On a visit to the remote island of Tiem Re Seap, I quickly realized I was in perhaps the strangest land I’d ever encountered. The island was just a short boat trip from the land of Gipaldi so I decided to take the 5 minute trip to this exotic island.
It didn’t take long before I realized I was in a far more strange land than I could have imagined. When I got off the boat there was no one there! Not a person in sight, just a path leading to ….?
So I followed it:
I began to encounter these small rock statues:
Was this an unknown Easter Island? As I proceeded the path the rock creatures were getting larger in size.
What are these things? Why did they place them here? The mystery was just too intriguing. I had to follow this path to its conclusion. Perhaps the mystery would reveal itself? So on I pressed through the rainforest type environment.
The path then led me to this mysterious looking cave. It looked like some kind of a lava tunnel. Had I wandered into the middle of some ancient volcano? If so, was it still active? These were the scary thoughts whirling through my head.
Eventually I emerged to an area where it looked like the lava tunnel had collapsed. So I took my opportunity and I climbed from this natural tomb and back into the land of the living.
Now I could see what I thought was a city ahead through the trees. Finally this mystery may be solved when I’m back in contact with people. So I trekked through the forest towards the distant lights.
But the end of my destination brought no relief. Only more questions. What I discovered was a sight to behold. It was a city of legless people! Unable to walk they simply crawled the streets!
Why were they here? What had they done to reach this fate? I must know this thing. So, I approached to inquire.
“Sir, why are you here?”, I asked.
The man looked up at me with the saddest of expressions and told me he was brought to the island as all the others were here. They were deemed as outcasts, and much like the lepers of old (and even today), they were segregated from society. Left to their own devices on this strange island to live apart from the whole people.
Repulsed by this story I told him I was so sorry to hear this incredible tale. But still curious about the rock statues I inquired further.
The man told me these were voodoo statues meant to warn the locals to stay away. The statues had no legs to inform them of the purpose of this island. He told me now only foreigners occasionally wander to this island and stumble upon their secrets.
Well, I did not know how to respond! I wanted to correct this injustice, but how? Without knowledge of recourse I simply asked him if there was anything I could do to help.
He replied, “Go back to the land of the living and tell them our story.”
I quickly agreed and then departed to the land of the whole. With internet coverage, I set out to expose the story of the island of legless men.
Of course this is a fictional account of a real problem in the world. Not just of those with crippling disabilities, but mental illness and other diseases that make men stand apart. These people are generally the outcasts of society.
Although they are not abandoned to a remote island, they are nonetheless segregated from the whole people. Either as the homeless or otherwise disregarded as having less worth. They live on the margins of society within the boundaries set for them, much like the fictional island of Tiem Re Seap. Recognition is the beginning of solving any problem.
As a footnote, Gipaldi is also a made up land.
All the photos are original from places I’ve traveled on Jeju island in South Korea and the streets of Bangkok. The purpose of the photos are fictional in this account.