He used the world, “gripe,” as he told me those griping about rising prices in Thailand can just go home. He followed this by bitching about paying $5 for a large Chang, and then saying he is so sick of temples when asking for suggestions of where to go in Malaysia. It’s needless to say the conversation didn’t go much further than this.
I always get weird feelings when I go to niche travel places. Those whose lives are devoted to one over-arching hobby (though they’re fantastic at their trade) and I have never tended to meld. I always find myself feeling out of place and self-conscious, but I think this conversation shed some light on the situation.
Besides this interaction, I had been told earlier that day, when asking about a book exchange, that maybe only people in Railay do that. With Tonsai being where the backpackers stay, and Railay full of resorts, I realized quickly the insult the speaker was trying to portray. I took this as my queue to exit the conversation.
Tonsai Bay is a beautiful place to drink beer, smoke weed and occasionally climb, but not a great place to go for much else. It is quite tribal, though, and those traveling solo can find clicks, similar to those in high school, hard to break into. In fact, much like many saturated tourist destinations, this is a common trend.
After three days of awkwardness, I did find myself included into multiple clicks, but decided the effort wasn’t worth the social situation. I prefer to spend my time with those who don’t charge to have a conversation.