BootsnAll Travel Network

Phuket and bucket do not rhyme


Hey all – I decided to carry on with the blog after all for you loyal readers. πŸ™‚ Putting a bunch more pics on Flickr too.

First of all, when they say “rainy season,” let me tell you, they mean it. I left you on Penang, where dare I say, I was one crabby chica. Traveling for this long on your own is bound to have its ups and downs, and I was definitely on a down. Malaysia was, for lack of a better word, bo-ring. I thought it was going to be very exotic, but all I can say is that they have a serious hard-on for 7-11s. As you can see by my Bangkok photo essay on Flickr, this trend continues in Thailand. I’m here in Sukothai, waiting out a deluge in an Internet cafe, and there’s a 7-11 two doors down, thank God. But back to Penang.

A few interesting things happened despite the bo-ring place…

1. At the hostel in Penang, I had just gone to beddie-bye, with aforementioned killer ear infection, when I heard a tremendous crash! (That sounds like The Night Before Christmas, doesn’t it?) Anyway, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter, thinking someone had dropped a TON of plates, maybe an entire cabinet, and discovered that a girl had walked through a plate-glass window! Not even a clear one. What a retard. It was pretty gross though, blood everywhere – and I don’t even think she was drunk. Ambulance was en route when I went back to bed.

2. On the minivan (more on that later) up to Thailand from Malaysia, this dude from New Zealand, hippie-looking dreadlocky guy, thought the driver gave him the finger in the rear view mirror, and maybe he did, but I wasn’t paying attention. So this guy gets right up in the driver’s face and starts calling him a cu#@, and saying “You know what you did!!” The driver pulls over and starts waving his cell phone, going, “Police?? Police??” Well, we got to our destination a tense hour later and the driver dumped dude and his woman somewhere random, they exchanged more words, and then the driver grabbed a metal pipe from the van! Punch-up! No, it ended non-violently, unfortunately, (JK!) and the rest of my day was a bore. Eight more hours in the minivan. Which brings me to my next observation:

Africa = where Asian minibuses go to die. Seriously, this thing was swank. No duct tape holding cushions together (I couldn’t even see stuffing!), no rust, Thai pop played at a reasonable level, three seats held three people – no chickens, no fish, no large plastic tubs of food. No one rushed the bus to sell us anything and my B.O. was by far the worst on there. And no one looked at or talked to anyone, including me. Let me reiterate: BO-RING. I have to give that to Africa – it’s certainly the most vivid place I’ve ever been.

Spent a night in Phuket (pronounced Poo-ket, which is still funny I guess), in the same shithole where they filmed the Bangkok scenes from The Beach. Took the boat to Ko Phi Phi (island) and I swear to God it was like a frat party or a Contiki tour bus exploded on the boat. Dear God in heaven, I thought, please help me. There was some douche bag on the boat with a t-shirt on that said “Sex instructor, first lesson free.” Awesome! Let’s go, big boy! At least he had a shirt on though; there were at least three guys who didn’t even bother to wear a shirt – on a 3-hour ferry ride – and stuck their “Phi Phi Ferry” sticker right on their chests. It’s was like Thai Cancun here, for reals. So, if you can’t beat them, join them and, in the spirit of the location, I got absolutely, AA-worthy, blind wasted! There’s a particular drink in southern Thailand, tailor-made for the backpacker set, called a “bucket,” which is a mixture of Thai whiskey, Thai Red Bull (which is illegal in the U.S., BTW) and Coke, actually in a sandcastle bucket. So, before dinner, I had three beers (empty stomach = idiot), then with dinner, split a bucket four ways, then after dinner, had two more to myself! It was 2-for-1! Spent the next day dry-heaving and wishing I was dead. I think that ship has sailed, my friends. I just periodically insist on boarding anyway.

Since the rain carried on there for the duration, I decided to head up to Bangkok a few days ago. Took the overnight backpacker bus from Krabi and arrived at 5:30am, deposited on Khao San Road, Thailand’s backpacker ground zero. Transport is so different here; the whole country seems set up for 20-something travelers, and I have to say the “let’s get wasted and party” thing doesn’t really suit me anymore, despite my par-tay on Phi Phi. I thought with so many other travelers here it would be easier to meet people, but I’ve found that Africa was actually much better. Many, if not all, of the backpackers here are 20, English, and travel in packs. Though I did see lots of other lone travelers in Bangkok, sitting in restaurants, there’s not a lot of opportunity to meet them, since everyone stays in individual rooms in guesthouses. Oh well. Spent three sweltering days in Bangkok, escaping to the air-con comfort of a mall and movie the first night, which I spent in an interior room a little wider than a coffin. Splurged on relative splendor the next two nights – a room with air con and my own bathroom. Saw the wats (temples) got a pedicure, ate, ate and ate…noodles, rice, curry. I’ll blog about Asian food next time.

So, back to Khao San Road. This is the street Leonardo walks down in The Beach if you remember it. It’s full of cheap clothes stands, cheap beer places, Internet cafes, pad thai food stalls, 7-11s, Boots Pharmacy, Thai people saying “where you go?” and pointing to their tuk tuks, which I swear I’ll get a picture of, women saying “masaaaaaaaaaaaaage” in a really long, whining voice – you name it. It’s like an alternate universe – more ‘Thailand does Cancun’, I suppose. I stayed nearby, not on the mothership. Went to a bar there my first night, purely because it was air-conditioned, all by myself. (Cue strings).

Ended up getting into a fight, about American politics, with me defending us, if you can believe it. This wasted, wasted Irish guy, 24, began his monologue (I can’t call it a conversation) by telling me all about his trip around the world (Canada, California and Vegas, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand) and how the exposure to all those like diverse cultures had, like, totally changed his viewpoint on the world. I expressed some dislike of the SexyBack vibe I was getting in Thailand, and he agreed, saying that on this trip to Thailand, his third, his eyes had finally been opened, since the last two times he came here, it had been purely for sex with Thai prostitutes. But no more. Then we started talking about money for the trip for some reason – oh, I know, cause he was traveling with a posse and bankrolling two of his friends – and I said, “How did you save all that money?” Well, he didn’t actually save it, he said, more like ripped off his former employer for 30,000 Euro. Still has 20,000 in the bank!

Then, after reassuring me repeatedly that he’s not a bad person, he started in on the States. We are so racist, he hates the south, the government is horrible, we support terrorists, the people are assholes (not me!) etc. Agreed in some cases, but seriously, dude. It was on. I think the conversation ended with mutual “fuck offs.” I totally won though. The next day dawned bright though, with the prospect of a trip to the Indian embassy ahead of me and more deliciousness to come!

I’ll leave you on that note, since this is already long and I know no one is friggin’ reading this anyway, apart from a few of you awesome posters. Please leave me some comments if you are reading and let me know what you think. It’s for you, readers, all for you. Mom, Dad, Janet and Karen, that means you. You are obligated to write on here. SO DO IT. xx


12 responses to “Phuket and bucket do not rhyme”

  1. hans says:

    i only met you today, but be asure, i’ll read this blog from beginning to the end: it’s freaking hilarious.nrnrand i could learn alot from your writing skills. skip the pastry chef dream and continue writing!

  2. BK says:

    Hey, dude, thanks for sticking up for America. Yay us! I was surprised to hear that you’d gotten into a bar argument, though…

  3. KP says:

    What’s a tuk tuk?

    “What a retard. It was pretty gross though, blood everywhere – and I don’t even think she was drunk. Maybe Scandinavian.”

    Ummm, excuse me, but are you equating being Scandinavian with being drunk? Or a retard? Dude, I’ll fight ya over that one.

    Not that it can compare to the rainy season there, but we are having our own deluge here in MSN. Yesterday a bolt of lightning hit a utility pole at Sherman/Northport and unleashed a 4,000 volt wire that landed in standing water and electrocuted a woman and small child who were waiting for the bus, and then a passerby who tried to help them. The bus driver jumped out to try and help, but was shocked back into the bus. Once the first responders arrived, they couldn’t do anything but watch the smoking bodies until the utility people secured the scene. They had to cut power to 1,800 residences to fix the downed wire.

    What a handy beverage the bucket is! After you drink it, you have a ready-to-use vomit receptacle. I’m getting kind of green just thinking about whiskey and illegal red bull. The legal kind is foul enough. What’s in the Thai kind that makes it illegal?

    Tell more about the food, please!

  4. Amy Maurer says:

    Yay for continuing to blog your trip! Rock on!

    Seriously though, just hearing about those bucket drinks makes me feel hungover. God I’m old. “I think that ship has sailed, my friends.” Amen, sister.

    As of Tuesday, Scott’s now joined your ranks as an international traveler… he called today from one of the undoubtedly many Erfurt beerhalls while imbibing a fine German pilsner. (I, on the other hand, am really gaining a new respect for single parents!) Sounds like they’re off to a rousing start… so far they’ve visited a concentration camp memorial and a german sex shop. (On second thought, maybe I’m not so jealous I stayed home with the kids? Ha!)

    Yes, definitely, let’s hear more about the Asian cuisine. Have you had any problems communicating your shrimp allergy with the food vendors, btw? Speaking of food allergies, Jack’s allergic to uncooked eggs. Easy to avoid, you might think, but it turns out cupcakes are not friendly to this allergy as many of them use either 7 minute or Buttercream frosting, both of which contain uncooked egg whites (for those non-bakers in the crowd). When we determined that he had this allergy last winter, we explained to him that he can’t have “raw” eggs, as we weren’t sure he’d understand the subtleties of “uncooked”. So today at a playdate, he was offered a cupcake. He said “No, I’m lergic to rodden eggs.” I just had to laugh.
    On second thought, that might be the answer to ending my sweet tooth obsession… if I picture every piece of cake has rotten eggs in it?!? πŸ˜‰
    Have a spring roll for me, and keep the posts coming!

  5. Dane Melby says:

    Hey Becks…yes, keeps the posts coming! Presently, living vicariously through another is all the fun in my life. Live and learn when it comes to destinations…westernization has its drawbacks obviously…still, stick up for us back here in the good old U.S. of A. A better defender we could not ask for…just keep the buckets off of your head as you do so please! Hope to here of better ports-of-call to come. As for the Scandinavian comment…did you hear why the Norwegian ice factory had to close? Lost the recipe! HA…yes, old family joke. God’s speed…keep it coming!

  6. admin says:

    Hey all –

    Thanks for reading! I think there’s speed in Thai Red Bull. Which is what makes it so great! And tuk tuks are these little motorized tricycles almost. I’ll put a pic on here soon.

    Off to look at some more wats!


  7. Jen says:

    Yay for your blog! Thanks for keeping on writin’! I really enjoy reading about your adventures and observations of what’s going around you! That’s crazy about the Thai Red Bull with speed in it – Wow! And yes – how is it going with communicating your allergy to Shrimp? Please do tell about exotic food that you’ve tried.
    Don’t drink any more bucket drinks! No No!
    Love YOU!

  8. Katy says:

    I’m still stopping by when I have a sec too πŸ™‚ I LOVE reading the blog. Please keep it up. Your trips almost coming to an end, no? Which fabu place are you going to move to? I LOVE LOVE LOVE your photos by the way. You’ve got some really great shots in there. Damn, every time I stop by I’m ready to pack a backpack!! Can’t wait to have a long night of beer and travel stories when you get back πŸ˜‰ Take Care, girl!

  9. Karen says:

    Hi Becky,

    I am posting so keep freaking writing, you know I am reading it because when I write you e-mails I talk about your pictures and your blog. So write more woman!

  10. brian says:

    dont stop writing!!! america misses you!! when are you coming home? you are my hero!!!

  11. Janet says:

    I’m reading your blog a lot. I’m melting in the 115 degree heat in the desert and I need your adventures to sustain me in the heat, so freakin’ write!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  12. Zaza says:

    Hi! I did it! I read some of your blog! Yay me! Great stories! Thanks for those. πŸ™‚ You were right about facebook…the kids are 2nd on my priority list now. Poor little girls. Maybe I’ll feed them tomorrow. Anyway, I can’t wait to talk with you about your trip…you know, we spent about 12 weeks in Thailand in ’99 and 2000…have fun, and keep the funny stories coming. Btw, my vamp kicked your vamp’s butt!

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