6 countries, 70 days, malaria pills, and traveling college girls (41 SE Asia, 29 Europe) out for an adventure of a lifetime. No one knows where life will take us, what could happen, or what we will end up eating… all we know is that our children and grandchildren will never hear the end of these stories. Kelsey and Sami will be posting about the first part of the trip in Southeast Asia and while Kelsey goes back to the States, Sami and Kayla continue the adventure in Europe.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day Three

One jam packed day after another, why not? Today we met with our adorable tour guide, Woody, and explored the more touristy side of Bangkok. Considering that the temple and Wats have respectful dress codes (covered toes, long pants or skirt, collared shirts that covered the shoulders) Kelsey and I looked like complete matching schoolgirl dorks while sweating balls. We visited the beautiful Grand Palace. It started pouring rain while we were there and continued the rest of the day. 

Then Wat Po which contained the first Thai massage school with all the original pressure point diagrams used in Thai massages. 
Afterwards we went on a longtail boat on the Chao Phraya river which was so much fun. The water market is no longer popular here, as it used to be because it now has moved more North, but there was still a couple boats trying to keep it up selling their fruit. We then embarked on a boat to eat a buffet lunch with all the other Asian tourist. It was absolutely delicious! Our favorite part was the coconut pancakes for dessert. They were warm little balls that oozed in your mouth as you bit into it, tasting close to a tropical flan but not as sweet. As it was melting in our mouth, we were unable to control our moans as we rushed back to get more. 

After lunch we went to visit Wat Arun. If daring enough, people can get to the top after climbing literally vertical stairs. Woody warned us to not climb if we are not strong because the rain made it very slippery. But hey, YOBO. (You only Bangkok once). All of us took on the challenge and climbed to the top. Thankfully, no one died, but Charlie took a pretty gnarly slip and almost fell all the way down, but instead ended up with some bloody knuckles and all shaken up. 

The next Wat close by, Wat Traimit, contains the largest golden Buddha ever. It’s about 120 feet long and reclining on its side. It was overwhelming and magnificent at the same time. We then headed over to have dinner while watching a traditional Thai dance. Their dances are not at all what we were expecting. They were very elegant and beautifully dressed women who moved very miniscule while their fingers were the main show. These fingers bent all the way back to their wrists and at times they had extremely long fingernails. After their show they went into the dinner floor and pulled up people to come learn their dance on the stage. Kelsey was chosen and I couldn’t stop laughing the whole time she was mimicking them. As for the night mayhem, we visited Kohsan road… back packers paradise… buckets and towers heaven. No cars or motorcycles drove down this street it was packed with street vendors selling their clothes, bars blasting music and overflowing out into the street, carts filled with fried bugs, and crazy drunk backpackers having the time of their lives. There was a huge group of us that split up and eventually all met up later at the club. We started the night with ordering a tower of beer (3 liters) and hanging out with our new friend Max from Germany. Shortly after Kelsey, Lucia, and Nicole were eating fried scorpions and insisted they didn’t taste bad at all.

Hahaha, liars. Jeni and I tried them afterwards and painfully chewed them. Ours were not as charred and crispy as theirs. Instead we got to eat just the most delicious fat, juicy, and gutty ones whose legs stayed in our teeth and taste that wouldn’t leave our mouth. Kelsey and Lucia continued to be daring and ate a fried frog. Watching from afar, an inebriated 40-year-old British man was intrigued by Kelsey and bought her a 4 inch hissing cock roach to chomp on. Kelsey refused and asked him to eat it instead, so he took it but only licked the whole thing and gave it back to her…Kelsey said YOBO and ate it… taking a huge bite and ferociously tearing the head off of the sucker, chewed it like a boss. We bar hopped down the road and Kelsey got pulled in and wrapped up with an Indian guy who only had one dance move…. The no-no-no shake of the finger, with sassy duck faced lips, sunglasses hanging off the bridge of his nose, while he slowly dropped in to the floor. Late into the night we finally found the other part of our group! We turned and found this sketch door with a flickering blue neon sign above it that said “The Club” and danced our way inside. After last night and not thinking it could get any better or crazier, Bangkok surprised us once again and gave us a rachet night.

Day Two:

Kids, It is hard to accurately describe the events of our second day in Bangkok. It really was our first full day but putting it in words isn’t going to do it justice. Not to mention I am writing this on the bed of an overnight train with a view of the Thai jungle.. but that’s another story. So here we go: the day started with us girls waking up early and eating breakfast at the hotel. It consisted of a shmorgushborg of Thai fruit (teeny tiny bananas, rose apples, dragon fruit, etc) and a ton of pastries and toast, hot rice porridge, and hot tea. We then were so very excited to finally see the beautiful faces of Grayson and Jake. The boys were ready to explore and we couldn’t wait. Stacy told us of a tourist spot called Siam Square so we headed to the Sky Train right next to our hotel. The public transportation was hard to navigate at first, but map in hand and for only 42 baht we jumped on board the air-conditioned train and headed to the Square. We were shocked when we got to the square and saw that it was as modern and metropolitan as Time Square in New York City. So after roaming around and seeing the shops, we stopped in on a small restaurant on a side street. The Thai waiters were so patient and tried their best to accommodate us with our only speaking English. However, we were finally getting the hang of Thai phrases like hello and thank you. Sa Wa Dee Ka!! Khap Khun Ka!! Jake took a liking to my pocket Thai phrase book, especially the section on love and pick up lines, and struggling with his pronunciation, decided to ask one of the workers at the restaurant if he was saying his favorite phrase correctly. “Easy Tiger” was the phrase and the Thai men were laughing a storm at Jake when he spoke guns hot with “Jai yen yen na.” At the restaurant I had super yummy Hot and Sour Noodle salad with thick clear noodles and octopus on top. Yum yum yum! Sami had spring rolls and the rest of the gang sipped authentic Thai iced tea.

After roaming the streets in Siam Square, and experiencing our first of many days in the hot wet streets, we hopped back on the Sky Train and headed home to the hotel where we could jump in the cold swimming pool. After swimming for a while and cooling off, Sami and I were ready to enjoy our first Thai Massage, provided by some cute little Thai women in the hotel. 300 baht for 1 hour. Ten bucks. Unbelievable. And it was an experience like none other. Those little ladies beat the crap out of Sami and I. They jumped on our backs, dug their elbows in our shoulders, cracked our necks and spines, bent us in every which way, all the while Sami and I were trying our very hardest not to make eye contact because we knew that if we looked at each other we would bust up laughing. Not the most relaxing massage I have ever had, but the experience was worth every penny. After a much needed shower, it was time to get dinner and explore the Bangkok nightlife. Charlie lead us to a super cool bar called the Saxophone Bar where we ate food and ordered drinks sitting cross-legged and barefoot on little cushions. So asian. So awesome. The live music was great too! A Thai man was playing guitar and singing some great American tunes including artists like Neil Young. He was an incredible singer and musician. 

Two beers deep and we were off to the infamous red light district. Now let me tell you, no one could have warned us of the things we were to encounter that night. My life will never be the same. “MA MA (or however you spell the sound of lips smacking) PING PONG SHOW!! PUSSY SHOW!! YOU LIKE LADY BOY!!” is a phrase and a sound that will forever ring in my ears. Neon signs, loud music, and hundreds of groups of prostitutes gave the streets a life that will never be paralleled in America. The prostitutes were probably some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. They were in clusters on the street sides, with their little old lady pimps in front holding laminated signs with pictures of girls and prices of various sexual acts. Probably not too expensive. There were also many men chasing our group of na├»ve tourists selling pussy shows at the various strip clubs around every corner. We had to see it. Sami got a great picture of one of the cards the men had that listed the crazy things that the women could do with their lady parts.
 We followed him and for 300 baht we could see the show of a lifetime and get one free beer. We were sold. The rest is burned into my memory. We will never forget the things that we saw that night. The women were dancing on stage when we entered the dark black lit club, not very lively mind you, and we were seated and ready for the pussy show to start. There were only three women who partook in the show, and they were old. Like probably late forties or early fifties. Wowza. And they could do some crazy things with their hoo-has. The show started with one the youngest looking of the performers sticking a dart gun up her vagina and shooting darts to pop balloons. We couldn’t believe our eyes and I never laughed so hard in my life. Our big group of Americans were laughing and yelling. We were having a ball and were in complete shock. The women continued to do incredible things with their vaginas and I know that my writing abilities are not good enough to paint the picture of the things we saw. You would have to see it to believe it. The short list of pussy trick we saw included: blowing candles out on a birthday cake with her vagina, honking a horn inside her vagina, shooting a banana at boy Sam and out of her vagina (and nailing him right in the chest), pulling a string of needles out of her vagina, pulling a string of razor blades out of her vagina and making paper doll cut outs (Grayson and I and refer to it as “pussy-gami”), pulling a 10+ foot ribbon out of her vagina and slowly dancing around with it to a weird cover of Don’t Dream its Over by Crowded House… that song will forever have a new meaning, shooting ping pong balls out into the slightly scared audience who were equipped with the provided ping pong paddles. I was lucky enough to light the cigarettes in the woman’s vagina that proceeded to smoke them… cervical cancer much? Might sound crazy, but when in Bangkok light pussy cigarettes… that’s the saying right? Hehe. The experience was something I will tell my children about (when they are old enough) and it will forever be in special place in my heart. The night was over and we headed back to the hotel for a peaceful night of sleep and weird dreams (my anti malarial drug called malarone has the common side effect of intense dreams).


Bangkok, Thailand

The adventure embarked in SFO on June 20 for our 13.5 hour flight to Taipei, Taiwan. Surprisingly, the flight went faster than we presumed. Except for a couple moments… Right after we took off (1:35 am) Kels and I grabbed our neck pillows and eye masks and conked out. An hour later, I was awoken by the flight attendant shoving a meal in my face. I replied all groggy with “right now?” and she yelled at me with her thick asian accent, “yes you eat now!” So I placed it on the tray and fell back asleep. Twenty minutes later kels woke up to her again yelling at Kelsey “you like chicken or beef!?” Kelsey all groggy looked at her so confused and mumbled chicken. Then I woke up to the same flight attendant as well because she jolted by seat forward and commanded “meal time!” The meal was surprisingly good, but we were so tired we just picked at it and fell back asleep. After a very boring 7 hour layover in Tai Pei and a 3.5 hour flight, we finally arrived in Bangkok. Right when that plane hit the ground, kels and I looked at each other with both our hearts pounding and it finally hit us that we were on the other side of the world in a continent we’ve never been before with almost no knowledge of the language. 

After a funny drive in a hot pink taxi with crazy driving and no seat belts, we checked into our hotel room at 5:30 exhausted. Too tired to find authentic thai food, we settled for the pizza hut across the street. Already delusional from deprived sleep, we got back to our room and had a breakdown. To start it all off, it was 90 degrees at night with humidity and our AC wasn’t working. Then we found bed bugs and mosquitoes flying around (and to us everything had malaria) so you could say- we started freaking out. Crying to each other on how we should’ve chose a place in Europe to study abroad and what the fuck were we doing in THAILAND, ASIA, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. After calming down for a bit, we gathered ourselves together and sprayed the perimeter of our bed with 100% deet, lathered ourselves in bug spray, and slept on our towels. Culture shock? Thankfully, things have gotten A LOT better since the first hellish night.