Of all the places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit in Thailand, I prefer Bangkok, hands down. That probably sounds crazy to some. A quick Google search will produce a long list of whining blogs (whogs for short, copyright BKK7) decrying the countless cons and few pros of living in the City of Angels, mostly by low-IQ cunts devoid of any literary skill or cogent thought. And maybe I’m in the minority, but I truly love this city from the height of the tallest rooftop bar to the depths of the humblest side soi food cart. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit to occasionally longing for some of the more tropical, less-populated locations around this glorious country. One of them is Koh Samui.
Back in the day, when I lived in Krabi, I often spent my holidays and long weekends there. It was a nice change, if not of pace, of scenery from Ao Nang and Phuket. One drawback was, the bus-ferry-songtaew journey took longer than those other destinations, but once there and checked-in, it was worth the extra effort. I preferred the quiet serenity of Lamai over Chaweng, and spent most of my time there. It was easy to become a lazy regular in one or two bars, befriend the girls there, and poof! call it home-away-from for a dozen or so weekends a year.
The girls in Samui were quick to jump in the sack and slow to let go. It makes sense. Most guys stay for a few days, so a smart cookie would sink her claws in on arrival and keep him locked down till he boarded the ferry to go home. On the first day of my first visit, a hot, crafty she-devil did just that.
I wandered aimlessly up from my beachside hotel into the lazy Lamai afternoon and stopped in the first beer bar with girls in it. The joint was small. There was a pool table, a handful of stools, and that was it. Three sisters owned it, ranging in age and hotness from acceptable to volcanic, but none of them showed me any interest. Instead, a tiny brown scamp with blonde hair and a smile like a switchblade came and sat on my lap. She put her hand on my hand. On top of her hand was a scorpion tattoo. George Thorogood suddenly began to play in my head. She challenged me to a game of pool. Six games and 12 beers later, she was taxiing me back to my hotel on her scooter. I unlocked the door and she pushed past me, already undressing. I was excited and terrified at the same time. She had no pretense, no game to play, no modesty, and no compunction. I wasn’t sure whether or not she’d rob me. We made passionate love. Then she turned on the TV. She looked at the screen, leaned back and said with approval, “Sacoobie-doo.” And I was instantly and eternally smitten. Her name was Nid, and I’d find my way back to her many, many times over the years.
Then, when I started alternating between the serenity of Lamai and the louder crowds of Chaweng, I found a version of her there as well. We also met over a pool table, and also leaped into bed on the first night after a few games. She was the tiniest little thing. I forgot her name, and so just started calling her “Mini” and that stuck.
So between Nid and Mini, and the bars, clubs, restaurants, and hotels of Lamai and Chaweng, Ko Samui embodied a dream-like escape where reality seemed to slip and I lived a different life altogether from that regular one back in Krabi, which was also paradisiacal. So a separate level of heaven above heaven, like the inverse of Dante’s Inferno. I once tried bringing my Ao Nang girlfriend, Ta, on a weekend trip to Samui. Like bringing a bucket of sand from the Andaman and dumping it on a beach in the Gulf of Thailand. It didn’t go well. We argued a lot—something that never occurred back home in Krabi. It’s as though each girlfriend experience is meant to exist in its designated location, and any attempt to cross-pollinate a different island or city with a girl from someplace else just doesn’t work. A similar disaster occurred when I had one of my Pattaya regulars up to BKK for a visit. She ended up getting a taxi back to the beach before midnight, shaking her fist out the window as it pulled away.
Samui is a closed chapter in my life. Word from friends who’ve been there recently isn’t good. They say it’s too crowded now, and ridiculously expensive. And suffering from the same hottie-flight that other Thai locales are experiencing. So I’ll likely never return. Which means what I’m missing when I think of that time isn’t just Samui—it’s a window of my past that I can’t ever get back, and would be stupid to try. I’m penning a blog about this exact subject for later publication, but for now suffice to say I frequently lose myself in the serene nostalgia of that gone and lost experience, and the sweet bliss of a beach bungalow, a sea breeze, and a brown-blonde firestarter lying beside me. Thank God for those memories, and Thank God for Thailand—the greatest country on the face of the Earth.