I wake up and feel totally fucked. So fucking hungover, wait – what time is it? We’ve only slept a little over three hours… “FUCK! Murphy, we’re missing our fucking flight!” He gets up and starts moving fast. “Don’t even bother man, there’s no way we can make it, it leaves in like 45 minutes.” We both shrug and go back to sleep, worry about this later.
We wake up again with a knock on our door. It’s time to check-out. “Can we get this room for one more night?” Nope, it’s full, we have to go. “Hold my chains?”, Fuuuuuck. We take a few minutes to shower and pack and pull our sorry asses out into the heat and up to the front desk to see if we can work something out.
Speaking to the front desk they tell us they’ll help us find another place but they’ve already called around to the places in this neighbourhood and they’re all booked. Alicia has offered up her room but she only has space for one of us. Amy at the front desk says she’ll call around a few more places, until then we plop ourselves down in the common room to hydrate and caffeinate and try to pull our shit together. The Wakefield crew look at us a little bit surprised, “Thought you were leaving today?” “Yeaahhh so did we but we got drunk and missed our flight.”
Amy found us a place but it’s on the other side of Cenang, we’ll probably want to taxi it over as it’ll be a good hour’s walk otherwise. She also informs us that even if we’d been up in time we probably would’ve missed our flight regardless; a truck overturned on the highway to the airport early this morning and traffic has been backed up all over, it’s just getting cleared up now. Kind of glad we slept in then, rather be hungover in bed with AC than in a cab in traffic with a running meter.
We catch a cab to the other side of Cenang and pull off a little side road with some rice paddies on both sides, teak huts up on poles here are there, we stop outside a small gate and we’re at our new place, Soluna. Our room is a decent little two-bed spot with our own bathroom and AC, there are a few people in the common room watching Conspiracy Theory on TV. There are cats everywhere, a quick glance around reveals 8 or 9 which probably means there’s about 20 here and there. A little quiet but it’s a nice spot.
We’re not far from the main drag but the girl at reception tells us not to walk the way we drove in, there’s a shortcut through a field.
After a quick lunch at a Syrian place we head back to the common room and keep chatting up our new crew. A British couple are intrigued by our stories of the Mongol Rally, they Google it up and seem keen to sign up. Soluna is turning out to be fairly nice but one major downside is that it has no vending machine full of beer and we’re getting awful thirsty so we head into town – we get a tip that the place to go is a free trade market near the aquarium so we head that way. It takes us over an hour to get there and back but we’re rewarded with Maker’s & Cokes.
Murphy gets an email from Zackry’s, apparently Alicia wants to meet up but she didn’t get our contact details and they wouldn’t give out our deets so she got in touch with us through them. We drop her a line and decide to meet up at a rooftop place in the middle of the drag called The Nest. When we get there she’s waiting, the view is fantastic but inexplicably for a killer rooftop spot they don’t have alcohol – mocktails only. What a waste. Fortunately they have a second “The Nest” on the beach and it has proper drinks, and they even have a shuttle. A done-up Chinese girl with a British accent brings us down to a minivan where she instructs a driver to take us across town.
This iteration of The Nest is also really nice even if it’s quiet and low-key. The music is good but not so loud that we can’t hear the waves crashing from over the side of the patio. We throw back a few Jager Mojitos each and we’re all feeling pretty good.
We’re only a short walk from Zackry’s and The Woods so we decide to head back to the latter to see who’s out. We get into storytellers’ mode and although we don’t initially see anyone I recognize, a guy stands next to us and says “Jonathan…” He shakes Murphy’s hand, apparently I missed it in the confusion of 9/11 conspiracy theory talk with Jez but this guy is Leo and Murphy talked to him for quite a while the other night. He’s also staying at Soluna, we’d heard stories of a crazy motherfucker named Leo over there but Murphy hadn’t connected the dots. He’d also heard of our arrival… “They told me there are two Americans I need to meet.” Our reputations proceed us I guess.
It’s getting late so we walk Alicia back to Zackry’s. The Bamboo Bar is on our way, maybe we should check it out? We stop in and Dan is at the bar and in fine form, red-faced, rubbing everyone’s shoulders and dancing incessantly. Ecstasy is a hell of drug. His girlfriend Liz is also there. Dan gets close to us and asks quietly whether we paid our tab at The Woods last night… Apparently there was a bit of drama when we left because the waitress who’d been getting us drinks wasn’t aware of our “hold my chains” deal with the manager so she kind of lost her mind when we took off, Dan came running down the street looking for us. Oops. With all that straightened out Dan goes back to dancing, and boy, he sure does love to rub his ass on people.
A big crew of British guys next to us are doing shots but they can’t find three of their buddies so we gladly accept two of the orphaned shots. There isn’t much going on here on the ground floor so we head upstairs where the sound of reggae is pumping hard. It’s pretty happening but I’m not really feeling it – I’m pretty wiped but I also hate reggae – and Dan is really trying way too hard to dance with Murphy, he’s not so keen on sticking around either so we bounce.
On the way outside we briefly speak to some extraordinarily drunk British girls. Someone asks us if we’re going to “the boat”. Uhhh… Yeah, the boat, that sounds like us? About half a dozen drunk guys who immediately seem like dicks swarm in with the girls and the whole lot of them start piling into a van. Yeah, I don’t think we’re going to the boat. I say it’s too bad, those girls seem nice. Murphy responds with a loud, “Too bad they’re stuck in a van full of douchebags.” One of the guys, the only sober-ish one apparently, is standing about five feet away from us. He looks at us hard and says “Easy there boys.” Hahahah. He jumps in and they pull away.
We’ve got the better part of an hour walk back to Soluna so we start dragging our feet. Halfway there we stop into Mickey D’s. After we order and we’re standing next to the counter Murphy says “Hey man, do you know what we should do?” “What’s that?” “We should get matching Hawaiian print shorts. I think they’re really cool.” I have no idea what the fuck he’s talking about so I just grunt and agree, then I notice there are two guys standing in line next to us wearing matching Hawaiian print shorts. It seems that Murphy uncharacteristically wants to scrap with randos this evening, he’s being sassy.
The Mickey D’s is perfect at this particular moment in time. We saunter the rest of the way back, through the fields and into Soluna, but the common room is deserted so we crash out. The sun will be up soon anyways.