Songkran Vacation from Hell
I became friends with Sam (*all names have been changed) through a social networking website. It started off as nothing romantic at first, just normal chit-chat about life and things in general. I found him intelligent, honest about his past and a very good listener. I even asked him advice about my situation with Mr. PO which I wrote about in my first submission to Stick’s website. We found that we had a lot of the same opinions on many things, such as politics and our views on life. It was strange to be communicating with someone I’ve never actually met but felt as if I was talking to an old friend. We even talked about the fact that we’re not even pretending to flirt because it wasn’t mine or his intention to start a long distance relationship. We simply just enjoyed talking and chatting to each other.
Sam lives in Phuket and does freelance work translating documents. My friends and I had been planning to go to Phuket for our Songkran break for a couple months so I called my new friend Sam up and asked if he would like to meet for a few drinks when I arrived in Phuket. The first time we met we got on really well. Our conversations were even better in person than over the phone. I felt a connection between us (or maybe it was just the Sangsom). We kissed that night and then he said something that I should’ve taken as a warning sign. He told me he was falling in love with me, 3 hours after meeting me for the first time.
That should’ve been a sign to run for the hills, but me being an idiot and a hopeless romantic, got flattered and decided to ignore the signs. It was just like the movies! All romantic and spontaneous. The next day he called and asked me if I wanted to go on a ride around the island with him. I debated with myself for a while. I usually don’t go off on spontaneous trips with strangers let alone a man I just met online, but then I figured there would be no harm in going since it was during the day and I had plans to meet up with my friends for dinner and drinks afterwards anyway. And besides, I was on vacation!!! I’m young, and I should live a little.
The day we spent together started off great. We had lots of fun together and I invited him along to meet some of my friends and he even got along pretty well with my friends (or so it seemed at that point to me anyway). We were playing cards in a couple of my friends’ hotel room after dinner and maybe Sam had a bit too much to drink but when the two of us went out on the balcony for a smoke, he started freaking out and crying.
By that point I was a bit tipsy but quickly sobered up at the sight of a 28 year old man crying like a baby. He started going on about how he feels like I am having second thoughts about him. I told him that we had just met and there was nothing to discuss at that point, but to get to know each other better. He said he wanted to move to Bangkok to be closer to me and that he really wants to meet my family. I told him that I usually don’t bring people I just met to meet my family. It would have to be a long-term serious relationship with potential for a marriage for a meeting like that. Then he started going on about how whenever he finds the perfect person he loves he always loses them and that if things don’t work out between us he will go and enter the monkhood.
At this point, I’m really worried this guy might throw himself off the balcony, because he was standing way too close to the edge and crying non-stop. I gently pulled him away from the balcony, told him to sit on a chair and tried to listen and tried to help him through this melt-down. Then he said that he knows that after we leave this hotel room I would go back to my hotel room and never see him again, and that he would have to face this night alone, then he proceeded to cry even harder. (I guess looking back that was just a manipulative way to get me to go back to his place)
So, me being an idiot (again), once again felt so much pity and was concerned for this clearly unstable man that I agreed to go back with him. When I went back inside the room I told my friend Alicia and her boyfriend Richard that I would be going back with Sam tonight. Alicia gave me a worried / WTF-are-you-thinking-look and I assured her I wouldn’t have sex with him that night or any night for that matter. I didn’t tell her the reason why though. It was simply because I wasn’t attracted to him anymore. I mean, come on, I had just seen the man cry like a baby and professing his undying-love for me 24 hours after we met. And that, ladies and gentlemen, does not make any man sexy, even if they could pass for Brad Pitt’s twin or Beckham. (Well, maybe Beckham, if he had voice deepening surgery).
So Sam and I left my friends’ room and headed off for a couple of beers before heading back to his place. We went to some bar that reminded me somewhat of Pattaya and other red-light districts. We met some of his friends who were clearly either drug dealers or bargirls or both, but they were actually very nice people who just happened to be involved in the illegal businesses. (Yes, I know another clear sign to get out!!!)
At the bar, he kept telling me he really loved me and I told him that maybe he was just infatuated and told him that to be honest I was still hung up over someone else, (Mr. PO), but that we could be friends and I would be willing to listen to his problems like before. He seemed ok with that and he thanked me for being honest and for being a friend to him. I felt happy that we could be honest and clear the air so that I wouldn’t have to witness another breakdown. And he seemed like a nice guy, just unstable who maybe just needed a friend. Little did I know…
We left the bar around 2 am and headed out on his bike to get something to eat. I asked him after we had gotten our food if he was ok to drive because he had a few to drink and driving in Phuket can even be dangerous during the day and when the driver is sober. He assured me he has never crashed his bike when he had a passenger riding in the back. As soon as he said that I felt us crash into something.
The next thing I knew I was on the floor, bleeding profusely from my right knee. The other bike that cut in front of the bike Sam and I were on was lying next to me. The passenger of the other bike laid on the ground about a meter away from me and I don’t think I’ll ever forget her face. She was in shock and in pain and apparently couldn’t move since her hips were broken. Sam was running around, bleeding everywhere from his head to his arms to his foot. After that I couldn’t remember anything much except lots of locals gathering around us and offering me those inhalers because apparently I looked like I was going to faint. I’ve never been in an accident before and was shaking uncontrollably. One thing I do remember was that Sam kept saying he was sorry and that he loves me and he feels terrible. I remember thinking that all I wanted from him as for him to shut up and leave me alone.
When we got to the hospital the police were already there. They kept questioning Sam, asking him how many drinks he had to drink that night. They gave him a breathalyzer test and he didn’t pass. He’ll have to go to court and pay a fine. The people who owned the bike that cut in front of us offered to pay for our hospital bills and clear the drunken driving charges against Sam if we didn’t press charges against them. At that point I could care less about what happened. I just wanted this to be over with and go back to my hotel room and sleep.
We went to the police station and the whole ordeal took about 3 hours to clear. I asked the policeman if I could call a taxi to get back to my hotel, but he told me that it was late and my hotel was quite far so maybe I should stay with the farang tonight. When Sam heard that I was planning to go back to the hotel he started freaking out. He begged me to go back so we could talk about what happened. I told him that there was no point. I wasn’t mad at him because it was an accident and there was nothing left to discuss. He wouldn’t let me leave and I couldn’t find a taxi back so I told him I’m only staying till morning and then I’m leaving as soon as the sun is up. I made sure to let the police know I was leaving with Sam, just in case something happened because they know where he lives.
At his place he kept going on about how this was an accident and it wasn’t his fault and that he was sorry. He said he thinks I’ve changed since the accident. My adrenaline from the shock I experienced was coming down and I was too tired to talk so I just went to try to sleep. He cried the whole night, sobbing into my T-shirt and begging me not to give up on him. It was literally one of the worst nights on my life. He told me he will move to Bangkok to be with me, if that’s what I wanted. I considered telling him a lie, because I was actually afraid he might actually kill me and hide my body under his bed or turn me into a lamp shade, but instead I simply told him no, I don’t want him to move to Bangkok, and no I don’t want a relationship with him. I asked him if he wanted me to leave but he said it was alright and that I could rest here until the morning. He said he understood me and that he wishes nothing but the best for me. He kept talking and crying the whole night until he passed out from crying too much. (My T-shirt was literally soaking wet by the time he stopped crying.)
The next morning he tried to kiss me and told me he loves me, I told him to stop with this love shit already and that we already discussed that last night. I got up and thanked him for letting me crash (pun not intended) at his place for the night and that I should get back to my friends and my hotel. He got angry and started throwing things, saying, and I quote, “that he has lost all faith in humanity” I left as fast as my wounded knee would allow me to hobble down the stairs and tried to look for a taxi. Some really nice woman working at a restaurant near by saw me wandering around so they offered to call a taxi and gave me some water to drink while I waited. The local Phuket people are actually very nice and helpful, which surprises me since in Bangkok, hardly anyone does anything to help strangers without expecting something in return. They probably felt sorry for this disheveled, bleeding and limping girl.
On the ride back to the hotel I reflected on everything that had happened. It wasn’t all entirely Sam’s fault; it was mine for not having better judgment and common sense to not go with a perfect stranger who turned out to be unstable and borderline suicidal. For the first time since the accident, I started crying, letting all the tension and fear out of my system. The taxi driver must have thought I was heart broken because he quickly turned off the radio that was playing a sad love song. I learned a lesson at a very risky cost this time, and intend on never making the same mistakes again. Life is too precious to throw away for something I know nothing about. I also vowed to myself never to feel responsible for another person’s life ever again; pity only makes it worse and nothing good ever comes out of it. I will never again put myself in that kind of position, I’m just disappointed in myself that I had let things get so bad and had to learn this lesson in this way.
I was never happier to see my friends. Alicia and Richard were supportive and made me realize many things about the situation. I felt like I had been lucky this time. It could’ve been a lot worse. Alicia told me that both Richard and she were worried about me leaving with Sam that night. Alicia told me didn’t really like Sam; she thought he was a bit obsessed, unstable and got a bad vibe from him, but she knows me pretty well, we’ve been friends for 10 years and she knew I could take care of myself. Richard said he thought Sam seemed alright and didn’t seem to have violent tendencies but was just a bit depressed, that was why he didn’t warn me when I told them I was going to go back with Sam that night.
Sam called a couple times that day and I ignored all his calls. When I got back to Bangkok the first thing I did was delete and block his MSN and deleted my account from that website that started off what seemed the be a beautiful friendship, even potential relationship and ended up into a vacation from hell.
What a terrible holiday. Sure, you put yourself into a dangerous situation but that Sam character sounds like an absolute nut job.