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Thread: The Weird

  1. #1
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    The Weird

    Got any weird stories that have been lurking around the back recesses of your mind?

    Share one.

    -------

    I was a volunteer paramedic for an ambulatory service in Bangkok for several years. On the morning of Dec. 26th, 2004, the Asian Tsunami rocked the seashores of several SE Asian countries and Thailand wasn't spared.

    After jumping on a 1-way flight from Bkk to Phuket, I entered the madness of grisly disorganization that follows all catastrophes. 12 hours later, I was on a rented motorcycle winding my way north through the hills into the next province to try and locate a portion of my scattered team that I saw on a news channel in the lobby of a Phuket hotel. After a slight stop for fuel and food (which ended up being free from some kind souls) I entered the Khao Lak area, which was the worst hit region in Thailand.

    I located my team after a few inquiries and soon found myself in a field with the horrendously putrid duty of photographing distinguishing marks (tattoos, scars, birthmarks) in a feeble but determined attempt to ID particular bodies, which had been spread in a somewhat frantic assembly across the field.

    It was gruesome work and I repeatedly spent some time in the back of an ambulance with a bucket (“out of the way of prying cameras”) to expel my guts and get a handle on myself and the things around me. At one point one of our sturdier drivers entered and did the same thing. I couldn't believe he had wavered. He was always a pillar of strength and later I mentioned as much to one of the nurses and she said, "Well,...he's in charge of the baby’s corpses."

    Well.

    The 3rd night I was barely holding onto the edge. We were camped up on a hill, near enough to our field of corpses awaiting identification. Our attempt to escape the stench with altitude was fruitless and death and decay hung solidly in the air. I hadn't eaten but a slice of fruit here and there and hadn't slept in (going on) 5 days and nights. My team members coaxed me into having some fried rice and I managed a spoon full and a bottle of water. At that point, I announced that (with full belly), I might sleep. So, crawled into my makeshift tent constructed of old tarps, discarded plastic sheeting and ambulance litters.

    I was just on the brink of entering a world of warped dreams, that had surely been patiently waiting to take this mess and make it even more illogical when I heard someone approach the campfire where a few team members remained sipping rum and Thai whiskey.

    Where's that farang?” he asked in an officious tone.

    He’s NOT a farang!!” my comrades quipped with agitation.

    He’s a Mongkut (mangosteen).”

    Ok, ok…is he here?” the stranger quizzed.

    He’s sleeping.”

    Well, the newly elected mayor of tent city would like an audience with him, immediately.”

    Then the jibes began.

    Oooo Mongkut…you’re so high society now. The Mayor wants to see you,” etc.

    I emerged feeling like I’d been run over by a fire truck multiple times.

    Go, go Mongkut…forward to fame,” my coworkers began.

    Don’t forget your friends.”

    Don’t forget us little people.”

    Etc.

    I trudged down the hill considering what this so-called mayor may want with me. Tent city was a brand new settlement of tsunami survivors and respondents that had sprung up at the bottom of the hill we were camped on. The mayor had been surreptitiously elected only 36 hours prior. By all accounts he was a belligerent, hateful bastard who had lied about his specialized knowledge regarding city planning, water pumps and filtration systems. His corruption made an early play (according to gossip) as he’d charged each tent occupant exactly 30 baht per day in return for his political promises (one day) coming true. There were further stories about how he had already made himself extra comfortable with rations and was now basking in the convenience of his newfound power and station, but I was making constant efforts to avoid too much gossip, so couldn't confirm nor deny any of the hearsay.

    We arrived at the largest tent in the lot and I was motioned to enter by my escort. I pulled back the flap, raised my hands and bowed deeply to him while reciting the local greeting. He returned my greeting and spread his hands out signaling for me to have a seat.

    A brand new custom had emerged in these parts and before one was to discuss important matters, it was necessary to remain quiet, pour one another a shot (of whatever spirit was available) and drink deeply. He prepared both of our cups and I grunted as the gasoline-like liquid lightning tinged my throat and attacked my near empty stomach.

    I concentrated on summoning forward my most polite words and managed to even sound respectful with, “What can I do for you, sir?”

    He suddenly looked at me as if I’d kidnapped his child. He firmly removed our two empty cups and placed his hands flat on the floor in front of him so he was facing me directly and said slowly, (enunciating each syllable), “What in the hell is the matter with your ghosts!?”

    A pause.

    I gave a long blink, steeled my spine, swallowed my contempt at being awoken, wrestled with my aching gut and said, “I beg your pardon, sir. I don’t think I understand.”

    He didn’t hold back.

    Thai ghosts are good ghosts. They go to the temple like any good ghost should. But your ghosts are silly ghosts. They're nonsensical! They call taxis and want to go to the airport!” he spat out with disgusted assurance.

    I leaned back and took a deep breath with a thought fixed on getting away from him and trying out that thing they call sleep again.

    Please go on,” I muttered, trying to hide my disdain.

    Every time…no...every hour of each day a taxi arrives here and says that a farang called him to go to the airport! And I tell them, “No! All of the farangs are dead or they went away. There is only one farang around here….”

    I bit my tongue and rather than correcting him (at referring to my good self as a farang), I let him clamor on.

    ...and that farang is camped up on the hill and he’s a first responder! There are some at the hospital. Go there! But, they don’t believe me. They want money to go away. I’m sick of it! You must do something!

    My intestines were twisting in pain and something akin to a migraine had suddenly arrived and was leaking out of my ears.

    Sir,” I began.

    Pause

    Let’s imagine you’re on a vacation in Los Angeles.”

    “Me?” he silently motioned to himself, suddenly taking on the traits of an injured fawn.

    Just imagine, please.”

    He settled into acceptance.

    You are on vacation in LA and you’re enjoying the sand and the surf and suddenly there is a huge tsunami and it kills everything in its path, including you.

    He blinks, slowly nodding his head.

    But you don’t know you are dead, you see. The only thing you can comprehend is the death and carnage all around you that the wave has left behind. On top of that, all of these frenzied rescue workers are running around you shouting in a foreign language like they’ve gone completely crazy. You understand none of it and are only filled with fear.

    What would you do?

    Would you stay or would you try to get the hell out of there
    ?”

    More blinks and the slightest hint of understanding sprinkles his face.

    I apologize sir, but I’ve gotta’ work at the morning’s first light. Good luck with your problem.”

    And I went back up the hill, ignored all questions and slept until dawn.
    Last edited by hick; 23-05-2017 at 09:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Interesting story. Obviously written for an American readership, not TD, so where did you first promulgate it Hick, as a matter of interest?

  3. #3
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    I thought this was a personal story/experience of Hick's.

    A bit boring and pointless and doubly so if Hick is not the author.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman123 View Post
    I thought this was a personal story/experience of Hick's.

    A bit boring and pointless and doubly so if Hick is not the author.
    Would a TD member write "Bangkok, Thailand"? A couple of other clues too.
    I'm not saying he didn't write it, just that it was written for a different audience.

    Ahhh, here we go, but it's a members only site....

    Creepy stories from the outdoors. - Page 291 - Survivalist Forum
    Survivalist Forum Survival Gear SHTF and TEOTWAWKI Articles › ... › Wilderness Survival, Hiking and Camping Forum
    May 5, 2017 - 18 posts - ‎12 authors
    It's been over a year, two years in early November since this happened and we've still never ..... I was a volunteer paramedic for an ambulatory service in Bangkok, Thailand for several years. ... 26th, 2004, the Asian Tsunami rocked the seashores of several SE Asian countries and Thailand wasn't spared.


    (ps. I just worked out what TEOTWAWKI stands for, lol.)

  5. #5
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    ^
    I have approved your application for full membership of TDCSI.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    He does that. 'Personal' photos, movie reviews etc.
    I find it a bit odd too.
    I kind of scroll on.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman123 View Post
    ^
    I have approved your application for full membership of TDCSI.
    Seconded!

    Yes, I wrote it for another board initially. Forgot to edit out some of the unnecessary info.

    I'll expect TD lawsuit notification papers in my PM box.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Interesting story. Obviously written for an American readership, not TD, so where did you first promulgate it Hick, as a matter of interest?
    I have a mass of travel (and other) notes, anecdotes, etc. on scraps of papers, journals, computer files.

    Started getting some of them organized for some write-ups only yesterday.

    Submitted two to the survivalist board, pasted one here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman123 View Post
    A bit boring and pointless and doubly so if Hick is not the author.
    I appreciate the critique. It tells me that it needs several rewrites and a lot more drive.

    It reminds me of a student sitting smug waiting for the teacher to complete the utter trashing of his story.

    "But," the student said, "it's true," smiling deeply.

    "That doesn't make it a good story," quipped the teacher.

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