ones hard won washboard. I'll say no more on the matter however lest I, perhaps rightly, be accused of slowly souring grapes.

Another reason we didn't like the island was that the much vaunted half moon party wasn't particularly wonderful in any respect. And the music was an abberation. Anytime you see the prefix psy in front of music it's a bad thing, music with no peaks or troughs, played straight for at least 9 hours. Psy trance, psy techno, psy trad for that matter, avoid... like... the... plague.

Actually so miserable was our view of this place that it was, on the steps of the basin in which the half moon party takes place, we conspired to leave right away. I've spoken of the urge to flee before and this time it wasn't suddenly that it came, it was so quick as to almost have appeared in the past. We left the party in the back of a pick up truck with 8 drunk party goers (scumbags if you're asking, one of them tried to pick a fight with me for reasons I didn't understand at all, then quickly realised none of his friends thought it was worth it and said, "Sorry, my friend, sometimes, I do speak out of turn") grabbed our bags from the spartan surroundings of our yoghurt home and, still quite drunk hopped in another taxi, then a boat, then walked from the pier in Ko Tao to a bar called In-Touch, took a room and began a serious power snooze. All the details of that trip, that evil evil scene are still clear in my head, a twisted flippant and drunk conversation with a humouring if not humourous ozzie couple at the pier, hellish sea and stolen winks on the boat, a name calling incident in which I was so belligerent I verbally abused a chicken on the road beside me and a fall the result of which I can still feel in my lower back.

Anyhow it's great to be back on this island, come here if you can sometime, even the first time it's like coming home.

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