Monthly Archives

July 2018

Koh Rong – The Call Of The Void

Swimming Teeth • Cast Adrift on Coconut Beach • Takin’ A Walk • The Restaurant At The End of the World • Back in the Big City (…kind of) • “Never Get Off The Boat” • Lost For Words • The Conquering Heroes Return • I Get My Revenge on the Animal Kingdom

Boats off the coast of Cambodia at dusk

It wasn’t the smartest idea I’d ever had. 

We were sat on a ramshackle wooden fishing vessel – practically a canoe with an outboard motor bolted on the end of it – somewhere out in the Gulf of Thailand. It was night-time. Behind our tiny vessel, a mile or so away, we could make out a small cluster of lights, what the locals rather ambitiously dubbed ‘the Village’. And behind that there was nothing. 

I mean, really nothing – the biggest, vastest expanse of nothing I’d ever seen. Had it been a starry night, or a full moon, you might have made out the jagged outline of the rest of the island of Koh Rong, the lights of the Village cradled between humps of densely-forested hilltops. But it wasn’t, and we couldn’t.

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Going Up The River In Can Tho

The First of Many Tedious ‘Nam Movie References • Crack Coffee • The Start of My Elaborate Plans, The Start • Determined Farmers, Hobos, And Other Pre-Dawn Characters • The Smell of Nuoc Mam In The Morning • “Is Chow Allowed In The Barracks?” • Finally Going Up The River • Charlie Out The Bush

Vendors at the Cai Rang Floating Market, Can Tho, Vietnam

Can Tho … shit, still only in Can Tho.

Every time I keep thinking I’m gonna wake up back in the jungle.

I’d gone to the worst place in the world. I’d gone up the river in Vietnam. And like a snail crawling along the edge of a straight razor, I’d survived. 

Actually, I’d had quite a pleasant time. There was complimentary coffee, and fresh fruit. The most dangerous things I’d encountered had been the mosquitoes, and maybe a potential dose of E-coli from the coffee water. It wasn’t exactly Apocalypse Now … it was barely Apocalypse Later. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat. 

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