I got drugged in Thailand

Most people will not believe that I got drugged in Thailand…this is what happened

‘Massage sir, massage, good for you?’

‘No. thanks.’

Following a busy day underwater I need food, not a massage or other distraction. The locals are obsessed with my burgeoning beard and seem desperate to offer all kinds of grooming services, some much more personal than others. I find a quiet corner in a busy restaurant, order Pad Thai and settle in to let the atmosphere envelop me. As foreign conversation washes over my head tangy odours escape the kitchen I still feel somewhat dreamy after my day underwater. Pad Thai is a very spicy Thai dish this time being presented by a raving homosexual waiter along with a Sambuca chaser, ‘I give you freee drink because you seee naarce.’

With my tongue tingling and belly full I make my way to the Irish Pub which has fast become a local, I order a pint of Guinness then strike up a conversation with a friendly, young English couple here on honeymoon. When we drain our glasses they invite me to find a club for a dance. I agree to join them, after all I cannot spend every night cowering in my hotel room folding T-shirts and dreaming up worse case scenarios. We find a seemingly friendly place and take seats in a corner, I leave to buy a round of beers. Halfway through our second round the couple is clearly feeling more salubrious than I and start talking about having a dance. I tell them I am not in a dancing mood and am content to hold the seat, watch the drinks and people watch.

My friends get up to dance but soon return with another round of drinks, not happy with the music playing. To my right is a table of older American men, they all sport hairstyles that missed them by a generation, their age betrayed by growing crows feet around their eyes. They are clearly enjoying the attentions of many heavily made up Thai women and lady-boys who circle like smiling vultures. To my right a clutch of young Thai friends keep to themselves, clearly they don’t appreciate the crush of drunk foreigners. I ask the couple to look after my drink while I go to the bathroom and soon return to find our table deserted apart from our drinks sitting alone and abandoned. I glance around and spot my two friends dancing frantically nearby, sitting I chuckle to myself, ‘How is this song better?’ and sit down.

My half finished beer is undisturbed on the table so I pick it up and set about people watching, wearily I start to think about retiring soon to rest up for a day of sightseeing tomorrow.

 

It doesn’t hit me straight away but as I sit there watching people dance my reality gives a little shift, like a subtle aftershock. Things seem different somehow, my internal dialogue is becoming confused, lazy, relaxed. I put it down to maybe a bit of sunstroke, I certainly have not drunk enough alcohol to be drunk,

‘…let me think…a Sambuca with dinner, a pint of Guinness, two or three beers total…’ I am staring intently at the table wondering if it is real. ‘Maybe tipsy’

 

‘Wow…reality just gave a huge jump.’

 

I feel as if a large sheet of glass has been lowered between my reality and other people’s.

 

Trying to focus on the Americans next to me I see they have progressed to groping anything within reach with a female shape. I can see but cannot hear them,

 

‘Have my ears broken during the dive?’

 

It feels as though I am still underwater so I focus on breathing properly,

 

‘Breathe, dammit, This could be bad…what is happening?’

 

I manage to get to my feet and bounce around the room aimlessly like a metal ball escaped from a pinball machines. I am trying to find my friends. The floor seems to be moving under my legs and I am desperately tired, just staying upright is a huge effort.

 

At some point my synapses make the connection between my drink being left unattended and suddenly feeling discombobulated,

 

‘My drink has been tampered with, really, no? really, maybe?’

 

Realising that I am completely alone, somewhat lost and not thinking straight I start to panic. I lean against the wall and try to figure out a solution. My brain is not working properly. I keep getting distracted by the music fading in and out like a heartbeat, the walls lean in towards me, like I am inside a living creature. My vision closes up, and, like a blinkered horse I make my way outside for some fresh air. I am tripping over feet, knocking over chairs and annoying people in my desperation to be outside.

 

Outside in the fresh air the street now looks so desperately foreign that I simply cannot get bearings. The flow of party goers passes by me both more quickly yet slower than before, ‘Now, which way to the hotel?’ I really cannot get my bearings.

 

The street resembles a Tarantino movie, cartoonish and disjointed, I can almost make out text bubbles containing people’s thoughts as they pass. I don’t find an escape as much as an escape finds me. A tall, thin lady-boy in a short dress suddenly materialises,

 

‘Boom, Boom?’

 

Needing to get home I give a tired nod, hand over my hotel card with a small map on the back and carefully clamber onto the back of his/her scooter. We race off into the busy streets. I clutch at my gossamer thin reality like a child holding a balloon string. Scooters, faces and tuk tuks flash by, my night has turned into an anime cartoon strip.

 

We pull up outside my hotel, with me somewhat revived by the fresh air and recognising the entrance murmuring ‘Thank you’ to my unwitting saviour. Passing the door guard I remember saying one word to him, ‘ALONE’ and without breaking stride, leave him to placate my heavily made up pursuer turned saviour. Realising that he/she has just been unwittingly used for a free ride my swaying back is treated to a barrage of abuse.

 

I open the door of my room and memory fails me.

 

Waking sprawled on the floor next to my bed at four in the afternoon still dressed with all exposed skin a minefield of mosquito bites I realise I have left a window open. Trying to gather my thoughts under a cold shower I am relieved to find a distinct lack of surgical cuts around the kidney region. It is over thirty degrees but I am badly shivering. Why people would pay money to take drugs and to feel like this is currently beyond me but I am glad to have escaped with only mosquito bites. Maybe it was sunstroke. I walk past the security guard who throws over a pitying look, one perfected no doubt from years of seeing tourists chase or flee the seedier side of Thailand.

 

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