I will tell you a story that Philipp told me. This happened before we met. He was in Thailand on an island in the Andaman Sea. A popular tourist destination. A place where the ocean is like a hallucination of green water with sugar white sand. I know I have been there.
That day. He was sunning on the beach. He had spent six month at a monastery in Thailand. And now he had reverted back to his atavistic hedonism. And it was a day like all the other days. Humid. Scorching sun. Blinding ocean. Imagine the color jade for the water. Azure for the sky.
But then something odd happened. The water started receding. Not just a little bit. But a lot. Far into horizon. Fishing boats became stranded. Fishes flopping. Their mouths puckering. Little crabs scurrying.
He had never seen anything like this before. Other people too. Local and tourist. People gathered by the shore. They walked towards what seemed like endless stretches of wet sand. Amazed. Philip joined the crowd.
This was a mistake.
Suddenly. The ocean. It came back. In a surge. So fast. Phillip said. It was unbelievable. He ran. Panicking. He runs. He can already feel the water to his ankle. He keeps running. The water gets higher.
And here he laughs. Yes. Laughs.
He said. I was so STUPID! I ran into my beach hut. Thinking it would protect me.
The ocean was big. It had no mercy. It swallowed his beach hut. It swamped the thatch roof. With Phillip inside.
But fortunately, Philipp is able to swim out through the WINDOW of his hut.
The ocean pummels him. He does not know which way is up. Down?
But he swims. He swims he floats. He grasps. Debris is everywhere. The roof of a hut. Trees. Branches. All kinds of shit.
The water, (again he says by luck) it pushes onto land. A hillside. Though he is exhausted. He climbs. Crawls up the hill. Then he runs. Runs. As high as possible.
When he gets up to the stop. He sobs. He cries like he has never ever before,