Sunday, March 18, 2007

Heat of the moment

I've never really been into drugs. I dabbled in hash and speed when I was younger, but only if it was in the vicinity. I drink, but hardly to excess. The closest I've ever come to addiction was my caffeine habit, and I've pretty much broken that now.

Yesterday, however, I discovered a new, natural, legal high. Unlike banana skins, it works, and unlike morning glory seeds, it doesn't give you bizarre flashbacks for months afterwards. All you need to do is to walk around Bangkok in the middle of the day, at the height of the hot season, well away from any air-conditioning or shelter. After a few hours, everything starts to ache and you feel as if you're running in treacle. The fortunate thing is that this stage (the equivalent of the comedown or the hangover) comes first. The following day is spent in a spaced-out trance, where everything is three steps sideways from reality and the most peculiar songs leap undbidden from the depths of your memory.

And best of all, if the Thai authorities stop you at the airport with half a kilo of heatstroke up your bottom, they can't do anything. Although they may ask to share it.

10 comments:

Billy said...

My favourite high is to knock on someone's front door and run away.

llewtrah said...

Usually I'm not a fan of shopping malls. But in Bangkok, I discovered they were the best way to avoid heatstroke. Unfortunately, their air-con energy consumption contributes to global warming. Also unfortunately, they have a habit of relieving you of your money ....

St. Anthony said...

Not being stopped by the authorities at airports and having a surgical exploration of one's bum may be seen as a serious drawback.

Tim Footman said...

Billy: What are you? A Jehovah's Witness with theological doubts?

Llewtrah: Yes, they're wonderful places to watch the Thai middle classes being middle class. I'm particularly fond of Siam Paragon, which has a Porsche showroom. On the fourth floor. Not desperately convenient for test drives, I imagine.

Anthony: True, although one can arrange a very pleasurable bum exploration (if such is your penchant) for about a tenner elsewhere in Bangkok. And the explorers are considerably more engaging and attractive than the grumpy mingers who work for Thai customs.

Flirty Something said...

Oh I love the treacle imagery. I used to find walking in the heat, strangely reassuring. Perhaps coming from a cold country forces you to "get on with it".

misty unsworth said...

oo yes, post heatstroke delirium was lovely! Wallowing in a world of blue skies, fluffy white clouds and coloured birds with pink bows around their necks, twittering joyfully. Did you get the chasmy Hollow Earth Skull sensation? - sure is some good mystical shit, (man).

realdoc said...

You can't be a redhead then, when heatstroke is invariably accompanied with sunstroke/sunburn. You feel fine until you get out of bed and the blood rushes to the most sunburnt bits, a feeling you never forget.

Valerie said...

Whoops, Tim. I've had heat exhaustion on several occasions and the resulting experience feels like a surreal film, shot in occasionally soft focus with strange, intermittent sharp close-ups. One particularly memorable time I had been hiking up a dusty road in the desert and woke to find myself in the crisp white sheets of a hospital cot, a taciturn male nurse leaning into my face and making me lick some salt. Later I wondered if I'd dreamed it.

Well, er... enjoy. It takes a few days.

Tim Footman said...

Flirty: Damn, I could do with some cold country now. Even the locals are complaining.

Misty: Right now it's more like that sensation when you walk into a room but can't remember why you came in. All the time.

Doc: I'm a bit ginger, less than I used to be. But this was definitely heat, not sun. The pollution in BKK means you can rarely see the big yellowy thingy.

Tim Footman said...

Valerie: Sorry, buddy, nearly missed you. Salt. There's an idea. Will licking my own sweat do?