23rd March 2017
Last time you wrote you told me that a queasy quiver grin had become a feature of your face. You said you’d “forgotten about lie-ins and sleep, given up on having a life and you were prepared to lose all sense of dignity“. I imagine all those thoughts, every fear that every crept into your mind, and every loss of what went before has been swept away in a tidal wave of love today when you held your gorgeous little boy in your arms for the first time.
I’m so happy for you. I’d love nothing more than to give your beautiful, new little family a big squeeze and cuddle today and shower you with congratulations and ‘coochy-coos’ and be part of the most magical day you’ve probably ever experienced.
You’re going to make a smashing Daddy. What a lucky little boy! The number of laughs you crack me up with till my tummy hurts, the responsible voice you are to me at times such as “This travelling thing sounds like a terrible idea, I really don’t want you going on your own”, sorry I ignored that one but I was right and you were wrong, ha! The look you give me when I’m being a genius and talking complete and utter sense.
The lovely handmade birthday cards you’ve always made me (my personal favourite here), and the all round awesomeness you radiate as a man that just know’s his stuff and has got his shit together.
Kid’s in for an incredible life and it all starts today.
I cannot wait to meet the lil’ fella!
102 days till I am home. It’s going to be a long wait but magic when it’s time. I’ve been away 3 weeks today, it seems like a lot longer. Time goes a lot slower here, it’s amazing how much more you can do with your day when you don’t have work taking up 8 hours of it.
So I told you I was in Phuket Town. Phuket town was dead, I found one Blues bar there for beers in the evening and cross the other side of the island was a place called Patong. You’d vomit immediately if you ever went.
Like the blue bottle fly that’s landed in my mayonnaise and destroyed this portion of chip dip forever. That fly that got carried away with the temptations of the fatty goodness mayo had to offer, oh how good it felt when it landed, greasing it up and rubbing it all over till it found itself stuck upside down, furiously kicking it legs out still screaming ‘I’m alive, I’m living, I’m covered in grease and I am living the fucking dreeeeeeam, seriously I AM.‘.
Well, that fly, stuck like that reminded me a lot of many of the leather-skinned, fake handbag clad, tenured tourists. The beach is dirty, the street is full of bars covered in trashy, plastic tigers with red led eyes flashing to the repetitive sound of Justin Bieber.
Everywhere you walk there’s an offer of a snake show, a tiger “kingdom”, an elephant trekking centre, a monkey torture event, sorry I mean a happy dancing monkeys show where the monkeys all love it and spend all day choreographing their lil routines so the audience can film them and then one day, one day they might make it onto YouTube and become the next most amazing video to go viral and they’ll be famous and they’ll never have to work again… right?!
Nope, no thank you. This is not the Thailand I travelled all this way to see. Patong, twinned with Benidorm can kiss goodbye to my tan lined ass.
I got a Tuk Tuk and did visit another nearby spot which was much more secluded. It was here that I saw my first two Elephants, Yaya and Laguna. They were adorable. I thought I’d done my research right, everything looked all well and good on the surface of it. Tons of food for the elephants, they were able to be kept cool in the water throughout the day, they were so playful and fun, how could they not be happy? It did niggle me as to why a 2 year and 6-year-old elephant were here without their mother, why was that?
I was happy that they had no sign of injuries or a single chain in sight. I’d searched the reviews online for any complaints or warnings of cruelty against them. There’s nothing so far. I did really just want to be near them and have just even a little moment of magic where I could imagine this elephant was my friend. I imagine we’d become the best of friends if we could have had even longer to hang out. But it plays on my mind now…
I think I made a horrible mistake.
The poison of Patong had most likely spread it’s dark venom to this little spot too. I’ll never know their true story, if I did it would probably break my heart. I feel these giant, grey bundles of joy have no doubt endured more pain, suffering and cruelty than this world should have ever placed upon them. Ten minutes of joy for me, filled with kisses from the elephant and cheeky wandering trunks and it was incredible, but what on earth landed that elephant up in the sea?
It’s all gone wrong in Patong. I took a flight and headed to the nearest slice of paradise I could find, Phi Phi.
Have a beautiful day with your son Peter, your world just got a whole lot more beautiful and I know you’ll raise that child to have love and respect for every creature in this world just like you do.
Sending all my love,