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balance (2): were-elocin

Sunday, November 28, 2004


the full moon party took me by surprise. i was lazy and didn’t bother to even take a shower before heading to the other side of the island, figuring i would just take a look at it, be disgusted, and leave early. i didn’t realize my friends all had at least two full days of non-stop decadence planned.

it stormed all day. ot and i slept in. in the afternoon we grilled tuna steaks and squid at the bar and drank buckets of sangsom, so by about 10p i was already satiated and sleepy. nevertheless, i hopped into a pickup truck with 12 other people, crammed like sardines but with a party atmosphere. the moon peeked out behind ominous clouds.

the road to the other side of the island is terrifying to begin with. let alone for 40 mins. in a very overloaded truck in questionably sober traffic heading both ways on steep narrow dirt paths. the caravan of trucks all collided at one final crossroads in haad rin, where loads and loads of scantily dressed farangs all jumped out and scattered their respective ways.

haad rin was overrun with people scurrying like roaches over the mounds of litter. thai people sat on the beach painting faces and bellies. fire twirlers lined the water, which was lit with colored lights and the moon. groups of very wasted people were scattered on mats, and dancing or making out in every inch of space. stalls selling fruit and ready-made buckets of alcohol hovered in the shadows. whit- ever the polite host- insisted on showing us around. this meant following him all over the beach from bar to bar, so he could hit each dj on the arm and discuss the (horrid) music for at least a half hour while ot and i covered our ears to keep them from bleeding as a result of screaming sound systems. drugs changed hands in the corners. thai girls slithered up to ot and danced suggestively, while a very well built australian guy gave me the eye from across the black lit dance floor. our (married) thai friends quickly picked up new companions and disappeared one by one, at which point ot and i realized that the whole point of this party was to locate and consummate sex. it is not the place to come with a significant other.

this was actually a smaller party, as it’s low season, but i was not really prepared for just how many people there would be. i was in fact a bit claustrophobic after my secluded beach of no farangs. it was nearly impossible to move amongst the flourescent painted, half dressed hedonists writhing with buckets in hand. we were able to squeeze into an alley where we could sit on a cooler and get a better view. i enjoyed this as it allowed me to play voyeur. we were across from a falafel stand run by belligerent israelis who danced and shouted more than they served, and were surrounded by winking, working thai girls. the passing crowd was full of voluptuous gals with flowing hair and exposed breasts, labeled prominently with such catchy phrases as “suck me”. shirtless men sweated and rippled from underneath wacky hats and glowing necklaces, and stumbled towards single girls with memorized pick up lines. a small medical center was next to the falafel shop, and ot and i were bemused by the amount of people we could only presume were dead or near dead being dragged in by terrified friends, and left on the floor to convulse while the jaded nurse just shook her head. we also saw a fat man and a hippie girl fucking behind a dumpster.

several buckets later- none of which i touched but were heartily drunk by ot, i decided i had seen enough. whit, now plastered, was trying to get us to do ecstacy with him and head to a bar on the mountain at 6am, and i just wasn’t in the mood for that kind of party. on the one hand it is definitely one of the more decadent nights i have ever seen (and i have seen many), but on the other hand i was sort of disgusted by all the people who had managed only to lose control, and i felt abysmally sorry for the thai staff.

whit exasperatedly dragged us back to the taxi area, ot spluttering, where we saw that our driver had used his time well and had gotten clumsily wasted, in true party spirit. i managed to convince him (a policeman) to engage a markedly more sober friend to drive us back at about 5am. at least 10 drunk israelis jumped in back and screamed the entire way home. we helped pull a stray pickup truck out of a muddy ditch. ot went to bed muttering in his sleep and i walked on the beach and took pictures of the moon. i slept kindly through the few remaining hours of the night.

our friends returned the next night, still wasted and still partying. sheesh. these people have incredible staying power. we turned down their offer of opium and left them drooling in hammocks, promising ourselves that next time we would be more prepared. it’s good to let loose sometimes, but friday night was not one of them for me.

p.s. my USB drive broke so no pics for now. i have lots to come later.


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