Which literary adventure would you try in real life?April 13, 2016

Pat wasn't excited about the flight to Krabi, as he didn't want to be penniless long before your holiday was over. But he thanked you several hours later. The plane was descending when you and your (best) housemate witnessed a postcard image. The town bathed in the afternoon sun, with a river that snaked towards the sea. And the reddish globe hovered above the cluster of isles in the distance. You wished you were in a hot air balloon, where you could take photos and post them in Instagram. And nothing would please you more than seeing the envious comments of your other housemates.

You were a lucky fellow, which you heard many times from your coursemates. Your parents loved the outdoors, so you find yourself in an unfamiliar place every few months or so. But you imagined yourself to be Richard. You were looking around in Khao San, when you met a fellow backpacker from Glasgow. You were thrilled to befriend another backpacker without paying close attention to him. (He seemed wasted. He warned you about imminent death. He talked about a mysterious shoreline facing the Andaman Sea.) This would be the first chapter of "The Beach", which you called your personal Bible. But you didn't persuade Pat into a goose chase. The options (of having a good time) were endless.

As the plane slowly made its way to the airport, you wondered what literary adventure you wanted to try in real life. You came up with three possibilities:

You were having your own Robinson Crusoe moment. Maybe Daniel Defoe would be indignant at how his masterpiece turned into a slang of sort, of instructing a local to send you to a desert island and be left there for a few days. You only have your backpack and a mosquito net. And you reminded him to come back (a few days later). You couldn't find a spot in Bondi where you would be all by yourself. And then you became worried about the time of your arrival. It was the monsoon season in this part of the world. What if it was raining for days? You wouldn't like staying in the hostel, as you only have a month and a half (to make the most of your holiday). You thought about the next possibility.

You heed the call of the wild. Jack London might be scratching his head after you recounted your own version of the call of the wild. A fellow backpacker described the gorgeous limestone mountains in the northern parts of Vietnam. And sailing through a rice field was the most captivating moment for him and his girlfriend. It may not have the masculine features of London's narrative, but you wanted a different experience. But you forgot one detail. It was past harvest time. You were thinking of passing out aboard a junk in Ha Long Bay.

You wanted to recreate the events in "Kidnapped". Pat thought there was something wrong about you after your told him about your plan. Northern Thailand would be a part of your itinerary, where you would spent a week or two. You were told that mass tourism hadn't affected this part of the mainland, so you could imagine a tropic version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel. As a matter of fact, he would approve of it. (He lived in Samoa during the remaining years of his life.) Pat would stick to canyoning (in Chiang Mai), as well as a few days in Pai.

The plug door was opened. You suddenly thought about the night life in Ao Nang.

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