Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand

Just got here after a very pleasant train ride. I crossed the border and headed to a nice quiet beach on the Isle of Ko Chang, also known as "the other Ko Chang" as the main one is a big resort place near Cambodia. This Ko Chang was the result of careful searching for a quiet, reasonably undeveloped spot which is something of a Golden Fleece in Thailand.

It paid off and I strung up my hammock between the trees next to my beach bungalow, went for a dip, let off a sigh of contentment and relaxed. Then an hour later I got bored. I knew I wasn't a very proficient beach bum but I decided to go anyway as I might not get a swim in the sea again until Beirut. I cursed my silly quest for isolation as the island was easily covered on foot in half a day and the lack of electricity supply meant daytime was consecrated to reading. I kept to myself as other visitors to the place were mainly of two breeds I am slowly learning to loathe. Wiggas and dirty old men.

The wiggas are mainly French and hence have that slightly lost look as they realise that the French language is about as much use internationally as Quechua and have to rely on their piss poor English. Hence the sweet sound of a guitar down the beach is accompanied by a nice chorus of "want yoo elp mee seeng, teez saungz ov freedam". Wonderful people though if you get to know them though. Or at least I suppose.

The dirty old men with their younger Thai escorts are mainly German or Swiss German. This is why I am guessing they are paying for their companionship and are hence abhorrently fuelling a vicious trade. I could be generous of spirit and assume that love conquers the barriers of age and culture but history teaches us that giving the Teutons the benefit if the doubt is a bad idea. Therefore lechers they be in my eyes.

My first impressions of Thailand are good and I understand why this is the playground of the exotically minded. The people are indeed friendly and smile a lot. This makes me slightly uneasy. As most Brits, the default setting for my facial expression tends to be "miserable bastard". When I see people smiling for no discernible reason I always assume that they:
a) Have just got laid.
b) Are planning something evil.
c) Are retarded.
I know this isn't very charitable and is also stupid but it means that I get suddenly nervous for no reason in the Land of Smiles.

It could be that they smile because they are drunk. The locals are serious boozers and this makes a welcome change after Malaysia. The fun way of doing this is by putting a straw in the communal bucket and slurping away. The contents are usually crap Thai whisky, ice, some sort of energy drink and the odd drop of beer. It's fun but tastes viles. The beer is weird here as well and I am letting a bit more credibilty to the backpacker myth that the Chang brewery put amphetamines in their product even if I personnally assume that caffeine would have the same results and be a tad less risky. There are other local brews though so I don't have to choose between the old medicinal pint and a night's sleep.

I was a good boy last night on the train and fucked off from the restaurant/bar after some chap wanted to start a drinking contest with me. A couple that stayed on told me that they were turfed out by the police a short while after as farangs (thai for foreigner) get locked up in the sleeping compartments at night. Anyways, I am in Bankgok, the "City of Angels" (WTF?) and am off for beer and catching a few rounds of Thai boxing at the stadium. It might sound a slightly bloodthirsty way of speding the evening but I have been assured that there are far less ethical things to do in this burgh than getting drunk and watching blokes getting elbowed across the face.

Will do a full Bangkok report after my second stay here. Going oop North soon for some trekking but will come back here before going to Cambodia.

Laa kawn



Post a Comment

<< Home