There were two Yorkshire girls, a Southerner called Mike and a Chilean named Manuel around the fire. I asked if I could join them. Within a minute I had a joint in one hand, a beer in the other, and I was feeling a whole lot better. Manuel pulled a jacket potato out of the fire for me, and the evening was taking a rapid upturn.
“Where have you been tonight?” asked Manuel.
“I was playing pool up at BBQ Bar, but it went a bit tits up when a dark cloud turned up. Do you know this Irish guy who lives at Hornbill?”
“That guy’s a wanker” said Mike.
Mike’s not a big lad, and doesn’t have an aggressive bone in his skeleton. He proceeded to tell me a tale about Cocknor and a couple of lads he hangs around with. The bullies of the island. One of them, who is over 6’ tall, threatened Mike for no good reason at a party a few months back. He’d said “You stink. I can smell you from over there.” All very mature, obviously. Mikle avoided the situation by quipping “Well go and stand somewhere you can’t smell me, then?” Brilliant. Manuel had also had a few run-ins with him, too. So it wasn’t just me he didn’t like…I was in good company.
The three of us got along famously that night. I’d certainly met some kindred spirits. I told them that I’d only come over to chat after Young MC persuaded me. Manuel was pleased, he’d been selecting the tunes. So we got talking Hip Hop, and it was arranged I’d bring some music up the next night and we’d have a smoke.
Mike and Manuel have been going to Phayam for the last 4 years, staying 4 months at a time. They’ve been mates with the owners since first arriving, and are building their own beach hut on the land behind the bar this season. Free accommodation for the rest of their lives…not bad at all. They organise parties and decorate the bar, so they earn their keep. Manuel’s an artist, and he makes and paints signs for the bar and café. If you’re ever there between November and March, they’ll be there.
We got smashed one night, sat in Mike’s hut. We’d been chatting about old school Hip Hop, and human beatboxes like Doug E fresh and the Fat Boys. I said I used to do a bit, and they convinced me to do some. They both joined in. You had to be there but, trust me, it was hilarious. Especially when the last candle burned down and we were doing it in the dark to the light of the flames on the ubiquitous bong. We alternated between making these ridiculous percussion noises, smoking and laughing til we cried.