A Travellerspoint blog

Dr. Hilarity and the Curious Case of Coughs

Last days in Chumphon

So I came home from school early because my cough is kicking up a bit. Its a kind of hoarse painful cough that i really dont dig and i'm pretty keen to fix it. I went down to Mr. M's and had a chicken cashew that was so good I had another. Then P-boy and Jeng took me into Chumphon to the hospital to sort out my cough. There is something so universally soothing about going into a hospital when you are sick, something comforting about the air of competence and sterility. I whipped out the neccesary documents and waited to see my doctor. Some of the girls came with me to go shopping so I have requested a dose of Mr. Donut to pick me up when we pick them up.

A lady comes and takes me to the doctors office. He is a kind of cheeky looking doctor like one you would see on scrubs. He does a little questioning and decides that I need to have an x-ray. So another lady comes and takes me to the x-ray office. Another lady takes my x-ray and another lady takes me back to the doctors office. He pulls out the x-ray sheet and he puts it up on the wall. He then is silent. I am a little worried by now and try to chill out. The doctor then speaks. 'These are your lungs.' And is silent. Yes thanks doc i know that much already. He then speaks again, while pointing with an efficient stick. 'This is your heart, its good.' Pause. 'This is your liver, its good.' Paaaause. 'These are your ribs. Pause. They are good also.' Pause. After naming everything in the x-ray with appropriate pauses and evaluations the doctor turns to my lungs.

He pulls out a peice of paper and draws an outline diagram of lungs. He then pauses. He then scribbles viciously in the lungs till they have big sore pen marks in them. He then pauses. This is pnemonia, he says. What i have pnemonia?!?!? He pauses, 'No this is what pnemonia looks like, this is not for you.' I sigh in relief as he draws up the next diagram. Pause. He now has a clean diagram. He then draws horrid looking circles and scratches in the lungs and pauses. 'This is tuberculosis.' He then pauses. WTF i have TB??!?! 'No no this is not for you.' Pause. He then draws a new diagram, with deadly circles in it. Pause. 'This is cancer.' By now im just freaking out, WTF i have cancer? 'No no this is not for you.' He draws a new lung and continues this hilarious game of brinkmanship until im fairly sure all serious lung diseases have been covered. He draws a final diagram that looks mildly uncomfortable as opposed to TB. 'This, this is Bronchitis.' Pause. Slowly i say, i have bronchitis?.....'Yes. This is for you.' Ahhh I sigh in relief as he explains that it is common at the moment and I just have to take 4 different drugs 3 times a day for a few days and I will be fine. Thank Jeebus that hilarious episode is over. Watch scrubs and work on your bedside manner Dr. Tension!!!!!!!!

That night we went to a groovy kind of local dig that Jeng and P-boy took us too where they play like Ska Reggae in Thai. They knew P-boy so he did a little rocking cameo guitar effort. Good little night but I was pretty damn tired. Next couple of nights I have shitty coughing addict smoky shit sleeps so I often go downstairs to the lobby with my sheets around me like a cape and listening to music I do a sleepy ghost shuffle around the lobby which would have sketched anyone who was up at those ridiculous hours. I cleany frenzy my room and write and read a lot on the balcony. It was about this time in the trip that i posted my first blog. I begin to feel much better.

Its getting down to last days with Alice now which is pretty sad. We lie in my room and listen to music, all wearing tie-dye and the sun comes straight through turning her hair copper-gold and her eyes amber brown swirls. The firekites are playing and i am very happy. It will be sad to part but i wouldnt trade meeting her, the pain is part of the deal. We finish teaching in a few days but Alice is coming to Bangkok with me and I am meeting Maddy there so that will be a good few days.

The drugs for the cough are pretty strong and im lying on my bed with some driving ballads going (Boston yea?) and the view is amazing. The red wall of the balcony and the bloor door of the room frame my sight. All i can see is blue sky and white cloud and its like i am in a room that opens out into the sky itself. Sweet.

Before i know it we have our last day and night in Chumphon. For the last night we just hang out at the bar and have a laugh, play some good tunes. I'll sure miss P-boy and Jeng and the whole place its just so damn relaxing. Our last day at school was really cool. I actually had an alright sleep so i felt pretty good. When we got there we were told it was a day of service at the temple so we walked up with all the kids to the local buddhist temple. It seems that every month all the locals bring food and donations for the monks and they recite sutras (teaching of the buddha) and bless everyone. The service started with a deep gong being rung and all the monks walking up from the garden, old to young they enter the temple, prostrate to buddha and sit down facing the people. The last monk walks in late, throws a cigarette into the garden and sits down. The children are the quietest ive ever seen them as the people and the monks begin chanting. Everyone has such a deep respect for their religion. After chanting the monks partake of ritual food and the rest is stored. The chanting continues and at one stage all the feral dogs started to howl in unison with the chanting in a way that made the hair on the back of my next stand up. Afterwards a monk splashed holy water on us and we walked back to school.

Lunch was excellent at school and it was time to each our last classes, the 2's and 3's. We had a lot of stickers left so we basically spent the whole lesson playing and i had a few sheets of australia tattoos so i tattooed kids. Kids from other classes came and planes flew, windows shook, balls bounced and finally the bell rung. We had a good whole school photo and some of the kids gave us thank you letters. We played some table tennis and then headed back to the guesthouse. We drove into Chumphon and bought chicken and beef and vegetables to have a good ol bbq back at the bar. Made up some nice veg meat skewers and it all tasted pretty alright.

P-boy drove us to the station and everyone stood in the door to wave us off, it was pretty kinda sad cause they are all ace people but thats how it goes, things change. I really hope I see P-boy again he is such a mad dude. We jumped on the night train and began our rattly exodus to the big city.

Posted by codywant 07:17 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Wo/men and Fishy Business

A chance encounter with sage pete and an odd night with wo/men

The day after our night of battle we opted for a relaxing day. Just off from Koh Tao is a little island called Nangnuan which is basically a diving sanctuary so we decided to head over for a look. To get across we got to ride in one of those classic Thai longtail boats (finally!). We ambled down to the beach and climbed into the boat. Our driver showed up and fired up the epic engine. The engine on a longtail boat is this massive, loud, growling mass of engine with no cover that roars and rages as it propells you through the waves. It looks difficult to drive as our thai power packet throws the long handle of the engine back and forth, lifting it over coral on the way out and pushing every which way as we cruise over the waves to the island. Coloured flags all over the boat and a bacardi umbrella bring a festive note to the travel and its just like riding a tinnie out in the harbour. We docked against another parked longtail and began the long process of ferrying my lesser sea worn accomplices onto land. After a scamper across the boat and up a shoddy 'ladder' we were all on deck and about ready to relax. The island itself consists of two smallish mountains joined by a thin stretch of beach, and boulders scattered everywhere and wooden walkways joining it all up.

Got the snorkels and jumped in. Its so nice and peaceful under the water and luckily I hadn't forgotten the trick to diving low with the snorkel and expelling the air when you come back up. We all kind of cruised around and dug the crazy ocean landscape for a few hours. I saw a sketchy kind of fish about as long as my arm and thin like a pencil with a sharp looking snout. I dived through a school of vibrant rainbow parrots and tailed Nemo. It was a good swim. The only restraunt on the island was a bit of a gib of course but it was a nice meal. For some strange reason the waitress had a kitten and through some odd serious of events the kitten ended up sitting on someones plate with a side of salad next to it, meekly taking its fate as the next step in burgers. But we were all pretty full and the little kitten returned to its strange origins as we went for one last food filled swim before returning for beer'o'clock. Just as we prepared to leave a horrid storm arose and wild wind whipped the previously peaceful island and slanting rain bit and rammed everything. Everyone was a bit worried because the ride over had been a little bumpy and that was with smooth weather. I said not to worry because the drivers do this all the time but no one seemed to listen so I left them to their devices. I really enjoyed the ride back but I might be alone in saying that. Well the driver did to. We would crest waves and get a little air, dive down into troughs and the whole time the wild man on the back swinging this massive mass of engine around to keep us moving through the shifting world of water we were navigating. I was whooping and hollering and slapping the water totally taken in by the wild ride and me and the driver had a grand old laugh as we sailed across to Koh Tao. The others thought we were as doomed as Ahab but we could have swam the damn distance if we flipped over. Anyway just as we pulled into the beach and I started to say 'see its all fine yea?' we were jolted forward as the boat hit a big coral outcrop. There was silence for a minute as we waited for the boat to fill with water but the driver laughed and we kept going. It was just about time for a beer.

We had a little shopping sesh and got some Thai staples, singlets and a tooth necklace. As we were cruising a guy offered us %20 off to eat at his place so we was hittin that fo sho. I had possibly the best meal of the trip at this restraunt, a yellow curry that was almost unacceptably tasty. We then found a place called 'lotus bar' that was like an early relative of the bars on Chaweng beach on Koh Samui. There were no lights and fireworks and animals but we were fine with that it was kind of time to chill a little. There were big coconut trees and little fires made in sand castles around us. The waves crashed on the beach near us as two fire twirlers came up. These guy were epic twirlers and they twirled the shite out of those fire sticks. The older guy was a kind of restrained casual style who swung fire on rope and the younger kid was this wild kind of fire jedi who swung a fire staff like he was battling a Darth. They had some serious speed and rythm going.

It was then time for another ladyboy show. Yes that is a strange sentence. This show was a lot weirder than the one on Koh Samui. Samui was refined and almost classy but this one was wild and underground, like the rest of Koh Tao. The lady boys at the door had deep bass tones as they asked us to come on in baby. We had had a few buckets shared at the lotus bar and continued this great traditino at the show. This show was full of camp classics and we whooped and sung along to the wild display until the apex when I saw a new contender for weirdest sight ever. A wo/man came out dressed as a granny with those glasses that have fake bulging eyes. 'I will survive' came on and the granny started to dance in a fashion that no granny could or should dance in. Then if the show was not odd enough for anyone, after much posturing, climbing poles and tables and what not the 'granny' pulled out a large fake penis from her frock and again did things that no granny should do, at least not in public. It was truly a strange thing to be in the vicinity of.

Because we hadn't finished our buckets we bailed out a side door from the show and set to work on them as we ambled down a side street. But then we came upon the open door of the changeroom for the lady boys! Outside there were racks and racks of cross dressing gold and we all started to dress up in hats and dresses and things (Not I says the pie, at least not dresses says the pie). After posturing and acting our own show some of the lady boys came to the door and we had some interesting conversations about what it was like to be in the business and all other sorts of questions that im sure you also would ask of a ladyboy. I had seen enough to know for sure that these ladyboys were lady in name and dress only.

We were basically back at our acom. on windy beach when we realised that we had lost Sophie and Leoni, two of the girls with us. Just as we were preparing to maybe worry we heard some delicious reggae bumping nearby and drew towards it like moth to that well quoted flame. Turns out the bar was hidden behing trees about 30 metres from our rooms at the accom. So we sat down and played some Jenga, some connect four, some guitar and some hammock time. Just chilled and had some tigers just diggin. And then who should turn up at our hidden underground bar late at night? Yes it was Pete the sage from our first trip to Koh Tao. Pete was heavily burdened by his prodigious use of that dirty cabbage and was well on the way. Pete was with his wife, who we had not met last time we were there, whos birthday it was was. We were overcome by the randomness of our meeting. We had a big hearty laugh and sung 'Happy Birthday to petes-wife!' (Her name was hard hard hard to say). Two other people we were with were Rachael and Richard who were from Northern england. I couldnt bloody understand a thing that they said but they were funny. Richard says really crazy things like when we were coming into Koh Tao how his top two animals to see in Thailand were a camel and a monkey. We heard of a beach party but couldnt get our ragged crew together so we all sorta drifted off too sleep. At some stage Sophie and Leoni turned up soaking wet and well gone. From the looks of things they had had a good night, something about tables, buckets, bikes, boys and water. We crashed to a well earned sleep and prepared for a hellish checkout the next day.

The next day was pretty funny, there were some white faces and a think some undercover regurgitation from our scottish friend. The dudes who work at windy beach are pretty cool. Theres one guy who wears a pink cowboy hat and one guy with gnarly scars who wears ray ban shades, and the owner who kinda rocks up and sits next to you, real quiet, and then leaves just as quietly. As our hangovers either increased or decreased we waited for the ferry. We got a taxi to the beach and said goodbye to Koh Tao. This time the ride was pretty good and we cruised out over the blue sea as the sun shined on down. I blasted some wantstock tunes from the ipod, surrounded by new friends and new love and having a pretty good time. Coming into the dock at Chumphon on the ferry is a really great view of the place. Its very coastal and working and there are those comical cartoonlike thai fishing boats that are adorned in all colours and oddly cruise their way out to sea, looking like a weird oversea fish. There are empty hangars fronting the inlet with men playing cards on a lone table, some kind of underground meeting in the next hangar and even a little girl standing alone watching the boats go by.

I had a cough thats been building and after the weekend im kinda worried about it so im going to see the doctor tommorow. It was a good weekend of chance encounters, and excellently odd and cerebral activities. Sleeptime.

Posted by codywant 06:15 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Muay Thai Madness

Return to Koh Tao our island of salvation from the seas

The next weekend was holiday time so we got all the new volunteers and made plans to go to Koh Tao. The night before we were celebrating something, i cant remember what it was but im sure it was important, important enough to try and stay up all night and catch our 5 o clock ferry in the morning (why do we do these things?). Well it was a good night, maybe a little too good, i dont think anyone managed to stay up all night and there were some grumpy green grimaces in the morning when it was time to go. One guy was hilarious, he had these mozzie bites that were freaking him out so he wrapped both legs from ankle to shin in bandages and passed out on the tile in the reception area face down. That was a strange thing to see in the morning. It was a rough ride across to Koh Tao but everyone kind of passed out at various absurd angles across the boat and we were there before we knew it. We managed to find a place on the beach for about 380Baht for the whole weekend which is hilariously cheap. I spent the rest of the morning lying on a carpet against a layback chair on a wooden deck looking out over the beach eating a bacon sandwhich in the company of 7 lovely ladies. God its a hard life.

The rest of that day we alternated between the hard choices of swimming, eating, sleeping and shopping. We ate dinner at this strange restaurant that was kind of like a giant tree house, the top level was all peices of old dark wood with a low railing and pillows for seats. The massaman curry was almost too good. After dinner we were all so tired that we kind of stretched out and fell asleep on the pillows, the poor waiter didnt know what to do when our whole table of about 10 people fell asleep taking up most of the space on the top level. I woke up and had a freshly made fried icecream (why is this not common at home? Its so damn good). It was then time to go see a Muay Thai match.

The match had a kind of fight club underground flavour to it and we had to ask a few times where to go. We eventually found the place and went through the steel doors into a kind of open air ring with a couple sets of bleachers and chairs around it. All the fans and fighters were kind of milling around sharing beers and hanging out. There were a few big units walking round and there was cheese techno bumping in the background. We grab seats and the expat commentator gets down to welcoming people. This guy is one of those classic kids you see everywhere in thailand who have made a niche for themselves and are just chilling on island time. After some witty banter by the expat and a little more cheese techno it was time to fight.

I always knew that Muay Thai was pretty hectic but i've never seen a human being knocked out before. Something really shocking about the early fights on this night was how young some of the fighters were. The first two fights had kids who looked about 12 slugging it out, not really using a lot of technique but just belting each other. After that though the serious fighters came out and I got to see the oddly beautiful often brutal movements of a real Muay Thai fighter. The little thai men walk to either side of the ring and enter, traditional head piece sitting proudly up and incongruous flowers around the neck. One corner is red, one blue. Morpheus sues for copyright. The men then do a traditional dance that pays respect to their ancestors, their family and their trainer as they walk around the edge of the ring, holding onto the rope, stamping and posturing like ancient warriors. The crowd grows wholly silent. The fighters walk to the middle and touch gloves and then noise makes a comeback on all levels.

The most cerebral thing about the fight was the grating snake charmer like music that was belted out during each round from tinny war time speakers. It was a masterpiece of composition as it evoked the brutal grating nature of Muay Thai but had a subtle delightful melody to it, as did the movements of the fighters. The crowd pitched its noise to the total, leaning into the ring and slapping the canvas, yelling and shouting in tongues, overcome by the raw primal display of power. I looked off to the side of the ring and saw a small Thai boy throwing a chain of snap kicks into a back three times the size of him, undaunted in his goliath effort. Inbetween round the commentator would ramble inchoherently in fight lingo as the fighters breathed heavily and struggled to regain control of their breathing apparatus. The worst knockout of the night then came. Two fighters were doing as they do, fighting, and suddenly red caught blue in a headlock behind the neck and began to throw a savage collection of knees into the ribs of blue. The crowd seemed to empower each knee as they yelled OOOOHH!!! OOOOHHHH!!! as the collection got faster. Blue dropped to his knees and red stepped back and flung a missile snap kick into blues head. Red won.

5 round of 3 minute hell in the ring as the whining thai flute plays, as brutal and raw as the match it accompanies, soaring and dropping to grating notes. Inbetween rounds techno and technofightbabble fills the air. Fans throw punch combinations in the air and give useful tips to the fighters like 'hit him! or 'kick him!' just incase he had forgotten. That raw unforgettable sound comes when fist meets face or foot meets face in a collision of epic proportions causing a cosmic facial muscle skin bone slap that resounds throughout the ages as slow motion the face of the hit fighters absorbs the shockwave defiantly and he stands strong, a warrior in his own right.

There were two international fights, both a bit ridiculous. One had a canadian guy who was just like three times bigger than the Thai guy and basically just boxed him into submission. The other was this giant of a spanish thug who had a need for destruction written all over his face. His opponent was a small Thai man, much smaller but these guys are built of only fight muscle, literally packed full of lean snapping power. Everyone could see this spanish guy was a bad egg thug so most of the cheers were for the thai power packet. The matches are usually fought in a strange kind of camraderie that ends in a solid hug and respect at the end regardless of the outcome. The Thais are very serious about respect (just look at the journalist in jail for slagging the king offhand). Anyway the mini thai wonder took down the goliath spanish in a truly biblical display of snap kick prowess and the sullen spaniard giant sat on the ground and refused to touch gloves, a big dishonour. He got booed out of the arena and a couple of chang beers cans grew wings and attacked.

The best fighter of the night was the last. Blue, a most epic warrior. He was a force to be reckoned with and at this stage of the night the technical skill and grace of the fighters was clear. They engaged in a gracefully deadly dance as they sized up kicks and knees and punches, darting in and fading back until the moment was right. But blue was cobra fast and he snapped a head kick faster than i could follow right into red and then before you knew it he was dancing back. He had a serious command of counter punching and everytime red made a move blue just punched, perfectly timed, a counter that would stop reds movement. Blue did get hit. He got kicked in the face, enough to take my own poor head right off. But sketchily he stood still, barely moved, and in place of a grimace of pain, a grin of adrenaline arose. This happened a few times but the thai terminator of the ring was unstoppable and ground his opponent into submission with blistering speed and skill.

All in all a very strange, cerebral, brutal, beautiful night of biblical battles between battling thai warriors and surly spanish giants, oversized canadians ey and babbling commentators all taking place in this oddly underground fight arena under the crisp moon of a thai island night.

Posted by codywant 05:22 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

The Coconut Monk

the ethics of coconut theivery and the discovery of the birdsquito

By now we ere having a great time at school and because there were so few students we pretty much knew everyone (although my incredibly poor aptitude for remembering names meant that i couldnt remember even one childs actual name and had to rely on my nicknaming skills. My favourites where: monkey boy, kook-a-look, special, porcelain boy, boy scout and weird face boy, i know poetry right?). There was one girl at this school who was real eccentric, like a tad mental. She told us her name was jasmine but i later saw her pencil case and it was called 'jasmin love' it was like one of those chinglish pencilcases that says things like 'i am desirous of joyous moment for you' rather than 'happy birthday'. Anyway she would wear like pink sweaters over her uniform, these ridiculous green dame edna sunnies with white out all over the lenses and carry a parasol. When we asked the class to draw a human body and label the parts she drew a bodybuilding woman with devil horns and coloured the whole page in black. Yeah she was great. One day she was running around howling like a wolf, while we were playing table tennis, and then she found a stick and was climbing walls with it, cackling like a witch and jumping off and trying to fly. The builders were funny too, when they saw us playing table tennis they all stopped working and ran over and challenged us to a tournament. I couldnt discern there scoring pattern but every point they would yell Thailand vs. Australia YEA!! and then smash the ball. No wonder the construction site didnt change the whole month we were there.

Ive finally remembered, the school was called 'Pak Dern'.. maybe.. As im writing this my stomach is grumbling thinking about the lunches we had there. Lunch was really hit and miss. Some days it was amazing, we had this dish that was some kind of minced meat with chilli sauce that was delicious and some days we had this sort of spamlike pink meat in sticks. Not so great. At lunch they would give the kids these icecreams that were just full of sugar. Having just taught them and knowing that i had two more lessons after lunch i would almost cry watching them devouring their sticks of sugar crack and beginning to transform into monsters just as the bell rang.

The coming weekend we where planning to go to Koh Tao so i had to return the fuschia phantom. Oh yeah and sometime during all this rob had left to meet sam in phuket. Bye rob. It was a sad day returning the phantom but it was time to move forward. Back in my room i was playing my wantstock playlist and writing on the balcony, feeling a little blue. All of a sudden it just started pouring, the classic monsoon rain. In all of 5 inutes it was over and at that moment hundreds of birds came from the trees and flew back and forth right in front of my balcony. It was an amazing sight as they darted between wires, dove down and flew up under the watch of a newly formed rainbow. This natural display cheered me greatly and my fuschia fuelled melancholy was alleviated.

There was a temple between our guesthouse and the beach and we thought it was about time we checked the place out. We had been told that it was reputed to be one of the ugliest temples in chumphone but i thought it looked nice. All places of worship have a distinctly peaceful aura. On this occasion the aura was destrpyed as we walked onto the grounds and a pack of dogs started howling and ran at us. Oddly enough they wouldnt stop, even when i did my excellent crocodile dundee impression. As the pack of dogs was about to have a jugular feast courtesy of us a monk stepped out and yelled at the dogs. They stopped running and ran to heel. The monk lived in a little hut with a clothesline which was covered in his greatly varied wardrobe of saffron robes. The old fellow ambled towards us and greeted us kindly. He showed us around the grounds and took us into the temple. A big golden buddha and his two bodhisattvas gretted us with omniscient smiels and the monks encouraged us to burn some insence and pray. We went outside and Richard, one of the colunteers with us, asked if we could have a coconut from one of the temples trees. The monks, who did not speak a word of english, laughed, as he often did, and conveyed that we could have one but we had to pick it from the tree beceause the ones on the ground had ants in them (he was excellent at charades). He then walked of laughing a loony buddha laugh and disappeared. We tried, very unsucessfully to climb the tree like Baghera but fell like Mowgli (go watch the jungle book its epic). We picked up an old branch and started bashing the coconut until it fell. I now wasnt completely sure the monk had meant for us to pick a coconut (so he was pretty good at charades but you know, actions are ambiguous) and i started to wonder what level of hell was reserved for those who steal coconuts from toothless buddhist monks. Just as i was beginning to stress out the monk returned with what might with some large bulky weapon of choice on his shoulder. Oh no, he was coming to deal us holy retribution for a coconut fuelled greed!! But no, we were still good, it was what could loosely be called a 'ladder'. In reality it was a sketchy peice of rotting wood with little sketchy scrap wood sketchily nailed with sketchy rusty nails across it to form sketchy steps. This thing looked more like a trap left over from 'Nam than a device for vertical advancement. I mean it really looked like it could go at any moment and there was no way in coconut thieving hell that i was going to scale a tree with that thing.

Of course the monk used his superior charade skills to ask us to please climb the tree with his sketch-a-letch 'ladder'. Everyone else felt the same way i did about our chances of getting down from the tree with both a coconut and our skulls intact but the little man was so earnest and buddhist that i felt obliged to pick the damn coconut for him after he carried his sketch ladder so far. You know how most trees have solid branches that come out from the trunk? The coconut tree is not blessed with this design function and the 'branches' were giving the 'ladder' a run for their money as to which would snap first. I began to climb the deathtrap as it wobbled to and fro and creaked away, the coconut branches squeaking and shaking ominously. My slow progress was hilarious to the monk who cackled away. I told him that if he thought it was so funny he could do it but its kind of hard to do charades from a sketch-a-letch. I laughed back at the crazy little monk and climbed higher, just in reach of the coconut. I stretched out with one hand, rocking side to side, stretching with all my might. I grabbed hold and started to twist the coconut to break the steam. At this point, to the joy of the monk and to my horror, a string of ants swarmed up my arm from the coconut. In a flurry of cursing i climbed down and touched onto blessed earth, determined to never climb a sketch a letch again. A vigorous dance relieved me of all ant action. The monk then moved the 'ladder' around to the other side of the tree and charaded 'excuse me young lad could you please climb again and pick me one more coconut, thats a good man' (he was pretty good at charades). Again no one volunteers, especially after seeing my ant attack so i had to climb the sketch again. The second picking was a little smoother and blessedly sans ants.

After coconut gate the little fellow took us over to a tree scarred with long cuts on its roots. From somewhere on his person he whipped out a large machete. He had proven to be an erratic chap in the past and i was worried he wanted some meat on the menu with his coconut soup but he swung past me and busted the coconut wide open. Having tasted fresh coconut from natures well sealed cookie jar we went to go home but the monk charadely informed us that we had picked two coconuts and now had to eat all the coconut from both of them before we could leave. I tried to charaderemind him that he wanted two but he chardeignored me so we waited as he busted both coconuts and went about the long process of popping the peices out from the hard shell of the coconut. Im a patient man and i dont mind waiting, especially if food is involved, but the problem with this waiting room was the presence of particularly vicious mosquitos. Actually they were not mosquiotos. A mosquito you can kill with two hands. These were like devil offspring of an ill fated fusion between a bird and a mosquito, like some creeply large insect from the seventh level of coconut theiving hell. The monk was unaffected as he prepared our obligatory coconut so i decided to dance to keep the mosquitos away. One girl we were with got 7 bites in the time that we were there which came up bright red as we stood there. Sick of being birdsquito buffet i advanced my dance to the next level and began to routinely slap around my body in a kind of hybrid irish folk dance and drug rave manouver.

The coconut monk finished his work and we drugravefolk danced our way out of the birdsquito forest of death past the jugular seeking dogs out into the sweet ocean air. The monk sat sharpening his machete and laughing as we left with a fresh bag of coconut and a nice dose of coastal malaria.

Posted by codywant 09:42 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

The Joys of Deep Fried Icecream

and delicious live music

The morning after rob took us swimming we again found ourselves in the water. It was unnecessarily hot and as we wallowed in the shallows we all promised ourselves to never drink again. Rob went to have breakfast. He ordered the full English breakfast. It arrived, and it really is a FULL breakfast, its massive. Overwhelmed by the sight and smell of so much food his hungover brain snaps and he gets up and runs away from the restraunt and dives into the ocean. The waiter is confused, to say the least, as Rob comes back to the restraunt, dripping, sits down and starts to eat.

We spend the day relaxing and in the afternoon scooter to the local sunday markets. The previously dead strip that housed the Thai bandit community was now bustling. There was a big jumping castle, all sorts of stores and even a wailing little elephant. I bought a pair of fisherman pants for $4 and we sampled fish cakes, crab cakes and godknowswhat cakes. Finally we stumbled on the holy grail of market eatery, the deep fried icecream stall.

The little man who worked in the stall had the smile that 20 years of dispensing icecream to happy children will give you and he had the teeth that 20 years of eating icecream will give you, that is to say, none. He had little twinkly eyes and with that gummy grin he was our little buddha of fried ice confectionary. Me and rob were like little kids as we made our icecream. He has little pre-made icecream pouches in batter which he quickly dips in the frier, then covers with sugar, chocolate, lollies and sprinkles. The icecream tastes like cavities but its so fucking good we get a second one. Its getting dark and we resolve to leave before we buy a third. Its the best 10 Baht ive ever spent. We say goodbye to the cheery fellow and scoot on home, there is a live band playing at the bar and i dont want to be late.

Remember P-boy, who owns the bar and guesthouse? His blues band is playing and im excited because if its anything like his acoustic stuff its gonna be epic. The stage is a ratty concrete slab next to the bar and its a perfect clear night with a gentle sea breeze swingin in. We have a delicious massaman curry as the band sets up. P-boy has on a red and yellow tie dye shirt and red fisherman pants. His weapon of choice is a sunburst Les Paul. The drummer exudes jazzy cool and rocks a toothless grin, a cigarette hanging five and ready to go. The bass player chills, his head occupied with devilish bass trips and bluesy licks as he strolls off by himself with an extra long amp lead.

The band play and straight up i get that blues chill that only live music can send down your neck. We get some classic blues like 'sweet home chicago' and classic by boss clapton, prophet marley and god hendrix. These guys could really play and they were just so stoked to be jamming that everyone was wearing big grins. The peak of the performance was when they did a long cover of hey joe and p-boy was blasting the les paul to pieces with a wicked solo, just when i thought it couldnt get any better and that the solo was winding down, the toothy drum man entered with a jazz inspired drum excursion of epic proportions followed by wild bass experiments by the spacey bass-o-naught. I could almost hear Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty yelling Go! Go! Go! in the background, it was a sweet performance.

As soon as we got back to the guesthouse i busted out the speakers and played 'red house' until fear of reprisal for late night noise sent me to bed. If you will forgive me i will divert, momentarially, from the main discourse, to preserve for posterity a golden moment of hilarity that i dont want me and rob to forget. I dont possess the skill to fully describe this golden moment but hopefully my shadow reproduction will bring me back to the original moment. Haha i am laughing now thinking about this. The lobby of the guesthouse is covered with very smooth tiles. One morning, as we walked to the door, rob impetusouly tried to run around me to beat me to the door. At the perfect point in this mad dash his feet hit a slippery patch on the tiles. He was running so fast that, as he started to fall, he reached a horizontal angle and flew almost 2 metres into a bookshelf. Hahah this sounds really violent but it was so perfectly comedic that chaplain would have been jealous. Sorry for that interuption but you know how funny it is when people trip over right?

That very same night, once i had managed to stop laughing, we went to play pool down at an open air reggae beach bar with excellent curries. Yes i know what a horrible place. We played a lot of pool and i really seem to swing between absolutely useless and masterfully destructive on the pool table depending on where i am on the beer triangle. The beer triangle is a simple mental exercise to guage whether your next beer will help or hinder your pool endeavours. Simply picture how many beers you have had, stack them in a mental triangle (ie. if you have had 5 beers, 3 on the bottom and 2 on the next level) and draw a line from the base angle up. If your next beer fits inside the triangle (ie. the example 5 beer triangle has room for one more) then it should* help your pool performance (*Results vary greatly). Anyway, during this game Alice did the best pool break ever. No balls were sunk, infact no balls on the table even moved. The white ball, however, knew what it felt like to fly as it soared the complete length of the table into a washing sink full of unwashed plates, smashing down into the dirty food bearers with hilariously loud force.

At home i had to use the bathroomin the dark because the power was out. I wont talk much about the toilet but i will say that Thailand is the only country ive ever been where i get excited about a good bowel movement. And on that note i bid you good day.

Posted by codywant 08:17 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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