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I walk up the stairs to Wonderland. As soon as I show my face in the hostel common area I hear the usual cry of "Jakeeee". Only this time it's followed by "Wanna do some shrooms?" I did wanna do some shrooms. After much deliberation we came up with a plan. The entirety of this plan was, which beach to do them on & that we should hurry up before the effects kicked in. So we hopped on our mopeds to June Juea bay for some snorkelling. The roads were comically steep and I had David on the back of mine who weighs two of me. After narrowly avoiding death a couple times it was agreed to play it safe on the way back. I would ride the bike back without him on. The Thai word for safety is compromise. Take Laura for example, she had never ridden a bike before so we agreed that she would rent the smallest moped in the shop, so she wouldn't be tempted to give anyone a backie. Obviously this went out the window on hour two but that's what helmets are for. We picked the wrong day to go snorkelling at June Juea as there was more plankton than water. Instead of being immersed in the world of Finding Nemo we found ourselves in a Bushtucker Trial. An unexpected side effect of the shrooms had also made us super squeamish. It really felt like we were paddling through a sea of baked beans & boogers. I could be heard squealing through my snorkel as I punched my way through the endless jelly. Receiving the odd zapp for my troubles. I surface to see David in his element, floating on his back making jelly angels.

Back on land we complained amongst ourselves that we couldn't feel the effects of the shrooms despite it being abundantly clear to the Thai woman working the bar 30 yards back that we were all tripping balls. There was a foam pontoon the size of a single mattress floating in front of where we were complaining. So naturally, one by one, we climbed on to see how many of us it could take. Four was the answer we ignored as there were five of us plus a David. After falling short of our original target of sailing Floaty McFlaotface around the world we showcased some world class wrestling for the crowd (some people had gathered to see what on Earth would make six grown adults cackle uncontrollably for 25 minutes). We came up with a new game as things very nearly got sensible for a second. "Let's see who can find the biggest slug" If you are unfamiliar with island shroom parley, 'slug' means those slimey and black sea cucumbers about yay big. I looked around to some understandably hesitant faces. All except for Esther, a Kiwi girl who was laughing and nodding infectiously. David looked at her then did the same. Laura released an "Oh my god" as it dawned on her she was becoming convinced. I acted quick before everyone grew some sense. "We slap our entrees on the table... 30 seconds. GO!" And true enough, with tears of magic streaming down our faces, we teared off through the water in every direction hunting for the biggest slug. I'm always suggesting something silly like this but never before have I been with a group of people who thought to listen. Finding one was the easy part. Picking one up without screaming 'Eww!' and throwing that mouldy pickle straight back was the challenge. Especially when it shoots sea jizz in your face. Time up, we all slapped our meats on the table and compared sizes. It was close but our independent adjudicator declared mine the biggest - my greatest sporting achievement to date.

The following day at the hostel, talk of Sluglympics had taken over. Our fellow Wonderlanders were split into two camps. They were either jealous they missed out on such a historical sporting event. Or to our surprise, showed their immense disappointment that we would invent such an unethical abomination. The excuse "We saw an eight year old girl pick one up first" seemingly not carrying much weight. It was explained to us that "Picking sea cucumbers up can harm them". It was obviously time to apologise but as usual I just made things worse "At least we only played one event." The look of horror on a vegans face failing to register as I filled in the Sluglympic calendar "The possibilities are endless. There's Long Throw, Most Stretchy, and something that resembles the classic childhood game Conkers."


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