Sunday, 16 April 2017

A Breakup Letter To Thailand

Dear Thailand,

Our time together has been short, but neither of us can say it hasn't been memorable. You are undeniably beautiful and I must admit that I was completely taken with your cool, laid-back attitude. You've shown me incredible things, from your stunning cliffs to your sweet coconuts. We have had a wonderful time together, soaking in your emerald sea, laughing at the wild monkeys running across the hotel rooftops and, yes, even eating plenty of delicious foods that didn't poison me. But, as with all things, there was a darkness beneath the wonder that would inevitably come out - and this time it came out of both ends. I don't want to lay all the blame on you - though you do deserve most of it. I ignored warnings and gave in to temptations like your deep fried fish and mango salad, which - though delicious - turned out to be the catalyst for this message.

Thailand, you are not clean and I think that I and all your other visitors deserve to be notified. A deep fried fish and mango salad is much less appealing now that it has journeyed in more than one way through my digestive system at frankly unnatural speeds. Im writing this in bed feeling hollow, empty and betrayed. The pain you put me through is unfair, when I gave you nothing but love.

This is not the first time you have hurt me. My first day here you burned me and yet I still accepted you, accepted that it was simply your nature and I should have been more prepared for it. Do you hear me Thailand? I blamed myself for your abuse! Well I won't be doing that any more. This is it, Thailand. I've had enough of your shit. And, God knows, I've given you enough of mine. Well I can see you clearly now for what you are and it's time for a few uncomfortable truths, Thailand. I suggest you listen to them and take them to heart.

1. You smell. I mean you really stink, all the time. Like raw sewage and, well, bad fish. The two are probably connected. I suppose I even contributed a little of that to the bushes outside my cabin. I'll take the blame for that one, Thailand, but you're a big place and there are worse smells than what I left. Please get yourself seen to by a specialist.

2. You're not as cool as you think you are. Oh you put on a good show of it, and you've got everyone convinced, but deep down there's nothing really there. You brag about your "authenticity" with your shacks and your bad wiring and your comfy trousers and your (seemingly) fresh foods. But we all know it's just a show, put on to convince innocent travellers that they're getting a "real" experience.

3. You're lazy. You lean back on your good looks and you wave away anything else to pass yourself off as cool, easy and uncaring. But in the end, what do you really achieve, Thailand? A string of empty relationships with travellers who say they love you, but ultimately all go home.

Sort yourself out, Thailand, because there are plenty of other places out there who treat their visitors better, without abusing them and making them ill. I've seen pictures of Vietnam - that's right, your sister - and she is at least as beautiful as you. Or there are plenty of stunning, fun, clean places closer to home. I never had this problem with Spain. Or maybe, after all this, I'll just go home. Because home may be familiar, it may be cold, it may even be a little dull. But it's safe, Thailand. It's clean. It always takes me back and accepts me.

Goodbye Thailand. I will try to remember the good times we had, but I will not forget the pain and disgusting discomfort that you put me through in one fateful night. Maybe one day we can get together again, when we are older, stronger, more experienced and (in your case) disease free. But until that can happen, this is it for us.