There’s a guy next to me won’t tell me his name

Buys me Mekong Whiskey just the same…

I nicked that line from Shane Magowan but it pretty much sums up last night on the Perhentian Islands

True, Shane was sipping Singha beer on Pataya Beach in Thailand when he wrote that and not here but the same experience applies

I’m only here cos National Geographic said it was one of the best places to be in Malaysia

If I’d researched properly I would have discovered that there are two islands . The bigger one is more calm and restrained
The smaller one , Kecil, is where the young backpackers hang out and party. All night
So guess which one I mistakenly ended up on?
Which brings me to whisky and a guy Shane would undoubtedly have called “a wally hanging out on Pataya Beach”
I think he was Chinese but i’m not sure because by the time he attempted to engage me in conversation he was so prodigiously pissed I don’t think I could have decoded his slurred Chinese vowels even if I could speak Chinese. Which I don’t.
Alcohol isn’t especially cheap on this island
This guy knew that.
He had a huge backpack into which he kept delving for an impressive variety of booze
It was like watching some alcoholic magician because over the course of the two hours I kept bumping I to him along the sea front he handed out cans of Guinness, tiger Ale and Carlsberg in a never ending stream.
But his favourite was a bottle of scotch which he gave to anyone in reach.
I’ve put away some if the stuff in my time but dear God this guy even laid on the floor and drank a stream from the bottle
If he’s alive today he doesn’t deserve to be
Unsurprisingly he made quite a lot of friends among backpackers notorious for stretching out every cent of their fast-diminishing budgets.
But I last saw him alone on the dance floor twirling round in ever decreasing circles mumbling Chinese lyrics to the Macarena dance anthem before slowly slumping to the ground and falling asleep
Two cans of Guinness fell from his bag …
Here he is

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