Sunday, November 2, 2014

Besties Bangkok Beaches Bitches


I have been to Bangkok countless times. I love Bangkok. I call Bangkok my boyfriend, my long-time lover, my home away from home. I can recall many distinct trips to Bangkok with specific humans and I hold those days and weeks dear in my heart. 

However. This was something new. 

I read a small opinion column recently about how the modern age of technology means that we hold onto our old connections more and feel less connected to the place where we actually currently are (skyping our friends in other countries instead). Of course, there is truth to this, but in an ideal situation I have time to skype my oldest, dearest friends at home and make exceptional new friends. This was the case in Hanoi, and this year in Bangkok I got to experience the singular joy of those two world's colliding.

Look at them all. Also, that is the skytrain rushing past in the background, my other boyfriend. We are seated at the Sky Train Jazz Bar, which I highly recommend. The urban views are amazing and the margarita is exactly correct. 


After my brilliant Hanoian friends departed I was left with only these two idiots from New Zealand, from home.

First, the physicist Dr Barker: 
(or, as I constantly accidentally introduce him as: the physician, which he is not)

Then, this idiot who turns up in my life from time to time, Mr Valentine:

With these two vagrants in tow, I travelled to the touristy island of Koh Tao, famous for diving, backpackers and, more recently, murder and the possible framing of Burmese migrants. 

As soon as we arrived our dear Doctor fell ill and so I was left to explore the jungles of the island with old Mr Valentine. We rented a motorbike, but soon came across signs like that pictured below, and opted for a hike through the jungle instead. 

After a few hours bumbling through the undergrowth, we came across this deserted resort, set on an immaculate bay (Laem Thian). In case anyone is in any doubt about this, tropicana apocalypse is my favourite aesthetic so I was absolutely rapt to find this. 

Someone asks the real questions:

There they are, off in the distance

Excellent 'road' for motorbiking on. Recommend.

The rest of our time on Koh Tao was gloriously undocumented. Suffice to say we spent our days snorkeling in the sea, and our nights in the bars. It was sleazy. We saw a snake. I met a bunch of charming and attractive humans. I don't usually go to the more obvious 'tourist' spots when I go to Thailand, because I am a raving snob/ misanthrope/ neurotic loner, but on this occasion I did and I had a most wonderful time. Besides, as soon as you spend an hour walking somewhere, you'll be pretty much alone (TIP: most people don't like walking).

Part III:

Back in Bangkok, we returned to the Atlanta Hotel, wished our eccentric doctor farewell, and pushed him into a taxi to the airport where he would take a plane to Milan and continue working on lasers/ solar energy/ his beard/ saving the world.

Happy Birthday to you, too

As has been the case so many times before, I am alone again with Mr Valentine. We run a lot of errands, which is surprisingly fun when I have his company. He is maybe the only human I could say this about. I like running errands with you, old sport. 

We drink these over-priced but really quite nice drinks on a rainy night and look out over the city-beast. We talk about distance, and what it means to be in 'the tropics' and how much we love Dr Barker. I talk about how much I love my new friends, and how I will miss him. I feel a lot of things: melancholic, anxious and hopeful. 

I'm writing this now from Dili, Timor-Leste, where I moved in September, alone. I've moved places alone before, and I've always been fine. I was a tough nut. Well, not any more. Now I am older and now I just want community, I want the pictures in this blog post. I want the people I can spend days, and days, with, doing next to nothing, and be constantly, ceaselessly entertained. These humans are better than any geographical location, and they make any place fun. I arrived here, and I felt my isolation as a physical weight. I looked at these pictures of Bangkok, in the rain, from a distance and felt my heart pine. I feel like I've finally hit on the most obvious truth of all truths: I belong in South-east Asia. I return to it, again and again. I build a life there. I have friends in almost every major South-east Asian city and I feel at home and connected and real in those places. I feel like I can land, like a cat, and move to the correct beat.

So I am going back.