Stranger than fiction...
|The tropical island of Koh Phangan. It's okay, I suppose.|
'True Or False: Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia?'
Instead, this is a daft 'true or false' quiz about a few random insignificant things which happened while I was on holiday on Koh Phangan (the inspiration for Ko Pagna in the 'How To Save The World' books).
None of the following events are world-shatteringly exciting, in fact they're all really minor incidents, but I found them a little weird, so have a read of the following happenings and see if you can guess which ones really happened and which are stories I've just made up.
1) A small oversight...
|Food, an important item of stock for most, but not all, restaurants.|
It seemed like a bit of an oversight for a restaurant not to have any food, so I pulled a puzzled face and instinctively quizzed, "I'm sorry?"
"We don't have any food," the waitress repeated, confirming the oversight, "but if you like, you can order something today and then we'll buy the food tomorrow and you can have it tomorrow." After mulling the offer over I decided that I was a little too peckish to wait until tomorrow for my meal, so I instead opted to try a different restaurant.
True or false?
2) Taxi boat?
|Charles Fudgemuffin generally prefers to take taxi boats|
to beaches during the day when it's sunny and not dark.
However, late one night after a night out, I began heading back to my hotel room, only to be shown the 'Taxi boat' sign by a taxi tout and asked, 'Taxi boat? Taxi boat?'
Given that it was two o'clock in the morning and therefore pitch black, my immediate reaction was, 'Hmm, it's two o'clock in the morning... What should I do? Should I head back to my hotel room? No, I've got a better idea! I'll get a taxi boat to a random deserted beach up the coast. In the middle of the night. When it's really dark. Yeah, that's a great idea!'
I didn't say that obviously. I said, "No, thanks." But given the lack of sunbathing opportunities, I couldn't help thinking it was an optimistic bit of touting.
True or false?
3) The ideal item for your backpack...
|An optimistic advert.|
A subtle clue as to the authenticity of scenario number 3.
2 x Bunk bed & Mattress
5000 baht each"
I suppose a bunk bed and mattress would be ideal for a backpacker who travels from place to place every few days, but from a practical point of view a bunk bed might be a bit difficult to carry around with you, and I'm not sure it would fit in my backpack.
True or false?
Scroll down the page to find out which of the stories are true and which are just made-up bluffs...
Believe it or not, all of the above incidents are true. Like I said, they're not ground shatteringly exciting stories but I found them all a bit peculiar, and if I read them in a novel I would be surprised on two counts:
1) Firstly, because they're hardly the sort of dramatic story-lines you would expect to see in a fiction book...
"The new best-seller from Charles Fudemuffin...
'The Restaurant With No Food'
Read the dramatic account of one man's trip to a restaurant only to be told they don't have any food!"
Somehow I guess that it's not really blockbuster material...
|The 'How To Save The World' books.|
As another example, there was a minor storyline in my 'How To Save The World' books where one of the characters was originally going to hack into someone's computer account by luckily guessing a password. I decided against it though, as I reckoned most readers would probably deem that too unrealistic. However, the original storyline was actually inspired by a real life incident many years ago when I managed to unlock someone's office computer by guessing their password at the first attempt.
It just goes to show that an author can be restricted by what they can include in their stories because sometimes, even if a story-line is actually based on real-life, readers would still just think, 'Huh! That would never happen in real life!'
. . . . . . . .
If you want to read a selection of interesting 'True Or False' facts and bluffs (rather than trivial holiday occurrences), then check out 'True Or False: A Light-Hearted Collection Of Facts And Bluffs'.
Or if you want to read more about the tropical island of Koh Phangan, then check out the 'Haad Rin Guide Book' which is a guide to the village of Haad Rin, one of the most popular spots on Koh Phangan.
Footnote: I later discovered there was a party being held at one of the secluded beaches that night, so as it turned out the taxi tout was the sensible one and I was the stupid one, but it seemed weird at the time.