Friday, 1 August 2014

'Shroom For Manouvre

I find my 'alone time' day in my room strangely depressing rather than relaxing - as someone who is more Tasmanian Devil than Tantric Yogi, I don't do alone very well. Most people define relaxing as a quiet day of me it can be torturous - my brain is too full of inane chatter that I like to casually offload, aloud, into the unsuspecting shell-like of any willing (and quite often, unwilling) victim. I'm like the malfunctioning Duracell Bunny with no off switch. You could make a horror film about that quite easily, no?

As usual I have a restless night's sleep: as a lone female traveller I find I've always got one eye on the door, even when asleep, like a lizard I occasionally swipe my tongue over an eyeball to keep it moist....okay, okay, I don't quite go that far....but it's an idea, especially as my eyes are totally dried out from overuse of contact lenses combined with minus degrees air con.

So with gritty eyes, I pack my bag and get to the pier, ready for my ferry crossing to Koh Phangan, aka Party Central. I perk up when I spot Kieran, one of the guys I stumbled across after the Black Moon Party who had also had cravings for late-night munchies and headed for the Golden Arches.
He introduces me to his cousin Diarmid (Dermot) and the Irish and I board the old and rusty ferry, me feeling smug upon seeing their green and hungover faces. Perhaps that quiet night was a good idea after all...

Kicking off their shoes, they lay back on the wooden benches for the crossing, Diarmid explaining upon seeing my wide-eyed expression at the fresh, huge black star tattoo on the sole of his foot : he'd met a girl called Priya a few nights before and thought it'd be a grand idea, after a few Sangsom buckets (local whiskey and coke), to have her name tattooed on his foot, approximately an hour after first laying eyes on her. Whaaaaat?! Upon waking the next morning, he then opted to remedy the situation by getting it covered (badly) with a giant black star. So no tats in 26 years to 2 tats in 24hrs.....? Yep, it happened. (I've heard so many similar stories, even 2 young girls who had "Same, Same...But Different" (a common saying over here) inked boldly across their burgeoning guts....jeepers!

We survive the crossing without any dramas and head for Haad Rin Beach, home of the legendary Full Moon Parties. The Sunrise Resort is cheap but in a prime location in the centre of the beach, with a decent pool, air-con...and 24hr pumping, bassy, tunes. Whoops! My room is the cheapest option, so I am sandwiched between the pounding music...and a primary school packed with hundreds of screaming Thai toddlers....ouchy!

We drop our bags and sink a few Changs around the pool...and a few more...and a few Sangsom and cokes for good measure, just to be sure. We keep meaning to go and get washed and changed out of our swimming gear...but it never happens, and we end up dancing on tables, swigging buckets, dipping in and out of the sea to cool off until 5am. And the best thing? No-one bats an eyelid. The great thing about Thailand is that no-one makes an effort - and coming from a place and job where appearance is everything, it's extremely refreshing to squish my hair into a ratty bun, aim a sweep of mascara in the general direction of my eyes and away we go. I don't think a Thai person has ever worn a stiletto (except the ladyboys, of course).

Diarmid and I are befriended by a straight-laced Austrian couple, so find it highly amusing to persuade them to share some Mushroom Shakes with us. We make a trip up the rickety wooden steps to Mushroom Mountain and the barman wizzes us up a magic mushroom-laced cocktail in his blender, mixing with plenty of ice. It tastes surprisingly good, and is gone in seconds. 20mins or so later and we are all having the time of our lives, beaming from ear to ear and engrossed in the most seemingly deep conversation of our lives. In reality we are discussing the merits of the Crazy Frog song and similar, but hey...

Having bonded over fire soaked limbo poles, raucous arm-wrestling and frantic tabletop raving, Diarmid and I have a matey slap on the back and to our respective rooms - him at the poolside apartment with balcony, me on a third-floor room with no balcony over the school. The Austrians were seen  silhouetted against the beach, Nina reprimanding Chris for his shroom-zoomed crazy behaviour....And Kieron? He crashed out hours before, last seen swigging Diarolyte-laced bottles of water. ...

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