These Castle Tales are real and recapped from my perspective during two months of living in a co-working space for writers on Koh Samui. The Content Castle, as it existed then, is no longer in business.
It’s a night like any other after a day much like the previous. I fuss about the house, tidying things and thinking up a to-do list for tomorrow. One of the girls is out on a Tinder date, the other is up in her room working and I’m fighting a chest cold. It had been a productive day and I decided that both an early bedtime and some NyQuil were more than overdue.
I’d barely eaten any dinner and after my nightly bedtime prep, I sent the girls a message on the group chat that I was going to bed. I start to drift off as a few more exchanges in the chat tell me that the date went well and now the girls are headed up to our favorite late-night hangout spot, the hammocks on the third-floor balcony, to catch up on the gossip of the evening. I drift into a deep, medicated sleep soon thereafter.
Castle House Mom On Duty
I wake up in the morning early —around 7a— and prepare for my “house Mom: routine. I head downstairs to be sure the scented mosquito repellent coils are lit, check the fridge for any neglected or dying produce to throw out, and stock up on toilet paper rolls to take up to the second-floor bathroom. I notice the House Manager’s door is wide open, but for the first time since she arrived her balcony door is shut and locked.
This woman is on a trial stay in her role and has done nothing but irritate the lot of us since her arrival. A recovering alcoholic of sorts, she tip-toes around the kitchen in the night and takes the bottles of liquor she can find with her to her room. Her room is the largest and at the front half of the second floor of the mansion.
She has a balcony attached to her space, that we have repeatedly caught her forgetting to close and lock at night. She must do so as part of her contract because her balcony faces the main ring road of the island. For the safety of the unarmed women inside the place alone, it should never be left open unattended. Yet she does.
The house is quiet, the way I like it, and I’m free to move around quietly as I’m not much of a morning person. The first male resident to occupy the house since my initial arrival in January is leaving today. He successfully managed to rub everyone in the house the wrong way in less than seven days. And to add insult to injury he never paid his deposit (like the rest of us) or completed any assigned copywriting (like the rest of us) to cover his accommodations and food for the length of his stay. As a result, is being evicted.
He is helping himself to the leftover Pad Thai in the fridge, which he has no right to, and leaning on access to the free wifi. I’m beyond exhausted by trying to navigate his bipolar characteristics so I choose to say nothing of these actions and instead return to the confines of my room.
Enter Naked Thai Guy
We believe he tried the entry by my room but couldn’t gain access then proceeded to walk around the house where he found balcony door number two wide open so he let himself in her room, down the hall, and to the stairs leading to the third floor. One of the girls was fast asleep and the other was in the toilet as he crept up the stairs. Returning to her room she saw a shadow move behind the door. The house is in a jungle so the occasional gecko or frog has been known to share our indoor space. This shadow, however, was human-sized so she was on high alert and proceeded with caution. She pushed open the door to find the naked Thai guy attempting to flatten hi
Two hours later I re-emerge and pass the male resident on the way to the bathroom. I roll my eyes considering he was supposed to leave over an hour ago and instead continues to utilize objects in the house that should, out of principle, be left alone. He stops me and says with a ridiculous smirk and condescending tone, “Did you hear what happened last night? I only found out myself!” I pause and stare at him blankly not knowing if this is some sort of conversational trap that I don’t wish to be caught up in.
“What are you talking about?” I take the bait. He chuckles through the next bit. “The girls went out last night and got robbed and then sexually assaulted by a naked Thai guy!” My eyes widen as I stare at him and my stomach turns at this news. “WHAT?” I play back the conversations from the chat group in my mind and no one mentioned leaving the house last night, being robbed, or any sexual assault.
He explains further his version of the story that includes facts like the girls went to stock up on liquor at the 7-Eleven down the street when they were approached by a naked Thai guy and robbed for 3k THB —about USD 95— and that one of the girls later woke up to the same Thai guy on top of her fondling her breasts as she slept.
I push past him and head to the trial manager’s room and find her sprawled out on her bed half asleep. I call out to her and she sits straight up to look at me. My heart and mind are racing as I inquire frantically after the truth before embracing her and asking if she’s okay. She fills me in on the missing details, which aren’t what I was told at all, but I’m preoccupied thinking about my friends.
She continues to correct the lies I was just told, but I cut her off and b-line for the stairs. I hobble —my wounds from my collision course with the outer wall limiting still my movements— my way up to the thief floor where my friends’ rooms are. When I get upstairs both bedroom doors are closed and it’s extremely quiet.
I’m positive the girls must be sleeping, but I must speak with them to discover the truth. I trust these two ladies through and through; the male freeloader and the trial manager, not so much. I knock on the first door and whisper one of their names through the door so as not to startle her. There’s no answer so I move to the next door when I hear a stir behind door number one.
I’m about to knock on door number two when the first door opens and my roommate cautiously emerges. She doesn’t see me tucked around the corner and when I double back to greet her I do what I was hoping to avoid and frighten her.
I apologized and explained to her the story I received and how badly I needed to know if she was okay. As I’m explaining this to her she crinkles her face in disgust and corrects the second story even further than the first!
The Tale of The Naked Thai Guy
The following is a brief recap of what happened the previous night:
Both girls are on the third-floor balcony enjoying themselves before heading to bed around 2:00 am. The trial manager is doing what she does in her room on the second floor—where my room is also located. She hasn’t been sleeping regularly and insists on leaving her balcony door unlocked (and wide open) in case she needs a cigarette.
Everyone’s asleep when a young, we assume high as a kite, naked Thai guy manages to shimmy up the side of the house, using the neighbor’s wall for leverage and wearing tennis shoes we believe he stole from the neighbor’s yard or around the back of the house. We found this solitary pair of shoes the next day on the balcony and deduced his entry. There is one main balcony on the second floor that wraps around the house with two options for ingress; one near my bedroom and the second in the room currently occupied by the trial manager.
We believe he tried the entry by my room but couldn’t gain access because surprise, surprise, I lock the door every evening. But then proceeded to walk around the house where he found balcony door number two wide open so he let himself in her room, down the hall, and to the stairs leading to the third floor.
One of the girls was fast asleep and the other was in the toilet as he crept up the stairs. Returning to her room she saw a shadow move behind her door. The house is in a jungle so the occasional gecko or frog has been known to share our indoor space. This shadow, however, was human-sized so she was on high alert and proceeded with caution.
She pushed open the door to find the naked Thai guy attempting to flatten himself against the wall holding his junk in one hand and his cell phone in the other. She lets out a wail and frightened he returns the gesture. She screams again, this time for our roommate down the hall for help.
The naked Thai guy scrambles around the room and screams back at her as he shuffles his way toward her to get through the open doorway. All of this played out like the perfect comedic scene save for the uncomfortable part of the exchange, which is when the naked Thai guy shuffled past her during his exit. He stops in front of her, eyeballs her see-through pajama top, then reaches out and squeezes one of her breasts like a naughty schoolboy before fleeing down the stairs.
Our third roommate opens her door at the same time the cheeky bastard rounds the corner at the bottom of the stairs. Frantic and in complete shock at the happenings, both girls hatch a plan before heading downstairs to make sure the man is no longer in the house. They get to the second floor and alert the trial manager before attempting to go downstairs as one solid unit to make sure the man has left the premises.
Armed with nothing but each other, the girls take one stair at a time until they can see the side door of the house has been unlocked and swung wide open; his escape route. One more thorough check shows the house is empty of anyone not wearing clothing and the side door is closed and locked once more. They find the trial manager’s purse thrown under the staircase, her money —the 3k THB previously mentioned— and her cigarettes and lighter gone.
The ladies decide to fumble with the hidden safe, which blares an alarm-like sound when the code is entered incorrectly as a deterrent in case the perp is hiding somewhere, or worse, is not alone as suspected. This is a perfect place for me to add in the unfortunate fact that I am still very much out like a light and not hearing any of this despite being just across the hall from the safe and the alarm noises now ringing through the house.
Twenty minutes or so pass and there’s no further incident, but the girls are shaken. They spend time debriefing each other and figuring out how the man got in, but mostly comforting one another. We are like a family in the close confines of this house. The trial manager successfully calms the girls and does a full lockdown of the house before the three of them turn in for the evening around 5:30 in the morning. Queue my wake up an hour and a half later and we are full circle.
Bananas, Am I Right?
There have been a string of crazy events happening in this house during my short time here, but this one took the cake as both comical and alarming. Thankfully, additional security measures for the house were implemented almost immediately. Kudos to the owner for her swift action. All of the locks were changed and additional security locks were installed. CC tv, would take weeks to complete.
The police were notified and they did two drive-bys per day for a week following the report. Since my exit from the Content Castle, the trial manager was let go and the next resident to occupy the room followed protocol and kept the balcony door closed and locked during the evenings or when not in her room. To my knowledge, there have been no additional reports of a naked Thai guy entering the premises or further safety issues since.
What Happens Next at The Content Castle?
There is still more adventure from the Content Castle to come. My housemates and I are regularly visited by the large gecko in the rafters, known as Gecko Jesus. With an irrational fear of serpentine creatures, you can imagine the castle kerfuffle the girls and I got ourselves into.
There’s nothing quite like exploring another culture, land, and history all while discovering yourself. Travel is transformative, and this was only the beginning of what would become a life-altering journey.