It’s almost 10pm here in Phuket, and let me tell you: It’s been one weird ass day. I can’t recall the last time I had such a low and such a high in the same 5 hour period. This must be what bipolar feels like….
First off, the day kinda disappeared into nowhere. By 6pm my husband and I were ready to get out of the house. We decided we were going to go check out what “a massage by a blind person” was all about. In Phuket, there is a massage joint about every block. Often, 2 in 1 block is not uncommon, but a massage by a blind person? Hadn’t experienced that one yet. We pulled out of the driveway, and turned the corner. About halfway down the neighbouring street to us, we see a woman in the street on her knees getting bashed by a man.
Now, over the past nearly 6 years, my Husband and I have come across a handful of incidents were we thought we may have smelt foul play. Often it was when we were leaving an event later in the evening, and happened to walk past a bar on our way back to the car. Most times, there would be some kind of drunken lovers drama, but nonetheless, if a man seemed to be getting aggressive in the slightest bit, he and I would step in. Never have we had to get physical.
Tonight was a bit different. This man, who wasn’t too much bigger than the woman (minus his beer gut), was standing in the street with a can of something in his right hand, and a belt in his left. We stopped in the middle of the street about 100 feet before them. Looking around, there was only one other person outside, who happened to be a man washing his truck. He didn’t seem to pay attention whatsoever to this ‘situation’.
As we crept closer, we watched this man kick this woman in the face with a front kick, then proceed to whip her with his belt. She wasn’t crying, or making any noises. As we got closer, I could see he had a phone in the same hand that had the belt. At first it almost looked like he was recording the whole thing, but then it appeared like he was showing her evidence of something. My husband and I sat there in shock.
The woman got up and walked off, then was whiped back into getting on her knees. Still, no cries for help. We started to put the car in park. My husband said to me, “you ready to show this cunt what a woman can do?”. Now in any normal situation, and normal meaning in a western, first world country where English is the first language, I’d already been out of the car running down the street. But for some reason, my intuition said “stay put”.
I said, “no. wait.”. We sat there for a second and I quickly explained why we needed a plan B this time. I dialled what I thought was the equivalent of 911 or 000, but no one answered. I then directed him to drive back around the block and pull in front of the landlords house, except we weren’t entirely sure which house it was. Then, I decided to call the agent who let us the house we’re renting. I quickly explained to her what we had just witnessed and said, “is this normal for your country?”. In her half broken English, she replied, “this normal”.
We drove off. Both of us feeling sick. Selfish. Defeated. Angry. Upset. and like a traitor.
After about 10 minutes of driving in silence, I got a hold of a local girlfriend who’s from Australia, but has lived here for the past few years. She concurred that we did the best thing and that if the situation got out of hand, the cops will always help the locals. Furthermore we could have been deported, insert etc etc etc.
For the next hour, I sat in cold blooded anger. I also justified the “why’s”. Living a block away from this guy, and knowing that this type of behaviour is serial, I doubt us intervening would have helped the situation. Also another friend that I’ve met today, messaged me back and said that he’s known guys who’ve been stabbed for intervening.
So by this stage, I HATE this place.
Fast forward an hour, and we’re laying down getting a massage each by a blind man. My guy was a bit younger, and my Husband’s guy was a bit older, but funny AF!!!! At one stage, he partially said “u o-ta mayt?”. In other words, my husband was holding his breath, so the guy asked him if he was OK. My husband struggled to say “yes”, and I lost my shit. I started laughing, then the old man started laughing, then MY guy started laughing at the same time my husband started laughing, and we couldn’t stop. We all 4 sat there and laughed so goddamn hard, I thought I was going to puke.
I hadn’t laughed that hard since the last laughter yoga session I led nearly 2 years ago. You know when you laugh so hard it’s like you had an ab workout? It was like that- Then for the next 45 minutes, the older man kept trying to teach my husband a few words in thai. At one point saying “sexy sexy” and twerking his nipples. I nearly fell off the table laughing.
To be laying there with my tits out, across the table from my husband, having 2 blind men massage us, and laughing our asses off, was one realllllllllllllly bizarre experience. The most bizarre part of it, was going from such an angry state to one of complete bliss. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
I know that acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today, but there are some things I’m just not ready to accept. And that is violence against women.
I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do about it and this particular situation. My initial thinking (in congruence with my husband), was to stop by the police station and ask for their permission/blessing to go and beat this man’s ass, together, as a loving couple.
But violence does not solve violence my friends-
Oh, almost forgot… to top it all off, the nightcap of strangeness for the day, was catching an article/video of a funeral of a young man who was embalmed, and sat upright in a chair with his eyes OPEN to ‘rest in peace’.
Anyway, more to come. Long story short, I’m adapting well to my new country, as usual. And, I’m also getting ready to leave again, as usual. Blasting off Wednesday for California. See you all in LA <3