Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Catching up...

Im several weeks behind real time, so im going to try to recap a bit faster. After the full moon party, Christine and I slept off what fatigue we could, and relocated to a recommended resort on the other side of koh tao. We found a more secluded beach on the far side of the island, with a resort that had beach bungalows over the water. The three days we spent after the fullmoon party, were just hanging out on the beach, watching movies in cafes, and drinking all day. The only highlite I can remember is finishing my book (Howard Zinn Peoples history, which I donated to some street kids to resell). We had some Brazilian style steaks while watching the sun set. Hung out with a few Swedish folk. I beat some ass in volleyball again a bunch of Israelis, and actually hurt one of them. The only semi-good story is renting another motor bike, and taking it on the worst roads we have faced yet. I decided it would be a good idea to try the back way to the resort, which is at the bottom of mountains. After having a lovely dinner, and watching yet another cinema classic (lemony something), We passed a fallen down sign for our resort. I pulled down this dirt road with confidence, feeling a new mastery of our machine. The road proceeded to get worse and worse, to the point where we thought it may have been a cruel joke. I made Christine get off and walk a dozen or so times, just to get it up the ridiculous terrain. It was darker than a steers hide at midnight, and Christine started to panic at the strange half abandoned house we saw in the distance. Needless to say we aborted and head back. After passing a motley crew of young drunk vocal local yokels, we were pursued by a pick-up truck for a reason unbeknownst to us. We pulled a get away move, but the scooter only goes 30 mph, so we slammed on the brakes and ran into the closest resort for a drink. The Nipponese bartender, gave us a flashlight and bless us for our journey. The pickup was still there, but fled after a few more minutes. We hopped on the steel chariot, and made it to the beach, where it was another 10 min. Walk. We half ran home, and upon entering the beach bungalow, scurrying around on a boulder, was the largest spider I have ever heard about. I ushered Christine in the house, afterthought Christine says was a small girlish scream, and went back outside to verify it was not some giant crab. The spider was hairy and the size of a football. I slammed the door after I believed the spider to look straight into my eyes. I hardly slept that night because of this strange weird chirping noise, which I thought was the spider trying to scare me me, but was actually a large gecko. We departed koh tao to go back to Bangkok to get our passports, which hopefully had visas in them for the next three countries we planned to visit. We decided overnight train was the way to go, departed our beloved island in the wee hours of the morning. Early morning travel is a new thing for me, but its the only way. We headed back to koh pgan gon, to actually see the island instead of just party like sissy rockstars. I booked a place on line while waiting for the ferry. The place ended up being fantastic and cheap. We stayed on Layla beach, which is isolated and beautiful, but an easy 10 min walk to Hat-rin (full moon party beach). We went out the first night in an effort to regain some of the respect of the island, but the beach that had previously been overcrowded with drunken donkeys, was nearly abandoned. We met a nice couple from Jerusalem, and their friends at a hip-hop bar. The bar was quit, but we decided to drink like it wasn't. Soon we took to the dance floor, and I tried to show the island what it had been missing on my previous appearance. I think I only fell down once or twice, but was with grace. We drank a lot. I don't know exact figures, but we fell for the bucket trick again, and ordered more drinks than our friends were ready to drink. After making fools of ourselves, like every else, but intentionally, we went home, and slept. The hangover the next day may have been the worst to date. We did not leave the hotel that day, but sat on the beach and drank water. We decided it was time to head back to Bangkok, and get our visas and passports that were overdo. We agreed upon the overnight train and set out the next morning after some of the best fahitas I have ever tasted. The boat was late, the bus later, and so when were had arrived at the train terminal, we watched as our train pulled out of the station. We waved our hankies and cried as we realized that we were stranded in the middle of nowhere, but we were not alone. We joined forces with a group of college students from Brisbane. All of the gents were twice my size and rugby players, and with them were their special lady friends. We collectively decided to go eat and get drunk while we waited for the next train 5 hrs later. I made friends with the cutest little old Thai lady you have ever seen, while the rest of the team recruited another Swedish girl to come eat with us. We ate 7 large piazzas for 10 people and drank a bit as well. I liked these aussies, and we made vows to meet up again in Brisbane when we make it there. After some negotiation with the locals we all piled in a pickup (Nine large people...The Swede could take no more), and hit the town. The town was as boring as any middle of nowhere town could be, so we headed back to the station. They were not in the same train car as us, they had a bottle of rum and I had a deck of cards, and we were excited about that. When we got on the train the corridors of the cars were locked for security, and I wept myself to sleep thinking about what fun we could of had. Team Australia got off the train before we did, so at 5.30am I got off at there station ran down a km or so and bid them farewell. I explained what they already knew about the train doors, and a rain check was issued for Australia. Christine and I met a nice older brit who shared our cab to koh san road, and told us all about her trip. We parted ways with the usual formalities of hospitality, and found ourselves a nice little ratshed to sleep in for the evening. We did not like being back on Koh San after coming from our beach paradise, so we protested by not talking to anyone, and drinking at the cafe next door. The people of Koh San had changed. It was now 30 something year olds and young cppls, not the droves of barley legal euro nymphs, and euro frat boys. The bars were quiet, and the streets calm at night. I didn't care either way, we were just here to collect our visas and move on. We decided to take in some local culture, and booked ourselves some ringside seats for the Mui Thai fight at the stadium. There are fights every night, but good fights on Tuesday and Friday. We caught a cab downtown and headed into the stadium, where we sat in the fourth or fifth row next to the ring. The fights had started, and the fans were going crazy. The stands were full of old fat men throwing their hands in every direction trying to place bets, and chanting along with every devastating blow delivered by the young fighters. Many of the fighters were no older than me, yet had fought a couple hundred times, or every week. The fights were brutal and intoxicating at the same time. The second fight a kid got punched in the throat then caught an elbow across the face. He was knocked cold. I jumped up to see if he was ok, but the place went crazy because he must have been the favorite. The ringside seats were all western tourists like Christine and I, and there wasn't anyone who was or knew how to bet. I was determined to place a bet on the fight, especially after being correct 4 out of 5 times. The main event was boring compared to the less skilled boxers killing each other, but the fight after the main event was the heavy weight fight, and involved a jacked white guy against a rather tubby Thai guy. The fight was great. The white guy had no balance, but was as strong as the local redbull. In the final round the white guy went crazy and beat the shit out of the Thai guy, in the most ungraceful highschool fight style, but he knocked him out cold. After the fight, we found some night bizarre which was an endless line of shops, which Christine needed to escorted out off. We entered into this giant stadium, which turned out to be a beer garden with beers from every corner of the earth, except USA. The best thing about the beer garden was the choreographed, multi-costumed dance troop on a giant stage with a laser light show. They were belting out the disco classics, with the thickest Asian accent Diana Ross has ever heard. We could take no more, so we retreated back into the bizarre. We passed a runway model show going on in the middle of a restaurant, a car dealership restaurant, and another stadium, which I needed to know what was going on. After using my farang (that's what they call us here) charm, I found out it was a gameshow. I tried to find a way in, but gameshow security was better than the airport's. Feeling a little worked up about the gameshow, Chrisitine and I decided to embark on finding what many travelers had recommended as a must in Thailand. (People who still respect me please stop reading here....) Now that your all reading on, we set off to find the go-go bars of downtown. Sons are told about these by their fathers, who learned about them from there fathers. This is a right of passage in Thailand, and since it was culture day we decided to go. We got in a little old toothless man's cab and asked to go the "dance clubs" on Pattaya street. He giggled like naughty catholic school girl, and in a high pitched squeal yelled "You want fucky show..HeeHeeHeeHee). We looked at each other, shrugged, and replied "yeah, fucky show please". This pleased him terribly, he was all shits and giggles after this. He was singing songs, tapping beats on the wheel, and rocking back and forth in his seat. We arrived down a dark alley, where a large group of Thai men were hanging around outside of a painted black door. A man approached our cab, and said you want fucky show huh?...10 dollars each. After seeing Christine give a very disapproving glance,I said "there is some mistake, we were looking for the go-go bars." The man smiled with gold cabs on his teeth, and said " this is the only show like this in town...its the stuff no one else will do. Its not even legal. Don't worry I'll give you a look first." We were about to leave when I saw 3 white women older than my mother emerge from the club. Thats all I needed, and we entered into the black door. There was a little old man behind a desk, and another door. Behind the other door, looked like any strip other seedy strip club (I can only imagine, since I don't freqeunt such places), but with middle aged, rather homley looking women on stage hopping around. We took our seats and waited. I'll make this part brief, in case this isn't your bag, but some of the stuff was unbelievable. I don't know how the Ripley, or Guinness people have over looked these clubs, but shooting darts out of your love flower and hitting moving balloons 10 M away has got to count for something. Some of the "acts" were nauseating, like pulling a string of razor blades....well you get the idea. I don't know how many acts we saw, actually I do but my parents read this, but we had all the culture we could handle, and after I gave out some business cards to the aspiring talent for American representation, we went back to koh san. We had to get ready to leave for Cambodia the next day. I came to these foreign countries to gain a different perspective of these exotic cultures, and meet new exciting people. I just didn't expect to be able to do all of this in less than an hour.

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