I need to stop drinking so much during the week; I don’t think I can make work today. Shit. I have to get up but why is my pillow so rough? Oh no I haven’t chucked up in bed, have I? Move, Dave, move, I keep telling myself but I can’t! What time is it? Holiday yes Thailand yes drunk yes on a floor somewhere now I realise I can’t move, not so much terror as deep cold fear. I am on the floor of my hotel room in Phuket and I can’t move and I’m desperately trying to piece together what has transpired.
I have been coming to Thailand on and off for around 35 years but I had never been to Phuket. It hadn’t interested me really – a beach resort, tourists etc. Not for me. I liked Bangkok. I loved Bangkok, a working city full of working people hustling for a buck, and I got it. Never understood the beach. They do nothing for me even at home in Australia, and I would always end up at the closest pub.
I had been dumped by Pon this latest trip. I guess she had just had enough. She had a job, she had a life and my few thousand baht couldn’t cover the boredom of eating, drinking, sex with me each time I got a cheap fare into town. The dollars had failed to overcome my shortcomings in Oz these days also. Maybe time for a change, maybe a beach resort, you know kick back, meet some new people, hang around in shorts. Yeah, let’s do it!
What if I can’t move? Not even enough to top myself. I must try to wiggle something. I remember my old boys’ story of when he was blown out of a trench in the war; he used to say the first thing he grabbed when he hit the turf was his nuts, because he wasn’t going on without em. I moved my leg.
Over the next hour I managed to get myself off the floor and on to the bed. I had never been so weak…maybe a heart attack? Maybe I had been stabbed or bashed. I checked myself for wounds, nothing. I could hardly raise my arm and breathing itself was exhausting, I had never been so close to gone in my life.
Phuket was different than I had imagined, not so much Thai, more Malay, the Isaan tribe were there OK but the land of smiles it wasn’t. I had never had people plead with me in the manner they did in Phuket. The hard luck stories I heard in Phuket made the soi 7 Biergarten sob stories sound positively upbeat.
I had booked a hotel on the internet at Patong “close to the beach” which was about a mile from the beach and everyone in the hotel and around it were from Belgium. The food was good, I must say. A bar across from my hotel contained some talent so I went over for dinner and drinks.
The food was very good and I was surprised at how hulking and big the Belgian blokes were. I had a good red with dinner and while enjoying a brandy I was joined by a radiant angel. She was a local she informed me and spoke English and Flemish. She had lived in Belgium for several years and had 2 children to some Hulk from Ghent. It had ended badly and she was back in Phuket. Apart from the Flemish and Ghent it was a familiar story for the age group I move in. Good food, good company, a full mile from the stinking beach. Hey Phuket wasn’t too bad.
That is just it; I had been drugged and robbed by the bitch I picked up at the bar. How much? 5000 baht was all she got, I nearly died for 5000 baht, didn’t even take my passport, took the grog from the mini bar though, cheap bitch. How had she done it? Had I been drugged at the restaurant and it came on? Had she put it in my drink back at the hotel? Had she painted her nipples with some potion as I had read somewhere? I don’t know.
It took me 2 days to recover to the point I could leave Phuket, and leave I did. Back to Bangkok back to a city I sort of understand, just like the beach in Australia I always ended up at the nearest pub. I still don’t get the beach.