Sad, but not tragic. A forced opportunity. Maybe even a fortunate adaptation…fuck it. Let's make taco salad.

Ao Nang

After a short ferry ride, I’m back on the Thai mainland in the bustling little beach town of Ao Nang.  Apparently, I was a bit exhausted because I spent 40 of the first 48 hours here sleeping.  Oops…make that 60 of the first 72.

When I finally did stumble down the stairs of my guesthouse, what a scene:  20-30 people sitting on little plastic stools lining both sides of the sidewalk, blocking traffic, hassling tourists, and buying beer and Thai whiskey from a crazy drunk old Thai man whose truck died on the street in that very spot 7 years prior.  With many apologies to The Blue Moose, The Alibi, The Triple Nipple, Claudia’s, and The Lost City – who all contributed substantially to my personal development – Mr. Cock’s Streetbar is probably the Best Bar Ever.

“Cheeep beer, cheep beer!  Happy hour!  Good price!  You come back for uhhhh ooooo uhhhhh!”  (I had more than one female tell me they had nightmares about Mr. Cock’s mating call.)

I had intended to stay for just 2 nights in Ao Nang, but I ended up meeting and talking with so many amazing people that I stayed almost a week.  All on a little plastic stool on the street; business genius sometimes comes in surprisingly simple forms.

On my third day, I finally made the grueling 100 meter trek down to the beach to go for a swim and was immediately assaulted by Massage Girl:

“You come get massage!  Now!!”

“Uhhh…I have no money.  I am swimming!”

“No, mistuh!  You come now!  I have no customer today!”

“So…you want to give me massage on credit??”

“Yes, you come now, pay later.  I give you credit, mistuh.”

These motherfuckers…  I do have to give them credit though:  No one works The Hustle harder than Thais.  (The next day I was on the beach with a group of people I met at Mr. Cock’s and another crazy massage lady offered to give me a happy ending…on the beach…in front of my friends.  And I really think she would have done it too.)

One of the things that strike you right away traveling in Thailand is their genuine reverence for the King – the longest serving monarch in the world – and the photos of him that appear absolutely everywhere.  Every shop, every home, on every calendar, a banner hung every kilometer of highway.  But what is really cool is that the King doesn’t just stand around looking regal.  He plays guitar  And accordion.  And flute.  He reads to children.  He waters plants.  He wears American-style cowboy hats.  He probably kicks some serious ass at ping pong and badminton too.  I just haven’t seen those ones yet.

Just so you don’t think it’s all fun & games down here, there has been a bit of trouble in paradise:  I was minding my own business on the beach and talking to a friend the other day when a monkey ran down and stole a banana right out of my hand.  (Little bastard; I really wanted that banana.)  I got four mosquito bites yesterday and they itched really bad for about 10 minutes.  I lost 500 Thai baht in a police sting operation (or for not wearing my scooter helmet).  And, I am under constant personal assault from the Thais who cannot pronounce my name and think I’m saying “Crazy.”

Oh, and I also have bruises from pole dancing lessons with the ladyboys.

Other than that, I’d have to say things are going well.

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