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Tales From Bangkok
geb dok mai
Aug 12, 2001

Its amazing, so much crap happens to me that I just never run out of
things to say, its unbelievable...

So, I stayed out too late sometime last week. The reason I know this is
four fold:

1) Pretending I was 5 years old at my training the next day sucked and
it started at 9 am and on top of that it was no where near my house. My
tolerance for it just wasn't as high as it usual, and as a result, the
house that I had to build out of colored blocks was quite pathetic. As
you built it, you had to talk about the doors and windows, and blah
blah. Mine was basically a square. I said that it was a Thai igloo...
which I might add... was not funny! I think my story about bangkok was
also pretty bad... so it goes. Luckily, we are supposed to be tiny
children and there are no tests, or grades, but I got a teaching
certificate... not bad for being treated like a kindergardener for a
week. I guess this is how teaching works...

2)Running away from ladyboys as the sun came up sucked as well. This is
a clear sign that you have overstayed your welcome. These "women" are
really beautiful but they have these deep voices and a little thingy
that they hide really well. They are quite aggressive! You have to be
very careful in bangkok cause they have a man's grip, heh. Its a mess.
So it was late, and these ladyboys wouldn't stop hassling us, they're
prostitutes too if you didn't gather... so we literally out ran then
cause they were in high heels. suckers.

3)Toby and Vaughn got so pissed off at each other cause they had too
much to drink and in the middle of it they made a bar-girl in disguise
cry. Vaughn liked her, and toby blew it for him. He said that he would
meet her at Soi Nana (jokingly), which is this really filthy place,
just joking around, and it turned out that she worked there and she
didn't want vaughn to know, or something. But then she got embarrassed
and starting having a hissy fit. Toby refused to admit that he was
disrespectful or something and Vaughn flipped out. The sunrise was a
brilliant backdrop.

4) When I got home I had to jump in the shower, change my clothes and
get on the bus to go to my training. ugg. But I made it, and I did it
with a smile. Now I am tired. It got late quickly.

You know how some things just get boring after a while, like riding the
bus to work everyday. Well, bangkok has the answer for monotonous bus
riding. No air conditioning, make the road narrower, make the drivers
crazier, and pack 17 times more people onto one bus than you really
should, it makes it REALLY FUN! They have this saying in Bangkok that
the bus isn't full until the driver is hanging out the window... then
it is full.

So the other morning I found a nice perfectly over-crowded bus, crammed
myself on and held on for dear life. I was hanging out of the side of
the bus, but at least I had both my feet on the step. There were two
other people hanging on outside of me, which was definately a little
nutty. Man, the bus rocks! Going to work is great, when you are on the
outside. I had to ride like that for 45 minutes flying around bangkok,
over the Taksin bridge. It was awesome. I got a great view of bangkok
on the bridge. Not as cool as the motorbikes, but still great.
(Parents, don't worry its safe). The unsafe ones are the people who are
hanging out the windows, and the ones riding on the bumbers.

It made going to work every morning over an hour away, completely worth

I took the ferry across the river also, that was okay. Nothing big but
I would argue that they didn't really finish the checklist when adding
safety precautions... it looks like it is from the 80s... and I think
the 80s here were even worse than in the states.

The BTS (Bangkok Train System) is awesome... they are trying to expand
it some more, but it is going to take 2 years before it gets close to
my house unfortunately. But it is really great. On the BTS (aka Sky
Train) you can go a distance that would take a cab 40 minutes in 10. It
is much better especially if you are alone. but it is a little
expensive, depending on where you are going. but the most is can be is
35 baht, which is still only like 75 cents.

I went to the weekend market, Chactuchac, yesterday cause everyone had
the day off. It was the queen's birthday, and therefore it was mother's
day as well. Father's day as you can imagine is on, that's right....
The King's Birthday. I hear that is quite a wild holiday... the
biggest. Anyway, we went to the market and that place is absurd. It is
quite a distance, its in Mo Chit, which is like an hour away, but
everything is an hour away. Maybe it is a little further. Anyway, this
place is friggin massive it was quite the spectacle. Row after row of
indoor and outdoor shops, sweating people, the occasional fan, more
shit (stuff) than I have ever seen in my life, food, clothing, statues,
office supplies, antiques, art, everything.

I bought a little plastic mirror so I can shave in my bathroom instead
of out of a bowl. It was 60 baht. what a deal huh.

Then last night we went to the old part of the city to see the festival
of lights... wow I wish I had brought my camera. Really too bad... they
had a rediculous number of lights all around the city, it was
beautiful. Every tree was glowing with thousands of lights, they had
these huge temporary pictures of the queen in cement frames down the
middle of the street, of course covered in lights. It was quite the
spectacle. They only leave up the decorations for 5 days... absurd for
the amount of work that went into this. We just walked around and
talked, it was great.... on the queen's birthday you cannot sell beer
or whiskey. Interesting huh. I had a banana shake.

Ah, so one more "kev fucked up becuase he is not used to the Thai
culture" story. So, I decided to go see Moulin Rouge at one of the huge
theaters by my self one afternoon. Before the movie starts this screen
comes on that says please pay homage to his magesty the King... and I
hear everyone get up, so I do too. But the theater is basically empty
and the is not one person sitting in front of me, ie, no one to model
my behavior after. So they have this time where they play what I assume
is the national anthem and you look at thousands of pictures of the
king and then everyone sits down. The problem was that the music was
too loud for me to hear everyone sit down so I figured that they were
all still standing. So there I am, standing and standing, thinking why
hasn't everyone sat down. So I keep standing and the movie is about to
start, and I am not sure if I should turn around or what I should do.
So, I took a quick look, and yes I looked like an idiot. Wow, I really
looked lame. No one would ever stand there as long as I did, but hey,
homage is homage.

Went to a bar where these filipinos sing the hits... great. The puff
daddy version of "every step you take" sung by a filipino. Does it get
better you ask me? YES! Yes, it does. And do you know why, the next
song was "She Bangs" originally sung by the one and only ricky martin.
And does it still get better? YES! They just wouldn't stop singing the
hits, Janet Jackson, Britany Spears, Son of a Preacher Man, Gloria
Estephan, and more. Can you believe it? I couldn't. Ended up drinking
tequilla with the head teacher at my branch. Ah, its funny when you see
your boss drunk, and dancing. heh.

Well, enough confession for the day. This writing is like going to

oh, and work is great!