Published: February 26th 2010February 26th 2010
some were convincing
Salutations Big Blue World,
I’m still here, living the day by day in China. I pretended the Internet didn’t exist for awhile, but I guess its not totally banned yet.
Yesterday I woke up and it was January 10th and I was twiddling my thumbs dreaming about the beaches in Thailand. This morning I woke up in Zhongshan wondering were it all went. Nearly 5,000 miles of planes, trains, automobiles, motorcycles, boats, and buses later I’m ready for a new vacation.
The first part of the trip I went to Thailand with my girlfriend Carmen. The second half I spent city hopping with me ma and pa. I’ll tell the rest of the story in later blogs, its simply too much to digest. Plus I have to sort through 1600 pictures. I have 150 Thai Baht left over if anyone wants to help. So anyway, Thailand.
Carmen has never left the country before. We sat silently on the tarmac inside a purple and gold upholstered Thai 777 watching rain melt across our dark window and she turns to me and asks, “how do planes fly?”… “well, see the curve in the wing creates an airspeed differential over
me controling the elephant wasnt really happening but, I guess by kicking its ears is the normal method
the wings causing lower pressure on the top of the wing resulting in lift”… Carmen continues to stare quizzically wide eyed, as if to say… so how does this thing fly…Pausing for a moment I think to myself and realize I don’t know and respond again, “I have no idea”.
A turbulence filled ride later we arrived in Thailand. After arriving in Thailand I had to look up how planes flew and found this on wikipedia…
“It is amazing that today, almost 100 years after the first flight of the Wright Flyer, groups of engineers, scientists, pilots, and others can gather together and have a spirited debate on how an airplane wing generates lift.” - Dr. John Anderson Curator of the National Aerospace Museum.
Comforting. Act of God or not, we were in Thailand.
One of our first trips was to Pattaya where we went jet-skiing in the ocean and took an elephant excursion into the jungle.
Renting a jet-ski in Thailand consisted of me bartering with some drunk guy with a huge fake Afro on how long I could ride his seadoo. After I handed him the cash he just gives me the keys
the entire island was fantastic
and says be back in an hour. Hilarious, although not surprising in southeast Asia. Pattaya is basically a scuzzy party town packed with foreigners up to no good.
During the daytime you could see hundreds drunk ‘single’ western men lounging on the beach. During the nighttime you could see thousands of Thai women looking for ‘dates’. The bars they have are unlike anything I have seen anywhere in the world. They are more of less brothels where dozens of ladies will wait for dates. Luckily being with Carmen, who many thought was Thai, we were left alone. Although later on in Pattaya I was wishing we hadn’t been.
We were riding an elephant through the jungle and the driver half way through the trip, in the middle of the jungle, jumps off the elephant and tells me I’m driving. He disappears to take a leak or God knows what and I'm supposed to be directing a 5 ton beast through the forest. Right. That Elephant was going to do whatever it damn well pleased. The elephant didn’t take a single step after the guy left. Like I knew which way was home anyway? I wasn’t in Maumee. All
I knew is the beast kept reaching its trunk back asking for more bananas. Carmen and I had bought bananas right before the trip and I was praying we didn’t run out before driver got back. The elephant nearly ripped out one my fingers snarfing down one banana. We decided to rip the bananas in half, but the beastie wasn’t pleased, letting out an unnerving gruff of air… Was I next?
Thankfully driver man came back and I wasn’t forced to feed Carmen to the beast. (just kidding B)… Maybe. Act 2 was the guying teaching me how to ‘steer’ the beast as he walked shirtless and shoeless in the jungle in front of the goliath. It was an experience.
Did you know Thailand is famous for “LadyBoys”. Well it is, and Carmen has a bizarre fascination with everything LadyBoy, so we had to go see a show. We booked tickets online for a Cabaret show in downtown Bangkok and found out when we got there we had the best seats in the house. I didn’t know it yet, but I was the ‘luckiest’ boy in the building. With much appreciation we were served martinis before the show
this is carmen desperately trying to take a picture of a ladyboy litterally ontop of me, you can sorta see my leg sticking out on the right and a mass of red dress
and for good reason. I was continuously singled out by the LadyBoys during the show. I had a mock make-out session on stage and later I had a LadyBoy sitting in my lap give me a big gooey red lipstick kiss on my cheek (see pictures!). It felt like half the show I had a spotlight on me. Of course I played along and blew kisses much to the crowds delight. Well those LadyBoys were
hot, just like everything else in Thailand.
The last part of trip Carmen and I went to Koh Samet, an island about 7 hours ride outside of Bangkok. White sand beaches, snorkeling, little bungalows on the ocean, very beautiful. We drank beer and ate shrimp on the beach after plodding around the old island on our rented motorcycle. There were still a lot of foreigners but nothing like what we saw in Bangkok, where they are EVERYWHERE. Main translation of less foreigners means things are less expensive.
Most of the trip was spent shopping, eating, and swimming. I wanted to enjoy the hot weather knowing I was flying to icy cold Beijing the day after I got back.
I’m not sure what
else to say about Thailand. Lots of western people, comparatively. Beautiful country, great beer, lots of hookers.
OH YEAH. I just missed seeing Ben. My cousin Ben Koffel left Bangkok just two nights before I flew in. After leaving Thailand the next day I saw my parents in Beijing. We are having ourselves a little Koffel reunion in Asia. And I could have sworn I saw Aunt Rita wearing a conical hat selling cats in Guangzhou yesterday.
The pictures are great. I promise. Although right now I can’t get my computer to read my files off the scan-disk. If I can’t get it to work tomorrow, I’ll be in complete panic mode. So for today all you get is lousy ole words. I just really want to post something. Happy New Year China. Take care everyone, much love. Zai Jian.
There are more photos below