Thursday, June 30, 2016

Part One - Chapter 6 -

Place: Hua Hin / Bangkok
Time: September 1993 


On my first journey to Thailand, I tried to avoid Bangkok as good as possible. My time in Thailand came to an end. I chose Hua Hin for my last stop. I arrived there in the middle of the night. I intended to spend the last two days in this beach town. It was close enough to Bangkok so that I could go into the capital on the day of my departure. At 2;30 a.m., I came with the train to the town. I had expected it to be quiet and calm. According to the information of a friend it was still not too touristic. I had planned to take a few more swims in the Gulf of Thailand. Maybe some shopping was possible but mainly I wanted to get back on track, away from the bohemian lifestyle of Koh Phangan. There was the fear that I had adapted too much to a world full of mystery and drugs. It was also far better than an overload of impressions that I was afraid of about Bangkok.

I had made so many different experiences in Thailand, particularly after the island, that I tried to come to a personal conclusion about the country. I had been living in a dream for almost the last two weeks on Koh Phangan. A lost soul, too much apart from the life in a civilized world. This made me feel uncomfortable. These were only holidays and they had developed into a very strange direction. Two months ago I had been an employee, a student and a son of a good family. What was I now? This question was much too difficult for me to answer. I hated what had happened with me. These were the most extreme two months of my life. How could I ever expect going back home and living an ordinary life? I needed to get out of Thailand. Maybe, some day, coming back. Then I would do everything different. I would visit my friend Pee Pee for sure. But I did not get anymore any kick out of this country. Probably, I would have a look at other countries in South East Asia. Maybe Vietnam, Indonesia or Laos. I had heard much about these countries. I had started my journey with a lot of expectations and nothing had gone the planned way.
The arrival Hua Hin showed me that I had lost track of certain parts of reality, such as time. The train station was not far away from most of the guesthouses. I was tired and took for the first time in Thailand a Tuk Tuk. The driver promised me to find a place where I could at least spend the night. This was not easy as it was in the middle of the night.  Usually, I do not like the idea to trust any Tuk Tuk driver for the search of a shelter. At half three in the morning my options were restricted. The first guesthouse was reasonably inexpensive. However, the owner was only able to offer me a place in his laundry. He assured that I could have a good room for the second night. At least a place with a bed, lucky me. Again, I loved Thai hospitality. A few hours later, I was woken up. The owner apologized but his stuff had to do the washing. However, I got directly a nice room with a good view. The first guests had left in the early morning. I continued to sleep a couple of hours and got up at lunch time. I definitely needed to get back on track about time but that was not the only thing that I had to adapt to 'normal' society again.

Another issue was that I had to get used to certain conventions and limitations in a civilized world again. Hua Hin was another world compared with Koh Phangan. The guesthouse was at a main road but only hundred meters away from the beach. As I was used to, I put my sarong around me and walked there. Some tourists gazed at me in strange amazement. Well, better to run around with a sarong then in typical cheese cutters. The scenery here was definitely middle-aged mainly male tourists with their Thai bunnies at their side. I thought Pattaya was bad, good that I had not gone there. Hang on, I do understand that these people bring most money to the country. Still, they are some species of different animal than me. This was something like stone age man meets humans of the future. However, I did not go back to the guesthouse to change my clothes. Instead, I went to the beach. I had planned to take a few good long swims. Unfortunately, Hua Hin has a small problem, the beach near the city center is full of stones and riffs. I did not want to do again harm to my feet. So, I had nothing better to do then taking a walk along the shore. Even that was only limited as some  hotels had made parts of it as private resort. This actually, is against the law, the beach belongs to everybody in Thailand. Corruption makes it possible that the large hotels can avoid that and put up some zones only for their guests. I did not like these limitations and the mindset of the people here, still it was better than hanging around in Bangkok.


Through my visit in Hua Hin, I came to enjoy for the first time a Thai favourite, Som Tam. This dish originated in Northeast Thailand, Isaan, but is made in all parts of the country.  In my eyes, everybody who comes to Thailand has to try it. If you visit Thailand but miss out on this dish then you did not try to grasp the culture. It has such cultural value that you have actually not even been in Thailand without eating it. It is a must! You may like it or not, but you have to try it. It comes in different grades of hotness. A newcomer to Thailand should never say that he wants to have it hot. Because hot means super hot. Hardcore Thais put up to ten chilies into this salad. The ordinary Thai is happy with four to five. The Western newcomer should try it with only two if any. I do not like tasteless food and so for me it is a must to put three or four inside. I was once able to eat it to the most extreme grade but these times are over. The traditional SomTam consists of finely shredded green papaya pieces, tomato pieces, peanuts and dried shrimps. It is spiced with lime, garlic, fish sauce, sugar and of course chilies. The ingredients are crushed in a mortar with a pestle. That is the basic structure of this meal. It is usually eaten with sticky rice. As I already said  about Thai food, without any kind of rice, a meal is just not a meal. So, enjoy this culinary side of the country!
A cultural dish which is close to a national dish should have of course variations. There are many different versions of Som Tam.  Thais use a many different recipes of making this meal. The basic papaya salad can be enriched with green beans, crab, fermented fish or egg or yard long beans. In any version it is an interesting yet challenging meal. There is even a rather sweet version that includes apples, oranges and other fruits so a delicious fruit salad with the spices of Som Tam. The essential side dish is khao niau, the sticky rice. The typical meat to it is grilled chicken. Many people eat it as well with grilled catfish which has a soft meat and not so many bones. It is one of the dishes in any Isaan restaurant and will never be overlooked by Thais if you are going there. My favourite version is with fermented egg, it is fabulous!
Beware of thinking to compensate the lots of chilis you might find in the papaya salad. If you have by mistake ordered a too hot Som Tam, then eat a lot of sticky rice so that it is calmed down. If you on the other side want to wash it away with water, good luck, you just intensified the hotness. Just think of it similar other spicy food. As an example in the Turkish cuisine where you have bread to calm it down, in Thailand it is the rice.


 Sometimes, you are so far away from the reality that you can't believe when it catches you again. Such a thing happened on my actual last evening in Thailand. I was not expecting anything special anymore and just drove around the city and had some Thai food. There I met two guys from Canada. They took me around the pubs and bars of the city. It was a pleasant evening and I thought that I could keep it as a last good memory. I was very wrong with this estimation. It was in the second or third pub that we ran into a German guy. Actually, he ran into the bar as a madman and shouted wildly around. First, I could not figure what he wanted in this pub. He was already very drunk but that is a poor excuse. After nobody paid much attention for him, he rushed to the bar counter and screamed towards the bar tender 'Ich will was zum Ficken!' Unfortunately, from the same country, I understood that he cried out for somebody to fuck. I had respect for the country and hearing that yell, I felt offended. Knowing that my two new friends from Canada could guess what he was bellowing, I felt as well ashamed. Call me stupid, but I had the urge to do something. I tried calmly to tell him that his behaviour was out of order. His reaction on that was initially a shocked stare. Then he laughed out loudly 'You are fucking weird. Do not tell me that you are here for the temples or culture. That is fuck paradise number one on the planet!' I did not want to reply, I just wanted to smash my beer bottle over his dumb head. Fortunately, my Canadian friends saw that I went dark red and took me out of the pub. The German was kinda right. Most people came to Thailand because they wanted pussy. It is far beyond me to criticize that. However, it was a shock at that time and it made for me the final point that I did not want to go back to Thailand. 

On my way back to the guesthouse, I summarized about what I had seen in this country. My experiences were summed up with getting too involved with drugs, prostitution and stupid sex tourists. I thought that last night in Thailand, I had experienced a nightmare. I felt stirred up by the encounter with the German and I somehow could hardly see anything positive anymore. The dark sides of my journey to this country were throwing a shadow about anything nice that I had seen here. I honoured the people of the country, it had been nice to meet them. The food had become pleasant and an adventure. The weather was great but actually too hot. It was just that a lot of people came to the country that I would have never talked to back in Europe. Thailand was just too much on the beaten path. There had to be better countries in South East Asia. I was not the right person to mingle with most of Thailand's visitors. Then, which made it worse, I had even not been at places that sounded horrible such as Patpong, Soi Cowboy or Pattaya. I had only traveled on an alternative line and that shocked me most. I wondered how bad had the rest of the country to be?


It is a good idea to travel only at the departure day into Bangkok if you don't like cities, but in 1993 you had to be aware of a few things. My flight was in the evening and so I went in the late afternoon to Bangkok. There were stories about the traffic jam in the capital city. This could not be too bad. Four hours should be enough time to get from the central train station to the airport. I arrived at Bangkok's central railway station around four hours before departure. Taxis at that time were real adventures. Most taxis refused to run their meters. At present time they are compelled to run it. However, most tourists will not hand in a formal complaint. I had not been aware that all trains passed the International Airport so my whole enterprise was actually pretty stupid. If you do not waste time get yourselves more information as I did back in 1993. 

However, a strange holiday was rounded up by an insane ride with one of those motorway cowboys. Already in the first five minutes of the tour, I felt like in some kind of meth dream. First, I was offered to go for a beer somewhere because it was still a lot of time. I denied knowing that there are people who drug you and you will never get the flight back home if you do not have a coffin. Then he tried me to get laid. I had not gone to prostitutes all my holidays. There was no reason to do it on my last day. Again, you go for such a gamble and you might not have anything left at the end. The guy got seemingly disappointed and angry with me. He had never seen somebody like me who did not value these precious things of his country. Finally, his last shot was trying to persuade me to do some crack or speed. This got me so angry and I told him harshly off. I doubt that he understood the words but he saw my gestures, he finally shut up. At the airport I gave him a generous tip so that he would not get me into some trouble. After all, I should be thankful for this trip as I know from first hand experience that the stories about the taxi drivers are really true.

 Final impressions, me sitting on the floor of Don Muang. Smoking was still allowed, with a cigarette in my hand. Happy to get home. Many strange thoughts. Last final idea not to get a parcel stuck on me with illegal substances. Looking at the sex tourists and their not pretty girls. Would have never touched that. Finally going home. The boarding call, just out of here. Bye Bye Thailand. In these last hours, I did not even believe that I would see it again.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Part One - Chapter 5 -

Place: Koh Phangan
Time: September 1993


Traveling in Thailand at that time was compared to nowadays ancient. I had arrived with the train in Surat Thani. This was before the Lompraya Speed Boats that are leaving nowadays from Chumphorn. I was on the Songserm super ferry departing from Surat Thani. The ferries were massively huge but there were surprisingly not many people on the deck. The boat was full of cars and I had expected to see more passengers. The ship steered calmly through the waves. Most Thai people sat inside and enjoyed the air conditioning. This was much too cold for me. I was among a group of younger people enjoying the sun and the breeze in broad daylight. Around lunch time it became much too hot.  I spent half of the time inside of the ferry. As it was just too cold, I went out for some smoke breaks. It was not possible to go on direct way to Koh Phangan. There was the option of staying the night on Koh Samui or directly continuing my way. I had no desire to mingle with the tourists on Koh Samui. However, at that time you had to go over the biggest of the three islands in the Gulf of Thailand and then taking a connection vessel. I considered the distance between the mainland and Koh Samui about four times longer than between both islands. The ferry arrived on Koh Samui. We had to take a bus across the island to reach a small port. There, the boats were leaving to Koh Phangan. We had to wait a longer time for the connection. Then we were put then on a small fisher boat. The journey was quick and took only one and a half hours. The boats now leave from Chumporn and take only a forth of the time. They go directly and are much more comfortable.

Getting to the island was easy compared to the transport options provided on the island. My journey to the desired destination was far from over and it should become more adventurous.  It became dark by the time that we arrived. There were Songtaeos to the main beach Had Rin. It was not my plan to go there. Other destinations, mainly in the North of the island did not have this service. The best option was to stay close to the pier. Only the next morning, there would Songtaeos leave over the mountains to the North. I used travel guide books at that time. It was not suggested to go by motorbike in the night across the island. It was even advised not to take a motorbike at all on that island. Later, I discovered the facts about Songtaeos on the islands. 150 Baht for a ride across the island was far too expensive. The rent of a motorbike was 100 Baht for a day. However, I wanted to go to the small strip of beach called Had Khuat or Bottle Beach. In 1993, it was only possible to get there by hiking or taking a long tail boat. So, anyhow, a motorbike was out of question. Sometimes you just have to pay more if you want to go somewhere rather exquisite. Make your mind up where you want to go on the island and think about mobility. The choice should be between motorcycle to be independent or Songtaeo if you don't mind staying at one spot only.


Bottle Beach had a small reputation at the time of my first visit, I don't know the reasons how it got so famous among backpackers. I still do not know why Had Khuat has been compared with The Beach of Alex Garland. It was far less adventurous to come to the spot and not dangerous. The small secluded beach was a gem. Not many people had been there and people who had gone tried to speak about it as a boring place. Well, there were not any nightclubs or bars. Electricity was sparse and only in the restaurant in the evening. It had its charm and was idyllic. The beach had a long white sand strip and clear green water. Some kind of paradise, only for some people that wanted to win a distance to hectic civilization stress. Tourism had tried to enter but had stopped its invasion. Half of the bungalows had fallen down and showed no signs of attempts to repair them. Only one family ran the business of the only resort. It was a fantastic location for me, so peaceful and calm.  Of course it was a hidden place for most people. I hoped it would remain a secret spot for a longer time. This is probably the reason that it was so often compared to The Beach. Otherwise, it did not have much in common with the spot in the novel.

Another difference to the novel were the kind of people that I met at this beach. There was nothing of a hippie community but a crowd of nice people. All of us had a reason to come to that place. I think we were some species of shy, peace loving creatures who could not handle too much pressure of a modern world. We had relaxed contact with each other but left each other a large area of privacy. So we kept most time to ourselves. Sometimes, there were conversations in the restaurant. Most times we were just walking on our own through the jungle, swimming or just smoking weed. There were no closer relations or friendships going on. All of us just creatures living in a semi-hermit style. We were as well not depending on each other work as in the novel, we were just a bunch of backpackers off the beaten path.

Sometimes, I wonder that certain people can have an affect on the thinking, some you meet and others that you read or hear from. It was a great place to clear my thoughts. I met myself! Years of therapy can't help you so much as the opportunity to find inner peace. I could also say, it was some kind of therapy group under the supervision of a Swiss expatriate. He had stayed there a long time. More than a decade ago he had come to the beach. There he had met the daughter of the head of the police. The family controlled the island but was wary of visits from the cops from the mainland.  His family owned Bottle Beach and did not want to make it a too touristic place. They loved the nature and just wanted to live in peace. A hermitage for the wandering souls. If I would ever leave the western society behind, I did it the same way. There was a deeper meaning in going away from civilization and organised life to harmony with the environment. Many expatriates left only their country to make the same nonsense somewhere else, for me it should be different.

So far with real people but I spot now, a long time later, some coincidental parallels to fictive characters. It is almost funny for me that I shared one of the main thoughts of the main character of The Beach. '..though I wander through the valley of death I will fear no evil...'. A place like Bottle Beach back in 1993 can evoke the strangest ideas. I liked strolling, clad only in my sarong, under my Chiang Mai umbrella over the hot sand. I provoked the strangest comments. Some people even suggested me to wear a bra and go as farang kathoey. Now, looking back, we were all some species of birds of paradise. The main clothing were light like sarongs or only towels, shorts, and if it became too hot, some loose shirts. We did not give a fuck about conventions. We were far away from everything that your parents teach you. We were doing the strangest things. Even the spear fishing described in The Beach was practiced by Wilhelm, the Swiss guy who had stranded here. There were a lot of jellyfish and I experienced the pain if you swim into a swarm of them. TI was often too stoned to see the water clearly and blinded by the sun. One time, I found myself back in the middle of into nice assembly of these creatures. I got burned at both legs and arms and even at my back. As I came groaning of pain on land, Wilhelm was laughing his ass off.  There had been others before with the same fate. I fell nearly unconscious but learned that vinegar is the best medicine against the burns. I was rubbed by Gabriela, an attractive woman with a wonderful body, beautiful smile and apple sized tits, with it. The pain left me after a while, Gabriela did not. We spent the next two days mainly in my bungalow but then she had to return to Italy. I never saw her again. Some parts reading 'The Beach' remind me now how close we were in our behaviour to the imaginary characters.


One of the infamous highlights of the island is the Full Moon party, another the magic mushrooms. The party has become a real tourist event for backpackers, the shrooms can be enjoyed at other places of the island much better.

Now, most of you have probably heard of the Fullmoon Party at Had Rin. If we can trust in wikipedia, then this happening was created in 1985. Surely, the original initiators of this happening had never planned to become world famous only a few years later. It was not the festival that made my stay now even more attractive. I, basically, do not like parties of too many people and in that month, October 1993, there were over 50,000 people at the party. It was the gathering of the size of a small town. I am not a fan of that kind of mass hysteria. The party had obviously gone out of control.

One of the main reasons for me not to go there were the large crowd of people, the drugs and the connected risks. I imagined that this was the population of the small town where I went to school. All the people there gathered on acid and other drugs, well that would be scary. An additional point for me not to go there has always been the big accumulation of police officers. Following the estimates of a few people that I individually asked, then the amount of police man at this party is at least a tenth of the attendees. Fuck that! Always consider that you really do not want to be arrested only for having fun. In my eyes there was a problem with people who took the gamble and bought drugs to a gathering like this. Maybe they had not enough information, well stupidity does not protect from punishment. Eventually, they were not aware of the risks, well even travel guide books tell you about it! Or they did not deserve it better. For me, it was no fun thinking about an extension of my holidays in Suan Plu Prison. I did not see any sense as well in paying a lot of money to the officials. The risk for me was just too high! People should consider these setting if they want to do drugs. Drug consume is an individual choice but should be connected with a minimum of intelligence not to go a gamble. Just use common sense!

Another case are the magic mushrooms, if you can handle them then enjoy, if you can't then avoid them. The full moon can bring the best quality of mushrooms. A condition for it is previous rain fall. Then the shrooms grow excellently in elephant and buffalo shit. They are a much better option in comparison to other drugs. I like natural products much more than chemical garbage. However, there are some really tragic and funny stories connected with the consume. These are about people that have just no clue what they are doing when eating the fungi. You can hear all kind of stuff about people that were just not able to handle them. There are people going from Koh Phangan for a swim to Bangkok. Dickheads!


I have read a lot about drugs, experienced many and built my opinion about them. The biggest difference made between drugs is usually into dividing them into legal and illegal substances. There are hidden agendas about them. It is important to make your mind up about the basics to understand official opinion and not to drift into the cliche loaded mainstream thinking. Personally, it is important for me to explain you my thinking and attitude towards drugs so that you can understand what I am actually speaking about. 

The first category are the legal drugs. They are not prohibited but that does not mean that they are less harmful. There is a concept behind just allowing these substances. The industry wants you to be addicted! They produce drugs, clarify them as legal and this because out of business interests. Additionally, the effect of these drugs is to keep you in control. You need to work to be able to afford cigarettes and alcohol. So, they legalize stuff like cigarettes and alcohol that are much worse than ganja, shrooms and opium! However, they do not bring you on alternative thoughts and so you won't criticize the society out of a changed understanding. They are harmless for the exiting system where people are kept in line so that they do not understand that they have become slaves of a mechanism. They are not harmless for you but give you maybe the understanding of being an outcast through consuming them. If people think the intake of legal drugs makes them an outlaw, then this is simply laughable. These dudes should first stop taking all this legal shite! How can you be cool if you follow advertisements from professional marketing agencies? How can you claim to be a desperado if you are falling for tricks of the mass media? What did you actually want to achieve by taking drugs? Cigarettes and alcohol do a lot of things but certainly not giving you an expansion of your perception.

Then there are the clearly stigmatized illegal drugs, they are dangerous for the system but can be lethal for the consumer too. People should get more knowledge and think more before they are doing any kind of drug. This includes certainly the above mentioned legal drugs as well. Any kind of consume can drift into the direction of stupid drug abuse when people are unaware about the effects. There are in my view some certain rules about the intake of drugs. First, do not try your first time to experience any drug alone. Have a guide. This does not have to be a guru, medicine man or supervisor; just a really good friend. Then, do not play around with the drug in a competitive way. 'Hey man I can take more than you' is probably a pretty brain fucked approach. You are a shithead if you go for this kind of game. Sorry pal, you do not deserve to live. Get yourself some information about the drug. This has kept me away from doing some really crazy stuff by avoiding certain substances. So, as an example I have never tried and will never try smack. First, I do not like needles. Well, okay I know you can smoke it also on a cone. Second, the danger of addiction is too high. Again, I am aware that you can get away from it again. Just close yourself into your room for three days and decorate it with vomit. Still, not very attractive! You know what I mean? Do not try any stuff where you cannot evaluate the risk of it. In my case it is first the method how to take the goodies. Then, important for me is to know about the grade of addiction. If a drug can make you depending on it for life time, do not even try it. Otherwise, these illegal drugs can give you a deeper understanding of the world. This is the reason why they are dangerous for the ruling classes. It is not wished that people ask questions about reality. Certain, illegally declared drugs can bring you on other thoughts. Again, this is not wanted because the system has to be maintained without disturbing influences of people who start asking too many questions. We all shall only perceive a reality as we are trained like little rats by education, media and politics. Every kind of being divergent can destabilize the rules and norms of the society. Nobody has actually informed the broad masses that there might be alternatives. Only people that do not obey to the rules might come to different choices and take their opportunities. Many of the illegal drugs can support the users to suddenly experience another vision of the so called truth of life. The ruling classes are scared of that. They even inform by using all kinds of media that people do harm to their bodies by abusing drugs. This is true but there is the stronger hidden agenda to keep people in line by restricting opening opportunities to come to thoughts about different aspects of life.

However, I do not support drug consume as any compensation for something missed in life. I have only a positive approach towards drugs if they are seen as a supplement to have a better understanding of life.  Drugs are unfortunately mainly used to eradicate shortcomings in life but they will never be able to help the user to come over a personal deficit. This includes all kinds of drug consume which usually is abuse when people have the feeling to be unable to live without them. I am honest and admit that I am also in this group of people. I can't say that I am smart as long that I am smoking cigarettes. But come on, legalize weed and then I will not smoke any tobacco anymore! However, that's just me. Best still, keep your hands away from any drugs including cigarettes, alcohol, coffee and chocolate. Then you will never be endangered. You can for sure have fun without having ever tried any drug. Some people dare to say that drugs make happy. No, they don't! If you live only under drugs makes sense for you, sorry to tell you,  then you are just a poor pig, actually unable to live. Maybe you could find another purpose in life. Try to handle situations in a way that you feel happier without drugs. They can only contribute to a basic happiness. I personally do not need drugs to be happy. I am high on life! That is the best drug and it is for free! Just take care that they don't put you away because you were too happy! Otherwise, I can't support laws against drug consume as it should be everybody's own choice to do with his or her body.


  Magic mushrooms are a natural drug, but there are different kinds and only some give you an expansion of your mind. They are a traditional drug, many people have eaten them but might not admit it. Any farmer has direct access to them. They might not tell you. If a farmer takes them, they would get easily stigmatized. Imagine you tell your neighbours that you eat products that grow in buffalo shit. Particularly in the villages people are carful what they talk about. Now, on Koh Phangan, they have elephants and buffaloes. The best shrooms grow in elephant excrement. The ones harvested from buffalo shit can send you on a pretty bad trip if you are not careful. I had never bad trips on the ones in elephant dung. Now, you need to be pretty lucky if you have a good friend who has elephants. I have tried hard but I could never befriend an owner of them. So, even I had to buy them as I got a little bit too careful about the buffalo species. It must be a good sideline business for elephant farmers. These are not rich people and so you even support rural development. through a careful intake of just these magic mushrooms you can experience not only other colours but an inside view into the secrets of the planet.

On Koh Phangan you had sometimes to wait for the right time and then you need to know the right people to enjoy shrooms. We had waited a longer time for rain on the island and it finally arrived two days before full moon. This was the moment that we asked Wilhelm to organise us some of the elephant shrooms. We were around five people with an intense interest in them. Three of us had never eaten elephant shrooms, including myself. I had only the ones from buffalo shit before and was not yet fully convinced by them. I wanted to give this natural good one more chance to make my mind up. According to Wilhelm I might have to take a stronger dose as psilocybin was not new for me. Now, a final advice, never try to be the big super mushroom eater. You can embrace the shrooms on a certain level but never take so much that they fuck up your brain. You must be in control and can not expect to be lead by them on a nice journey. It was soon before departing from Thailand and I trusted Wilhelm to have the right knowledge to provide us with some quality.


As I said, never overdo any drug and never trust on your gut feeling. That is what I strongly believe all these swimmers to Bangkok got wrong. Maybe they even had a guide but gave him wrong information. If somebody is asking you if you had drug experiences with some stuff before, to hell with you being ashamed to look like an inexperienced person. All of us have done trough this state at some time. Just tell the person who gives the new substance to you the truth, or do you want to OD? Twat! I often wonder what people expect. They ask for some substance and are then surprised if it hits them like a hammer on the head. No wonder, it is like driving. Would you start driving with a Lamborghini as your second car? No, really not? Well, then do not expect your brain suddenly to jump from zero drug experience onto the dose of a person who has gone through years of drug abuse! That is pretty much the same! It is insane! So, get the point? Always be so fair that you do not turn the poor guy who gave you the drug into a fuckin murderer! Forget you gut feeling, forget your embarrassment, be honest with yourself and especially others around you.

Some people seriously believe in the concept of party drugs, that is another fucked up understanding. Mushrooms like most other drugs are not a party drug. There is a big difference if the founders of the Full Moon party took them or if people are using them now on this mass assembly. How can you enjoy the shroom if too many outside influences of loud music and too many people are pestling you? I wonder anyhow about the meaning of a party drug. I mean I do understand it with MDMA and Ecstasy. These are drugs that make you believe a feeling of being connected. So, yeah maybe they could be considered as a drug you should take in the gathering of many people. I have difficulties to gain an understanding how other drugs can be called party drugs. Do you want to enjoy the party or the  drug? Both together is only limited possible! Many people nearly worship but LSD as a party drug. I mean, are they complete losers or what? They can only experience then a part of the party and a part of the drug. This drug should never been taken in public to enjoy its limitlessness to experience colours and thoughts. Take that stuff alone in a forest or alone with your girlfriend at the beach that is fine. On a party it is not only pretty anti social, even worse you wasted time, money and drug impact. It is hilarious to see people on Psy-trance parties on acid.  They consume drugs and stumble around like zombies after a while. Hey great stuff, it really turns us on! Fuck no! Your behaviour just got fucked up and it is just not nice to be mentally out of control. Was the DJ really that shit that you had to escape into a fantasy reality? I mean, I speak from experience. It is not that I have never tried it. After a few times I knew that it was just a waste. If a DJ is shit, I just go away, I do not need the wanna-be musician as an alibi only to take drugs. However, I like well-mixed hard techno and psy-trance but I get pretty annoyed by all the zombies on the dance floor.  But however you want to enjoy your kind of drug, it is fine with me. That were only my 5 cent to it, I am not a drug guru, far from it. In the end I was pretty happy to be on Bottle Beach to enjoy the shroom and not on some stupid party.


I was happy to be surrounded by nice people and in a remote environment so that I had high expectations for the mushroom experience. In the evening the ordered shrooms were put into omelets. Trust me, they are not delicious at all. So, do not eat them raw. Now, like with most drugs, the best impact of them is if you have not eaten for a longer time before. My last meal had been a light breakfast. Wilhelm was really a master of prescribing each of us the most suitable doses.  After a while, all of us were peacefully drifting away. I went back to my bungalow and had another joint. Actually, this was not necessary. However, after the meal I wanted something to smoke and didn't want to spoil the trip with tobacco. The first half hour nothing happened to me. Wilhelm had told all of us to be patient. Then, after a while, my senses got more aware from hidden parts of the environment. It started very quietly, I heard some distant voices. They had such a beauty in them that I doubted them to be human. Some sweet sound was in the distance, first I could not figure what it was. Then, I identified it as a pan flute. It was playing a sweet melody. A sign that the god of nature walked around. I heard soft giggling, that must have been fairies. We were all protected by the nature. 'Do never talk about us', kind voices told me. 'Keep us away from the modern world. We are scared.' A sign to be on the right path. 'One day you will live in Thailand.' I giggled, that were clear signs of hallucinations. 'You will find love here.' I still had myself under control. Slowly I started to understand why some victims could not stand the experience of the shrooms and thought to escape by swimming. The sea made a nice background with its soft waves against the shore. It was tempting to go just into the water. Suddenly, Gabriela rode out of the water on the back of a huge water dragon.  This kept me back from going for a swim. Obviously my subconsciousness kept me back from being stupid. I relaxed again, the lovely melody continued now further away. I saw multiple colours bound torainbows in the distant on the dark night sky. Everything around me turned into nature's calm embrace of beauty. Illusions were playing in front of my eyes, the leaves started now talking to me. They used a language I could not understand. My mind was relaxed and mellow, still aware of my surroundings. I was at home!

The aftermath or rebound from drugs can be quiet disturbing. After a trip I usually feel empty inside and missing something. I had slept over night in my hammock in front of my primitive shelter. I woke up at first sunlight. The impact of the psilocybin was calmly swallowed by the pure existence of nothing, I went for a swim in the first rays of a new day. The ocean was softly splashing at my half naked body. I felt like being in the softness of a mother's womb. The little pearl in the soda glass. The stream of lightening in the universe. Of course, I did not have any intention swimming to Bangkok. You have to control the drug and the rebound as well. I had handled it well, the drug had not taken control over me. I spent a longer time in the water and came out as it began to be too hot. Happily, I had my breakfast. The smiles of the other space travelers told me that they had also enjoyed a brilliant trip. There was not much talking that morning. Everybody must have felt the way that silence built a much better connection than making any sound. Sometimes there was a spoon dripping against a plate and even that I considered already as a disturbance. I was a little bit sad as well. After such an experience it is difficult to stay longer at the same place. In a few days my plane back to Germany would depart. I had slowly to get ready for my trip back to Bangkok. Wilhelm must have been able to read thoughts or to understand the feelings as he came over to me. He put his hand on my shoulder and said 'Yes, so is it. This happens to all of us.'

This is a long time ago, my attitude has changed since then. Do not do any drugs if you really love your life. You will be missing on so many opportunities and beautiful things if you drop too much of any substance. There is no overdosis on life, just on drugs. I have lost a few friends through drugs and well yeah nowadays I am pretty happy to be alive. Drugs are for sure a kind of experience but after a time you can forget that you 'only' wanted to try it out. There are too many people who were decent at one time no longer really living because they lost the plot.  


There are two things that can change a place massively, people that talk too much and travel guides. Circumstances that have never made me happy were to know that places would change. Later on, I was even suggested never to go back to a place because you will be most times disappointed. Sometimes this happens even accidentally through the people that loved them most. I did only tell my closest friends about my experiences at Bottle Beach. Those friends did not have any intention to come to Thailand. This made it rather secure that information did not fall into the wrong hands or minds. Contrary, many people have the feeling that they could not prove themselves as 'superheros' at nice places. They make stories up that place them into the center to compensate some shortcomings. They want to sound important and propose themselves as the main characters. Usually, they don't care that their fantasies will attract more people to go there. Maybe it is some kind of revenge, they did not have fun so they want to bring down the place. The worst scenario is if these losers even start to write travel blogs or even travel guides. I always see them fuck it all up. Such in the last year as I was shocked to see an article 'The 10 most beautiful undisturbed islands of Thailand'. I mean, have these guys actually a brain and can apply logic? I think they can't. They are so full of themselves to be the first to write about these places. I mean, I could write also about a lot of locations that are still beautiful. I just don't. That has nothing to do with an ability to write. I know that I am probably not even average as a writer in their eyes. But, out of my ordinary perspective, these people suffer mental disturbances. They think that their writing is more important than balance in nature. Do you want to ask me to give you suggestions about spots without tourism? Piss off! I am a complete egoist and will not tell you anything. I still want to enjoy these nice locations in a decade or so. I am also not a whore to sell out the secrets pleasures at sweet locations. Write some fiction if you have the brain for it. Don't contribute to really fuck up this planet. Try to be creative, try to find your own way around. It is not difficult to look into a travel guide, compare it with a map and visit just those places that is not written about. I mean that does not even need a lot of thinking. The guys that dare to write about undisturbed places open them up for wankers that would otherwise be too scared to go there. Those journalists give information to the lazy people who are just no adventurers.  Yes, of course even explorers have impact on a place. Look, even Alex Garland did not write about any real place. Good on him! However even the mentioning of Had Rin and Koh Phangan had unfortunately some impact. The places were changed before and as his book was published in 1996. So, he did not do too much damage anymore. However, others should be ashamed about the work that they do for money of the establishment. I understand that people suffer stress and need holidays. Send them to Phuket, go to Koh Samui. These are places that are already spoiled. Just, these travel writers should not rob us of the hidden pearls! Therefor, I do not like people talking too much about secret places or even writing dumb articles and publishing them on the net or books.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Part 1 - Chapter 4 -

Place: Lampang, Sukhothai
Time: September 1993


This little provincial town was a big change to Chiang Mai as it did not have much to offer for the ordinary tourist. My experiences in this city were so forgettable that I vaguely remember the visit. I wanted to move slowly southward and this was my first stop. After I had left Chiang Mai, I was still not in the condition to travel for a long time. I wanted to make only small steps. The city of Lampang was only two hours away. It seemed far enough to be my next destination. I wanted to see an even more extreme Western town eventually with saloon and real Thai cowboys. I was kinda disappointed as I saw that this town was mainly boring. There were no bars, only a couple of restaurants and the only Go-go club seemed to be closed on that day. Of course, I still wanted to move away off the beaten path but I had not expected complete boredom. But it had zero entertainment. It was also short on guesthouses but there were a few options of cheap hotels around the bus station. The most attractive thing to do was watching the carriages with their decorated horses. They drove the few tourists around in the city. I rented a motorbike to be a little bit more flexible. Still, it was not exciting even in the closer surroundings of the city. I could hardly see anything of interest. Maybe, I had been just too long already in the North. I had gotten used to the lifestyle and the nature. Chiang Mai was full of excitement and it was hard to get something comparable. Maybe, I was just even too tired for more adventures and did not look for it. Basically, I had already mentally finished with North as an episode of my journey. Lampang was not able to hold me for a longer time, maybe a good place to live but not good for holidays.


Before I came to this city, I had only experienced a little bit of Thai food culture. Lampang did not have options for western food or western restaurants. In this respect, it became my real entrance into Thai cuisine. I still smile when I think how naive I was before. I entered for the really first time a local restaurant. I had read and heard that you shall mainly go into restaurants which are frequented by locals. I had avoided this so far. this city helped me with the non-existing western food options to really get used to it.

I had some previous attempts trying Thai food but they were rather bizarre but not fantastic. In Chiang Mai, after the Khao Tom experience I had dined mainly with Thai friends or in rather western restaurants. I understand many people being misguided by their first experience with Thai food. People want to enjoy their holidays. I can emphasize with the people who tried local food one time but were disappointed. Instead of continuing having dreadful experiences with local food and spoiling their holidays, they might not try it again. I was forced on my course to just go the same way by my visit of Lampang. I am grateful, that I learned more about Thai food through visiting this city. Thai cuisine is fantastic! It might be difficult to get the right entrance into it, but rather try a few times before concluding an opinion. It might be difficult to really get hold of it at times. I had tried Thai food on the trekking tour and I could not really say that I liked it. My most bizarre experience in Chiang Mai had been the Chinese noodle soup with bits of ganja in it.  Now, this ganja soup did not have any poisoning impact on me. It was really tasty and so I had eaten it a few times. Ganja actually is a herb of Thai culture. Therefor, I loved the adventurous side of some of Thai food but did not value it yet.


Thai authorities had to allow ganja but didn't actually declare it as legal. It was at this time tolerated but not allowed to smoke it. The herb was used as a spice and for natural healing. Therefor, it was never a real surprise for me as modern science finally has been honest enough to speak about its medical advantages. In Chiang Mai, the ganja soup had the reputation of strengthening and good against cold and asthma. Yes, as Peter Tosh sang, the only cure for Asthma. There are quite a lot of urban legends around that getting caught with the herb could be punished harshly. In 1993 that was by far not the case. Probably, some stupid backpackers got caught in stoned conditions by police officers who scared them and so they paid too high fines. My general rule should be known by now - don't be an idiot! If you were smart enough, you could always find a grey zone where the officials could not act against you.


I began my journey into Thai cuisine, as above mentioned, rather accidentally in Lampang. I did not see any restaurant that I passed with a lot of people so I just went into one that looked quite nice. The menu was in Thai. One of the other customers helped and asked me what I wanted. Somehow, I wanted to eat fish. As I had heard, fish in Thailand is usually delicious. There are different seafood restaurants. At some of them you can pick your fish out of a tank and it will be prepared for you. Others just have a menu which includes fish that has been bought on the market.  Fish is not that expensive at the later ones. It is still tasty and I can suggest to try the fish first at these. I had no idea how Thais ordered their food. So, I just ask for one kind of fish where I saw from the price that it was not the cheapest but still in my budget. I got a nice looking fish but then I saw my mistake. I had not ordered any rice. In Thailand, whatever you order, you get it face value. You will not get any salad othe complimentories if they are not listed on the menu. You have to order the rice separately.Well, yeah, listening sometimes does help. I should have just agreed to get extra rice. I was not aware that extra did not mean that I got fish and rice and then one more time rice. It simply meant to order rice and the fish separately. There is a difference between the understanding of side dishes between Europe and Thailand. We expect the rice to be a side dish in the West. In Thailand anything that you order to the rice is the side dish. Rice is the most important part of a real Thai meal! Lesson learned, it never happened to me again that I overlooked to order the rice. Thais do not expect you to order rice but it is the main part and needs to be ordered additionally. There are so many different kinds of rice that this is even not a surprise. How shall the waiters know what kind of rice do you want? However, you will order first the side dishes and the rice at last item. The fish was fantastic. Thais as well differentiate between different parts of the country between Thai and Isaan food. This food from the Northeast of the country is usually spicier, hotter and does not feature the same dishes. After a few years I figured out that I had actually not eaten northern Thai but Isaan (Northeastern) food. It was my first really delightful local meal in Thailand and I started to love the cuisine.


My first experiences with a Thai approach to technology was a bit of a surprise as I traveled to Sukhothai. For the first time, I choose to go with an air conditioned bus in Thailand. I had made my reservation the day before and the bus started surprisingly for me on time. In this bus I got amazed by the Thai philosophy of turning the bus into a moving refrigerator. The only person not prepared for it was of course me. Well, I was the only foreigner on board. Fortunately, I had bargained on the night market in Chiang Mai a comparable thick hill tribe jacket. My bags, I had put into the luggage department at the end of the bus. I wanted to have more space and so I did not want to have too much space occupied by my bagpack. If it had not been the thick jacket, I had frozen the four hours of the journey. Next lesson learned, never travel in light clothes in the buses in Thailand. Always, have at least a jacket or a blanket that you can cover yourself. It is getting really cold in theses buses. After half of the way, we made one stop of around twenty minutes. There, I was up for the next surprise. The Thai passengers put on jackets to protect against the sun. This astonished me again. Most of them had a blanket over themselves in the bus. I had expected that everybody would feel similar like me and try to get some heat. This was based on a misconception. Thais do not like to get dark and try to keep out of the sun. Thais consider dark skin as not beautiful. It is pretty amusing for them to see the choice of girls of most foreigners. Many tourists in Thailand have dark skinned girls. Might that be because those women look even more exotic? On the journey to Sukhothai, I did not have the knowledge about a few things and so the Thai behaviour was something to wonder about.

My arrival in Sukhothai was not that nice as I had expected it from a town with very high cultural reputation.  I would have expected a town fully turned to the tourism and equipped with everything kept in pleasant conditions. I arrived in Sukhothai in the early afternoon. It was enough time to look for a good and cheap guest house. There is where the problem started, I don't know why people there did not care at all of providing well kept accommodations. I had expected to have a quite good selection opportunity. Sukhothai's Historical Park attracted people from all over the world. The site itself is one of the three most important Buddhist sites in the world. The guesthouse owners in Sukhothai, mainly with Chinese heritage, did not care about accompanying the cultural value with similar housing. They seemed to be eager representing dirt and greed. All guest houses and cheap hotels were stank in filth. They were not close to the standard of guesthouses in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. In some of these places it looked like somebody had smeared the shit from his hands directly on the wallpaper. In others the toilets were overflowing and the water stood in the entire guest house on the floor. It was disgusting! The owners must have estimated that visitors of the Historical Park could live up with staying in, literally, shit! This made my choice for staying only one night easy. Probably, most tourists or at least most back packers were forced to think the same. The people that provided accommodations were surprised by my remarks and critic.  They looked at me as they thought 'you want to stay here? go to the Historical Park and piss off again!' They did not give a fuck about the conditions of its hotels, and this included hospitality. I have rarely seen so many angry and impolite people then in this city. Clearly, they wanted money. Obviously, they did not want to give a fair deal to the visitors. In the end, I had luck not to have any bed bugs. Fortunately, I did not get any virus from sleeping there. This was definitely misunderstood hospitality. I was honestly disappointed from the conditions except the Historical Park itself.


I love Thai history and culture, I hope to bring it with the following short description closer to you. Thai culture as we understand it now, started in Sukhothai. At that time, it was not Thailand but Siam. Sukhothai was the first capital city of the Kingdom of Siam. However, it was not during Siamese reign that this city was built. Before the father of King Ramkhamhaeng started in this city the over 750 years long history of Siam and Thailand, he had to liberate it from the Khmer. Many people speak of Sukhothai as the first capital city of Siam. Well, indeed this is true. As said above, it was build by the Khmer during the Angkor Kingdom. Many sites such as also Pimai, near Nakhon Ratchasima, and Buriram were built before the existence of a Siamese Kingdom. Sukhothai had been a long time a vassal state of Angkor. This powerful kingdom declined around 900 years ago. In 1238, finally the first Siamese capital started to rule the region. It must have been an amazing time. In the Sukhothai Era Buddhism and called the religion's golden time. It was still free of influences from Brahmanism. These were introduced by the first kings of the following capital city, Ayutthaya. Sukhothai was in so far the cradle of Thai civilization as the third rule King Ramkhamhaeng introduced the Thai alphabet. This has beenknown as Lai Sue Thai. Witness of this are stone inscriptions which can still be seen in the city. Sukhothai quickly developed and had many vassal states. It expanded in the South to the Gulf of Thailand, in the North to Phrae and Northeast until nowadays Laos Luang Prabang. In the period of Sukhothai, Siam already started trading with China. After the death of King Ramkhamhaeng, the kingdom declined and was finally taken over by the kingdom of Ayutthaya. This new city established itself as the new leading kingdom of Siam. So far to the history of this city where the Historical Park features impressive buildings and statues from.

The Historical Park of Sukhothai has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this is more than justified. Now, the area is so large that there are different possibilities of transport to get around. In 1993, it was not yet divided into different zones. Therefor it is very different for the visitor nowadays, with its five areas. I would not be able to tell you which zone to go to, I enjoyed the pleasure of not being limited. I had to pay only one time and rented a bicycle to go around. I would not suggest to walk this area. It is too large, the distances between the temples, shrines and Buddha figures can be a few hundred meters. An additional factor which makes it difficult to get an impression by foot is the weather. I was in late September there and it was close to the rainy season in Thailand. Still, the sun burned so hot down that I had a super sunburn after two hours, even before lunch time. The park itself is wonderful. I think, there are over 50 sites on an area of over 70 square kilometers. Even, if you choose only to visit the closest sites, then you will have to spend a few hours. So, I cycled around and enjoyed until the early afternoon. It was fantastic to be culturally surrounded by the early culture of Thailand. It is just impressive. So, my suggestion, take your time to enjoy this fantastic site. 


 The only thing that was at the time of my visit outstanding was the Historical Park. I hope that Sukhothai has changed in the last two decades. There is nothing worse than not caring about the customers. The city lives from tourism and it is a shame that the people did not realize that already at the beginning, around forty years ago. The really bad conditions that I experienced have kept me back now for more than20 years of a second visit. That is a way to loose credit and not to make more profit. Some people think only about the fast profit. These are in Thailand mainly the Chinese Thai. I have made also further really bad experiences with them. If greed and fast money making overcomes real values of a touristic city, it can very fast loose its flair. The visit of Sukhothai finished my time in the North of Thailand, I departed with the night train to Bangkok and continued further to Surat Thani.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Place: Chiang Mai
Time: September 1993


I had to follow my faith, set by me from the loss of my trekking boots and the horrible condition of my feet, and went back to Chiang Mai. My feet definitely needed to recover and the biggest city in the North seemed  the best place for that. I was not able to walk around or even hike around Mae Hong Son anymore. In Chiang Mai I would know some nice people and I loved the city. All around it looked a much more convenient place. As previously mentioned, whenever something negative happens to me I see it as an omen. I entered the evening bus in Mae Hong Son and my exhaustion sent me into a good night sleep. The next morning I woke up on Chiang Mai's bus terminal. I felt some kind of strange embrace by the place as if it had missed me.

Thai names can be very confusing so that you sometimes even do not know from the beginning if you are talking to a guy or a girl. One of my first impressions with Thai names was meeting my friend Pee Pee. The day that we had been introduced, I told him after we had exchanged our names that it was okay to go to the toilet. 'No, that's my name. My name is Pee Pee.'  Strange, the guy had been punished for life by his parents. Well, they could not know that he would have to do a lot with foreigners later on. Yes, indeed Thais do have weird names. I have met a lot of Pots, Pees, Shits, Dongs, Lakes, Corns, Guns and Teas in my long time in the country. Sometimes, these names are even not gender specific. This can cause  the craziest misunderstandings. Be careful if you meet a flat breasted woman with short cut hair and she tells you, having a cold, in a deep voice her name. The same happens of course to beer belly, man boobed guys with long hair. They might talk to you with high pitched voices, so don't think you have met a woman then. An additional factor to increase this confusion is the facial powder which mean and women like to put on in public. Therefor, do not take a name as a guarantee about the gender of the person.

Getting around in a Thai city needs some experiences, tolerance and a lot of patience. Most challenging are thereby to pick the right means of transport. The way to the bus deport for picking up my boots seemed much too far for walking. So, I took one of the Songtaeos.  This are pick-up trucks with a roof at the loading platform and two benches on the sides. Originally, their only colour was red. Now, you can see them in all different shades. They drive around in most cities of the country. Unfortunately, even when the price is written at the back, it is often more expensive for tourists. Only if you are able to communicate in Thai then you might get the right price. This was many years before I learned the language. However, in Chiang Mai, at that time, it was possible for me to bargain a bit. Still, I had to pay triple the common fee. This was in the end still a much better deal than foreigners usually get. On islands like Koh Samui or Koh Phangan you will be clearly ripped off. It is much better to rent a motorcycle. This is much easier than to bargain prices and to wait until one passes, especially in the night. As I was the last time on Koh Samui, the rent of a motorcycle was about 30% below the price of a single ride in the Songtaeo. In Bangkok on the other side you don't have to pay a special farang price. It is often the cheapest way to get around. Reading Thai is sometimes essential. Just don't be shocked that these vehicles are over-loaded. Sometimes you have to stand cramped like fish in the back. People are positioned on any possible place and the car bends particularly in rush hour extremely down at the rear. So, be tolerant to other passengers, the drive and drive style and let's be honest it should be fine that you just paid a dollar more than the locals.

People will help, like and invite you when you are not an ass. The bus depot had good news for me. They had found the boots. I received them happily. This problem was solved. I started to believe that Thais are very honest people. Now, I went to Pee Pee's house. Man that sounds strange! I met the artist in his home together with his student Micky. He got his name from reading Mickey Mouse comics. My friend had sad news for me. Pee Pee had to leave in a few days as well. He was hired from his local temple to renovate the wall paintings. Another part of his work would be to decorate new buildings with his art. This made him very proud. He had only a few days left in Chiang Mai and was waiting for his brother to pick him up. He offered me to join him but I had other plans. I promised to visit him the following year. I was happy being invited as that showedme that I was really appreciated and not only seen as the foreign intruder.


Thais are not very reliable and full of surprises, this describes as well men as also women. That evening, I was waiting for Pee Pee in the Bar Beer Center. My friend did not turn up. Instead, I met a German guy who lived in Sweden. He had been already a few times in Thailand. We got on very well and drove around in the city. Chiang Mai. We found a nice club with a lot of students and young people. We mingled among the students and met two young ladies. They took us for dinner on a floating restaurant at the river. The Swede, Michael, developed quickly an intense relation with one girl. She spoke pretty well English. She told us to be a tour guide. We planned with her quickly a tour to some amazing waterfalls for the following day. The other girl, her name was July, was less interesting. She did not talk much. When she spoke, then with a bit deeper voice. She must have had a cold. I asked her if something was not alright. But she told me to be just fine only a little bit tired. She was yawning at times, so why should I not believe her. I was charmed by her beautiful smile. I liked her unconventional behaviour. She was just the opposite of the girls back in Germany. The girls wanted to go to one more club. I left my motorcycle locked at the restaurant and drove on July's backseat. I felt her muscular hips. Later, in the club, she told me that she had to help her mother with the washing for tourists.  I had no problems with working class girls. So far, I had like the evening and was surprised that young Thai women were not scared of us foreigners.

I think it is pretty normal in life that things do not develop the direction that you are aiming for, sometimes this bring even more fun and excitement. this evening did first develop into the direction, let's hang out, buy a few drinks and get the girl into your bed. At the time that we arrived at the next club I still felt sober. I had not drunk that much this evening and was ready for some more damage. For a few hours, we danced into the night. Around two o'clock in the morning I felt slightly drunk. There had to happen something. July offered me some strange looking drink. I did not trust this to be the right thing formy stomach and declined it. maybe I should have not done that, maybe something warned me, I don't know, I just did not take it. Strangely enough, July turned her attention to an older fat guy from Germany. Well, if I spoilt some of her fun, so be it! This change in the setting  gave me time to make some observations. i discovered that some of her friends had as well pretty deep voices. Did they all suffer under some mysterious sickness? I felt like struggling in a nightmare. I guessed that I got slowly much too drunk. Or did they maybe drug me? I suddenly wished to get away from these people, this club, this scenery and just go home. Maybe I was just fed up not getting enough care of the girls. I walked out of the club and away. The restaurant and so my bike was not far away. Well, this time the change in the development had not brought too much fun nor excitement but the evening was far from being over.

I have been in twilight situations all my life, I tried always to stay in control, in this night in Chiang Mai, the control was almost taken away from me. After I had left the club, I walked through the night in some dimly lighted alleys. It seemed peaceful, not many people were at that time out on the street. After a few hundred meters, I approached a guy with a transparent shopping bag. He was standing in the shadows, having a smoke. Under his arm he had a transparent shopping bag with a lot of white stuff in it. I  did not know Thailand that much and did not suspect anything. I had no clear sight on the bag. It could have been everything in it. Only as I came closer I saw that it was filled with some kind of white powder. Still, I did not have any prejudices and did not want to discriminated the man of being adrug dealer. Then, without a warning, the guy came swiftly closer to me. He stretched his arm out. I was afraid that I would discover a gun in it. Still new in the country I had no idea about criminality in Chiang Mai. He saw that I was looking at him considerately still curiously. He smiled broadly and offered me
'good heroin, directly from the Golden Triangle.'
'No, thank you', knowing the situation in Thailand from stories of some friends, I knew not to trust anybody here about drugs. What attracted the guy anyhow to ask me? Had I landed in the wrong quarters? Was it my long hair? I don't know!
'Rally cheap, you can sell to your friends.' The guy continued hassling me.
Well, nothing about drugs is free in life. Particularly heroin for my friends? Fuck off, I am not killing my mates!
I tried to continue walking but he blocked the way. He really had the plan to force that stuff on me.
'Your last chance!'
What the fuck? Was that going to be dangerous? What if I would not take anything. Okay, then I just ended up here on the street, still better than in a Thai prison.
'No, man. I think you got the wrong guy!'
He turned around, whispering 'If you tell the police I am going to kill you.'
Well mate, I guess you were police. Would not be surprising if you just failed to nail a tourist that looked for your understanding too much like a hippy.
As he walked away, he lifted his shirt at one side slowly and I could see his gun. That was completely not necessary! Philosophy of my life, you don't mess with me and all is good. He let me pass and I started to walk away. I was still afraid that he might following me. I turned around but the entire street looked empty now. Until today I am asking myself if everything was only my own, probably drugged in the club, perception or if it really happened. I was lucky and that made me happy. I had stayed in control and not lost it. This was one of the scariest experiences in my life and it was so deep in twilight that it was one of the darkest shades of grey.

I had enough events for that night, but sometimes things are just happening in streaks and it is hard to bring them to an end. The night was farfrom over for me, I was too confused that I would have found sleep quickly. I found my bike at the same place that I had left it. A drink was what I needed now. It was almost 3 o'clock in the morning. This did not mean anything in Chiang Mai. The city did hardly sleep and I had been up already through a few others nights. I knew one place where the music was okay and usually nobody bothered me. I went to it only for a beer. There were not the same prostitutes inside as a fortnight ago. A few new hookers isat around and only one or two other customers. The last time I had been in the bar, I had a good chat with the Mama San. She did not seem to be there this night. As soon I had sat down, a figure hardly being able to walk on her high heels came towards me. Then she took her place directly beside me. I glanced at her and saw a want-to-be woman with a massive body. She had hardly any tits or should I refer to them as moobs? The massive Adam's apple did not arouse me at all.  Then the figure started talking to me. Really, that was the last thing that I needed in this night.
'You can buy me a drink' the person was directing to me
After the events of the past hours, I was just did not care about being friendly anymore.
'No, I am not in the mood and have come in only for one beer.'
'That's a brothel, honey'
Oh, please don't call me that. I am not you honey and you won't be my sugar.
'Yeah, and I think I have know it longer than you.'
'You can get to know me sweetie. I can give you everything.'
Now I really felt unpleasantly estranged. Particularly as this person stretched out her middle finger and started licking it.  No, really stop that shit. Just now. Stop it!
I finished quickly my beer. The shemale put her hand on my leg. Horrible, really disgusting.
'I think I better pay now.'
'Oh darling, have just one more. I pay for you but you take me with you.'
'No. just the bill. I want to go to bed.'
'Oh, yeah take mewith you. I make you happy.'
The person accompanied her demand by touching me between the legs. That gave me completely the creeps. A kathoey harassing me sexually. I had to do something.
'Let me my peace, will you?  You are not my...type.'
'Oh you don't want me. You don't like me'. You want to fight me now?'
I did not even respond to that crap. I put double as much money on the counter than i had to pay and started walking out. The shemale tried to grab me but I luckily avoided it and went out. Just home, just sleep. Enough for this evening.
 I was happy to end this evening. If going to bed was the only option to end this strange chain of happening that night, then it just had to be that way.


A place can suddenly change its flair or face, depending on experiences, it is always good to evaluate locations new. The next morning, I woke up late. I had the feeling that I had escaped a nightmare. What was wrong with this city so suddenly? Or was it my own personal awareness that had now caught up with me. Did now suddenly tell me something to leave this town? Had i perceived the wrong signs as I had thought it was faith that sent me back here? Or was there a deeper meaning connected with this place that was far out of the reach of my understanding?  I had learned something the previous night. Before I came to conclusions about Thailand, I should first approach this country very carefully. It had not only that smiling face which most tourists saw on their holidays. There was a dark side which many visitorsdid not see. If they saw it they did not understand it. If they did not understand it they would never come to the same conclusion as me. Oh no, I did not dare to think that I had been enlightened through this single night about the country. There were doubts and questions about this country. I did not think that I even wanted to know the answers. It was much more comfortable to try to avoid such weird settings in the future. It was much easier to concentrate on the nice sides of Thailand. This included shopping, having good climate, seeing nice sights and just enjoying the exotic people, at day time. I sstill wanted to buy some stuff on the night bazaar amd spend some more time with my friend Pee Pee. I walked to his gallery and we had some breakfast. Surprisingly, as I told him my story of the night before, he started laughing and told me that I was not alone with my discoveries. He explained me that Chiang Mai was not a good place. If I really wanted to enjoy Thailand, I had to go to small villages to see the people there. I wondered if this statement was in direct connection that he was leaving for his home province. Did he only want to convince me to come to visit him? I did not want to conclude my evaluations about Thailand but I decided to be more carefully before I made my mind up.

Sometimes, you can smile if things do not develop the way that you initially wanted such a case should be for me the story with July. Michael dropped in a few hours later into the gallery. He was accompanied by the fat German dude from the previous night. The guy, called Dirk, had red eyes as if he had not slept the previous night. Maybe he had also cried through it. Dirk told us the story what had happened with July. I had to keep myself under control not to laugh out loudly. He had taken the girl back to his hotel room. There, he had wondered why she did not undress. She wanted to rest fully dressed in her clothes. First, he had considered that the girl was too conservative. He regretted that she did not want to have sex with him. He had only slept a short time in the night. He described that he could hardly control his desire to make sweet love to her. In the morning he had woken up whilst July was giving his dick a good and long rub. However, Dirk explained us that he had tried to put his hand gently between her legs. The woman jumped up quickly, ran out of the room, washed her hands and left urgently his hotel room. Now, Dirk thought that he had insulted July's culture. He told us that he had fallen in love to her.He was very afraid of loosing her. Pee Pee had kept serious all the time. He followed deeply in thoughts the story and listened to Dirk. Then he looked very seriously at the man and asked him without showing any emotion if he was gay. Dirk first stuttered around, then got slightly red and insisted to love only women. In this moment, I was already very relieved that the story had not progressed in my favour.

I was surprised to see my Thais friend to get to such a conclusion out of the story. He had many foreign friends and heard probably the same story over and over again. It just did not make any sense to me to think of the possibility that this would be the behaviour of explicitly a kathoey. My friend tried to give his best advice in that situation and told Dirk
'I think you should forget about her. I am not sure but I could tell you if I met her.'
Fortunately, Michael's new girlfriend had  july's telephone number. Pee Pee was able to convince the girl to drop by. She was there only a few minutes later.  Her mother's washing service was just around the corner. Pee Pee and July went outside and discussed for a short time. Then, he came back and asked Dirk to go and talk to July. She wanted to speak with him. Pee Pee advised the German to consider if he was really ready to build up a relation to a young man or if he rather preferred women. Obviously, my fiend had from the beginning come to the right conclusions.

I think the first thoughts that Westerners have  about lady boys are often influenced from an insecurity about their gender specifics. There are many signs which make a difference between women and Kathoeys. One of the most obvious signs is definitely the Adam's apple. Women just don't have one! Even if you have missed a lot of biology classes this should be clear for any intelligent man. Another sign that has worked for me a long time is voice recognition. No Thai woman will really speak like Amanda Lear. If you hear a baritone or a scratching in the voice than it is almost for certain no woman. Particularly, listen to the way how the person speaks in her own language. Another factor is that these people usually behave over women like so to speak. They act even more female than you would expect from a real female. Further, there are signs in the hip and in the shoulder structures which distinguish kathoeys.  Otherwise, just be lucky and never try to get a woman on a first date into your bed. One night stands become popular in Thailand but are not common yet. so, do not try to force yourself on a woman or in other words, don't be a cunt.
How Dirk's story ended, I did not actually care for. There are even men who are happy to be together with a lady boy, not because they are confused, some like it that way.


A place can loose its attraction if the people that you connected it with are leaving, the best cut is to spice the stay with doing something nice at the end.  I had associated with Chiang Mai through the artist circle around my friend Pee Pee. He told me that he was leaving the following day and a couple of his companions were supposed to join him. A temple in his home province of Nakhon Ratchasima, or Khorat, was waiting for the artist. They had a bigger project and needed all kind of artists. The departure of my friend made Chiang Mai suddenly a lot less attractive for me. I wanted to round up my visit of this town by a visit on the night market. This amazing place offers you a wide variety of clothes, jewelry, food stuff and much more. It is for sure the most amazing market in the North. On the other side you do not have to go to Chiang Mai only for shopping. The offered goods are usually only slightly cheaper than on the Jatujak market in Bangkok. It is more the cultural side of the market which is unique.  The finest of northern dancing is displayed. It is a pleasure for the heart to  enjoy the sweet flowing movement of northern Thai beauty dances. I am not certain if Chiang Mai really features the most beautiful Thai women but these dancers are very sweet and amazing figures. This rounded up my visit of the capital of the North and was a very harmonic ending.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016



Place: Mae Hong Son
Time: September 1993


In the beginning of my visits to AsiaI really loved the bus journeys. However, they could be painful at times. I had hardly slept the night before as the fan in the room was much too noisy. My Thai artist friends had celebrated a birthday with a lot of alcohol. I suffered terrible headaches. I had planned to leave Chiang Mai on that day. It was time to continue my trip through Thailand. I had chosen to go to Mae Hong Son, the westernmost province of Thailand. My way would go over Pai through the mountains. It should take 8 hours to the province (Changwat) at the Burmese border. The only bus that went in daytime was without air condition. On the day before it was more important for me to experience the life of the people in the mountains. I did not want to go at night. In daytime there I hoped to see much more about the ordinary people in Thailand's North. The impressions on this tour compensated all the pain of my hangover. It was gratifying to see all the different hill tribes. It was amazing to see how they got all their shoppings and small animals such as chicken and ducks on the bus. The tour went through beautiful landscape. Sometimes, it was a bit eerie as the bus crept up the mountain slopes with the abyss directly on the right side. Although, I had to get used to the dangers that are always connected with taking a bus through mountainous landscape, the ride to Pai had shown me a lot of Thailand's beauty.

I strongly believe that there are moments in you life that strange things can happen to you to show you some kind of direction. We had to change the bus in Pai. Sometimes, those ordinary buses face some kind of mechanical trouble as they are usually very old. A couple of hours later, I suddenly realized that I had left my trekking shoes behind. This was bad as my main purpose to go to Mae Hong Son was to explore the famous trekking opportunities. I hoped that it would still be possible to go on a tour through the jungle. I was not sure if there was the chance that I got my shoes back again. Thais are genuinely honest people. But how could I know that? I was new in the country. I think it is pretty normal to loose the cool on a first visit to a foreign country. Travel books don't help you in these cases. They love to paint the worst scenario. Disaster just sells better than peace. I had read in these books that the hilltribes were extremely poor. My boots must have been of enormous value. They cost more than the average monthly earnings of most families here. I did not see a chance of getting them back. I contacted the bus company as soon as I had arrived in Mae Hong Son. Surprisingly, some honest person had found them. I could pick them up in Chiang Mai. This event had shown me that I should not be too pessimistic in Thailand. The event directed  me back to Chiang Mai, maybe there was once again something more connected with.


Trekking tours have been for a long time the attraction of North Thailand but many people do not think that easily about the consequences. The nice guest house where I took a room offered some of these tours. They promised to go across the Burmese border, visiting guerilla camps of the Shan army and watching amazing animals. These tours were praised as absolute outdoor experience. The tour guide implied that we could smoke opium and ganja, shoot rifles or machine guns and visit some hilltribe villages. Any tour going through the jungle of Thailand is disturbing the nature. On the other side if you want to go deep enough into the forest then you will need a tour. It is much too dangerous to go alone. The most tours that claim to support eco tourism use this tag only to get more customers.  Otherwise you got to ask yourself why the equipment includes food which is wrapped into plastic packaging. Particularly, in country like Thailand these tours could get all the food fresh from the market. It is pretty shocking if you go on a trekking tour and see all the plastic rubbish thrown into the bushes. These tours lead to hilltribe communities. Those have hardly heard of recycling. They still live in balance with nature. The forest has given them for centuries food and building materials. They would never come onto the idea that there are freaks running around who do not care about the environment. So, if they see you throwing away plastic into their woods then they do not come automatically to the conclusion that this is bad. Who would be that crazy to destroy own living space? Tourists are seen by them as strangers, as superior beings with much better equipment. So, they will also start behaving as they have seen by these actual intruders. Therefor, I can only ask you to be considerate when you go on such a tour. Do not throw garbage away. It is even better if you insist that the food is fresh and does not come from the supermarket. Whatever you do on such a tour try to behave conscious about the environment. Try to be smart in your actions so that mother nature just does not have to suffer any bad consequences from your visit.

It is essential to be well equipped on trekking tours this includes particularly the shoes. Some trekking tours are completely different from ordinary walking in the forest, then good shoes are very important. The temptation to go on a tour was for me too tempting, so I needed good shoes. There should be hilltribe rubber shoes on the market which were pretty cheap. I found these shoes quickly and initially they did not seem to be too bad. I could imagine walking in them a couple of days. A South African suggested that I should wear them in the night before. He meant that it would help to widen them out. This sounded too crazy for me. Who sleeps with shoes?  I thought I was well equipped now with these sandals and waited eagerly for the next day.

Always try to get in advance as many information as possible if you go on an adventure, otherwise you might run into something you aren't prepared for. The tour should go over three days and two nights in the jungle. First, the paths were quite okay and we could make good progress. After a rain shower, that we spent in a soldier hut, we continued our tour. Now the underground got less pleasant, sticky and muddy and all of us got stuck at times. I had not realised that the rainy season had started heavily in the mountains. As my feet continued slipping out off my shoes, they got more and more tortured through the scratching at the hard back heel. Slowly but steadily, the  skin of my heels peeled off, split, cracked and then dissolved. Well yeah, the shoes were new and maybe I should have really worn them in the night. A few hours passed by, now my back heels did not have any skin anymore. Naked flesh rubbed against the rubber. In the afternoon, the first spots started to bleed. The flesh got too damaged and laid open in ruins. I tried to keep the destruction of my back heels under control. Handkerchiefs between shoes and my skin helped only temporarily. Iwas only half-conscious  as we arrived at the night camp. I fell down. I was exhausted. My feet killed me. Only opium and ganja together with the moonshine whiskey helped me that I could sleep. My preparation had been far from being at least essential. The information that I clearly lacked was about the qulity of the shoes.

Adapt to the circumstances, even if they are sometimes extremely strange. The following morning, one of the soldiers had a splendid idea and cut out the heels of the shoes. It helped me to make the walking bearable for the first hours. At one stage, we crossed into Myanmar. We were very careful as the soldiers had warned us of Shan rebels. The tour guide was armed and we were accompanied by two soldiers with army rifles. Two or three times the guide told us to stop and take cover. One time we could see a guerilla patrol moving through bushes. No hostile group seemed to care. Maybe the incidences were planned as a part of the trek. They had at least a dramatic effect. We did not see any fighting. sometimes, we heard riffle fire in the distance. We encountered one patrol. Our escort, the soldiers, told us to wait for them. They approached the troop and negotiated with them. Then, they came back and told us to continue walking. These events made the tour exciting. It was still weird because all looked like being acted from the participants. However, better to follow the tour guide than making any mistake out of stupidity or arrogance.

If you meet the residents of the jungle, please consider your actions. It is not amusing for any thinking person if people are treated similar to animals. In the afternoon, we came to a village of some hilltribe people. The other tourists behaved in my eyes ridiculous. They must have mistake the jungle with a zoo. I don't know, maybe they were only stupid and thought really that the hilltribe people were animals. Particularly, we had not seen any species of wild life yet. Of course, everybody else was taking pictures. They did not care that the guide told us the people did not like it. They had paid for the tour and so they thought they had the right to make some snapshots. The tourists just did not have any respect. This was far not the worst. Most of the foreign visitors had brought sweets. The guesthouse owner had even motivated them previously. Then, they started throwing sweets into the groups of children. They loved it to make pictures of the fighting kids. Probably back at home they would tell their friends 'look how wild they are, aren't they cute?' Some of the smaller boys had never seen candy before.  They put it with the paper into their mouths. Of course they spit out the paper. 'Isn't he cute, the poor guy, I would like to take one home. They need to get civilized.' Fuck no, they did not need to get used to modernization, they were happy, you stupid cow! Now I really hated my feet. If I had been fit, I would have told those brain dead walkers off! I was one of them, as I could not protect these guys. I felt like I watch watching open abuse and was helpless. Other boys started to cry because they did not get any of the sweets. They were too weak. Now some of the male holiday makers made their typical macho speeches 'Get used to it boy! I thought you were into survival of the fittest in this jungle!' Oh boy, I would like to be able to kick your ass! I was disgusted! I felt sorry for the hilltribe people. I had been stupid enough to support this. My money had helped to finance this tour. I would never go on a trekking tour again. At least not with a group of stupid tourists who want to show the dominance of the white race. They had no understanding for the basics of life. At home they were nothing. Here they could pretend to be superior to the natives.I was happy as we continued our way. It was far better to getting tortured through own stupidity, not having the right footwear, than having helplessly to watch people being too thick to be aware of their discriminating actions.

It is certainly interesting of going to the limit, challenges can help to progress in life but still it is not the smartest thing to accept every task. I was still not in good mood and physical condition. This tour had developed into complete torment.  I pushed myself into a delirium to neglect the suffering. I smoke increasingly more ganja and opium. It disconnected my mind from my body. That was the plan. It worked for the most time. The agony of my feet would not be the only thing to cause me distress. The second evening we had frog meat. It should be a delicatessen. It was not for me. I do not know if it was enhanced by the drugs and the alcohol but after the meal, I was only vomiting. Later in Thailand, I tried this food on two more occasions.  Both times I experienced the same. I can only advise you to be careful about strange food even if the locals praise  it. i dare to state a theory. Western civilization has made us too weak to live in real coexistence with nature anymore. So, we cannot enjoy all the pleasure of it as food as well. Amazingly, we do not get sick from chemicals in food. On the other side natural food can cause us problems. This can show us that a way back to nature is more complicated than some treehuggers believe to be. The obstacles on my way through the jungle caused by my pain and also now the food became tasks that challenged me a lot.

The tour raised many questions in me, most importantly it shaped my view for the hilltribe people. It had shown me how little so called modern people comprehend about the local people of the forest. Many Western people think that everything is there only for their pleasure. I am very skeptical that the trekk helped the hilltribe people in any instance. The tour raised also the question if those people should really be re-educated and replace in their economy drugs with cash crops. Isn't that only our perception?  Particularly in the modern environment, now more than twenty years later, the usage of ganja becomes an interesting question. Modern medicine is starting to develop a tolerance to it. There are medical facts about the plant that can't be denied anymore. We should be more tolerant to the way of life of other people. We have committed in modern societies so many crimes against nature that we maybe should have more respect. The indigenous people have lived for ages in perfect harmony with nature. Only because we believe to have the right to judge, it does not mean that our assessment has to be perfectly correct.