May 15, 2009

Thailand Adventures (Day 3 / part 1)

It’s 5 am right now and I’ve just woken up. All of my own free will too, which is impressive for me. Is this a sign of maturity? After what seemed like an endless runaround through airports and falling asleep in uncomfortable positions in the airplane seats the stiff bed in my room was a welcome. I touched the mattress and was out like a light.

I briefly met the rest of the group before coming upstairs and passing out. I had asked the front desk staff if they had checked in yet. He pointed over to the dinning area where I could see 10 women all seated having dinner. I walked up to them cautiously and asked if they were by any chance a group of massage therapists. One of the girls looked at me quizzically and said, “Are you Jason?”

I sheepishly grinned and waved back, croaking a little “Hi!” as I stood there uncomfortably. I gave them all a quick run down of the adventures getting here and finished off by saying I smelled like ass crack. Nice way to introduce myself I must say. So today is the day I get to put faces with the names.

Like I said, it’s a about 5 am right now and I don’t have to be up for at least another 2 hours. So I’m just sitting out here in the hallway to my hotel room. It’s still nighttime and raining. Big fat drops of water keep splashing off the surface of the bamboo leaves that my floor is level with. Looking out over the edge I can see the street lined with pubs and little specialty shops. When the lightning strikes it illuminates the whole sky in a purple flash. Nothing is cooler than seeing a lightening bolt touch down somewhere behind a mountain top, silhouetting the massive structure. From the far end of the street a little scooter comes wheezing down the rain-slicked tarmac. There are three Thai’s hanging onto the bike as the driver tries to keep it upright. Their laughter drowns out the motor as they pass by me.

That’s something that I will never get used to here. The good natured attitude of almost everyone I meet here. In the city, its common place to keep your head down and avoid eye-contact with everyone surrounding you. If you happen to look up into the face of a stranger, they immediately turn away as if they didn’t see you. But here, if someone catches your eye, they immediately smile, bow and say hello, (in Thai of course, which is “sa-wat-dee”). All around the hotel, the bellboys and housekeepers treat you like the owner of the place, bowing and moving out of the way for you. It’s nice, but a little uncomfortable. I’m not really accustomed to being waited on like this.

There area definitely some characters that work here. A bellboy in particular is all smiles and cracks little jokes every time I see him. When he noticed that I spotted a Gecko making his way up the wall in the lobby, the bellboy pointed to it as if to say, “You see that lizard?” he then made a gesture suggesting he would eat it. The main dude behind the desk was just a sight to behold as well. He was a bigger guy, both in height and width, sporting a Bruce Lee hairdo from the 70’s, a mustard colored power suit, thick black and white retro granny glasses, two pimp rings on each hand and he spoke in a gentle falsetto. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the staff here.

Something tells me that beauty goes a long way here. I noticed it mostly on the way down here. All the employees at the airport were drop dead gorgeous. All the advertisements for the multiple Asian airlines were adorned with Asian girls in tight little suits and skirts, giggling and twirling their hair. They were like ‘Hooters’ ads, without the ‘hoots’. The hotel as well, all the women are beautiful here. Kinda makes you wonder. And I know I sound like a misogynistic prick for noticing it in the first place, but I’m just telling you like it is.

So now I’m downstairs and having the first of many breakfasts. When the tour stated that the hotel would be providing all breakfasts and the school was providing lunches and snacks throughout the day, I expected little to nothing that would fill me up like back home. Man, was I wrong. The breakfast is not a typical continental deal you find back home, but a full-on buffet like the kind you’d get at ‘Bonanza’ back in the day. Ham/bacon/sausage, pancakes/toast/waffle/cereal, eggs/omelets/stir-fry, fruits/juices/milk/water. Oh my God…I can’t eat anymore.

I joined a couple of the girls that were already downstairs. I wish to God I could remember all their names but only Adena’s sticks out. Already they are talking about what they plan to do after school. Some want to head into the markets right away to do shopping. Some want to do a boat tour along the river running through the city so we can take it all in at once. Someone also mentioned the idea of going to one of the local zoo’s to pet the tigers. I respect the laws of the jungle a little too much to go around and fuck with tigers. A tiger is and should not be a domesticated animal. They can and will eat your ass with little regard to the laws of the petting zoo. “The Jungle Book” was a lie kiddies.

I’ve pounded back my first Thai breakfast. Rice with Squid, cuscus with pineapple chunks, boiled broccoli with oysters and a side of fish mixed in with spicy peppers. One of the girls across from me opted for a soup with fish balls. Whether or not that’s hunks of fish rolled into a ball…or fish testes I do not know. I’ll probably try that tomorrow.

Before I leave for my first day of school, I totally ransack the mini fridge. I want to see if they restock the fridge everyday or if it’s a once only thing. There are six bottles of water, two cans of Pepsi, an orange Fanta, and two cans of Thai beer, (which I left behind). So we’ll see when I get back. Oh yeah, and as of this morning I have my luggage back. Now it’s off to school!

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