So here’s the situation. You wake up in your Bangkok apartment confused. You need a few seconds to work out where you are and what day of the week it is. Then it hits you.. It’s Saturday morning. You remember leaving off work Friday late afternoon, having dinner with friends in Silom, and then heading to Bada Bing Agogo for a couple of drinks. Obviously a couple of drinks were followed by a couple more, and you can pretty much remember everything up until the third tequila. After that it’s all a bit of a blur..

Laying on the bed starring up at the ceiling you kind of feel ok. There are no blood stains on the sheets. You still have all your teeth. You can even see your wallet and phone sitting on the bedside table. You quietly congratulate yourself on surviving another ‘one night in Bangkok.’ But when you stand from the bed your head suddenly starts to pound, the room seems to wobble, and your eyes feel like they are being scolded with molten lava. Welcome to your hangover.

When it comes to hardcore hangovers you could say I’ve learned the hard way. While I still don’t have a failsafe cure I’ve learned plenty of things NOT to do when the evil hangover demon is sitting by your side with his trusty head mallet.

Waking Up

First instinct is to reach for the painkillers. While these do help a little, aspirin or ibuprofen mixed with alcohol is not good for your liver or the lining of your stomach. It’s not wildly risky, but it’s best to try ‘manning up’ and taking the hangover on without meds.

So you crave coffee. For some reason you think a big mug of black coffee will save the day. Maybe you’ve seen it in too many movies, but the fact is coffee only makes it worst. If your mind is fragile and you are suffering from that weird hangover guilt where you get a sense you did something either extremely embarrassing or uncomfortably awkward, even though you have no idea what it was, coffee will only make you feel more nervous, paranoid, and generally mentally unstable. Coffee also helps to dehydrate you, further increasing the effects of the hangover and that pounding in your skull.

Next, you look at the shower and then look at the bed. Should you try to freshen up or just slump back on to the bed and hide under the covers hoping it all goes away. The bed wins 9 times out of 10, but the truth is a shower is more likely to help sort you out, plus, it will also get rid of that nasty Sangsom smell emanating from your sweat glands.

The 7Eleven Trip

You’re losing the battle and need water, but as always, there’s none in the apartment when you wake up with the mother of all hangovers. So you somehow dress yourself and head to the nearest 7Eleven. As soon as you get in the lift you realise you’ve forgotten your sunglasses. No big deal.. Wrong. The sun hits you like one thousand dull tipped arrows to your pupils and temple. Not only this but your bloodshot eyes are letting everyone know how naughty you were last night.

The worst thing is now you want to be alone but there are people everywhere, people who normally ignore you but today they want to talk, neigh, shout, and/or get in your way. Things were so much easier when you were alone in your room cuddling your pillow.

Once in the 7Eleven for some bizarre reason you think you deserve a treat. So you look at the microwave hamburgers. Not only do they make your stomach turn and threaten to evacuate its contents in an upward motion, but also you get a nasty flash back of how drunk and pathetic you looked when you stumbled into this very same shop at 5 in the morning.

As you reach down for your water, a shiny gold liquid meets you at eye level. The fizzy energy drink promising to fill you with wild sparks of energy – that can only be a good thing! Wrong. As with the coffee it only fuels the nasty, twisted part of your brain that is determined to mess with you for as long as possible. Water is still your best friend right now. Do the right thing.

The Vicious Circle

It’s been a few hours and you’re still suffering. You’ve ignored your calls just in case you really did cause a scene or confess to a work colleague that you loved them, but one Whatsapp message catches your eye – “Heading to Soi Cowboy. Wanna come?” That’s it! The hair of the dog. As uncle Albert always said, ‘the only real hangover cure is more booze.’ That’s what I’ll do. If only Albert was still a live to see me now!

So you finally get that shower, and hey, you feel a little better, not great, not even closer, but definitely a bit better. The sun has gone down so no need for the sunglasses, you’ve got a few gallons of water in you, and even a thousand Baht still in your wallet! The worst is over.. Or so you think.

Hope is a cruel thing. The bright Neon lights aren’t easy on your eyes at the best of time, now you feel like you’re getting stabbed in the retina with a lightsaber, as you walk through this mini Las Vegas of pain, desperate to get that first beer in your belly. But soon enough you’re on beer number two, then three, and you’re feeling worse. You don’t remember the music being this loud before and why is everyone shouting? Why can’t we all just whisper?? You want to run out the door and go home but the smells from the fried insect stall outside nearly made you puke on the way in, on the way out you’re surely going to blow!

The best advice I have is one which I rarely follow. Drink lots of water before you sleep – a litre or more and you may be ok.  It makes great sense sober, but it makes little sense to the half zombie who shuffles sideways into my room at 5.15 in the morning, crashing on to the bed with a half eaten 7Eleven burger gripped firmly in his hand.

By Kim Loe

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