wanderlust


:6/30--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

cambodian border
i had to do a visa run to cambodia today- there and back took about 14 hours total. my bus did not stop the entire time for a pee break or to let us buy snacks so i spent the day starving and cramped. but i got to watch funny thai videos on the way and it was nice to see a tiny slice of cambodia again! i had an almost uncontrollable urge to make a run for it and ditch thailand once i crossed over to poipet. the difference between thais and cambodians is really obvious even just at the border. cambodians are so beautiful. physically and otherwise- they are gentle, smiley, happy people even when they are tugging on your elbow with grubby hands for a spare baht or riel. compared to thai people (who are also beautiful and gentle but much more hawkish and manipulative too), it feels like a country of innocent children..... it's an expensive trip to have to make every month- i have to buy a cambodian visa for $30 even though i am only in cambodia for about 5 minutes, and the customs agents on the way back in always scam me out of an additional 3-400 baht for returning in the same day. i spent more than $60 total today including my room, which may seem like nothing to those at home in america but is a huge amount in thailand. anyway i am legal for another month! in that time i hope to get my business up and running, and if it looks successful by the end of july, i will change my ticket and go get a 2 month visa from malaysia on my next run.
:6/29--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

patpong, photo from rififi bar

part of mine and 'x''s project entails having to research the nightlife in bangkok, primarily sexual. this is not the exciting and illuminating job that it might sound like. it's actually quite a pain in the arse. today we picked patpong as our area to study. patpong is a sex scene targeted specifically for tourists. you see a lot of grandmotherly ladies with practical footwear, college kids with wide eyes and backpacks, even children with their parents- you name it, all curious about bangkok's notorious red light district. there are two streets lined with go go bars and a huge overpriced night market. generally the go go bars are typical, with lots of average looking thai girls in bikinis dancing listlessly onstage for the gawking audience, with numbers pinned to their tops. ladyboys and overworked thai men stand outside trying to entice passersby in to see shows, holding menus of things such as "drop egg out of pussy show" and "fucking show". the upstairs bars are where they have the shows. basically all the prostitutes who are burned out and on their last legs work here, along with some of the more hideous ladyboys. they do such disgusting and humiliating things as dropping frogs out of their nether parts, opening beer bottles with same nether parts, shooting darts at balloons with nether parts.... you get the picture. it's not sexy at all and you are usually scammed into paying much more than is reasonable to see these shows.

anyway so 'x' and i wandered in and out of all the bars tonight until we both decided never to set foot in patpong again.

we did finally wander into an upstairs bar that was relatively normal. it was called cosy club. it lived up to its name- it was small and comfortable, with long couchlike seats and dark wood with soft lights that made us rather sleepy. we ordered a beer and soon afterwards were virtually attacked by a drunken thai man bearing gifts of free tequila shots. tequila makes me sick so i didn't want them, but he refused to take no for an answer so after about 3 or 4 of these, 'x' and i sat blinking at each other stuporously and tried to find a way to escape diplomatically. the waitress came by with a menu of english karaoke songs and tried to force songs out of us, but to the disappointment of the ladyboy with the bad dye job in the corner whose job it was to play the guitar solos for each song, we insisted that neither of us could sing without potentially breaking the eardrums of everyone present. the thai girls next to us had no similar qualms, and proceeded to screech happily into the microphones while their flamey gay friend danced around in circles. it turned out to be fun.

'x' and i got talking about good vs. evil. i am of the opinion that not very many people in the world are truly good. i think human nature is inherently selfish and bad in fact, and the more i see of the world the more i feel this way. i haven't seen much evidence of goodness- people lie to each other, steal from each other, use each other, backstab and betray each other... charity is usually only given so that the giver is praised for their goodness and not because they really feel some sense of empathy. and the people who are supposed to be models of goodness are the ones who eventually are shown to be quite opposite- ie. molesting priests, pedophiliac NGO members, politicians, murderous mormon missionaries, etc... & people constantly hurt those that they supposedly love the most. 'x' thinks i am ridiculously jaded and maybe he's right. he said everyone is potentially good, even when they are doing bad. for example the prostitutes are good girls out to make light of their desperate situation. their customers usually treat them really well despite the fact that they are paying to use their bodies.... i don't know. i suppose the world balances out in the end (how could there be progress otherwise?)...i just don't see much of it other than the dark side for some reason. i am on a search for an honest, open person who can be themself and not have to lie or keep up pretenses, or use others as a stepping stone to get what they want, but thus far have not found a single person like that (though there must be others striving to be that way like i am, somewhere). 'x' says as long as you know that people are untrustworthy you have nothing to worry about- you can just take things as they come and enjoy a friendship without expectations. as long as you don't give yourself too much to people then you have nothing to lose in the end and they may actually teach you something worthwhile. perhaps he's right. maybe i should stop being so negative?!?!? :)

while looking for a picture of patpong to put on this page, i came across this page. hrmmm.

:6/28--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

view of temple tops at night from my hotel

a bit lonely in bangkok and missing otto, but i keep having these intricate and somewhat ridiculous dreams of betrayal about him that keep me from calling him. instead i go out alone to drink cocktails and people watch, which gets really redundant. today it was raining (gorgeous rolling black storm clouds) and after my regular chicken curry at sawasdee house i headed to a sidewalk cafe. they were playing billie holliday-ish jazz which was nice and appropriate, but they switched to old 50's love songs and random stuff like the sound of music soundtrack which for some reason struck me as really depressing. i noticed some random fireworks going off in the sky nearby which was strange, but that was the extent of the excitement for the evening, so i traipsed home to work since really that is the reason i am here. i would like to find myself a nice neighborhood bar but this is khao san and no such place exists that i know of. i thought of moving to another part of bangkok but my hotel is a really good deal. tomorrow i am sure my mood will shift and i will be back to loving it, so no worries.

i would love to go work in ko chang but unfortunately the beach bungalows are not set up for internet connections. :)

meanwhile 'x' is on the prowl for a new girlfriend which is sort of weird. he insists he doesn't want a long term relationship and that's why he left me to go sleep around to his heart's desire, but now he is contradicting himself. it makes me feel bad about myself but then again, most likely he just equates a girlfriend with free sex... that explains things. it is all the rage amongst his sexpat friends. ugh. 'god' help whatever poor victim he eventually snares. (argh, i swear he is a nice guy, if only that part of his personality would take over).

that reminds me, i should put a link on my main page to my sex disclaimer. i get mail suggesting just that fairly often. i am sure i will forget to do so, but in the meantime you can click on the above link to see it.

needing to do a visa run soon. i spent time online reading about the consequences of overstaying and it freaked me out sufficiently enough that i won't ever do so again. if you are spot checked by the police for any reason and have even stayed just one day over they are liable to throw you into a filthy overcrowded cell and forget about you for at least a week, after which time they take the bulk of your money from you and deport you. seems rather harsh, but thailand's laws make little sense in general.

:6/27--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

cravings

cranky today because 14 hour days in front of my computer are starting to get to me. i took a break and met up with 'x' at pantip "warez-o-rama" plaza again, where he picked up his laptop from being fixed (later he realized they had switched all his original parts- cd/rw drive, motherboard, etc.- for inferior quality ones and kept the good ones for themselves.... fucking thailand). we had to go over some logo designs and some other stuff so i convinced him to take me back to his room and make me a turkey sandwich from his fridge while we worked. mmmmm. i have dreams about expansive whole foods-style delicatessens in the sky. what i wouldn't do for some good cheese.... i hadn't realized how much i missed american food until i bit into a huge roasted turkey and cheddar sandwich on wheat bread with dijon mustard. and a crunchy sweet pickle on the side! divine... lucky bastard with his hooked up hotel room. i also bought a bottle of wine- valpolicella- but unfortunately the bottle opener i purchased at the same time was made of crappy cheap aluminum and bent at the slightest pressure so i couldn't get the bottle open. sometimes the relative incompetence of this country is really frustrating.

wondering if i can really be successful at starting my own company in thailand knowing nothing at all about business to begin with. i keep telling myself that if you want something and you work hard enough for it you will get it- right? but i have this feeling of foreboding. i sense a roadblock we haven't anticipated coming up and it sort of drives me crazy. i would really like to make things work here.

:6/26--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

tom with lethal herbal thai whiskey

fifth day in a row and i am rather amazed at my own dedication to my project. we will see how long it lasts. i spent today building a database so i won't regal you with the less than exciting recap of my afternoon.

later on i went out to drink. i ended up at one of those little VW bus bars that have popped up around here lately, drinking 80 baht mai tais (yum). i spent about an hour alone feeling bored and getting tipsy, watching a few japanese people stagger around drunkenly next to me. then i noticed this long haired thai guy (there sure is a dearth of those here) pacing back and forth, obviously contemplating whether or not to sit next to me. finally he plopped down, with a huge bottle of thai herbal whiskey. he handed me a shot glass full to taste and we went from there. his name is tom and he is a filmmaker, albeit not a very good one according to his somewhat depressed rundown on his current situation. business in thailand follows a strict traditional code of heirarchy and it takes a long time to get anywhere in most industries just due to seniority. plus he seemed to have no confidence in his ability to create anything worthwhile. somehow i ended up playing motivational speaker. the more we drank the more vehement i got (life is beautiful! you can do anything! be positive!!!) and the more starry-eyed tom got. i got a call from my malayasian friend mon and invited him to join us so he did. as soon as he arrived the mood changed completely. tom stared him down in some sort of territorial pissing contest, grabbing conspicuously for my hand, and mon, completely discomfited, excused himself nervously after only a few minutes. i didn't really notice what was going on, but i did realize that tom was pretty much immobile by that time... he had by then drunk 2 large bottles of herbal whiskey. i ended up having to pay the bill and lug him on my shoulder to a guesthouse nearby, where i bought him a room for the night. i gave him a bottle of water, took off his shoes for him, laid him in bed, and then, as an afterthought, kissed him goodnight. patted his shoulder and ran.

later i was hanging out with my reggae shop pals when mon walked by and more or less snubbed me. i didn't really pay attention, but later on when i had gone to my room he called me up from my hotel lobby and asked me to have one drink with him before the bars all closed, so i agreed. i walked into an ambush. he was obviously hurt that tom had been so rude to him, jealous that i have other male friends (though i explained to him i was unavailable from the start) and the only way he could express it was to get irrationally angry at me. he yelled at me on the street in front of everyone (so much for the asian tendency to avoid confrontation) for something i had said to him the other day when we met... something about being positive about life and then it would be easier for him to have the things he wanted. (apparently i have been playing motivational speaker a lot lately). he kept saying "i am the most positive person i know, i try to make everyone happy, how could you say that to me!"....ugh. i was just trying to cheer the damn guy up. i shrugged and said "fine, you're positive, great, why worry what someone says the first night they meet you, don't pull me out of my room and harrass me for it, i am sorry if i offended you but hey!" all the sudden he got really calm, smiled big at me and said "okay you can go now". ugh ugh ugh. i am a fucking freak magnet for sure. i shrugged and ran back to my room, and hopefully that is the last i see of him. i'll chalk that one up to cultural differences.

:6/25--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

rainy day

i am not one of those people who can spend all day on my arse in front of the computer by nature, though i am trying to make myself be just that for the sake of my business. it's hard though. i slept until 2p today, woke up long enough for breakfast, and fell back to sleep for another couple of hours. when i finally decided to get up into the day i ended up glued to my screen from about 4p to midnight, working. it is rather satisfying though, considering i am my own boss. but i can be sort of a slavedriver! 'x' is working hard too, which gives me hope for both of us.
:6/24--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

painting at blues bar

another day of forced slavery to my computer sitting on the bed in my tiny room. i finally took a break around 5p to meet up with 'x' at pantip plaza and buy some software we needed for our project. afterwards we ate some vietnamese food and headed to starbucks to solidify a business plan over my laptop.

after 'x' not so gracefully made his exit (he makes it quite obvious he'd rather go pick up a bargirl than hang out with me), i headed in a cab back to khao san. my driver was really young and sorta cute so i chatted a bit with him but he stopped at a set of roadside stalls and tried to get me to get out and have drinks with him, so i became more reticent after that. all i can figure is that cab drivers must be very lonely here. anyway got to khao san finally and sat for a beer at a sidewalk cafe. a homeless thai couple carrying two young (naked) children shuffled by. their clothes were ridiculously filthy, they were barefoot, and the man in particular had a propensity to stop and stare fuzzily into the distance. they were quite pitiable. i was staring at them and then a guy next to me caught my eye in an empathetic gesture. i smiled and he invited himself over to sit with me. his name was mon and he looked thai (long dreadlocks, small body) but he was actually malaysian, lives in denmark, and is much more well travelled than i am due to his line of work (importing/exporting jewelry). we got talking about music and i invited him to come to a blues bar with me in banglamphu. he started to get a little too close for comfort the more drunk we became, but i chatted with the bar staff and tried not to lead him on too much. the bar closed about an hour after we got there though and by that time i was really pretty drunk. we decided to go look for a place that was still serving on khao san, couldn't find one, and before i knew it i was agreeing to head to his hotel and his beer fridge. we ended up talking in his room until 6 in the morning. he gave me a beautiful silver and cultured pearl necklace he had made (i wonder if i should give it back to him since he was inebriated when he presented it to me). i was blabbering on about really personal stuff (to my later embarassment) and we drank a bit more until i could barely sit up and dozed on his bed. i woke up a few minutes later with him holding me. sigh. my own fault. i excused myself abruptly and left, had to fight my way out of the gate past the grumbling thai gatekeeper who didn't want to let me out, and staggered home.

:6/23--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

typical bangkok scene

did absolutely nothing today other than sit on my computer. work work work. ugh. it takes so long to get anything done, and i want everything NOW, dammit! :)
:6/22--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

my very hooked up cab driver (note dvd player/karaoke machine on console)

woke up today wondering if i had changed my mind at all about venturing into the world of entrepreneurialship in bangkok but as it turns out the excitement hasn't faded a bit. i spent all morning online researching and only found encouragement. finally around 3pm i took a deep breath, called and put my ticket to NY off for a month, emailed a sheepish apology to my dear katie-friend, and had a few happy minutes to myself jumping up and down and squealing giddily in my room. nothing like a last minute life decision to add a bit of euphoria to the old day.

later i went to see another movie at pinklao center (come on they're less than $3 in bangkok & are air conditioned) and emerged to find that a beautiful rainstorm had gathered. i reached khao san road and sat and had a beer with a friend of mine; mr. kool (his real name) is a very eccentric, very rich hippie thai man who wears such ridiculous clothing as pokemon shirts ten sizes too small & sits on khao san road with nothing much better to do than try to lure unsuspecting girls into his back office so he can "open their emotions" and "heal" them using tantric massage. i gave him my best jaded raised eyebrow "get real" look when he started in on me and he backed off, but we ended up talking for a surprisingly long while as it rained gently upon the street action. my other little friend ciao, a 9-year old kid who wanders the street at all hours hawking packs of gum, stopped by and played games with me for a bit. i always spend 20 baht on him because he is so irresistably charming. he has a habit of ridiculing people for smoking in front of him that i find rather brilliant, and a habit of disappearing in the middle of conversations that gives him a bit of mystique. after he left along came another friend i had met in ko chang. tommy from england is deaf and mute but one of the cooler people i have ever "talked" to. he danced in the rain with his face upturned to the sky and his oblivious contentment was entirely contagious. this place really is home to me, i love living here and meeting the constant, strange, varied people who inevitably trip into my path. maybe everyone has that feeling of... belonging... in bangkok(?).

the cable is out in my room and i keep accidentally pulling my computer plug out of the socket (making this a 3rd or 4th draft today, ugh) but i plan on spending most of the night in here anyway, letting my creative juices flow. prolific and dedicated elocin here i come.

ot is happy. :)

:6/21--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

divine inspiration at the skunk bar

one of the things i did with otto on ko chang was go to the temple to be blessed by an old smiley monk with good luck for the near future. i suspect ot did a little buddhist voodoo of his own while he was there and manipulated the energy here to prevent my leaving. being agnostic i don't really believe or disbelieve anything but it's funny how situations change so quickly/unexpectedly....

um. yeah so i am staying in bangkok. here's what happened. i spent all day consolidating my bags, throwing stuff out (all my drawstring beach pants, my flip flops) and buying last minute things that are cheaper here than in the west (contacts, antibiotics, etc.). i wrote katie telling her i'd definitely see her monday. pleased with myself for not succumbing to the magnetic field underlying everything in bangkok i gave 'x' a call and we decided to meet up for a last drink. he immediately gushed about my new haircut, saying i look the best he's ever seen me, bless his poor lying heart. anyway after wandering from place to unsatisfactory place we picked one out of farang magazine that seemed like a "normal" compromise for us- ie. it was not sex related. we ended up at the skunk bar, which was coincidentally having a 5th anniversary party, which meant free drinks and food for us all night! it was also a perfect crowd for us- lots of artsy people, a good mix of thais and foreigners, good music and old cartoons on tv. with good signs popping up all over the place we proceeded to get amiably drunk and chatted a bit... when all the sudden out of nowhere we simultaneously had a brilliant idea for a business we could start in bangkok. i won't give details here now (top secret you know) but suffice it to say we will be doing creative media stuff. we got so excited that we mapped out a whole business plan on napkins until about 2am. i decided that when given the choice between going to work for some uptight asshole in NY (though the money would undoubtedly be better) or working on what i like and am good at with my best friend as my business partner in my favorite place on earth, then there is no contest. and bangkok is starving for what we can provide them, and there is a lot of potential money in it, and it can open many many doors of opportunity for us here..... SO..... i am going to give it a month (i can still go to south america then) and see what happens. i feel very very positive. stop shaking your heads and clicking your tongues.

:6/20--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

comfort food (somtam & noodle soup)

today i have reverted back to my infancy, lying curled in a fetal position sucking my thumb in bed, crying petulantly into my pillow (back in bangkok). i am horrifically depressed if you want to know the truth. it's not so much the going "home" after nine months of travelling (pit stop though it may be), it's the leaving asia after nine glorious months of being here. i feel such a connection to this part of the world. the US (dare i say the west in general?) just seems so overbearing, brutish, pretentious, frivolous, superficial, hypocritical, and insecure.... etc. i am dreading the fact that i need to go back there to work, & i wish it were easier to support oneself legally abroad.

asia, on the other hand, has snaked its way into my brain and will from now on be the sweet colorful tail of a dream from which i awoke too soon and which i will be forever chasing...

but i do have a little adventure coming up, despite my fatalistic self pity. NY for a week with katie in summer will be great. after the hellish 27 hour journey back (plus a 2-hour ride to where katie resides) i can shake off the jet lag in her small twin bed which i will have to share unless i want the bathtub... uh, but i can stock up on cheese and things like underwear and good writing paper which i can't find in asia.... maybe catch a free concert in central park or take the subway somewhere deep in harlem or brooklyn and see something new. eat at frank's in the east village, check out st. mark's place and see if any of the notorious underground has reappeared in NY since i left....and then off to south america (if i can find a ticket for less than a thousand freaking dollars!) to practice my spanish and have a last little bit of decadent fun before i really have to go home and work.

AAAACK. :( if only i could do something about that last part.

:6/14-19------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------










who the heck knows what happened on ko chang the past week. basically just a lot of living of life. i decided this was a week for me, so i didn't do a daily entry while i was there. sometimes i feel like my writing trivializes my most cherished experiences somewhat, and i would like to pay them their due respect in my head instead of with my incessant and unfocused babbling here.

i spent almost all of my time with ot, and it was really beautiful and good. in a way i wish it was not (!) because it complicates things to such a big extent, but my thai boyfriend is not in the end easy to leave. the more time i have spent with him the more i am convinced we are really great together. he feels like home to me... anyway at first i was scared i was imposing on him (i showed up unexpectedly) as he has such a little niche carved for himself at the jah bar- including his image of shirtless smiley sex-on-legs bartender to uphold, which goes over a little too well for my tastes :).... i have no illusions about the fact that he is part of a very whorish bar scene that is likely to flourish after i leave. but in fact he was very excited to see me, and went out of his way to prove it to me. it is so nice to be at the jah bar, up in the jungle over the sea. it is really more of a big open house than a bar... such a communal and familial place to live... i spent a lot of time napping in hammocks, sharing neighborly conversations and juicy half thai gossip with the boys who live/work there, watching tv (mostly the fashion channel which is great eye candy), feeding chickens and kitties, scratching ot's mosquito bites, listening to music, smoking up, gorging on piles of rambutans and mangosteens which appear to be abundantly in season, helping out at the bar and cooking huge thai feasts with ot in the kitchen room. occasionally we would escape on motorbike to the beach or to the market, or to have the most fantastic intimate sex i have ever had with him in my little hut. sigh.... he has been trying to insinuate himself into my life so doggedly for the past 6 months and i think he has finally succeeded.... just as i am leaving. curious, life. curious, elocin's stupid stubborn brain (!).

ko chang is also so much of a "home" to me (a pretty much alien concept which i never have really considered beyond boulder, CO), and i am seriously considering returning to build myself a little hut here asap. it is perhaps even more lovely in the low season. it was completely devoid of tourists besides an occasional stray wanderer, so mostly just the local thais, who all seemed a little pent up and bored but otherwise happy. the weather was sublime. it rained and thundered pretty violently, but only at night when i just wanted to curl up with ot and listen to it anyway. the sea was too dangerous to swim in but a perfect pale blue. i may be giving away a precious secret here but june is the time to be in ko chang for sure.

:6/13--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

my first sushi

friday the 13th and boy is it ever. this week has been so off. but i bought a ticket to NY today at least (a plan is born), though for reasons i won't get into it ended up being a waste of a lot of money. i plan(!) to go there on the 23rd, sleep off my jetlag at katie's house, and then immediately buy a ticket to south america and go (unless of course a dream job of some sort shows up on my doorstep while i am there). in the meantime i suppose i will go to ko chang for a week. that will make things boring for anyone reading this so feel free to desert me until early july.

had a japanese dinner with 'x' after a shopping trip to pantip plaza for software ('x' makes fun of me for being too miserly to ever buy anything, he of course stocked up). i have been hanging out with him for the past week and getting more and more inclined to just...well, stop...as we went along. it gets really hard to deal with our vast differences of opinion and our mutual baggage after a little bit and we stress each other out by falling into old routines. it has been nice to see him again overall though. he still is my favorite person in the world despite his sometimes jekyll/hyde-ness (and mine too). his site gets more and more brilliant by the day (damn his prolificness!), check out the bleak house design section.

my hair was lopsided due to my failed attempt to trim it myself using only a compact mirror and some dull scissors, so after leaving 'x' tonight i went to a salon nearby to get it evened up. unfortunately the chubby ladyboy assigned to me thought he was michelangelo, and interpreted "nit noi" (little bit) as "chop the shit out of my hair until there is almost nothing left, please". i now have layers (ack!) and a greasy dollop of wax on top to make my new butch haircut scream even louder "raging lesbian on the prowl". he had the nerve to ask me if i wanted him to do highlights as well but i think the look of shock and disgust on my face when i saw myself in the mirror pretty much silenced those inquiries right away.

:6/12--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ugh...no pics
totally off day with not much at all to report. hung out with 'x' but we both felt rather drugged and headed to our respective beds early.
:6/11--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

statues

i had an interview today for an english teaching job in bangkok. it ended up being only 10 hours a week for crap pay, and the principal i was supposed to meet (after running all over bangkok and then waiting almost 2 hours for him) never showed up to meet me, so i guess that's that. i have gotten a couple of emails lately saying "get the hell out of thailand, girl!" and i suppose they are right. but i know of several people who have taken a few months out of their round the world trips to stop and volunteer, work, or just be happy where they are. i don't mind waiting out the monsoon in my favorite country if i can manage to snag a decent job. anything to prevent my having to go back to the US to make money!!!! but overall i still have a plan to make it to all of the destinations on my list. it will just be spread out over a longer time period in the end. give me some credit for my passion for travel, people! i will never settle, and that i can promise you.

my journal may stagnate a bit though, i'll give you that. i wonder if i should continue it while i stop and work somewhere or if i should put it on hold. (???) lately it's been half assed since i am in bangkok, and that means there is both an overwhelming amount that i'd like to say and nothing to report at all, which ultimately trickles down to, well, this. i would like to prevent that in the future.

i seem to be giving off a weird vibe to the men in my general vicinity of late...either that or the thai people have become emboldened by reports of recent attacks on foreign girls. like nepal, they see us only as "easy", rich girls ready and willing to be taken advantage of. i have been absolutely bombarded by people trying to get into my pants of late. it's crazy- i have never really had this problem in thailand. today i was waiting for the express boat and after trying to secure my name/email address/phone number/room number/bra size/secret fantasies/whatever he could get from me this awkward spectacled thai man actually asked me to give him a "sweet kiss" before i hopped on the boat. i talked to him for a total of 2 minutes! what kind of blooming idiots are they breeding here anyway???? ugh.

then tonight i was waiting for 'x', whom i'd planned to meet for drinks so we could commiserate together on the amount of money we've spent and discuss future plans, but he turned off his phone and avoided me in typical 'x' fashion. i ended up drinking at a bar on khao san with some thai kids and a snotty beverly hills boy who in the end all left me alone with this old, very drunk thai man who kept hanging on my shoulder and asking me very personal questions until finally i just walked off in the middle of the conversation. again, disgusted, i went to bed early. alone.

:6/10--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

twilight zone energy in bangkok

not much to report. well unless attempted rape is a good story. ugh. i'll get to that in a sec... during the day i felt scattered and went to get a massage. the boy who did it this time was so inept i felt like paying him to stop massaging me. continued to feel scattered and i met up with taka on his last night in bangkok (he's headed to london to find modeling work). we had thai food in a stuffy place that looked like someone's tacky grandmother's house, not too impressive. trevor and kanako (irish/japanese couple) came with us and we ended up at the scottish pub afterwards. it was really just an off night all around. no one seemed to be in a good mood and we had a polite couple of beers, said goodbye to taka, and headed gratefully to our respective homes.

it was 2:30 am and i got into a cab. the driver started chattering to me in thai. i didn't really understand him so beyond telling him i was from NY i didn't say much. after awhile i realized he wasn't taking me to khao san. when he pulled up to a dead end and stopped the car i knew i was in trouble. he turned around and said in thai "you are very beautiful and i want you to come to this hotel with me". i looked around to see a dark dingy hotel front but no other people or taxis in sight. he proceeded to push me back into my seat and roughly feel me up. i freaked out and said "look i am not interested. take me to khao san now" (in thai). i gave him my most aggressive stare and finally he shrugged, turned around and started the car. i tried to calm down and control my breathing and he drove for about five minutes further into the middle of what looked like nowhere. he tried to give me a cigarette but i thought it might be drugged so i pulled my own out of my bag. we smoked for a minute, and then suddenly he stopped again by a 7-11 and said "i go buy heinekens, you drink with me", and turned around and started trying to molest me again. i didn't know what to do because the area was fairly deserted, but i ended up just throwing him a 100 baht note, opening the door, and making a run for it down the street. luckily i noticed a sign for banglamphu so i made to it khao san in a few minutes safe and sound. i was completely freaked out though. my heart was racing, i could barely catch my breath.... unfortunately i was too nervous to have gotten his cab number. i called 'x' who seemed unusually concerned and calmed me down, and otto who did not, and i headed to my reggae friends' shop where in an effort to make me feel better my "friend" gun tried to invite himself into my room with me. ugh. i gave up and went to bed. alone. disgusted. scared henceforth to death of bangkok taxi drivers.

:6/09--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

another taka picture
thailand is just too much freaking fun. went to see a funny movie (bruce almighty) and met up a bit later with taka on khao san. we had a couple of beers and people-watched and then found our little thai friend tan, who wanted to take us to a disco. i was not feeling so well but i agreed anyway. tan snagged his friend's id (he's just a baby at 19) and we hopped in a cab to hollywood disco on lattana road. at first i was not too pleased with it. the entrance fee was 500 baht and you had to pay an additional 150 baht per small beer. hrmmmph. we did it anyway and headed inside. it's one of those huge clubs with dancing lights and cameras projecting images of the crowd onto big screens and loud poppy music with pounding bass. lots of little tables with very attentive waiters. hired dancers onstage. the crowd was almost 100% thai (not a sex tourist crowd) and it just seemed sort of boring at first. i was about ready to leave when all the sudden it did a 180. this girl came on stage with nothing on but a strand of pearls and very high heels and started singing old american lounge songs, with her backup crowd of extremely gorgeous burlesque girls in intricate and sexy costumes behind her. with every new number there was a new set of costumes and choreographed dance moves, and the lead girl never really managed to put her clothes on! it came from nowhere! ....only in bangkok. the crowd turned sort of sordid when everyone started making out and after awhile some thai boy dancers got into the mix onstage and i started to thoroughly enjoy myself. tan and taka and i were pretty silly drunk by that point and we got up on one of the peripheral stages and danced seductively for everyone. two thai boys kept buying me drinks (whiskey, unfortunately), and taka's little dancing boy from last night showed up magically out of nowhere to make out with him, to mine and tan's mutual jealousy. by the end of the night poor little tan was immobile with drunkenness, so after the bar closed, instead of heading to the karaoke joint as we'd planned, we caught cabs to our respective homes. on the way out of the complex i had to fend off a cambodian guy who begged me to take him home with me, and i witnessed a pretty serious accident between one of the drunk patrons and a taxi. crazy fun night.
:6/08--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

the Q bar, bangkok

i slept until about 2p today so it wasn't much of a day. these bangkok days sort of blur into one another... i suppose there is not much of cultural interest to read. i feel more like i am living here than visiting, and real life is always less interesting to report. but i am having a good time either way. tonight i met up with taka and after a few beers we wobbled to the Q bar on soi 12 for some dancing. i have heard about this place as being the "it" place for months... it's in all the magazines, everyone recommends it--- i thought it sucked, really. they wouldn't let taka in at first even though he might be the most beautiful and hip person on earth. i had to let him borrow my socks to wear with his custom made supercool leather sandals before they let us through the door. 600 baht got us 2 free drinks each so we headed upstairs and sat on the comfy red couches with beer and appetizers. soon thereafter the crowd poured in, made up curiously of a lot of islamic people and otherwise completely boring and snooty corporate types. then the music kicked in, which ranged from ghastly indian pop to mediocre hip hop. taka and i made an effort to enjoy it but it was too crowded to dance and the music ultimately totally grated on my nerves. all in all we spent maybe an hour there before we decided to suck it up and get the hell out.

we headed towards silom to meet taka's thai girl friend, who ended up being on a long street full of boy bars. i was fairly drunk by that time so i persuaded her to go in with me to the nearest one. gotta love almost naked thai boys swaying seductively to bad pop under dim lights ;) ....going anywhere with taka is like being part of a media circus or something- people throw themselves unabashedly at him. we sat in the bar with a beer as every third dancing boy tried desperately to catch either his or my eye (we were about evenly matched). #85 was the spitting image of ot. i couldn't help drooling and when taka and his friend (can't remember her name, ao maybe?) finally convinced me to leave i ran up and shoved a tip into his little g-string as he blushed profusely. all in fun. just so you know, being a girl, i would never in my life (need to) pay for sex with a boy.

outside the bars were closing so sitting at a table with a large group, i got a glimpse of the afterhours social life of go-go dancers, prostitutes, ladyboys, and their assorted friends and customers. really interesting conversations. ironically enough i really enjoyed their straighforward, humorous company more than i do that of the average person i meet. i am learning enough thai that i can carry on a decent conversation, so i jabbered with a few people over huge revolving plates of thai food and pitchers of beer while taka flirted shamelessly with a boy dancer who could not stop trying to manouver his way into his lap. (i wondered fleetingly if taka might not be gay... if so he doesn't know it but the evidence is definitely there).

at 4am the thai girls wanted to go to a karaoke joint and with no other pressing options taka and i agreed. i have never gotten the whole karaoke thing, but asian people love it. the bar was dark outside and in, with just a few lit up video screens with lyrics dancing along at the bottom. there were a lot of people lounging around there for that time of night, and they ordered us another ton of food and drinks to occupy ourselves with as they belted out traditional thai tunes. i was fairly woozy by 5am and my head was screaming in pain so i begged off in a cab home at last, giving taka a goodbye hug and throwing my last 500 baht note on the table for the party.

:6/07--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

old pic of 'x' since i don't have a new one

i regret getting internet access in my room almost as much as i regret buying a phone, for the same reason. technology seems to distance you from life. i spend way too much time obsessively checking email and looking at stupid websites rather than doing anything useful like fixing my site up. i finally left my room at about 4p today.

tonight i was bored and decided to call 'x' and see if he wanted to get a drink with me, as we are rarely in the same city any more so i want to take the chance to see him while i have it. i met him at 'factory', a chic silver & ice blue bar with new pool tables and great beer near nana plaza (and the grace hotel). it's always weird but nice to see 'x'. our relationship with each other has gone through so many phases. we are now in the nonchalant friendship phase, which might be the best one for us. we don't expect anything from each other, we just talk about whatever and have fun.

i followed him to meet his horrifically drunk, typical sex tourist boss at one of the go-gos, where after loudly pronouncing that he wanted to fuck everything in the room he took off with at least two of the sluttier girls, never to be seen again tonight. we went to another nana bar where we watched the naked go-go girls dance listlessly under pink flourescent lights. i am decidedly bored with and really just sort of disgusted with the scene here these days. unlike pattaya it doesn't seem so decadent...more like a visit to 7-11. it's easy to write it off as disgusting and misogynistic and evil, but i have been in asia long enough to know that that's not always the case. sometimes really good long term relationships are conceived in these places.... but typically it's just so empty- the men treat the women as packaged goods lined up on a shelf for their selection, and the women just accept that that is their lot in life. most of them aren't even slightly attractive. they have flab and big scars from pregnancy and if you really want to know the truth, they look sort of canine to me. i was listening to someone judge them by their looks next to me (why do they bother to get on stage?) and i felt indignant at first, thinking why treat them so much like commodities? but then i realized that is exactly what they are. they have to expect that, just as my model friend taka has to expect it in his industry...though he doesn't have to fuck the repulsive consumers in his line of work...i can't respect the girls for it no matter what and thus i have little compassion. & the men just totally gross me out- partly because most are western and i find western men so unattractive these days, and partly just because they generally have no standards or class. i suppose at least they are honest though. i can give them credit for that.

i left 'x' very drunk and silly at the grace hotel around 3, but not before i could snag his stash of discarded computer games. :)

:6/06--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

vw bar

i have had a raging case of insomnia for about 3 nights. i am all out of whack! after a long night of tossing and turning i got up feeling like my eyes had turned to raisins in their sockets and sent otto off back to ko chang with lots of sleepy lingering hugs and kisses. i am rather sad at the fact that i am not sure when i will see him again. i was reflecting on how people can sort of sneak up on you in your life. just when you think you have them figured out they surprise you. we had a long long talk last night and i realized that boy really loves me (beyond the rich farang ideal) and i really don't deserve it! he's an amazing, beautiful person. it makes me so mad that people trivialize my relationship with him in posts like the recent one on the thorn tree (which relentlessly bashed my site in general)- is it my fault? do i really come across as having pillaged the local population in thailand for all it's worth? sometimes in my paragraph a day i don't get much of anything across, despite how honest i try to be about things. i am not always the best writer and it's hard to communicate things, especially feelings which i haven't yet sorted out in my head. this is my first inter-cultural relationship and it's a learning process... anyway someone suggested to me that i am having serial (implying shallow and sexual) relationships all across asia. not true. the only sexual relationship i have is with ot. and it is not as casual and i am not as nonchalant as i sometimes make it seem.... it's all defensiveness really.... i am so fiercely independent and i just got out of a 5+ year relationship with 'x' so i have been trying to stave anything serious off like the plague. i get claustrophobic with people in general, let alone on the rebound.... but i don't think ot is complaining. we are both very good to each other, with the occasional freakout on one end or the other when we think too much... things are on hold again as he is about to rewind back to his old barlife of beautiful girls throwing themselves mercilessly at him, and i still have a lot of travelling to get out of my system, so we shall see how it ultimately turns out with us.

i decided for sure to go back to the US today. um, i think. i just can't bring myself to actually buy the ticket and go.

:6/05--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

thai fun



chao phraya riverfront

ot got sidetracked by a group of his friends last night and ended up drinking with them until 5 am so he didn't make it to ko chang. he sheepishly called me at about noon and i invited him to take me to find some good thai eatin'. after a sumptuous lunch it was scorching outside so we escaped again to pinklao for another movie. we made out in the theater to the sound of screams from the little thai girl in the subtitled horror flick. i enjoy thai movies by the way, they're remarkably well made.

later we just wandered to the chao phraya riverfront and sat watching the boats and people walking their dogs as the sun set. while we were there he got a call from a girl, which he failed to hide from me as he is a horribly transparent liar. apparently she has liked him for years, just arrived, and is waiting for him to show up in ko chang....hrmmm. he insists they are just friends but i had my first twinge of indignant jealousy with him. later on khao san we were headed to his friend goi's place and we ran smack dab in to ot's ex girlfriend. yikes! i didn't realize that was who she was until later that night (when i freaked out), but i could sense the chemistry between them and watched her run her finger up and down his tight little stomach and look sideways at me to see how i'd react. eek! she is also from new york and i could sense she was a lot like me, but her sense of drama and need for attention is hyped up to overdrive. she just got this marvelous job working as an assistant to the princess, travelling internationally on the private jet, dodging armed guards when she sneaks out for a smoke, overhearing conpiracies and witnessing obscene wealth and power. instead of asking ot how he was, she did everything she could to make him feel inferior to her, and i finally coaxed the painfully submissive and placatory kid away from her vain babbling. but i noticed he kissed her goodbye and added a little more jealousy to the pot today. (jealousy is evil).

:6/04--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

tokyo kids

went to see a rather insulting chick flick at pinklao with ot to escape the humid heat this afternoon. the rest of the day we spent in bed, talking for hours. he plans to leave tonight and since we really don't know when we'll see each other again the conversation consisted of a lot of nostalgic reminiscing and hopeful planning. he left at about 8p to go catch his bus. we sent cute little text messages to each other the rest of the night.

i have been hanging with ot in different parts of bangkok (rather than party central which is khao san road), but ironically i have an even harder time getting to bed before 5am with any semblance of sobriety. lots of socializing of late. tonight i met up with tokyo taka and his two friends at a scottish bar on sumkhuwit soi 22 (or thereabouts). the thai family there was wonderfully open and friendly. there was a big bell hanging over the bar, and when rung the ringer was required to buy a drink for everyone in the bar. surprisingly enough it must have rung at least 8 times while we were there. i only spent about 100 baht on beer tonight, the rest was free! there were a lot of friendly european expat barflies and the requisite flirty bargirl. it was taka's friend trevor's birthday and being irish he did some serious drinking and subsequent jabbering. we clicked though. we spent most of the time discussing how to find work in japan with his lovely girlfriend. when the bar closed at 1 she went home to sleep since she had to get up early. (she has the most enviable job with a japanese company here who have completely set her up with a fat pad, a substantial paycheck, and a year long visa. all she does is make photocopies and tea.) the boys and i were too restless to sleep so we headed over to soi cowboy to drink some more in a little hole in the wall bar. there was a group of cute salivating ladyboys who were constantly trying to trap taka in corners and molest him. he's so shy, it's actually quite amusing. trevor and i protected him though with aggressive stares, and later taka and i helped trevor avoid fisticuffs with a mouthy german boy who kept being aggressively obnoxious towards us and grabbing all the girls breasts....ah bangkok. otherwise i learned some japanese, made some new friends, and had a great time. made plans to see taka again and crawled stuporously into a cab back home.

:6/03--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

python giving his dinner a hug



happy hippopotamus

spent a lovely day with otto at the dusit zoo. it was very pleasant. unlike zoos in america the animals are right up in your face. i could reach my hand through a fence and touch a tiger (if i so desired), pat a tapir on the head, tickle a giraffe. the very best part was the snake center. they had just dropped little white rats into all of the cages and we watched voracious pythons and cobras devour the poor little things whole. a big snapping crocodile also shared in the culinary delights. we watched some colorful trained birds race each other on bicycles. we also found a lazy fat hippo looking mournful in a too small cage, and noticed a water hoze drizzling nearby, so we held it over his pen and sprayed him to his open mouthed delight. (so cute.) otherwise of course a zoo is a zoo is a zoo, but it was a nice relaxing day.

tonight otto got a call from the jah bar on ko chang asking him to come back to work there again. since he is really doing nothing i think he will end up going. it's nice to think of him back in his bartender seat up there in the jungle, as that's how i met him. he's a happy guy and everyone loves him there and i can be assured he has a roof over his head and food in his belly for awhile at least. things with ot have been really nice this time around. we are a good match.

:6/02--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ot looking like a homey

my phone rang off the hook today and i instantly regretted buying it, as well as starting any semblance of a job search here in bangkok (spent most of the day online looking for stuff). there are a couple of good opportunities teaching english and internet skills, but for a measly $800 a month max. that would support me just fine in bangkok but i can make and save at the very least twice that at home. and i wouldn't be working 6 days a week like they require here.... i think i'd really enjoy teaching english to little kids but overall i am not done travelling yet so maybe i should wait until i am able to settle down a bit for that.

the thought of going back to real life in NY instantly depresses the hell out of me. so basically i am still in limbo. every time i visit a travel agent and get a quote it is mysteriously impossible or unavailable by the time i return to buy it. not that i am ready to commit to any itinerary yet, i just know it is soon time to move on. i alleviated some of the stress today with the most amazing massage i have ever had. midway through i started having fantasies of dressing my little masseur in fine silks and keeping him well fed inside a goldplated cage in my home, from which i would periodically release him to rub his magic mystical brand of bliss into my weary flesh.... in reality though, after he had pummeled and cracked every bit of tension right out of my spine, i gave him an especially big tip.

ot called later and i went to see him in pachachun. we ate at my favorite set of sidewalk stalls, chatting with the nice thai family that ran it and throwing back sangsom and cokes. we discussed the fact that i can rent land on ko chang for the equivalent of $300/yr. and i can build a nice bungalow for myself for about $700....$1000 and i always have a place on my favorite island to come back to or rent out for extra moola or let ot live in. perhaps perhaps.

:6/01--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

er...gulp

i remember when i was a kid and my family was dirt freaking poor my mom would go into denial phase and spend her meager savings recklessly on something or other. i suppose i inherited that trait. i looked at my bank balance today and freaked out- ran to siam center in some strange zombified state and returned home hours later with a new mobile phone (triband so i can use it when i return to the states at least) and some clothes i definitely do not need. then i sank into a guilty depression in my room. this is really the first time i have been on anything resembling a shopping spree in 8 months.

i suppose i will need the phone to find a job, which is a questionable plus.

i am so restless and bored with khao san road but am too damned lazy to move to another part of bangkok. also some sort of sick fascination with it keeps me here- i stay for the same reasons i profess to be disgusted by it. i did move rooms at least, just for the change. the phone doesn't work in my new one and someone stole my 'do not disturb' sign (sick bastards) but the hot water is gloriously hot.

oh, i also bought 500 baht worth of cds. that's 5 cds, for the record, which would be much much more than 500 baht (about $12) in the states and thus are a lusciously good value. i am currently digging cat stevens, laying upside down under my air conditioner.



 

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