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A Couple Days Off: Crashed my motorbike, Got Jumped, and had an amazing time all in one weekend!
2 ½ days off seemed like a lifetime. I didn’t do the afternoon class on Friday, and took the rest of the weekend off to nurse some wounds, and explore the island of Phuket.
I began my exploration of the island on Friday afternoon, by taking my motorbike down to Rawai. Rawai is on the Southern tip of Phuket, and is home to Rawai Beach, and a party district. It is not anything like Patong, which is partying on steroids. It’s more of a laidback, island feel. There are streets lined with rows of bars that are all open to the outdoors. There is the ‘Stumble Inn’ bar, an Irish Pub, an Aussie Pub, and not to be outdone, a British Pub. In all, there are a couple dozen of them, all with different themes, but pretty much the same thing.
In speaking with the locals (mostly ex-pats), each of them have different nights where they offer free spaghetti, or free ribs, etc., etc., etc. You have to be ‘in the know’ to know which one to go to. I met an ex-NYPD officer named John, who I had a few drinks and compared stories with about how often we were in trouble when we were cops. We hit it off really well, and he gave me the down-low on which bars to go to on which nights.
I actually only had a couple beers because I am deathly afraid of getting a DUI in this country. The drive back to Chalong, where I stay, is long enough to not want to do it while intoxicated. The police go through phases where they really crack down on foreigners for not having an international license or not wearing a helmet. I am told this is usually at or near the end of the month, as the cops keep the money to supplement their income.
Saturday, I got a tattoo in the morning, then went to the BBQ Beatdown at Tiger Muay Thai. It is a monthly event they throw ever last Saturday of the Month. They provide a buffet of food, and have drinking and dancing afterward.
It was a good time, as always, and I have to say that this event is emblematic of what has happened to Tiger over the past 5 or 6 years that I have been coming here. Like the gym, it was a small event when I started coming, but has really grown into a spectacle. They have improved it each and every time I have gone, and everyone leaves with a smile on their face.
Sunday, I went beach hopping. I started at the bottom of the island and made it up to about the mid-point (The Patong area). The beaches were all simply amazing, and I discovered some I didn’t even know existed.
When I got to Patong, I had to find a toilet. I saw a ‘toilet’ sign that led down a dark alley. I remember thinking to myself, how I would never walk down a dark alley like that anywhere else in the world. I soon realized that this part of Phuket was just like any other part of the world. I immediately was asked if I wanted any ‘Yaba’, which is a nasty sort of meth. I politely declined, but soon felt somebody walking up on me. I wear a Murse (Man-Purse) that I carry across my shoulders. I wrapped my hand around the bag portion of it, just as a guy with a totally yacked out look on his face (He looked like he had been up for a week) shoulder checked me, and tried to grab at it. I pulled it away from him, and he turned and yelled something at me in Thai, challenging me. I feel very confident in my ability to defend myself, but one thing I know about Thailand, is that if you beat up one Thai, you are going to soon be fighting every other Thai in the area. I also know that if the cops come…YOU are most likely the one going to jail, as you might not be able to communicate what had happened. I politely declined his offer as well, and decided I didn’t have to pee so bad after all.
On my way back, it was dark, and I got totally lost. I drove around for hours before finally seeing a sign pointing to an area that I was familiar with. It was very late by the time I got near my hotel, and it started to rain. Fortunately, I was driving very slow, but the wheels on my motorbike slipped out from underneath me and I crashed my motorbike. I got a few bumps and bruises, and a little scraped up on my knee and elbow, but nothing major.
I had both the most amazing day, and perhaps the worst day I have ever had in Thailand…all in the same day.
I can’t wait to get back to training!



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