madness in haad rin
We spend full moon day chilling out at the beach. We have arranged to get a speedboat to Koh Penyang. It feels distinctly Miama Vice as we jet across the ocean, sun setting behind us. I crush my can of chang beer and plant a big grin on my face. Alice looks especially nice tonight in blue and im feeling pretty good about everything.
We arrive and jump onto the rickety excuse for a wharf and wander with the crowd. From the moment we arrive the air has a tangible madness and everyone is excited. We walk towards the main beach and the road is lined with stores selling all manner of frothing equipment for the night ahead. I’m actually tempted to buy fluro body paint but pass on it (for now). There are stalls selling ‘buckets’, basically a plastic bucket with a bottle of spirits and some red bull to mix it with and the red bull here is that intense, condensed shit that makes you go woooo. The crowd begins to thicken and we start to hear that loopy bass run that all the kids dig. It’s still early and we meet sam kat and rob for dinner. They have the lowdown and have been sussing the place for a few days. We throw a couple of tables together and have a big ol’ dinner. I’m pretty stoked being with all these cool cats right now and that longneck of chang aint half bad either. We get a taste of the madness to come as fireworks explode pretty much at head height on the beach below us.
Somehow sam had met the ‘proprietor’ of the infamous ‘magic mountain’ and convinced him to let him play a set at midnight on full moon. Now for those who have never heard of magic mountain, here is a quick lowdown. MM is perched on the rocks overlooking Haad Rin (full moon) beach. Adorned with lights of evey colour imaginable the most interesting thing about this place is that the police have been paid not to walk above the bottom step. This becomes very evident when you venture into the heart of magic mountain. The sweet smell of herb wafts from the two incredibly large joints that some Australian boys are lighting up and all manner of street freaks and substance bashers groove, slide, shuffle and fall their way around the dance floor. A great big balcony overlooks the madness on the beach below and we make this our temporary home. The laughs are plentiful and the drinks more so, everyone is feeling pretty good. I stand against the banister with rob and sam and we marvel at the scene below us.
The beach stretches out and it is a carnival of madness that could well have been designed by Hunter S. Thompson in his prime. Random fires splash up and light the sky, flashing lights and lasers dance on the rising smoke. An epic crowd moves and sways on the beach to all manner of beats. Fluro painted bodies pump and writhe and people dance, fall, rise or sleep, some looking distinctly corpselike in the sand, some dance as if in the process of being electrocuted. A lone stage sits a few metres out in the water, people crawl along it like spiders. A fiery sign labels this warzone, Hadd Rin, 209, Full Moon Party. We raise our glasses in cheers and survey below, we are stoked, we are in a strange land and a strange place but we wouldn’t be anywhere else.
Sam plays a wicket set and gets all the crazy cats on magic mountain up and bopping. I’m trying to answer this Australian cabby who is high as a fucking kite and talking about the human ego when a man enters the dance floor with a heavy shuffle, a midriff top and a g-banger. I’m no longer shocked by the things I see here and I go back to watching sambo. He does an ace job and ive never seen him so stoked. To dj on magic mountain on full moon at midnight is surreal and super cool.
I can’t tell you what happened the rest of the night. You could attribute this to excessive consumption but im going with the, ‘whatever happens on full moon stays on full moon.’ We howl at the moon and descend from our mountain lair into the sea of activity. The night blurs into beats, bodies and lights, things come and go, I hold alice, I laugh with rob, I dance to mj and I crash in the sand. We all watch the sun rise and begin our trek back to the hotel. Sunlight casts a judging gaze on all involved and all we have to say is, water!!!!
We come to the wharf, its about 9 o’clock and getting hot. We are all pretty keen to go home but so is everyone else. The rickety excuse of a wharf is swaying and buckling and so overloaded that people are climbing down the side of the metal railing like spiders. Horrible people still munted on all manner of substances groan and grimace in ecstasy, agony or a combination of both as they crowd closer. I see the most repulsive thing I have seen for some time. A woman wears a saggy olive bikini that she has no business wearing and her face is contorted in a gruesome grin, her pupils dilated to saucers. She wears an ethnic hat of vibrant colours with dangling silver pieces. One hand scratches and the other is held aloft, a gigantic greasy chicken leg being waved back and forth as she tries to talk. Then the leg descends and she attacks the meat like a wild animal, ripping and slurping, grease splashing. I try to move back but find myself on the edge of the wharf. The water looks pretty damn inviting right now. Eventually this Neanderthal with a chicken leg club leaves and I relax a little. After a big wait we finally board the boat and head back to our haven of Koh Samui, a ragged shadow of the group that came yesterday, but having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On the boat back a drunk irish man informs alice that she is lucky to be with me because I look like a male megan fox. The time is 10:30am and this man is still well liquored. I pull alice closer and feel pretty lucky myself. The irish man swings into depression and starts to talk about how the world is ending. I look ahead to the island and feel like it is just beginning.