I’ve chosen to categorize my experiences thus far into a series of highs and lows through the next couple posts–emphasis on the former of course but for sake of argument both are noteworthy.
The physical: Traveling can take quite a toll on your body, especially if you are as keen as I am on eating street food, staying up dancing all night, and putting yourself at risk for harm all for the sake of adventure. I have accumulated my fair share of cuts from rock climbing, swimming in uncharted waters, and will probably get skin cancer on my shoulders for how many times 50 SPF has now proven itself utterly useless. However, as exhaustion threatens to consume me and leave me as lifeless as the man we found passed out on the beach this morning, I happily contend that nothing was done in vain and believe me when I say it could have been much worse.
In discussions with other travelers, we have decided that Thai bar owners spent many a drunken night concocting their devious plan to provide every sort of entertainment that could cause a potential physical threat to foreigners. Think ring of fire from the circus that tigers jump through, and try and picture drunk people stumbling through it on the beach at night. If that doesn’t spark your interest, test out the flaming jump rope or the eyebrow singeing limbo stick. As if that weren’t enough, let’s put a 2*2 wooden board 10 feet in the air and prompt all that dare to think their invincible to climb it. I’ll admit, the fervor and challenge did entice me; but for anyone who knows me well enough, had I indulged I probably would have been writing you from a hospital back in the states. Beaches littered with bandaged hungover expats, no one ever seems to learn their lesson and will happily return for round 2 without hesitation. Some are not so lucky. A friend of mine ended up in the hospital with a fist size burn on IV antibiotics and has been barely able to walk for almost a week. I swear the Thai bar owners are in cahoots with the pharmacies to boost the economy.
On a side note, the local Muay Thai bar offers a free bucket of alcohol to anyone who agrees to fight one of the Thai masters. They may look skinny and an easy win, but they are definitely scrappy and will usually take you down before round 1 is even through. Apparently while at my post at the Banana bar passing out flyers I advised a drunken passerby to check his macho ego and refrain from fighting. Not sure who I was to be telling a stranger what not to do, but he happened to listen and two days later when I ran into his friends on another island they showered me with free drinks as a thank you.
Therefore, after 6 days of tempting fate my injury count seems quite manageable. I do wonder how everyone reading this thinks they would have faired.