Pathetic fallacy is a term I learnt during A-level English. It means the attribution of human emotions or characteristics to inanimate objects or nature; for example, angry clouds; a cruel wind. It’s often used in literature to reflect the mood of the unfolding events, and yesterday it seemed that Koh Phangan was setting itself up to be pathetically fallacised (I’m pretty sure I just made up that phrase). I was feeling rather sad to be leaving just when I was becoming so settled, and the weather responded with endless sombre rain and a grey, morose sky that Blighty would be proud of.
Not only that, I’d rather unfortunately mis-timed my ferry back to the mainland to be on the day after the Full Moon Party. Thus the pathos stretched to the languishing and anguishing hung-over masses that surrounded me. Bodies lay prone on any available surface, making the ferry look like the aftermath of a mighty battle waged (and lost) against excess. The neon colours of the FMP uniform were at great odds with the ennui that pervaded the crowd, except in the odd case where an indefatigable raver still partied on, to the amusement/bemusement of those around them.
Still raving, despite backpack – respect…
The day became an exercise in tolerance – of over-crowded public transport, sweaty heat, cigarette smoke, the scent of stale lager in the air and, finally, of having my rucksack majorly rifled through by unseen hands whilst it was in storage on the bus journey from the ferry to the station. I haven’t had the chance to do a full audit yet but, on a first glance, apart from irritations such as turning everything upside down, crumpling my new certificates and removing the protective padding around my new buddhas, nothing obvious seems to be missing, but we’ll see (luckily all my important stuff was with in my day-rucksack). I’d heard this was a problem on buses but my usual vigilance with using padlocks has lapsed rather during the latter stages of my travels, as trust had begun to surface its naive head – oh well, hopefully my bag being ransacked will have saved another, more valuable-laden one, from having the same treatment.
Pathetic fallacy – hung-over puddles.
One other noteworthy event today was the bizarre experience of being made to wait in the middle of the railway tracks whilst the national anthem played. It is played once a day and everyone must stand up and be still, in respect for the king. This is clearly taken very seriously – I assumed I’d be allowed to cross to the safety of the platform before being still but, no: a man in uniform shouted at me to stay still right in the middle (thais don’t seem to bother with footbridges to reach platforms on the other side of the tracks). Unfortunately any respectful thoughts for the royal family were then subsumed by fears of being mowed down by an oncoming train!
After an overnight train journey into Bangkok, I’m now back at Alisa and Landry’s house to pick up some stuff they stored for me and to kill a few hours here as my flight back to the UK doesn’t leave until midnight. Objectives for the day include sourcing one final tasty thai meal, having one final thai massage, and checking out a famous yoga studio here – should keep me busy. But first, nap-time beckons…