About a year and a half ago, Ryan and I decided to plan a trip to Thailand, much to my parents’ chagrin. Despite the 13 coups that have taken place there since 1932, we deemed it safe enough (or sunny enough) to be worth any potential risk. In addition to going to Chiang Mai and Bangkok, we naturally planned a good bit of time for the beaches in the south.
One of our bucket list items was to stay in a hut directly on the beach. While we didn’t plan ahead enough to actually book something, we did find this place and took a long tail boat one morning to see if they had room. It was on the quieter side of Koh Phi Phi and just the place to relax and rest up for the hectic streets of Bangkok. We lucked out when we got there and stayed in the last available hut, up on the hillside a bit overlooking the ocean.
Given we were still semi-recovering from our battle with food poisoning, for much of our stay here we continued our 7-11 diet (Lays potato chips, Magnum bars, bottled water, and packaged peanuts). Needless to say, our diets make our parents and our doctors, some one and the same, very proud.
Let me quickly outline for you some of the pros and cons of this diet. Probably the biggest con is the lack of many nutrients our bodies supposedly need to function properly. But really, that’s what vitamin tablets were made for, right? To help pirates overcome scurvy and to help Meagan and Ryan make abysmal health choices and continue on stronger than ever?
The pros of this diet are definitely that it ensures you won’t get food poisoning again as it’s 100% processed and that it’s highly portable – except for the ice cream, you can pretty much take it everywhere. And take it everywhere we did. We took this diet right up to our nice hut where we consumed it while looking around.
We took in the view of the ocean, the divider between the sleeping area and the bathroom that was reminiscent of college bathroom shower curtains, and the foot-tall gap around the top of the bathroom broken up by pieces of bamboo like a jail cell. In our emaciated states, surely we could’ve squeezed through the gap ourselves in a pinch.
As the sun set on our first day in our island paradise, we began to flip through the instruction book provided to us by the ‘resort’ – reading made possible by the nice lights that worked between sundown and sunrise in our primitive bungalow. In this booklet, it emphasized that we should not take any food up to our rooms as it would attract “critters”. Once again, due to our unflappable natures, we continued to refuel our nutrient deficient bodies and settled in for the night. That’s when the noises started. The peaceful chirping of the crickets and the loud, very close shrieking of very wild monkeys. Oh yes, monkeys. When the guidebook said ‘critters’ what they really meant was monkeys. Just let that sink in for a moment. We sure did while we recalled that monkey bites (read: rabies scares) are one of the most common causes of hospital visits in the area.
Now, at this point there was very little we could do as neither of us was willing to leave the relative security of our hut to go throw out the trash. Therefore, we debated the likely size of the monkeys and whether they could slip through the bars in the bathroom (most definitely) before concluding there was really nothing we could do and putting the trash on the opposite side of the room from us in case a monkey did happen to surprise us in the nighttime. Pulling the mosquito net around us, ensuring Ryan was sleeping on the outside of the bed (thanks for taking one for the team), and saying a quick prayer in case these monkeys decided to attack, I took a snooze.
I woke up a few hours later to Ry sitting up in cold sweats, staring out into the darkness of the room, and listening to monkeys. Apparently he’s not as good a sleeper as I am. He’d gotten up at some point, found a flashlight, and used hangers and shoes to make a barrier at the base of our shower curtain to alert us if a monkey came through the bathroom. Quite the Boy Scout, I know. Really, I have no idea what he planned to do if a monkey came through that shower curtain but he’d built quite the barrier to ensure he’d be awake. We differed in our philosophies on this – I figured that I’d wake up when a monkey was on my bed hugging me, a monkey hug is really just a strangle you haven’t finished yet; he wanted to be awake prior to getting to that point.
As daylight broke, we acknowledged our good fortune and combat readiness in avoiding an imminent battle with the monkeys. But to this day, I still kinda wish they had come in just so I could see Ry fight a monkey nomming on our chip wrappers.
PS: While proofreading this blog post, Ryan admitted that the monkey times still give him anxiety to this day.