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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Thailand...... Leeches, landslides and hooker bars!

Hello there peeps, it's been a while and yes I've missed you!

As I sit here scratching my ass I thought to myself, I must update my blog. But I don't really have that much cabbagey crap to write about its true yes I've since had a dodgy injury and yes I make a show of myself on a daily basis but is there really anything worth writing about, I think not...

And then There i am watching an add about some disastrous drug smuggler in Thailand on the History Channel (I'm watching American Pickers, and yes I'm a total geek) and the mother load floods my mind!

The most horrific holiday ever experienced in the history of holidays! It was nothing short of Horrendous!

I'll paint you a picture....

Myself and a friend enter Trailfinders..we sit in a que and wait our turn. We are surrounded by beautiful shiny and brightly colored brochures with sandy beaches and blue seas! We are called to the desk and a guy (let's call him Philip) introduces himself to us and asks us what kind of a holiday we are looking for. We are looking for An adventure we tell Philip, but must have sun and sea! Thailand is for you guys he says, of course it is, he's on commission!

He starts tapping away on his computer and gives us dates for flights, brilliant, "would you like limo transfers to and from hotels", of course we would...

How about a five day trek in the Chiang Mai Mountains, you get to eat and live with the locals" it's brilliant, I did it myself, it's a must" Sure we tell him, a couple more clicks and that's booked! He looks at us, your moderately fit arnt you? What, I ask, as the stentch of fear is reeking through my skin. My pal the athlete pipes up, of course we are! I know he is looking at me in doubt! Well you guys can recuperate afterwards with a trip to the Islands, white sandy beaches and ocean side cocktails in your own luxury beach hut! Now that's more like it I thought.

A few weeks later and we arrive at Dublin airport, rucksacks on back and most of our family's waving frantically as we go through security! I'm mortified for them, my mom is crying, it's taking ages and it's getting awkward waving back at them every five minutes. After about an hour I wave one last time and breath a sigh of relief, we are finally on our way!

After a four hour stop over in Vienna and a fifteen hour flight we finally arrive in Bangkok! The first thing that hits you is the smell, it's strong, it's fragrant but for an Irish person who grew up on stew and coddle it can seem a little too fragrant, especially when your not sure what it is your smelling! It's also humid! Very humid!

Its monsoon season in Thailand, but its not raining yet thank god, or budda or whoever, I'm about to embarke on the trip of a lifetime! I'm young and reering to go..

We come through customs and see our names on a big cardboard sign and scream in delight! The limo! It's more of a town car but we don't complain as we pass by family's on bicycles and mopeds! Literally family's!

There they were the dads on the seat with a mother on the back holding a newborn while sidesaddle and the a young child on the handlebars while an even younger one is balancing on the frame in between the father and the kid on the handlebars! They are wizzing through traffic like they are in a tank, not even a helmut! The kid on the front had a plastic bowl on his head with a shoelace holding it in place, must be the favorite I thought to myself!

The smells are so strong of spices and herbs and street traders! The sight of big fancy hotels towering over squalid huts and shacks makes one feel guilty to be staying in such lavish surroundings when the locals obviously have so little, but they seem like such humble and happy people as we wave like fools! Obviously thinking, f@&king muppet tourists! Or whatever their version is!

We pull up to our hotel and I feel we obviously should not be here, it's way to posh! It's magnificent, like a temple except with a bar!

The porter takes our rucksacks and tells us that Thai royalty stay here and it often has celebrity clients housed here when filming in Bangkok! I totally feel we are in the wrong place! But off to the room I trot delighted with myself! Boy what a room, it's a cracker!

After a bit of R&R we decide to hit the town, out we go into the street and immediately feel lost! With bun bag containing money, maps and cameras we cautiously walk past venders trying to sell you crickets on a stick, pigs ears, beetles and legs of some poor foul in a sweet sauce, and when I say leg, I mean foot! Claws and all!

We decide to get a taxi. No taxi to be found! So into a Tuk Tuk we climb! It's looks fun! Where you go? A very young small Thai guy asks. Pub or night club we reply in sync! He revs the engine and zooms off at speed down the road, weaving in and out of traffic like a pinball!

Excitement soon turns to fear as he meets a pal of his and decides to take off in the direction of a dual carriage way for a race! The competing Tuk Tuk had three lads on board and while I was screaming at the driver looking for seatbelts they were screaming at theirs to go faster!

The two drivers took off at speed on the straight and I tried to wedge myself between the rim of the Tuk Tuk and the rear! The driver relished every scream I made and when saw tears streaming down my face slowed for a fraction of a second before pulling a wheelie causing the rear of the Tuk Tuk to hit off the ground creating sparks that would put a fireworks display to shame!

They eventually tired and pulled off the bridge down some street and into a lane, skidding to a halt!

I throw myself out of this contraption and swear never to get in one again! He shouts at us "good club, good club"! I reply, where?

"in here, in here" he is guiding us into a little door that looks like someones home! An elderly Thai lady is sitting on a chair sewing something, a man comes over and hands us two beers and demands 200 batt! There are three Thai males in a corner smoking and playing cards, this is not a club!

I look at my pal and say "we are getting the f!@k out of here" she's all smiles," come on its exciting" "it won't be exciting when I'm trying to translate Rape Crisis Centre" I tell her!

We hand over the money as good Irish girls do and are guided into a room that is very dark and has mirrors on every wall, it's small and the only chairs are on one wall! They are not really chairs, it's more of like a bench, it's got a higher bench behind it and there are about 15-20 Thai ladies sitting on them like they are on display! We are the only two people in here!

The ladies glance up and continue to talk amongst themselves! I'm thinking, what the hell kind of place is this! The man comes back to us and asks "which wan you want?", pardon me I reply "you pick" he says. I'm sorry I say, I no pick, I leave! I get up to leave dragging my pal with me! "no no, real nice ladies" he is trying to guide us back "only 200batt" he says, that's great I say, it's the same as a beer, I was appalled! He was trying to sell me a woman for the same as a beer!

The Tuk Tuk guy was waiting for us! Bollox I thought! I climbed back in! Back to hotel! I said!! "no no, nice bar, nice nice English Bar", I didn't even bother to tell him we were irish!

More sparks and some clean underware later we are back at the hotel bar and spent the night on stage with a Thai Diana Ross impersonator signing karaoke songs till the early hours!

Day one was over in Bangkok only four more to go, maybe five days is too many in Bangkok I think as I fall into bed exhausted and reeking of take away!



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