local time: saturday, october 2, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
i attended ko phangan's half moon party last night. it was fantastic! the dj's were great and played a heady mix of techno, house, and psychedelic trance music. there were beautiful lights and decorations and some of the best fire dancers i've ever seen. i danced like a madwoman and drank more than i should have.
although i went with a group of friends, it didn't take long for us to get separated. we had agreed on a meeting place, and i met other people to dance with and talk to, so i wasn't too worried. by about 5:00 a.m. my head was spinning and i was ready to go. i went to the agreed upon place and couldn't find any of the people that i'd come with. i searched the dance floor to no avail. i went up to one of the bars on the hillside hoping i'd have better luck with a view of the crowd from above, but i still couldn't find them. and at this point i just needed to leave.
i walked out of the party into a crowd of taxi drivers and asked for a ride back to thong nai pan. i was a little out of my head and forgot that: 1) taking a car or truck taxi by oneself is always more expensive; and 2) one must always always always agree on the price ahead of time. not having done this, i was astounded when we got back to my bungalow and the driver demanded over fifteen times the amount i had paid to get to the party. i told him that it was too much and that i didn't have the money. he would not let me get out of the truck but instead drove me to an atm and stood uncomfotably close while i withdrew the money. having given him a sum equivalent to one week's lodging - all of the money, in fact, that i was going to use for rooms for the rest of this trip - i was allowed to go and returned to my room feeling defeated, angry, taken advantage of, and stupid.
i broke all of the rules last night. i lost my friends; i drank too much; i left alone. i made myself an easy target, and i got scammed. i'm just glad that money was all he took. looking back at the course of events with a clearer head, i see that things could have been much worse. but they weren't, and i'm okay. just hungover, broke, and upset that i didn't take better care of myself, but wiser for the lessons learned and determined to never put myself in a situation like that again.
my ticket to krabi is already paid for, and i had enough money hidden in my room to cover a couple of nights at a cheap guest house once i get there. another unemployment check is due any day, and i will be just fine.