Unnamed Island Off The Indian Ocean
“My flight back to India was leaving in 4 hours and I was to meet them in Mumbai for dinner that evening at the time and place that he was then specifying. Their job search was over and a pretty hefty promise was being made. My Indian friend had a millionaire cousin, even by US standards, who was of a unique sort. He owned factories in both India and Thailand where he had made his fortune. He promised he could deliver what I thought was the undeliverable in India. My friend stated for a fact that his cousin already had villas on an unnamed island off of the Indian Ocean reserved and factory girls of a slim, willing, and eager nature on reserve as well. Two for each he promised, with our own separate villa if we pleased. He and his cousin had done this with guests before so there was confidence in the plan (the subsequent Indian adventure can make a stand alone submission in and of itself). Bittersweet words as I sat on the beach in Pattaya and witnessed the face of my new responsibility slowly start to accept my offer of sponsorship. I gave her enough baht to quit bar that day and that would last her until the end of the month. I told her we could do this together. I told her I would come back for her. She watched my airport taxi from the beach as it drove out of sight.”
The above is an excerpt from an earlier submission (The Gravity of My Hell) I had written about how I met my bar girl and the series of romance and chaos that ensued thereafter. For those that have asked, she is doing well. Even more discourse has played out since my last submission about my predicament with her but this submission is not about her. In my original 3-part trip report I referenced an unnamed island off of the Indian Ocean that 2 of my friends and myself decided to visit as a side trip to my Thailand trip. I mentioned that it could be a standalone submission so that is what the following trip report will be about. There are references to Thailand within the report so hopefully that will keep some your attention.
In all complete honesty I didn’t want to do it. I did not want to leave Pattaya to go back to India but promises had been made. I had promised my friends that I would leave Thailand and meet them back in India for our trip to the unnamed island off of the Indian Ocean. Neither my conscious nor my karma could never have imagined the events that would take place while I was in Thailand. I just never could have foreseen the heartfelt struggle it would take for me to leave and fulfill that promise. I just didn’t see it coming. My Indian friend’s cousin had been expecting us for weeks in India and had already made reservations for us. The “guests” that he had reserved for us were awaiting us as well I had been repeatedly told. I started the process of picking up the pieces of my former self that I had left all over during my only 5 day stay in Pattaya. She asked me not to go. It was actually the first time she had asked me for anything but I was already hailing a taxi by then. She held on to my hand as I was getting into the taxi. I had just appeared in her life so I suppose she didn’t want me to leave just yet. So soon. She thought that I would never come back as I promised I would. I was able to let go of her grasp because I knew myself and I knew I would be coming back to her again. I knew I would keep that promise.
My India Air flight back to India was a bit more eventful than I had wanted it to be. I boarded the flight to find a rather largish loutish female in my assigned window seat. I always fly window in order to rest my head and sleep. I kindly asked her to move only to have her quickly turn her head up and away from me and point to a random aisle seat somewhere in another part of the plane. I asked her kindly once again only to have her shake her head resolutely while she aggressively pointed for me to move along. Had she responded in a more courteous fashion I would have of course have given up my seat as a gentlemanly gesture but her reaction stoked me in a direction opposite of that. As far as I was concerned once I was on the plane I was no longer officially in Thailand so no need to smile and take it. I leaned forward a bit so that I could tell her off American style when a flight attendant intervened by asking her to move and apologizing to me. It only took about an hour into the flight for me to realize that she was actually doing me a huge favor by pointing me to another seat. To say that the guy next to me was a bit “deodorant challenged” would be like saying the bubonic plague only gave a person or two the sniffles. The smell made the hairs on my toes curl and made my stomach cramp like an unyielding menstruation cycle. I would have gladly taken breaths through a twice soiled baby diaper for more breathable air. The rest of the plane was quite fresh and smelled great actually so I took many trips to the rest room. It was just this one guy out of the couple hundred people on the flight that was having complications. My problem was further enhanced by his preferred method of rest which was to extend his arms behind is head. I could literally see convection radiating from under his arms like a 120 degree Fahrenheit sun on Bangkok pavement. I could see others around me struggling to comprehend what was happening to their olfactory as well. After the meal was served the same gentlemen proceeded to pull a substance wrapped in wax paper from his right pocket. He then pulled another substance from his left pocket that was wrapped in wax paper as well. He mixed the two unknown elements together in the palm of his hands and rubbed his palms together like he was making a campfire. I was intrigued until the odor of this newly formed compound bitch slapped me even further back in to my seat. He proceeded to chew and spit and chew and spit the remains in a cup. Missing the cup completely on one of the attempts. The errant deluge of whatever he was chewing landed on my leg and dribbled the distance into my left sandal. I silently thought to myself that I just left the woman of my dreams sitting on Pattaya beach for this? Thoughts of the island kept me calm as I was only an hour away from meeting up with my friends near the airport in Mumbai.
I was slightly late to the restaurant from having to wash out my sandal upon landing. I barely recognized the two of them. Our Vietnamese friend had obviously lost weight and was sweating profusely. My Indian friend wasn’t much better off. We had separated the week before in Delhi. Them going to a small city in the South of India to check out a promised contract job and me to Thailand to check out some pussy. Plans to meet at this very restaurant a week later. I was anxious to wow them with tales of chrome poles, soap, and the debauchery of my past week but I was shocked into silence by what they told me of their week while I was away. They traveled south to a small town to stay with an older friend of my Indian friend. He was the one to provide the contract jobs they flew from Chicago to see about. The older gentlemen had a very nicely styled home with hired help and a chef I was told. The chef’s very first attempt at Vietnamese food for our Vietnamese friend resulted in a massive bowel attack of the worst kind. The food poisoning had him curled up in fetal position for pretty much their whole week there. The help kindly changed his sheets as he sweated through them a few times a day. They did venture to go out but the town had no clubs, or bars, or venues of the like. All they had was a place where men gathered to smoke and drink Chivas but it was members only and they couldn’t even get in to that place. The older Indian guy that was hosting them would have friends over every other night to play cards. One of the friends that came over for card night was an Indian guy that was once married to an Italian woman. He would drone on constantly about how not only did he have a wife but an Italian wife once. Never mind the fact that the last kid they had supposedly wasn’t his and she left him and took their kids back to Italy. My friends reluctantly pulled themselves from the circuits they were running between bed and toilet to hear such tales because it was the only entertainment they’d had for the past week. Adding insult to injury they found out that the promised contract jobs they flew from Chicago to this place for (at great monetary expense for 2 guys out of work) were just a bunch of hot air. No jobs actually existed! A sad tale of woe indeed. I immediately lit them up with my week’s tale of Nana and Cowboy. Patpong. The all on sensation of the soapy massage and the pantheon that is the Eden Club with its yellow line acting as a Prime Meridian with choices to the east and west being naughty and naughtier. That place has never known nice. I told them of Pattaya and a little street called Soi 6. Also of the Sois Diana, LK Metro, and Post Office. Beaches and beer and so many women you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting one. Lastly I told them about the pièce de résistance, Walking Street. More groans from them. Maybe from the traces of food poisoning that still colonized their intestines or maybe from the missed call of not coming to Thailand with me for the previous week. All I know is that I continued to stuff Tandori Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala with gin and tonic down my gullet while they wouldn’t dare touch their food or drink. Lastly, I cautiously told them of the girl I had met and had showed them pictures that I had taken of her. I had left her on the beach in Pattaya just hours before to meet up with them here. Being that we were at a restaurant near the airport our Vietnamese friend, being the enterprising sort of fellow, stated that we should just walk over to the terminal and catch flights to Thailand for our last week. Forget the island he said and let’s just get out of here. He had my vote but our Indian friend calmed us down with more tales of the unnamed island and what we had in store for us that very night. Right then his cousin, who was to be our transport to the island, shows up at our table and we were on our way to the unnamed island off the Indian Ocean just minutes later.
As I mentioned before the cousin was quite well off having made millions from business ventures in India and Thailand. A very young fellow of mid-30s at that. He drove a rather large late model luxury car which provided a nice ride for the 5 – 7 hour trip to this unnamed island. He had a mini bar built into the console between the driver and passenger seats. He was not only taking our drink orders but was mixing and pouring our drinks one handed while driving the car which was a stick shift might I add. My only comment to that was “cheers!”
Well apparently this is an island that you can drive to because I was told that we had arrived just 6 hours after starting the trip. I was definitely confused by this. Even if it wasn’t the blackest night I’d ever seen I probably couldn’t have seen anything anyway through the layered sheets of relentlessly advancing rain that thundered down. We stopped at a rundown convenience store on a rundown road in an even more rundown looking town. My Indian friend and his cousin quickly sprang from the car and proceeded to purchase snacks, chips, large bottles of soda, and whiskey leaving me and our Vietnamese friend confused in the backseat as to what was transpiring. I mean think about. Don’t the 5 star resort villas on the unnamed island off of the Indian Ocean have an equally 5 star restaurant, let alone a bar! And what of the girls that were waiting for us (2 a piece remember?). Were they just to eat cheap snacks and get legless drunk on cheap liquor as well? Stating that we were only minutes away from the resort, the cousin carefully drove us to our destination.
My Indian friend and his cousin should have been struck down at that moment in the storm for the way they grossly misrepresented this place. To call this place a destination was a blatant lie. Portal to hell would have been too kind. Forget 5 stars! If anything this placed should have had an asterisk next to it. We pulled up in front of what could only be described as being an abandoned 4 story crack house that some squatters decided to turn into a motel. It had a concrete porch, with fault line like cracks, which served as a restaurant. The Marianas Trench literally ran right down the middle of it. At least the cheap filthy plastic chairs slanted at the same angle as the cheap filthy plastic tables that we were to dine on. It’s a good thing the moldy carpet, and the smell that came with it, greeted us at the door because the guy behind reception sure didn’t. That same moldy carpet smell was also kindly enough to escort us to our rooms as well. Myself and my Vietnamese friend walked down a hall that could only be described as the “Green Mile” to our rooms. And let me tell you my friends…it didn’t get better after walking into the room. Busted furniture with 1 working lamp. The rest of the lamps were non-existent. Just live wires hanging from walls. A thick layer of greasy dust coated everything with only the bed bugs and other creatures of sort around to disturb it. I stood at the door unmovable and unbelievable for a good 30 minutes. I did a circuit around the room careful not to touch the livewires or the mold that grew both up and down the walls. Growing around the chipped paint and holes in the walls. The only chair was missing a leg, not that I would have sat in it. A small green couch with a rainbow of stains with springs sticking out, not that I would have sat on that either. The bathroom consisted of a rusty bucket with a moldy ladle to be used for showering and shitting I presumed. A moist rusty grate dripped flakes of black rust from the bathroom ceiling to the floor. I was literally too afraid to even pull back the covers the bed. The moldy carpet and the bed sheets must have been cousins because they reeked similar.
I dropped my bags and made my way back down to the place that served food (I dare not call it a restaurant). My Vietnamese friend was the only one down there at that point. We only had a second to exchange looks of “what the fuck” before our Indian friend and his cousin came down. They pulled out the cheap snacks, cheap liquor and plastic cups. They proceeded to drink warm mixtures of whiskey and flat soda and chat about old times; mixing English with Hindi with Guajarati. There was just enough light in the “restaurant” so that I didn’t fall into one of the many deep chasms in the floor. The rain was still falling like lead. The night seemed even blacker than before. All I could see was a stray dog that had taken refuge under the cousin’s luxury car. Did I also mention they were no girls in sight!
I was too exhausted to be frustrated at this point. After a couple of hours I walked with my head lowered back up to my room. Laundry was very cheap in Thailand so I had a suitcase full of clean clothes. I strategically methodically laid all the clean clothes I had as a top layer on the bed. My shirts became my pillow cases. I put on jeans and a button down shirt, with socks and shoes, and lay down to rest on my clean clothes. I dared not turn off the lights for fear of what might scamper over me or cultivate itself on me in the dark. Probably a good thing there were no young lovelies waiting for us. I wouldn’t dare “help myself” in this bed let alone have some girl “help me” in this cesspit. I pulled out a novel I had brought with me for the airplane. It was a Stephen King novel (the last novel in the Dark Tower series) so it was nice and thick and it provided me with enough activity to stay up until the morning. Just two weeks before, I had arrived in India from Chicago for the first part of my trip. I had initially spent time in Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. My experiences there were nothing short of amazing. Seeing the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. Learning about the rich complex history and amazing culture of India. The people whom I met along the way were welcoming and extremely knowledgeable of their culture, their history and therefore themselves as a people. From there I went to Thailand for the first time and spent a week there experiencing all of the trappings that come along with that scene. Just the previous night to this I was in Pattaya. I had the soft curvaceous shape of a young lovely Thai angel in my arms; feeling her slight movements, feeling her deep well earned sleep up against me, absorbing the weight of her life into me. Her troubles taking vows with mine and becoming the worries of my world as well as we lay together. That was less than 24 hours before. What a difference a day makes. I silently said to myself “I just left the woman of my dreams sitting on Pattaya beach for this?”
Daylight only made the place worse I found out as I drug my sleepless carcass from the dusty room, back down the “Green Mile,” over the moldy carpet, through the stench, around the cracks in the floor, onto the filthy chair to join my friends who were already down in the “restaurant”. The cousin was still up in his room sleeping it off I guess. The rain from the night before had hidden the sounds of the Indian Ocean which could be seen from the motel. The grassy area in front of the motel looked like “Sanford and Son” meets “Steptoe and Son.” (For those Americans and Brits who recall the American show about a junkman and his son based on the British show about a junkman and his son). I had to step through it to get to the ocean. Needless to say that there was no beach. Just a mass of mud that led to the ocean that was equally mud colored almost as far as the eye could see. No umbrellas or vendors or anything in sight. Just mud and trash everywhere. What I wouldn’t have given for wall to wall umbrellas with beach chairs and some tattoo, foot massage and ice cream vendors at that moment. I would have gladly taken the relative pristine Evian waters of Pattaya Beach. I back tracked in the same steps I took to the beach back to the motel so as to not sink into the mud. My spirit was already sunk anyway.
I sat with my Indian friend and Vietnamese friend for 1 hour, then 2 hours, then 3 hours. It took about that long for my Vietnamese friend and I to read the riot act to our Indian friend for luring us here. Our Vietnamese friend being slightly more pissed having left Chicago to find no promised jobs and stomach viruses for 1 week and now this dump. At least I had a week of short time/long time heaven in Thailand before this. I was still plenty pissed though having left the promise of Pattaya and 5 more nights of walking on Walking Street just to sit and dwell here on the lie that was told to force my move to this situation. It also took us about 3 hours to notice that the cousin still wasn’t down from his room yet. Our Indian friend went up to check on him as it was now late in the afternoon. He came back just minutes later with a worried look on his face. He didn’t want to tell us what he witnessed going on in the cousin’s room upstairs…yep…you guessed it! Fucking…the cousin was upstairs at that very moment fucking some girl he had snuck up to his room while we were downstairs waiting for him. The only comment he said when our Indian friend opened the door was “do you have any condoms?” He stopped his blowjob that he was getting just long enough to instruct our Indian friend to go downstairs to the restaurant and ask the black guy (me) for some condoms. Knowing that I must have had some since I just came back from Thailand. I lost it at this point. “I just left the woman of my dreams sitting on Pattaya beach for this?” I said out loud this time. Time to go…not only leave this place but I am going to spend my last 5 days back in Thailand. I whipped out my cell phone to call the airline to book a ticket but I had no signal. I took my friends phones and they did not have signals either. Damnit! No matter…hotel phone. I went to the front desk to use the phone but I was informed that the phones had gone out in last night’s storm. Ok…Ok…calm down. My Indian friend brought a laptop with him. I’ll just get a connection and book online. That was to be my exit. Needless to say that the storm had knocked out power and the laptop was on dead battery. Fuck. I was stuck.
The cousin finally came down. He stepped into the restaurant with his shirt half open while gulping an upturned bottle of cool refreshing water; as satiated as can be. We immediately asked for egress from this place. He was slightly offended as he thought it was a nice place. We finally made it back to Mumbai but not before visiting every cousin and auntie on the Island and then hitting the traffic version of The Great Wall of China on the way back. It took 12 hours to get back. The traffic compounded my frustration in that I was still trying to book a flight back to Thailand that night! A flight back to her. We booked the finest most expensive hotel we could find in Mumbai to offset the experience we had just had at the dump motel on the unnamed island off the Indian Ocean. The hotel we booked in Mumbai (The Leela) was honestly one of the nicest grandest hotels I had ever seen. I barely noted it initially as I raced to the reception desk. The receptionist had barely handed me my key before I was off to the hotel business center to get online to book a flight out back to Thailand. It was 12:01am. The last flight to Thailand left and 12:00am…damn…
I showered the heavenly shower in the 5 star room and I ate the heavenly burger in the 5 star restaurant. I slept the heavenly sleep in a plush clean bed. My only decision being to stay and see Mumbai or to leave the next day and see Thailand again. Unfortunately it would be the scrambled eggs that I had the next morning that would make that decision for me. I’ve never been one to be against street-meat. I enjoyed it all over Bangkok and Pattaya and all over Delhi and Mumbai as well. I even ate food at that dump of a restaurant on the unnamed island off the Indian Ocean but it was to be the scrambled eggs made for me personally by the executive chef at the 5 star hotel restaurant to be my demise. 15 minutes post ingestion and I’m letting loose on the toilet in my room with an atomic bomb like vengeance. It even got it on the ceiling…yes the ceiling. I weakly checked myself in the mirror only to see the whites of my eyes slowly turn to the color wine red. I had projectile vomited so hard I burst blood vessels in my eyes and they were now bleeding. I spent the last remaining days of my precious vacation locked in a curled position in bed, while my friends went out drinking and stuffing their gullets every night. I was hoping to muster enough strength and health to weather my flight back home. It eventually took about 2 weeks for the whites of my eyes to turn from dark red to white again from the burst blood vessels. In order to maximize my vacation days I elected to go straight to work upon landing at the airport back home. The CEO of my company was so freaked by appearance, the whites of my eyes still being dark blood red at the time, she pulled me from presenting at the sales meeting we had with one of our largest accounts out of Paris in thinking my appearance would disturb the negotiations.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
I guess there are many reasons why Thailand receives vastly more international tourists than India does!