So now I guess I’d better tell you all why I was having such an awful time in Thailand recently. I’m trying to write this and stay as level headed as possible about it all, without really getting too personal.
Basically, my friend asked me to come overseas with him when his dad bailed on him. After asking my boss for time off on super short notice, I got approved and we booked tickets. This should’ve been my first indicator of stuff never going to go to plan. He agreed to pay for my flights, and I still ended up paying $50 towards the flights over and then had to cover the return flights myself. Something that I’m not incapable of doing, but in hindsight I should’ve saved that money for Malaysia.
As soon as I met up with him I could tell I wasn’t going to enjoy myself. His awkward silences, bad jokes and an wide array of thinly veiled sexual suggestions towards me just made it such an uncomfortable experience while it lasted. At first I laughed it off and tried to remember what his sense of humour was like back when we were in high school, but couldn’t recall it ever being like this. Nor could I remember him ever cracking onto me so severely and it surprised me more now due to the fact he’s well aware that Tim was at home waiting for me.
So I had one high school friend who was acting like a stranger, and his friend, who was older and acted as though everything that came out of my mouth was useless drivel, whether it be a food recommendation, directions to our hotel or a story. Classic “me man talk, you woman quiet” demeanour to the level of not looking at me ehen he spoke or i spoke, which really pissed me off. For anyone who knows me, treating me like a second-class citizen is not the way to make me happy.
In addition to this, I’d been feeling pretty horrific and the heat seemed to really compound that. As did the numerous cocktail buckets I consumed on the island. I had a couple of near sobs on Skype to Tim and eventually had a lovely embarrassing cry in an Internet cafe on Phi Phi island. Ahh, good times. I finally made the decision to confront my friend about what was going on (after he stormed in at one am the previous night and demanded that I let him sleep with me) and when I did, he cried and told he had trouble controlling himself when I wore a bikini, while he stood there in underwear, completely unobjectified by myself. If he was bigger and stronger I would’ve hightailed it out of there the second I heard that. After hearing that though, I made the decision to go back to the mainland alone and choose my path from there.
Here’s where the pathetic part comes in.
I actually wanted to go home and go to work. The reality of how much money I’d spent (I’d had to give some to my friend because he spent $1000 in four days – without even paying for accommodation and transport) had started to sink in. Being back in Thailand made me realise how desperately I want to move overseas, but spending and savings habits at home hadn’t reflected that so far. I wanted to go home and see my boyfriend, friends, family and workmates. I missed an environment where I was surrounded by entertaining and interesting people who could hold a conversation with me and didn’t want to lie down all day.
So I piked. I packed it in and with some encouragement from a close friend, made the decision to just come home early and book earlier flights. As I write this I’m sitting on my first new flight out to Singapore. Still following the same route, and system, and only paying $30 more than the flights I books weeks ago. But I’m so much happier than I was a few days ago, which is always a sign for me that I made the right decision.
What I’ve learnt from this little adventure is that making a last minute decision to go overseas with someone you barely know is probably not a good idea. I’ve felt safer meeting up with travellers whilst overseas and going along with them than I did with this guy. And now I know not to let the idea of friendship get in the way of my safety and mental wellbeing. Lesson learned, sucky as it may have been to learn.