October 9th 8:10pm - The Aussie
Three hours after the insurgence and exodus to the big boat found my two roommates, myself, and two crazy Aussies impeccably inebriated. One of my friends offered forth into the alcohol-induced atmosphere a marvelous thought: we should go see if we could rile up the well-endowed-blue-shirted-daunting-woman that had been solely responsible for the evacuation of the smaller boat. My friend and I grasped the backs of the wooden benches for support as we stumbled forward. Intimidator was in the front. We were in the back. We aimed for the bright blue target, keeping our eyes on the goal as I almost tripped on a wooden step. We persevered over the excessive backpacks and sleeping bodies in our path. We made it. We walked up to Intimidator. We paused. We looked at each other. We kept walking. Intimidator forcefully spoke to a man smaller than she was. He avoided making eye contact with her and shifted from one foot to another. We ceased walking a few steps past her. She eyed us warily. We perused our modified surroundings. There were more Thai men up here and the width of the boat narrowed. The formidable presence of a woman in command charged the air. We sat side-by-side on an oversized window ledge to plot. We needed to do something that would exasperate her. Just for fun. Our other friend joined us. She stood by while the three of us discussed. One of the Aussies staggered towards us, beer in hand. He warmly greeted us and loudly, drunkenly, inquired why we moved forward. Before we could respond he shrugged and repositioned his body to join us on the ledge. He leaned back, his posterior sticking out, feet near the ledge. Aussie overshot the ledge by four feet. We watched as he tilted back. We watched as he fell. In air his beer traveled to his mouth and his lips smiled. We watched as his back smacked the water of the Mekong River and as his face never registered what was happening.
We shrieked in laughter, our heads tilting back in hysterics while we raised our alcohol in the air to salute. The Intimidator shrieked in disbelief and aggravation and stomped to us. She bellowed, her face reddening, we shouldn’t encourage him. We shouldn’t laugh at his drunkenness. I scrutinized the water where he had fallen. Finally his head bobbed above water with beer still in hand forty yards back. The current traveling the opposite direction had caught him. My friend raised her voice, saying we weren’t traveling with him and we were laughing because it was funny. The Thai workers turned the boat around. The Intimidator roared that we were wasting time and had to go all the way back to get him. My friend retorted if Intimidator hadn’t gotten involved earlier we would have already reached our destination. We sat in the boat for over a half an hour while she was in front dictating. They stood, glaring, two feet apart. My other friend and I stood up. Intimidator glowered at the three of us. And she ceased yelling.
Afterward my friend said when she saw Intimidator and our other friend in a confrontation, she thought, well hell, the only way we can compete if all three of us take her. That’s when we stood up.
We later saw a picture a fellow boat riding traveler had taken of Aussie in the seconds his head initially emerged from the water. He had a drunken smile plastered across his face.