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

Ao Nang Strikes Back

The first knock on the door — 8:30 am is NOT cool, people — is my friends Will and Anna who have finally arrived in Southeast Asia on a righteous mission to open a business with me.  After we get our drink on for a bit.  Which we start into immediately.

The second knock is my long lost little brother Jason who has been wandering through Cambodia and Laos for a couple of months before catching up with us.

The third knock is The Sister.  I think this is going to get ugly.

Next thing I know, we are sitting in a swanky coffee shop with a bottle of dirt cheap scotch on the table dosing what was previously a delightful mocha.  And so it begins…my 40th birthday.

Our next stop, for some really stupid reason, was climbing 1237 steps to the Tiger Cave Temple.  Amazing views, but shouldn’t I be sitting on a beach with an umbrella-laden drink in my hand on this particular day?  To add insult to my personal injury, a monkey drank my water, which I desperately needed, while we were touring the temple.  Another one was perched on the wall eating The Sister’s shoe, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.

We were able to sort out our leg cramps using a secret local formula (Thai whiskey) and proceeded to chase everyone within a kilometer away from the karaoke bar that we raided.  “Hello?  Is it me you’re looking for?”

I awoke in the back of a collectivo racing at 150 kph for the Malaysian border.  (I still need to personally thank whoever woke me at 5 am and drug me down to catch my minivan as I’m sure that was a less-than-pleasant favor.)  Unfortunately, the expiration of my Thai visa was the day after my birthday and I was forced into a border run.  Thai immigration is not to be toyed with, so this was a necessary journey, but also a horrible and painful waste of 14 hours.  Fortunately, predictably, everyone was waiting for me at Mr. Cock’s Streetbar with Thai whiskey buckets loaded and ready upon my return.

Our next destination was a return to Koh Tao, the best of the Gulf Islands, in my opinion.  Was the highlight the invite to the ladyboy burlesque show?

“You come to see show tonight, pretty boy?”

“Um…I’ll come tomorrow?”

“YOU COME ALONE!!!”

Or was it actually making it to the burlesque show?

No, I think it had to be seeing the ladyboys put a skirt on Will and dry-hump him onstage.

 

After an amazing few days on the beach, it was time to head back to the mainland so The Sister and I could squeeze in a side trip to Laos before meeting up with Will and Anna again in Cambodia.  After kisses and hugs, we walked up to the pier where a Brit coming off the incoming ferry stopped us and said, “I don’t want to scare you, but I’ve never seen more grown men puke in my life.  It’s a bit rough out there.”

Lovely.  So, of course, The Sister and I pounded some valium and leaned over the side and screamed every time a wave crashed over us.  The only bummer was going back inside to reload the Beer Chang supply and having to smell the puke in the cabin.  Fucking amateurs.

Seven weeks in Thailand and I think — maybe, hopefully, possibly — that I‘m finally mentally prepared for Bangkok.  One night in Bangkok.

 

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