Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Full Moon Party

Sadly we found out we were getting kicked out of our hillside bungalow. A few days before Full Moon Party, when almost 30,000 people are on the island and we had to find a new place to stay. But by some awesome stroke of luck, Chris scored us a sweet, if a little sketchy, bungalow right on the beach! Complete with a money front porch and bar out in front, it was a great place and I wish we could have stayed for weeks. Our front row seat gave us full opportunity to take advantage of morning swims, Frisbee, and a few beers at sunset.

Another score was the free Wifi at a place 100 ft up the beach. Chris could sit and work while I was lounging in the sun, it doesn’t get much better than that. Days spent like this always seem to pass too quickly and before we knew it, it was party time.

The Full Moon Party at Hat Rin, Koh Phagnan draws a crowd upwards of 20,000 people most months. Imagine a pack of sweaty, drunk, young people raving all night long and you pretty much get the idea. After stashing our valuables, stocking the backpack with some beer, Faderade, and Bacardi breezers, we hopped in a taxi with the Canadian couple staying in the bungalow next to us and headed down to the madness. Within seconds of stepping down from the taxi we were offered “buckets” – the drink of choice at this event. Buckets come in all flavors: rum, vodka, gin, and tequila. Not only to you get a bottle of alcohol, but also a few mixers, straws, and ice. Mix it all up in the plastic bucket (think pail you would bring to the beach) and you are ready to go.

The closer we walked to the beach the louder the music, and the more crowded the streets. People stumbling along laughing, swearing and a few not looking so hot. Emerging on the beach was kinda shocking. There were people as far as you could see in both directions, music blaring from all the beachside bars and the ground was littered with bottles and straws. The first thing we saw was drunk people running through fire. Always a great idea of course. They had set up a ladder of flames allowing people to run across the sand by stepping between the rungs on the sand and jumping through the flames. Then there were fire dancers. People waving flaming balls, flaming poles, and flaming chains - probably one of the coolest things at the party. The visual effect of twirling flaming anything is pretty awesome.

And of course there was dancing.

The party really gets into the full swing of things around 2-3am. By this point there are people passed out in the sand, peeing and puking in the ocean while others swim, and lots and lots of empty buckets. Luckily we finished our buckets before seeing vendors collecting empty buckets off the sand and bringing them back to their stand to reuse. Yuck. Around 3 am it started to rain and the beach quickly emptied of all but the most serious party goers. Nerds that we are we had brought an umbrella, just in case, and had a great time dancing under it. We got a few funny looks but hey, we were dry and having a blast.

By 5 am we decided to call it a night and jumped in a taxi back to our bungalow which was about 45 min away. Let’s just say I was not a happy camper for the ride. The crazy driving, windy roads, alcohol and exhaust were all doing a number on my stomach. But we made it back without incident and even met a guy from Bozeman who was working on building Gates’ house at the YC. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. Unfortunately the next day was travel day.

We had to catch the ferry back to the mainland. After packing the maximum allowed passengers onto the boat we finally left from the port. Forced to sit outside because there weren’t any seats, a fact I was happy about because of my still queasy stomach, we huddled on the deck and tried to stay dry when it started to sprinkle. And so began my 48 hours of transportation. 3 hours on the boat, hour bus ride, 13 hour train ride, hour bus ride and then 15 hour flight to LAX, not to mention the hours spent waiting around for my next departure. Sounds fun huh? But here I am at UCLA. I’m back in the U.S. to visit graduate schools for the week, while Chris is still living it up in Thailand. So weird to be back in the States, I actually brushed my teeth with tap water and slept with real blankets.

That's all for now. Love,

Emma

1 comment:

Polly said...

A friend sent me this quote and it seems appropriate: Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.