Landing in Phi Phi in the brilliant sunshine and tiny island’s pier I ran into the immediate hub bub of the island tourist life. Here I was herded through the centre, passing multiple cafes, resturants, bar and dive schools. Meeting one dive school they gave me a map of where my hostel was and then said whistfully, ah, you’re in one of the party hostels. Curiosity filled me at this point. After recent discussions with the Magician, I started to reach a strange level of peace and was actively looking to follow a path based on love and not fear. This included the assumption and expectation that because it was the ‘party town’ hostel area, it would obviously be a bad thing.
Arriving at the hostel, the bed has been very cheap (about $10 per night) and basic. The staff came across first as stoic and cold. As I got to know them over the week though, the multiple women who operate most of the hostel started to slowly warm to me. Reciprocating my nods of respectfulness and eventually earning myself a smile or two. This was pretty hard going for me to be honest. And I completely understand why. As most of the tourists who walk through here have an impressive level of arrogant, self- important attitude oozing out of them in their strut, and then in the evening get so blindingly drunk they are a complete pain in the ahem. Dealing with people like that day in day out wouldn’t make me want to have anything to do with any tourist. I was surprised they even smiled at me!
My days quickly became a routine of a slow long breakfast writing, and an afternoon of more writing and sun bathing. During this week the Magician and I were arguing very heavily. He was flying out to Nepal soon, and was nervous about arriving their alone. As I was at the party hostel, I was getting at best 4-5 hours sleep a night. It was during these tense evening that a new group of Portuguese women joined my hostel. During the night they came in mostly drunk at about 3am as usual. I managed to get another hour or so sleep fretting about the latest messaged the Magician and I had exchanged. It was at about 5am I woke to see someone trying to get into one of the bunks opposite to me. Rolling over, slightly more awake, I started to see that this stranger was now stood completely in the room. Starring at one of the Portuguese girls. I started to come round more and more, as she started to shout to him to get out. That he didn’t belong in this room with us. It’s a fairly horrible moment when you realise that a completely stranger had access so easily into your room. And that anything could have happened. I could barely sleep the rest of the night, and just wanted to curl into the Magician’s arms, to feel his protective warmth around me, comforting me. Later on talking to other English tourists, they told me this was fairly normal. Especially in the party hostels. A chill ran through my spine. And it hit me, women talk frequently about having to accept men’s behaviour towards them. Having had a friend raped in one of these Thai party situations, I can see the direct damage that can happen after these events. And yet, we just have to accept it? We should see it as normal?