So this is my very belated post about Thailand. I’ve been so manic I genuinely haven’t had time to write it up and now I don’t know where to start. This is probably going to be pretty long…
We flew with Jet airways an Indian airline from Heathrow. We had booked special assistance as I still struggle with distances. At heathrow it was fine, we got a wheelchair went through security and then Sarah took over with the pushing so we could get breakfast and look around the shops! How weird would it have been with a special assistance guy waiting for us to eat? The flight itself was absolutely fine, I took half an aspirin before we boarded and wore flight socks, even though my dr said an aspirin wouldn’t change anything it was something that made me feel safer. We stopped off in Bombay on the way there and not only was it the most unorganised, worst smelling, manic airport the special assistance was also awful but I’ll go into more detail at the end of this post about the way back where airport staff made me cry. When we finally got to Bangkok again the assistance was like England and we had a cute little thaiman that me and Sarah instantly fell in love with.
We got a taxi to our hotel which was the perfect location - just off khoa San road. We had a great time in Bangkok, shopping, eating, sightseeing and drinking. We got tuk tuks around the city to see all the sights and on Khoa San road we had our first bucket which turned into a very messy night and a very bad hangover - the drunkest I had been since being ill. We then left on a night bus to ko Samui to meet Lis and Megan. The bus was a nightmare , I only slept for about an hour, we were both in hangover hell and when we had to get on a boat to the island we didn’t have any water or sun cream which meant we got sun burnt and embarrasingly, less than an hour into the crossing I started to be sick. I had heat exhaustion and it carried on until the next day. I hardly got to see any of Ko Samui but I learnt my lesson, drink plenty of water and wear suncream!
Full moon party!
Now we were with the girls we went to koh Phagnan for the Full moon party! Initially I was worried that it would be very manic and over rated - a bit like new years eve but I had the most incredible night. It was after this beach party that I realised how care free I felt. For the first time in 18 months I wasn’t worried about anything. Perhaps seems weird being in a different country and feeling like that but I was just having an amazing time with my friends and I was relaxed. We rented a jeep on this island and went chasing waterfalls, they were all dried up so in the wise words of TLC i would suggest ‘Don’t go chasing waterfalls’
From Koh Phagnan we went to Ko Tao we instantly fell in love with this island, we sunbathed on the beach and swam in the sea, Lis went on a scuba diving course with her dad who flew over and we decided to do a day trip snorkelling. When we booked it, I said to the girls, ‘I don’t know if i’ll be able to snorkel but if not I’ll just sit on the boat’ I had no idea that snorkelling would end up being the easiest part. When we arrived at the boat the only way to get on it was by stepping down the side of a wall onto a tyre that was hanging from it and floating around in the sea and step onto the boat as the boat hit the tyre. I was watching all these fully able people get on the boat and knew there was no way I could manage it safely. I had just decided to go back to the hostel when a thai man said ‘no no we’ll get you on’ I was a bit sceptical but figured why not but when they put me on the back of a pick up truck i didnt know wether I should laugh or cry. They drove it to the edge of the pavement where the drop down to the boat was and lowered the back of the truck, (i should mention the boat had a roof) before I knew it the boat bashed into the truck and I was stepping onto the boat into the arms of two thai man who dragged me across the boat to a hole with a ladder to climb down, as I got to the steps a boy who we had met on the beach and been with on way there was making his way up to see if I needed any help, it was very nice to know that someone I barely knew was so willing to help me out, these boys would quickly become our island buddies, one of them would soon tell me i was the most impressive person they’d ever met, it felt amazing for someone to say something so kind and to know that they meant it. When it came to snorkelling it was suprisingly easy, of course I wore a life jacket (im not stupid) and Megan stayed with me practically the whole time. We had lots of fun and saw lots of pretty fish and I felt incredible. I know I wouldnt have been able to do this if I hadn’t asked and asked and asked my physios to get me back in the pool and I am incredibly proud of myself for always fighting for what I think is right for me on my road to recovery.
Koh Tao - Krabi
After a week in Koh Tao Me and Sarah left the girls to go across to Phi Phi, we decided to break the journey up with 2 nights in Krabi so we could go elephant trekking which was absolutely amazing! Getting on and off the elephant was petrifying but with a lot of help I managed it and even got to sit on the elephants back!
Party Island Phi Phi
After Krabi we left to Phi Phi, we expected it to be a chilled island much like koh tao but how wrong we were! It was the sort of place where if you werent drinking you were the odd one out (we got called weird for having a sprite instead of a bucket) and although it was heaps of fun when we did go out, it also meant that we slept all day. We found the ‘Reggae bar’ there which we went to almost every night, they had thai boxing and sarah ended up in the ring, she had a split lip and a black eye and I have a very hilairious video to prove it, poor gal! It was on this island that I experienced being hit around the head for the first time since my stroke and it couldnt have happened to a worse person. I had been drinking a bit and had gone to sit on some seats next to a thai girl. In my drunken hayze I had forgotten that thai’s find feet offensive and put my feet on an empty seat next to me, unfortunately pointing at the thai girl. Next thing I knew I was covered in beer and jumped to my feet to immediately apologies but also to leave as she had become quite agressive, as I turned around something hit my head, I still don’t know what it was but I know it came from her as she quickly got carried away by a member of staff. Mean while I started crying and a guy I had met earlier came over to check I was OK. I wasn’t. I was freaking out. I had a huge lump developing on my head and in my drunken state became quite histerical. This guy picked me up and took me back to my hostel, helping me calm down, breathe properly and stop crying. I will always be thankful that he didnt just leave me, again an almost stranger went the extra mile to make sure I was OK and although I will always be mortified he was my thailand hero. Luckily my physio turned friend from Hospital, Adam was also on hand via whatsapp to tell me to calm down and it was him that I believed I was being silly to freak out. When I woke up the next day I knew I had over reacted but I was genuinely terrified that something was going to happen and I knew that thailand wouldn’t be a great place to get into any ill-health.
I have hundreds of other stories I could tell, many about near death experiences, but these are the ones that stand out to me, I’ll finish with the story about the flight home…
We were devastated to be leaving and I personally could have spent at least twice as long in Thailand but we boarded the flight and prepared to come home. The food was disgusting but the flight was OK until we had to swap again in India, New Dehli this time. We had a bit longer to get through security and even had time to get a dominos (hurrah!) As we went through security I began to notice a lot of people looking at me - nothing im not used to, especially when using special assistance wheelchairs but what really annoyed me was at the passport check infront of the rest of the passengers the guy said ‘Whats wrong with you?’. ‘I dont have to tell you that’ I replied. I was annoyed as you don’t have to disclose why you need a wheelchair and certainly not infront of a plane full of strangers, they eventually dropped it and let us through after looking at sarahs passport and being confused as to why I didnt look like her…nightmare. When we had to get our bags scanned the woman said ‘give me your hand’ ‘no’ perhaps I was was already aggitated but the last thing I wanted was some woman grabbing my partially paralysed hand. I had honestly never felt more like I was in a zoo in my life. Maybe I over reacted but I cant have been the only person to have ever passed through airport in a wheelchair. I can tell you one thing though, I now have no desire to visit the country.
All in all I had a fantastic time and came back feeling very relaxed, I met some lovely people and realised that for most, what i’m going through wasn’t an issue or a reason for a cheap joke. My confidence soared and I am so excited to start planning my next trip. I’m very thankful for Sarah, Megan and Lis for being such amazing friends throughout Uni and continuing to be when my life took a different path to theirs. I couldnt have done everything I did without them and Im also so thankful to everyone i met that helped me out from words of encouragement to carrying me home from the beach.
& thats it. Thailand 2012 essay.