Jan 30

Tonight’s Gonna be a Good Naaiiaaight

by in Drawing & Writing

The guy was looking at last night’s party pictures on his iPhone.

“Whaaaat thhhhhheeeee fuuuuuuuuuuuuu…..”

Hangover giggles dropped him to the deck. “Duuuuuuude, that – that chick – that chick – ohhhhh myyyyyy gooooooooood!”

He passed the phone to his buddy, who started laughing. The two girls at the table leaned over for a look.

The phone was handed back, and the guy’s laughter trickled off.

“Fuck, man.” His finger swiped at the screen. “I don’t – I don’t know if I really like the fact that these are on the internet.” He swiped some more. “I don’t like that at all.”

We’d never seen the guy before, but, having experienced that same night, the comment was no surprise.

We’d met Andrew at the (relatively early) hour of 5PM the day before, which was supposed to be right smack in the middle of a scheduled barbecue. The barbecue, we were told, had been postponed to 6-ish. So now we had an hour to do… what, exactly? I’d seen a huge beach party happening, so we headed toward it.

Something was in the air.

It’d been hot, but nothing that justified the immediate unstoppable frenzy of alcohol that was either consuming, or beginning to consume, all stretches of the beach. Drunken 20s-somethings were swimming with one hand, cradling a beers and cocktails in the other. Girls were draped on each other, guys were draped on each other. Two beach volleyball games were underway, and between them, on the busiest stretch of sand, a sponge-ball cricket game was somehow happening. Really danceable beach music boomed, and while Andrew and I were waiting for our happy hour mojitos to be crushed, the only baby-boomers in sight bought nine shots for their daughter and her two friends. The girls gave two to dad, one to mom, slammed the rest back, and chased it all with Irish cider.

Was it really 5:30? So was Thursday the big party day? And was it related to the spray of male pheromones that morning down the beach? Whatever it was, the alchemy of celebration had blended just right, the air was caffeinated, and it was happening on the very night we’d set aside for just such revelry, Antje’s midnight birthday.

Completely at odds with the mood, we passed the next half hour teaching Andrew and Inga a Scrabble-esque game called Bananagrams. By then it was time for barbecue.

Now, we Americans don’t have the most refined palate on planet earth, and most of the time an American will eat what’s put before it.

This was pukeable. Every dish was off, everything was bizarre and chemically, and even the beach dogs got fed up with it pretty quickly. Still, the scenery was fine: two girls had jumped in the water fully clothed, and were getting the attention they wanted by pretending to be mermaid lesbians. Since the entire island had run out of tonic the day before, we switched over to drinks with Thai Red Bull (stronger, Peter warned us), and, completely electrified, skipped toward the same beach-side restaurant as the night before. There we focused intensely on the mangled menu:

“Steam rice” (Don’t tell me what to do!)
“Fried in Curry Sauce with Vegetable” (Fried what?)
“Gaderade” (Gatorade)

It was almost as entertaining as the subtitles we’d seen a few nights before, and which completely changed the film Contagion for about half the audience:

L. Fishburn: “It’s gotta happen, and it’s gotta happen fast.”
Subtitle: “I am very happy, and very fond.”

Boldly, Inga selected “Fried Tofu Cashew with Oyster Sauce” – and it was by far the week’s best order. Part of our meal’s sound track was the buzzing of a tattoo parlor, where a Thai guy was getting his arm done, and the owner, who’d been doing the job with a cigarette in his lips, caught me watching his work. The buzzing stopped, he raised a hand to the ciggy, and then beckoned seriously in my direction with it. Did he mean me? He did, and I shook my head, “No”. Man, did he think I was impulsive, or what?

It was time for Lotus, a bar built around the flow of the beach. The tide was out, which meant more sand for sprawling, and some needed it. At Lotus $5 buys a balloon filled with laughing gas, and 50 euros a “Super Bucket”, a massive, see-through thing with a lot of mixer, more than a fifth of alcohol, and FLASHING LIGHTS INSIDE! Up at the bar a ladyboy was handing out free (small) buckets to single, tipsy men, causing each to go through the same sequence of reactions:

“Hey, thanks!”
“Wait a minute…”
“I’m outta here!”

Some hilarious dancing was also happening, but Andrew and I headed down-beach to examine the open sewage that was flowing into the ocean. When we came back, Inga flashed her watch:


Three minutes later Inga pulled out a cake she’d bought from 7-11, lit the candles, and we sang happy birthday to Antje. At that I embarked on a little adventure that involved a lot of short conversations with a lot of different people – most drunk, one on laughing gas, and the last a Thai tattoo artist high on life – which ultimately procured one of those lanterns that float up into the sky and hopefully don’t cause a fire somewhere.

We lit it, waited for it to tug, and, in releasing it, “Let go of our worries for 2012.”

We walked down-beach, over the sewage and back toward the Fishbowl. There we plopped down on bean-bag chairs and, for about an hour, watched the hook-ups happen. Weaving through, and sometimes dancing, were six Thai women dressed as… flight attendants, maybe? Or were they women? There was also a guy with long blonde ringlets who was too old for this game but was cruising it anyway, just drinking and being a lech. We debated his nationality for at least five minutes: was he Swedish, Dutch, or Kiwi? I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I walked over and interrupted his flirt:

“Hey, I know this is kind of a weird question to ask, but we were wondering – that’s my wife over there, if you can see her – and we were trying to figure out –”

When I finally got to the question, one of the girls burst out laughing. “I toooootally thought you were inviting him to have a threesome!” The Swede – he was Swedish – agreed, and snapped his fingers, “Aw shucks!” I also had to agree that it had sounded like that, exactly like that, but, yeah, definitely no threesome, but still, cool that you’re Swedish, so… have a good night!

“I’m outta here!”


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One Response to “Tonight’s Gonna be a Good Naaiiaaight”

  1. From Mom:

    Happy Birthday to Antje, and thanks once again for sharing the adventures. Love to you both!

    Posted on January 30, 2012 at 15:11 #