20 Days Sober

posted on 12 Apr 2013 11:17 by nathablog in FORBETTERSWEETLIVE

                   The whole March I was barely stayed at home.  I was out exploring, experiencing and learning a lot of things. I started the trip -at the very end of February- with one of my friend from college. It was the trip that we took the train heading to the south of Thailand: Bangkok, Hau-Hin and Phi Phi Island. We’re stumbled, even though we’re traveled in our country. We’ve met a lot of people along the way, but it was strange that no Thai people started a conversation or even ask where we were heading. And it was the foreigner, who wasn’t native English speaker that came to talked with us. On the first week of March. We were pretty much as drunk as we’ve planned.  What’s to expect when you go to the beach with friend other than to get wasted on the beach at night while the up-beat music playing in the background and you pissing in the sea and as well as throwing your shit out there! It was pretty long I couldn’t remember much of the details here but I’m gonna spare you something. I thought this trip gave me the break to have a glimpse of –I don’t know how to describe here- the best, a shot, in my life. I was on the beach, all by myself and walked along the shore which happened to hold the legendary beach party. A lot of tourists, locals who’s longing for party and who’s been sleeping all day long just to be able to stay put over the night at the beach. And then I heard the call from a guy: he’s an intern at the hotel I went to asked for the price in the morning, which I didn’t check-in to that hotel. But this guy remembered me and is calling me, not by name, of course. I turned and this guy just sticks around his senior at work and invited me to the pool table nearby.  I wasn’t finish with my vodka-Redbull but incidentally he came to me and tapped this plastic glass in my hand down to the floor and immediately replaced it with a freshly can of beer, which he’s opened it for me before. See! That’s the point. I was shocked but my facial reaction or even physical reaction turned to be some kind of astonishment (am I using the right word here?) I’m tend to say that I’m glad and more than welcome for that can of beer, and suddenly we became friend. It’s goes by very, very fast and I’m impressed. I still have that feeling sometime when I was in the camp and I was bored and don’t know what to do. I looked back to this moment and it makes me smile. 


The next morning I was ‘incapable’, ‘unfunctionable’ (this one I invented it, lol) to go snorkeling and all the tourist stuffs that I already booked the other day. And I missed the chance to go to the Beach’s film location, which is AWESOME!! (But I missed it anyway.) Then I started to think about another trip –if I can call it a trip- that I was supposed to go to this camp and build two small houses for people in the mountain. Not by me, of course, it would be some kind of punishment if I have to build two houses up there and live by myself for as long as it takes to finish the houses. Apparently it took 20 days to get it done. We have, almost a hundred of people who involving in the camp. Mostly students: poor skills, but willingly to carried on, and another skilled workers who’s working as the carpenter –but our houses are made of steel- in the wood-shop at our faculty back in the university. I was part of it. And there’s this regulations that everyone have to follow which is ‘No-Alcohol’ but before I realized it was just written there to show the sponsor and whoever that paid for the materials, it was too late. It was half way to the finish. Then everybody’s started to drink anyway.

My times at the ocean are behind me, and now is the time on the mountain. It was the hard times and I didn’t feel like I’m belong here or to the job that I’m doing. Part of it I wanted to go home but another just wanted to get it done. Even though everybody seemed happy when we’re allowed to drink, but I didn’t drink anything (Except wines on the last day.) Everyone seemed to either enjoyed or bored and we all wanted to go home. Those who drinking were all yelling and did lousy stuffs each night. And I wasn’t participate. I was in the tent nearby and heard the noise until the teacher came at midnight and the powers went off. Sometimes even the powers went off they’re still sat there and have serious talked about life and future kind of things people used to raise the topic once they’re gathering up around a bonfire. I have no problem with the noise and lousy thing they did because it’s happiness. I loved listening to them talked, though. I have no problem with happiness and that okay as long as no-one started a fight and began yelling in the bad ways.

I haven’t put any alcohol in my blood for ten days straight, and from that point my head and ideas began to flows. Less bullshit, I swear. All I think about on my soberness was humanity and my travel itineraries to Vietnam. I read history of Vietnam and started planning what to do when I’m arrive. Which wasn’t enjoy the moment exactly. It’s another kind of enjoy the moment by looking forward to the possibly future. Everyone in the camp seemed to read book during recess or kept to themselves in the bedroom. I’m the only one who read guidebook. But for those of you who ever bought a Lonely Planet would know that it isn’t just a plain guidebook. It’s included everything you ever wanted to know about the country. I really enjoyed reading the history part while simultaneously planning the trips. I think it’s kind of a good life, isn’t it? (To live in the mountain and build a house together?) I brought a tent here, and 20 days is the longest times that I ever spent in the tent. Anyone who asks to see my book were curious about it. It like they’ve never bought a guidebook before in their lives. I don’t understand when I told them after the camp is over I’m gonna spend the rest of my holidays around SE Asia; start in Vietnam, and they told me I’m crazy.

Travel is awesome, and anyone who spoke against it was crazy or didn’t know how to travel.  Some people just don’t understand the idea of how’s spent money on travel can makes you rich, who’s rather spent their whole life in the pit with all new smart phone and technologies. They did travel, sometimes. But these people can’t speak English. So you know what kind of trip looked like. ‘Been there, done that.’, ‘Let’s take a picture in front of that fucking tower and get back to the car!’ kind of thing. With a bunch of people, and they’re followed the tour guide like the students in a school field-trips. I understand that there’re different levels of satisfaction to each person. Like those people, basically, doesn’t like travel that much. But there’s something that urge them to do, like when you see a pictures of your friend taken from Japan in Facebook, or the need to rewarded yourself after the long year of hard work. I understand, perhaps in their point of view they see me crazy. They might mean it, but in general point of view I don’t think I am crazy. I didn’t called them crazy or being ridiculous or anything because I understand.



My soberness brought me full-times concentration. I kept working secretly in my tent, where I slept alone and think and write stuffs alone. Here, my friend, I’m gonna reveal the titled of my first novel ever (that I write it in English) I called it ‘The Parachute’, which has nothing to do with Coldplay, I swear. It’s the combination between comic and fiction. So far I can tell you that it’s the story about the old man who went to paratrooping and the parachute stuck; he went down and he knew that he’s about to die.

When the houses finished, we had this goodbye party and we’re pretty drunk. Because there’s no work or anything to worry except to pack the bag and go home in the next morning. This wasn’t pretty much of a vacation but in the meantime I’d learned a lot. Mostly, to not hesitate to do more of what makes me happy. I found that some people I’d came across on the Internet or a few in real life who said that they’re lost or don’t know what to do with their lives. Who ended up doing a lot more than the rest of other people who said they’re already knew what to do in life or been told what they’re supposed to do. So, good for fucking them, if they’d never happen to have a question about what they’re doing with their life. I don’t know if it’s good to do all of what makes me happy but for now just a cup of hot coffee in the cold drizzling evening, or just throw the half-finished book and started to read the new one instead, to the magic of buying a new pair of shoes that can makes me happy and kind of giving me confident and, sometimes, even, the feeling like a natural high.

This is all I’ve got after the 20 days of soberness. But I’m telling you, ‘sober sucks! , sometimes.’

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