Thailand sucks you in and then tries to kill you.
DISCLAIMER: The following post may be considered offensive or triggering to Obamacare, Thai pharmacists, drone operators, Charles Darwin, and jellyfish.
You've probably noticed that I've been missing for a week. That's because I've spent all my time trying not to die in Thailand. I've actively had to work very hard at this, because it's pretty clear that Thailand just wants me, and the other 71 remotes, to die. In 7 days, as a collective, we've had:
- 7 motorbike crashes requiring a hospital visit
- 4 people stung by jellyfish
- 4 evacuations due to excessive cockroaches, ants, and reptiles
- 1 case of Dengue fever requiring hospitalization
- 1 drone attack
- 1 drunken fall off the back of a pickup truck
- 1 bicycle faceplant
- 1 near death by coconut...they just fall from the trees around here.
And we still have 25 days left on this island. To be fair, in Koh Phangan, everyone goes to the hospital when there's a problem. There aren't any clinics, so "going to the hospital" doesn't carry the same weight as it does in the States. Hospitalization, though, that's the same concept.
One of the seven who crashed his bike also got attacked by his own drone, so technically he was counted twice. (Although, the Darwin Awards would probably break that down into two individually foolish situations, and I generally default to Darwin when I'm trying to analyze these sorts of scenarios. Also, the drone was clearly out of line, because the guy who got attacked is awesome and drones aren't a very good judge of character.)
I got stung by a school of jellyfish and was evacuated thanks to a series of bugs living in my bungalow, so I also counted myself twice. But, I've also been examined by a pharmacist because I got a scrape over my jellyfish sting and now the whole thing got infected, so if the drugs the Pharmy gave me don't kick in tonight, I'll also end up at the hospital and it'll average out.
Meanwhile, I've cried every day I've been in Thailand, which is only relevant because in between bouts of crying, I got my scuba diving open water certification. The great thing about that situation is that no one knows you're crying when you're 20 meters under water, so it's really the ultimate decoy. And when you reluctantly pop up and bob on the surface, you just blame the puffiness on the seawater and ill fitting goggles. If that doesn't work, blame it on the school of jellyfish you just swam through.
The sea is quite the metaphor for this place. The perfectly clear water lets you swim with all the fish, but it's also infested with jellies. A fly pooped in my wound and my leg might fall off, but I can buy all the drugs for cheap without insurance or a prescription. (I'm pretty sure that anyone who has ever dealt with the Obamacare nightmare would willingly lose a foot for the ability to acquire antibiotics without hassle.) A beautiful boat can't be cared for so it just falls sideways and gets stuck in the sand, forever.
And last night, I was forced to wonder why the bungalow "cleaning" lady decided to change my sheets, but not clean cemetery of dead roaches off my floor. Tonight, I'm sitting on my brand new balcony that overlooks the sea, eating butter with a fork. What a world.