wanderlust


:3/31--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

bangkok beauty queens
back in bangkok today. not much to report. got my same old room in d&d. picked up my backpack from storage and did some consolidating. drank some wine and went to bed early. goodbye march.
:3/30--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

cheesy elephant trekking






baby tiger

today i gave in and went on an organized tour of kanchanaburi. it was either that or wander around alone again, which gets boring quick. it was fun actually. i met a cute alternative-y australian guy named sam and he and i spent most of the day together. we went elephant trekking through the jungle (i got to ride the baby one), explored a couple of caves, splashed around in waterfall with lots of natural rock slides with some hardcore lesbian chicks, rode the "death railway", and my favorite, visited a wildlife rescue center. that was fun because unlike centers in the west where all the animals are caged and coddled to death, this was really just open space for various animals to roam free in, cared for by monks. we petted big tigers, monkeys, peacocks, wild boars, buffalo, goats, etc. etc. but of course the best was the 5-week old tiger. he was grumpy and would growl fiercely (or so he thought) and try to scratch wildly at whoever picked him up (including me), until finally he got sleepy and cuddled up to an old man in our group and fell asleep in his arms. soooo cute.

later on sam and i bought a bottle of sangsom at our guesthouse. played some pool, swapped life stories, & ended up having a very heated political argument with an opinionated guy from croatia. sam leaves for bangkok and then home to perth tomorrow, which is sad because yet again he is another traveller i felt an immediate connection to and could have probably been good friends with in different circumstances.

:3/29--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

bridge on the river kwai



ms. thailands for the past century

decided to forego the package tour today and try to explore on my own. took a nice little hike down the river to see the bridge on the river kwai. while i was there the oriental express rumbled past over it, which was sort of cool. the tourist area was predominantly thai and i couldn't figure out how to order food. so with a rumbling belly i decided to stop by the jeath WWII museum. i heard it wasn't so good but i personally thought it was really interesting. lots of kitsch but that's thailand. the funny thing is, it's a museum about WWII, but they have big sections with completely irrelevant things such as the chinese horoscope painted on a huge mural, a wall of buffalo heads, and a room filled only with paintings of all the miss thailand winners from the last century (thai people do love their beauty contests). i spent a long time browsing until i thought i would pass out and ran down the road for some noodles.

later i spent almost two hours online (15 baht an hour is insanely cheap! about 30 cents), had a nice massage and met a friendly israeli guy, and headed back to my room to chill, where i overheard a new set of neighbors moving in on the opposite side of the sex tourist from last night. these two were a german gay man and his hired boy. ack, what is with this place? somehow i don't think i'll get any sleep tonight either.

my tongue-in-cheek comment about 'x''s international pussy comparisons inspired him this week to really make a chart of international pussy comparisons (he informed me via an email from cambodia, where he has returned to shag khmer and vietnamese girls, apparently having grown bored of thais). needless to say i am not really so amused by that. but i will keep my very biased opinion to myself on that matter. however, by promoting him (and also by being so open about my sexuality on this site) i don't want to put myself in the same class as he is, as i am nowhere near the monster he can be. so i wrote my own little sex page explaining myself in further detail, if you're interested.

:3/28--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

sleepy freaks



my new jungle hut, kanchanaburi

needed to get out of the constant din that is bangkok for a bit, so with fond backward glances towards my cable, a/c, and hot water i hopped in a cab to the bangkok noi train station and bought a ticket to kanchanaburi 2 1/2 hours north (25b). settled down with my book and a fanta to wait for the train when various thai people started to approach curiously the shy little farang girl (me) on the bench. one old lady with squinty eyes sliced some of her mango and presented it to me as an offering in lieu of nonexistent english skills. a small giggly brother and sister team came up to touch my hair and say "hello". a nut vendor poured free samples into my palms, and a cute thai boy wearing shades and trendy shoes came up to practice his sparse english skills, saying "i love you". this is sort of weird in bangkok where people are subjected to farangs pretty regularly, but i guess they were all headed back to their small towns and i still managed to be a novelty for them.

boarded the train and the loverboy in shades (who informed me he was 19) immediately came and sat next to me along with another cute thai boy and a cute girl he was with. we made awkward half-understood conversation for awhile, until the boy said "i have no girlfriend and i want you to be with me" (idealistic, cute, and harmless i thought). i just laughed and went back to reading my book, avoiding his piercing stares and winks, when all of the sudden the girl got up, started screaming at the top of her lungs, glaring menacingly at me, and beating the crap out of the boy. woah. apparently he did have a little girlfriend after all. unfortunately the whole (completely thai) train witnessed the episode which made the rest of the trip kind of awkward, especially since the beating did nothing at all to dissuade the boy from me. he still kept at it, even bringing over his policeman friend to translate for him (who ended up trying to hug and kiss me and calling over other friends to admire me until i was completely overwhelmed and wanted to fall into a hole and die). luckily my ignoring them eventually worked and they all fell asleep sprawled out on the benches for the rest of the trip while i regained some dignity and enjoyed the very beautiful countryside from the open window.

one funny sidenote is that the people on the train nicknamed me...."yim", without my mentioning that that's what other thai friends called me! guess i am smiley after all. :)

kanchanaburi is very lush, is set along the river kwai, and is rife with WWII history. i followed a little old lady off the train to her guesthouse (c&c), where i acquired a cozy little shack for a mere 120 baht ($3). there are strange wormies littering the bathroom floor, some weird thing outside the window which howls like a mournful cat-banshee, and immediately i ran into a lady who i knew from ko chang (almost 9 hours away!!!) who is now a couple doors down and begrudges the fact that i am here to intrude on her little escapade with her boyfriend about as much as i begrudge her own uppity presence here... but it should be a nice place to while away a couple of days nonetheless. if nothing else, i know they have wonderful thai food. i gorged myself unashamedly at a sidewalk stall as soon as i had thrown my heavy overstuffed bags in my room. tried and failed to fall asleep later on listening through paper-thin walls to my sex tourist neighbor trying to convince girl after hired girl to not use a condom and to let him do them anally for a mere 300 baht ($7). ack. loser.

:3/27--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

barefoot parade

decadent world indeed. today was....surreal. ok i planned on doing something real today, like going to see the royal palace, the national museum, wat po or something. but the lure of cable tv and snugly bed in air conditioned room was too much and i succumbed to it unabashedly. so other than a friendly conversation with a thai man over my morning noodle soup, nothing happened during the day.

later, however, khao san road was transformed by some crazy energy. they were filming a motion picture at one end (thai stars signing autographs) and at the other end there was a huge loud parade to celebrate...something. lots of thai kids in costumes and screechy divas with microphones. i watched the unruly crowd from a cozy table at an italian restaurant where i had superb raviolis and a couple of glasses of wine. once i was sufficiently trashed (wine does that to me quickly), an american chap named donny (winery owner, pot grower) plopped himself down beside me and we started chatting. another bottle of wine later we decided to smoke a joint in his room (friendly). i noticed he had a flyer for a soapy massage place on his bedside table, and somehow an hour later we found ourselves in a cab driven by a very amused and rather coked up driver on the way there.

i will give you the abbreviated version, but i do not know what possessed me tonight. we picked two beautiful girlies out of the lineup behind the glass with the help of a well-seasoned belgian guy, and off we went to the classy room upstairs clutching heinekens and nervous grins. we smoked amiably in front of MTV while the girls stripped and prepared a soapy hot tub. got our naked massages in the tub, subsequent soapy body massages on the mat, and the rest of the night was a voyeur's dream. i was completely safe- no risk as i had no sex. i simply watched as donny got his freak on with the girls a few times and (sort of creepily) begged for more afterwards (to their shocked admonitions of "too big! jep mak mak!"). weird weird. weird. and expensive. but what else was i gonna do in bangkok tonight eh? sanuk! mai pen rai. (sheesh.)

:3/26--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

view of wat arun from express boat



creepy mannequin in siam center

i need novelty in a big way, so today i got as close to it as i could in familiar surroundings and jumped on the chao phraya (river) express boat (which doesn't actually stop at the stop so much as it slows slightly, meaning a long jump onto an uncertain target). it's a cheap (10b), fun way to see the city. the chao phraya is nasty, much like the east river in NY, it's full of pollution, lined with slums next door to grand hotels and flanked by old elaborate temples. it's marvelous. to top it off there was a huge thunderstorm. it brought a nervous anxious element to my day (gray weather does that to me) but it was fun nonetheless and beautiful in it's own big city way. after i hopped off i caught the skytrain (embarassingly nicer than NY subways) to siam square. wandered around in the back allies until i was miserably, hopelessly lost in an all-thai shopping district. i don't usually mind being the only white person but in bangkok people can be outright rude to farangs (or to me anyway). i apologetically wandered further into the middle of nowhere until i miraculously turned a corner and found myself back at siam square.

tried to shop but i can't really unless i buy very small things (my backpacks are horrifically stuffed). fell exhausted into a seat at a little ramen noodle shop where i drank green tea and had a bowl of noodles with fried chicken and weird veggies. ignored a cab driver's demands to pay more then the amount on the meter and finally found myself back on khao san road.

khao san road is a traveller's ghetto, not thai in the least but still managing to be a big part of thailand. it's a good place to meet people, though it is definitely hit or miss. maybe 1 out of every 5 people i meet are actually interesting, but that 1 person usually makes my day, and i don't have to do anything other than show up and let them come to me. today was a miss though, no one interesting to talk to. i gulped down a couple of mai tais and ran back to my room to watch cable movies.

:3/25--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

my new baby

i have to waste ten days in bangkok so i am not doing much in an effort to not spend money like a madwoman as i usually do here. it's gorgeous outside so i have just been wandering around the stalls and temples, chatting with thai people when i can (though they are much less friendly in bangkok), laughing at decked out clueless hippies, patting mangy dogs on the head, dodging tuk tuks, drinking capuccinos and reading the bangkok post in sidewalk cafes. will probably get a 140 baht ($3) massage later. currently listening to eminem (embarrassing but if you stay in thailand long enough you'll end up liking crap music too), and reading yet another irvine welsh book in my room.

i will update today, though i am sorry i don't have anything exciting to tell. if you are bored you can always check out the international pussy comparisons on 'x''s soon-to-be updated site. :) (ack)

possibly headed to kanchanaburi in the next day or so to check out the death railway and the bridge on the river kwai. might be a nice little distraction.

:3/24--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

belly ring

went to the notorious pantip plaza today and spent a very painful 60k baht (about $1500) on a new laptop (acer travelmate 283xc). it needed to happen eventually but that cuts about a month out of my trip. :( i am happy with it though and spent all day doing nerdy things like hooking up a USB cable between my old system and my new system and transferring files. the good news is i can still do my site, and since my system is all-in-one (meaning i can burn cds with it) i don't have to lug around all the cumbersome peripheral equipment i had before. i can also watch dvds (porn even!) and play games when i am bored....yippee!!!!

out of nowhere i decided to get my belly button pierced today. something about getting pierced is so erotic to me. i had my tongue pierced in camden town, london as a souvenir of my first trip overseas. the guy who did it then was a semi-sleazy italian who was more or less humping my leg while he stabbed me with the needle over and over, eventually getting it in rather crookedly... but somehow i was aroused by the situation anyway. today it was done by a nonchalant, tattooed, pierced, dreadlocked thai guy, very professional (he gave me a shot of anesthesia first which was a pleasant surprise) and very sexy. i won't go into details but i like forced closeness with cute strangers, and something about the niggling pain in my navel makes my head constantly euphoric. (okay i'm weird).

otto showed up at my hotel at about 11p tonight- he came down from isaan to see me before he heads for laos. apparently an NGO set up a few concerts for his band in vientiane and luang prabang, which is exciting for him since he has never before been able to leave thailand. we went and watched a live band in the piakorn? (crap i don't remember the correct name) district of bangkok. same thai music you hear everywhere but the band had style for once, at least, and as usual i got a lot of attention for being a farang in an all-thai venue. he will be back to pick me up and take me to his family's home for songkran on april 4.

:3/23--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

seriously increased police presence in bangkok

i think i lost a day somewhere in here.... forgive me as i am having to backtrack. i do remember getting a couple phone calls from otto who is in isaan (he kept having to buy new phone cards). he insisted he was wife- and child-free (stupid rumor) and begged me not to leave for india on thursday the 27th like i planned but instead come to see him in isaan and stay for the songkran festival. i couldn't resist his "peees". he's so freaking cute. so isaan it is despite the fact that i had pretty much gotten thailand out of my head and was ready for india. i now have to loiter in bangkok for awhile... but i rescheduled my flight to india for april 19th, and yes i will be gone by then, distractions or not. i have spent 3 months of my 5-month-so-far trip in this country! ack! i must leave before the expat fate ensnares me!
:3/22--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

my comfy home for the moment

after doing not much at all today besides taking hot shower after hot shower (bliss) and watching cable movies, i again ran into my friends mr. long and jodie on khao san road. after getting drunk and having several conversations that all led back around to sex (specifically the particular sex appeal possessed by thai boys), they invited me to go back with them to mr. long's very impressive bachelor pad in a rather ritzy area of bangkok. we smoked a couple joints and he made us dinner, but i could not stand his muzac and had to excuse myself fairly early. jodie is leaving tomorrow morning but we promised to keep in touch so that next season we can meet up again and start either a bar or a hippie commune, depending on our money sitch.

on the way back my taxi went through some gorgeous parts of bangkok i had never seen before, and we passed as well some huge extravagant ho venues that i didn't know existed either (ie. a huge parisian style bordello called the champs elysee). this city is huge... it takes at least two hours to cross and i don't think i have even seen 60% of it. my cab driver almost killed us about 8 times as he stared at me in his rearview mirror and narrowly missed rear-ending several cars. he handed me his phone number with a wink as i hopped out at khao san road.

:3/21--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

about to be attacked by an akha street hawker on khao san road

the bus to bangkok is a tedious six hours followed by a tedious hour trapped in fuming stagnant traffic. but here i am. got my trusty room at d&d inn (350b) and set out for trouble on khao san road. immediately ran into jodie and my friend mr. long from ko chang. we drank entirely too much while we watched the passers by, somehow losing about six hours before we realized they had gone. we discussed plans to open a bar next season- idealistic maybe but it helps to plan eh? can't find otto, and his phone appears to be broken still. or he's avoiding me. hrmmph.

the war in iraq is looking crazy and i am constantly inundated by it on the street here, dammit. i am trying very hard to pretend it doesn't exist. tempted to say more on the subject but i'll spare you as i wish to be spared myself.

:3/20--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

'bye ko chang :(



hello trat

i did it! at long last i broke the spell and got on the ferry and off of ko chang this morning... didn't i? i still can't believe it myself.

i smoked a joint with my neighbor jodie who also left, dropped off the rest of my pot and some gifts for the kids at nature bar, grabbed my bags, and off i went.

when i got on the ferry i realized that the war in iraq has started at last when a very large, verbose nordic guy kept shouting "kill all americans" and threatening to throw us off the boat if he found out who we were. i kept my mouth shut and mentally practiced a hungarian accent in case someone asked my nationality. fucking bush.

i reached trat (a cute little town with lots of interesting sidestreets) and decided to take a little sidetrip to cambodia (an hour away) to extend my visa another month "just in case". some friends from ko chang (and their police officer friend who told us about all the money he bribes out of people) picked me up there and brought me back to trat. i raided the night market for some wonderful thai snacks (grilled fish, jackfruit, boiled nuts, and sticky rice) and headed back to my comfy room in the trat hotel to watch t.v. and peruse the war news in the bangkok post.

i must say it feels good to take a step forward.

:3/19--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

the ever-adorable nature bar boys



adorable me and marita too



farang girls (charlotte, marita, & jodie)

the thai people i met with otto completely ignore me now that he's gone. hrmmmph. land of smiles my arse- land of fake smiles for farangs maybe. i can't find any good thai food without him either. :(

feeling a bit like i should leave ko chang (duh). not that i am dissatisfied here, it's just that there is not much to keep me here so i should go. :( there will always be a next party or a new interesting person, but i don't want to trap myself. so today i worked desperately on my tan and started gathering my stuff to leave. even started saying my goodbyes. there was another party at nature bar tonight and i took about a million pictures and wrote down a few emails. we'll see what happens in the morning.

posting a couple pics so my friends can see themselves.

people have asked me to describe ko chang here by the way, so here it is. it's the 2nd largest island in thailand but one of the most uninhabited. it is covered mostly in lush jungle and the coast is lined with beautiful, clean beaches. there are 5 beaches in fact, from northwest to southeast in order: hat sai khaew (white sand beach), klong prao (coconut beach), kai bae, hat ta nam (lonely beach), and ban bao, which is a fishing village next to a private beach. each beach has a different "personality". white sands has the most nightlife but also a lot of tourists (fat germans with their prostitute girlfriends) and a not so great beach. lonely beach is more laid back and private, but with decent nightlife as well. the beach here is the most pristine in my opinion, but can occasionally be crowded. ban bao is definitely the most secluded. bungalows range from low-end 80 baht on lonely beach to high-end 5000 baht (ridiculous) on white sand beach. there are several surrounding islands to visit and snorkel around via boattrips (average 350 baht), some with accomodations and restaurants as well. ko rang is the best for snorkelling, ko wai for chilling out, ko kham for absolute gorgeous peacefulness, and ko maak for upscale relaxation. even though ko chang is a national park, the prime minister has decided to overdevelop it in the unfortunate thai tradition, so it won't be cool for much longer. the next big thing will probably be koh kood, not too far away. to get to this area take a minibus from khao san road or a local bus from ekamai station in bangkok to trat (5-6 hours). take a taxi from trat to laem ngob (the pier), and a ferry to ko chang. you will then have to take a songthaew to whatever beach you choose. there. enjoy. but please don't ruin!

:3/18--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

yet another lonely beach shot

um, today sucked actually. i totally pussed out in my diving class for one thing. argh. i have really high anxiety as a rule (i can not do speedy drugs or be around really high strung people), and if and when i do have a panic attack it usually is centered around fear of not being able to breathe. so when i realized that scuba diving is all about breathing control (ie. you can't hold your breath under water or you die) i knew i couldn't do it. i tried though. i got far enough to get the gear on and admire myself in the mirror (feeling like a cool dive chick), but once we were in the water and practicing things such as breathing without our masks and i kept doing stupid panicky death-provoking things such as shooting up to the surface, i finally had to break it to steffen i was a big fat baby. i don't think he was too happy and i was embarrassed but at least i am not dead.

later on i relaxed, bought some weed from an anonymous source, and had a little party with masa and some of my farang friends on the bungalow porch. they all liked my music, which won me a few points... good thing because i was afraid i would have to wander around like a reject on the beach alone now that otto is gone. the people here are fairly gossipy though, and whenever someone turns their back everyone else starts up with whatever negative thing they can dig up about that person. it's disgusting (and i have been here too long). i realized though that probably the rumor about otto was entirely false...just something to make he and i look bad since til that point we were the cutest, closest couple on the beach. jealousy is evil.

my fucking stupid arsed computer doesn't work anymore (it types 3 or 4 random letters for every keystroke, meaning for instance i can't log on), which makes me feel a bit panicky as well, as it is my only creative outlet!!!! i blame the ants. we'll see how it goes, i would really like to continue boring people with this site. ;)

:3/17--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

thoughtful sky

i was awoken by a knock on my door this morning and was surprised to see otto's german friend steffen, who teaches a dive course. he said "i am teaching you diving starting in 3 hours". so diving it is. i tentatively made my way to his office where i spent about 3 hours watching boring videos and going through the PADI manual with the strapping perfect-student dutch girl who is to be my dive "buddy". seems easy enough.

later on it was the jah bar full moon party on the beach. i ran into one person i knew, she ran into people she knew, and once the domino effect kicked in i found myself on the beach surrounded by drunk, stoned, gossipy people. i wasn't so much in the mood for it, especially after one girl tried to tell me otto had a wife/child in bangkok that he hadn't told me about. unfortunately i asked 2 of his friends to confirm and they did.... so i was paranoid and even though i danced with a silly drunk masa and flirted with the hippie guys from the reggae bar i ended up going home early to worry, feel stupid, & not sleep much at all.

:3/16--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

drunk with norwegian gals

felt a bit lonely without otto here to monopolize my time, especially since everyone i pass asks the requisite "where's ot?".... but there are benefits to being alone as well, ie. i can actually do what i want to do. this is the same reason i am travelling solo. i spent the morning on the beach turning crimson unawares.... rode my motorbike around a bit looking for papaya salad which i did not find. marita at nature restaurant gave me a book to read about a guy who flips a dice to make all his decisions (it's called 'the dice man' actually, and it's good)...i have already read half of it on my hammock. listened to my music which i haven't been able to do for a long long time due to ot's rigid thai tastes. felt free!!!!!!

while i was walking around alone i got the sense that the other single boys were looking at me as newly available once more, which was confirmed when masa (who did manage to make it back from japan last night) followed me to my bungalow to "hang"- totally unprecedented..... not gonna happen.... whatever impression i might give on this site, i am not a slut. everyone on this island knows me as otto's girlfriend and i couldn't make him look bad because he has been the kindest, most "real" person i met here and i like him. though masa is pretty hot. :) i will at least get him to show me some firedancing moves.

there was a huge impromptu party at nature bar tonight- all the local (farang/bartender) people. if you want to know the truth it sort of depressed me to watch such shallow interaction all night- guys putting ice cubes down girls' shirts/pants... men doing a helicopterish dance with their "members" wearing lenin masks behind the bar (okay that was funny). people chatting each other up, forcing rum buckets down each others' throats. doesn't anyone think about anything other than sex?

:3/15--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"nong yim(s)"

ot ended up staying one more day due to a big fat thunderstorm that made it hard for him to leave the island. this morning we had breakfast and he caught the taxi and was gone at last. it was a weird little romance we shared.... we only spent a month and a half together really and i know that the first month and a half of any relationship is always sort of fuzzily blissful, so i have no idealistic expectations beyond this. but it's been awhile since i met anyone with whom i felt any sort of connection with like i did him. it's amazing that two people from opposite ends of the earth with totally different perspectives and backgrounds can mesh like we did. also it's nice to have gotten the whole thai experience- i suppose the best way to really get the feel for a country is to have a native person as your partner- you meet more people, learn the language, are introduced to authentic food/music/customs....things you don't really get into on the traveller's circuit. maybe i should pick up a boyfriend in every place i go! (india excepted- ewww). anyway in the long run it wouldn't work with us... he already has a little british girlfriend somewhere who wants to take care of him financially and take him travelling. i will never be that person for him. another thing is he is just too damn good! he's not judgemental, rude, sarcastic, jaded... any of the aspects i am used to (and maybe secretly like?) dealing with. and i on the other hand am essentially all those things- a bad girl at heart. :) fun while it lasted however. sigh.

so now ko chang is mine all mine again and i have 2 days to decide what i am doing next. that time again. this time i don't plan to stress over it, a ten baht coin flip should do the trick. :) see you all when you see me.

:3/14--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

rubber tree forest

apparently (according to mail i have been getting) i come across on this site as rather too open and more than a little depressed most of the time...? what a false impression the latter is! i am happier than i have ever been, occasional introspection aside! and as far as being too open, i don't believe in such a thing. honesty is the most important aspect of any sort of communication to me, so when people reprimand me for talking about my sex life or giving a biased opinion it blows my mind. why would i give off any other impression than my own? i really don't care what people think when it comes down to it, and it serves to separate those who accept me from those who don't. i yam who i yam folks.

i am getting the travel bug again hardcore. probably partly due to the recent bad weather here in ko chang but also just because i miss novelty. i think i am ready to go learn a new language, navigate a new city, see crazy things. india might be cool. excitement is creeping in whether i invite it or not. travelling is what i do, who i am. i don't think i will ever really settle, despite the luscious temptation that thailand presents.

though i still think i will be staying in thailand for another couple of weeks. otto has invited me to his family's home in issan for the thai new year and i really can't pass up an opportunity like that. and, darn, that means i have to stay in ko chang for awhile longer. i found a new gorgeous bungalow set on a mangrove-covered lagoon in klong prao that i can move to (run by a very friendly thai family who can cook for me in otto's absence), which is also next to my new favorite little bar on the beach, just opened yesterday and run by a funny scottish boy and his thai friends. i have met a couple of local expats i would like to solidify friendships with before going (good to have connections), and i can finally take an open water diving course. my time here is not up yet, but soon.

:3/13--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

cute ot



quiet day

ot's last day here (supposedly) was really nice and cozy. we hung around my room most of the morning while ot played guitar on my porch and i did my laundry and cleaned up a bit. we had our normal noodle soup breakfast and gave another english lesson to the little thai boy, whose german english teacher was really angry that i had gone through his lesson book and corrected all his mistakes (heh heh). i finally tried a durian, which is a huge spiny fruit that has a bad reputation in thailand for its smell- it's banned from most hotels and public places because it gives off a scent of shite masked by fruity air freshener. it was nasty, really. it's like eating smooshed turds.... but i can say i have done it. then we rode around aimlessly looking for something new to explore. we ended up at klong prao wandering along the beach. this area is full of shells and coral and driftwood, and it's really private with the exception of one tiny little bar at the end. we sat there and smoked with a scottish kid who fancied himself a philosopher, and talked ourselves in fun little circles, trying to make out the three different accents and get our points across on topics such as astral physics. pretty funny actually.

i had to make a quick stop at the clinic because i have a bit of the ol' UTI. i only drink maybe one glass of water a day (not to mention the 4 or 5 dehydrating glasses of sangsom per night which counteract any benefit i might get from water), so i deserve the wracking pain i am experiencing (yeeowww). my nurse was funny- she kept saying how beautiful i was and how lucky otto was, and with a knowing smile she dumped a whole box of free condoms in ot's lap.

stopped by the reggae bar for a last smoke on white sand beach and then headed back to my room for an early sleep since ot has to leave in the morning. i am going to miss my little boyfriend horribly. we really have had a great time together overall.

:3/12--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

teepee



thai blues

ha- ot found out the pattaya music festival isn't until the 21st (not the 12th) so he is leaving for bangkok on the 14th instead of today.

we stayed in bed til 2p today, sleeping and shagging. :) it was a lovely morning.

i decided to pay for otto's mobile phone, which has been in the shop for a couple of weeks, because i want to be able to get ahold of him when he leaves. it was 1200 baht which is really expensive for him, nothing to me. i also gave him 700 baht to get his drum fixed so he can play with his band. he's so generous to me that i don't feel taken advantage of in the least. i would like to help him more in fact, but for now i think he's ok. he's so silly, he insists on paying for everything even though i know he is spending all his money on me. i make sure that every now and then he finds a surprise 500 baht in his pocket.

smoked fruit flavored tobacco out of a hooka at a bar on the beach in white sands. had some barbecue and chatted with an english expat girl who spoke impeccable thai. it made me jealous- thai is so hard for me to learn, mostly pronunciation. each word can mean up to 5 different things depending on which tone you use to say it. so instead of saying "i would like a coffee" i could be saying "my cow has green toes" or something. ack. i am going to buy some language cds when i return to bangkok but i still think it'll take me about 20 years to learn. though i admit i pick up a lot when i sit around with ot and his friends.

i have to take back what i said awhile ago about thailand not having any original art. this country is definitely a master of impersonation, so a lot of the art is reproduction of others' work, but lately i have been seeing a lot of original stuff as well. my friends at jae gallery are really amazingly talented (so much so that they are able to support themselves with beachfront property, a nice bar, a restored VW hippie bus, etc. at the age of 27 or so... in thailand). also i have met some really great musicians. tonight we went to see live blues at oodie's place. it totally "kicked ass". i have seen live thai bands before but never of this quality (c4 band). the guitarist was amazing, and oodie himself is a fat old thai man who sings amazing blues. as usual too, musicians end up being the friendliest and most laid back people on earth. ot got free tequila shots all night long and was "mao mak mak" by the end of the night, so i drove us home with white knuckled terror on the dark wet hilly roads at about 2am.

:3/11--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

jae gallery



hippie boys

a friend of ot's from the reggae bar on white sand beach went a little crazy last night. he was last seen walking alone on the beach and talking to himself. this morning we heard he later went on some mad grand theft auto spree-- he was depressed, saw a car with keys still in it, and decided it was a sign from buddha for him to take the car and drive it over the ferry to his home. somehow the cops got a whiff of his devious plan and hauled him off to the slammer, where ot and i went to visit him this morning. it was sort of sad- the cells are small, crowded, cold tile, just a couple of buckets in the corner to do your business in. like any jail i guess. but this guy is really nice, a rasta man who just got fed up with being so damn poor. he can't afford to pay his bail, so it's 3 months minimum for him eating fish heads and having to have his long lovely dreadlocks cut off. the police at the station were overly nice to me and everyone kept staring at me expectantly as if i were going to shell out 60,000 baht for some guy i met a week ago. pshaw. i did feel bad but as they say you make your bed, you lie in it.

took the ferry to trat where i got new contacts and ot talked to a friend.

on the way back to ko chang otto got all serious and said "i go to pattaya tomorrow for a music festival, then to bangkok to play with my old band for the season, so i am not coming back". <<<<whap!>>>> i was sort of shocked and somewhat angry because it turns out he had quit his job about 4 days ago and told everyone he was leaving but me. i was also surprisingly very very sad. the way he looked at it though was that i was planning to go to india in a week anyway, rainy season appears to have come early this year so his job can't be done (no money), and he has a good opportunity to play with a semi-famous band in bangkok, a lifestyle which he loves (he's a city boy). i can't fault him for that. it does explain the fact that he hasn't left me alone for almost a week now too- he wanted to spend as much time with me as possible before he left. he didn't tell me because he thought i would just blow him off and hurt his feelings. i guess i really haven't been so nice.

anyway the moral of that is be careful what you wish for folks, you just might get it.

we spent a morose night at jae gallery thinking about the past 2 months we have spent together and pouting over the fact that people must follow their dreams, despite how good for both of us it will ultimately be.

:3/10--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

boat pulling sunken boat

i have the suspicion that ot has left his job, though it's been raining all week so maybe the boat just can't run and that's why he is puppy-dogging me 24-7. hrmm. i am not so irritated with it today, i have decided to just relax and enjoy myself. we always have fun one way or another.

we had noodle soup and papaya salad for breakfast at one of our local corner haunts where i gave the little thai boy there some tips on english. his teacher is german and can barely speak english himself, which makes me really angry actually- it's very irresponsible to become an english teacher if you don't know what the f*** you are talking about. the quality of thai education is bad enough as it is without some greedy bastard winging it at their expense.... anyway....

headed to jae gallery which is just a really chill place half in the jungle half on the beach. tried to fish but lost our lure immediately on the rocks, so we smoked with the hippie boys, i admired their art (jae is a painter, jep makes these genius figures out of meticulously twisted strands of metal), discussed the possibility of making a treehouse in the big tree on the beach, and ot started a little drum circle with his jambe. it was a really nice afternoon.

on our way home we passed a thai family whose restaurant we had previously eaten at in kai bae, who flagged us down and pulled a huge lovely dinner out of nowhere to feed us. this is thai culture... a typical greeting is not "hi how are you" but "have you eaten yet?" thai people are so polite and generous to each other. the food was excellent... i tried a jackfruit for the first time and ended up gorging myself on the whole huge thing (it was so yummy) while the family stared at me in undisguised shock. :) also, most of the meal was made up of compliments to me- oh she is so beautiful, look at her eyes, her nose is like a ko chang mountain (uh, that's good i think), etc. etc. it's really wonderful to say the least to be in a country which has a different standard of beauty, one which you happen to fit right snugly into. ;) otto was proud.

:3/9--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

new addiction
otto decided not to go to work today either (in the middle of the night the weather did a 180 so the boat can't run today anyway). i was none too happy at this prospect as he seemed to forget what i had told him the night before and was already planning out our day by 9am. i agreed to go eat with him in ban bao (noodle soup when i wanted toast and coffee) and i waited for an hour while he talked to some thai people at the pier. then he bought some papayas and drove us to a little stand where he asked the lady to make us papaya salad since it was good for hangovers (we both had killer ones). i could tell it was going to turn into another hour long conversation in thai with my staring blankly from the corner, so i told otto i was going to check my email and escaped. i managed to avoid him most of the day, but i felt petty and small. i read on my hammock since the weather was not so good and didn't really get much out of my day anyway, and i felt guilty for leaving otto back at the stand. i suppose i am feeling a little jipped by my ko chang experience this time around because i don't have the freedom and relaxation i had previously.
:3/8--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

kitty feels at home

this morning i had just settled nicely onto my sarong on the beach under a gorgeous sunny sky (i have never seen the water as crystal clear as it was today), and i looked up to see otto walking towards me. he had taken off the day of work to spend it with me. (joy.) i tried to ignore him and read my book but he wanted to go eat in kai bae so i guiltily trudged back to my room and dressed to go with him. in kai bae we stopped to see his friend and i ended up in the corner suffering through a conversation with a drunk, bitter, and boring expat from belgium while otto played thai music on his friend's guitar for about 2 hours. (i am not a fan of thai music). then we set off to eat, which took us about an hour going from beach to beach until otto found what he wanted to eat on white sands. two or three business-related stops later and the day was gone and i was completely irritated.

we headed back to my bungalow where i laid on my bed inside and otto hung out on the hammock outside drinking a jug of wine he had brought me. finally i decided i was going to go out and do what i wanted to do whether he wanted to go or not. luckily he had seen a friend he knew a long time ago arrive on the taxi today so i told him to run along and look for him while i went to nature bar. nature bar was great. i had my usual sangsom, talked to my friendly friend bartenders (flirted with joe), met a nice guy from britain and some swedish gals, and had a good time. otto showed up with his friends before i could watch the fire show though. (i haven't seen it in weeks!) i ignored him and continued drinking at the bar for another half hour, but i finally gave in to the guilt and headed to jah bar with him and his friends (from madagascar) and got entirely too drunk there with them. later on we headed back to my room where i sloppily scolded otto for not taking my hints and leaving me alone. he gave me a pouty look and said "i understand", and told me he knew i would be here such a short time that he wanted to spend as much of it with me as possible. we fell asleep grumpily with my neighborly little cat purring at my feet.

:3/7--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

reflection in pool

it was horrifically hot today but brilliant and beautiful so i rode out to the waterfall and spent the day reading on the hot rocks next to the cool pool. after an hour or so a group of about a hundred typical japanese kids, of course equipped with cameras and dutiful smiles, traipsed in and i was forced by default to take pictures for them of them standing in front of the waterfall (gag). after splashing around with the fishies and hiking back through the jungle i spent about an hour on the way home looking for a stand that sold grilled chicken, sticky rice, and papaya salad but none was to be found, unfortunately. (when i don't want it there are a ton of them). ended up choking down some very average phad thai at siam huts while the thai people next to me ate... grilled chicken, sticky rice, and papaya salad. ack!

i have been so so so annoyed at otto lately that i have considered just up and leaving one morning and not telling him. it's my problem though, i am aware of that. i get irrationally angry at people for taking up my time. tonight was supposed to be a night off for us (we had agreed on it) and i had just gotten used to the idea of getting to go out and talk to my friends and meet some new people at nature bar when of course i heard the usual "nim?" at my door. the kid can't get it through his head that i need space, i have to have my own life and identity. he has a bad habit of making all my decisions for me (ie. today we are going to do such and such...) and turning seemingly innocent little jaunts to the corner store to full scale expeditions around the entire island, where i am forced to stop and "talk" with several of his thai friends, accompany him on business for his boat trips, or wait on the dark mosquito infested beach for him while he rows out to pick up passengers. before i know it the day is gone and i haven't done anything i wanted to do. more... he is more or less living with me & he has to go to bed fairly early so thus i have to go to bed early (even though i sleep til about 10 every day) because he would not hear of my going out without him, yet he doesn't want to go out. hrm..... i am not so good at relationships, but need i remind anyone i didn't want one in the first place? i have to give him credit for being a sweet guy, very patient and kind to me, and he has shown me so much that is new to me here in the time that i have known him, but when i am with him 24-7 i get cranky and it becomes hard for me to speak a civil word to him. sigh. we'll see how that goes. sorry to rant.

:3/6--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

road to ban bao

my neighbor's bungalow has been abandoned with "changes" by the rolling stones on very loud repeat still playing inside. i don't like the freaking song in the first place, let alone for an hour and 40 mins now- the bastards. sigh.

sorry. where were we? oh yes, spent a nice happy day in peace alone. i explored the parts of the island i hadn't yet seen in ban bao and kai bae. mostly riding through the hilly jungle and getting munched on by the local insects. had a couple hairy moments on the ol' bike. fun fun. watched the sunset to the tune of a massage by a somewhat lazy girl who hurt me more than anything (reactivated a motorbike injury) but she did scratch my mosquito bites for me too. :)

swam alone. ate alone. people stared as usual. some guy tried to pick me up. ot dropped by unexpectedly and i yelled at him for it (space alert). saw the israeli girl i met here awhile ago... i have fallen out of the traveller pool and i don't know quite how to deal with people now. i meet new ones so rarely. look back a month and a half ago when i was beating people off with sticks.... anyway lots of me time today. boring.

ants are eating up my machinery now. this computer periodically goes inexplicably insane. my camera grinds with ant corpses when the lens pushes out from it's hole. i feel more like they are termites in slow motion, and the longer i stay here the less of me and my stuff there will be.

hmmm.... the longer i stay here... ack.

:3/5--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





murdered chicken

it is always a bit precarious when you head to an all-thai gathering as a naive farang (by the way, farang=foreigner). you never know what to expect. otto took me to the other side of the island today. i have a sneaking suspicion he lied and said he had the day off when in actuality he was probably ditching his job, but we went nevertheless to visit his friend in the village of ban salat khot. the friend (can't remember his name) was a fisherman who lived on a gorgeous canal in the middle of nowhere, in a typical thai shack with only 3 walls and a tin roof. he sat us down with some sangsom and a couple colas and then was off with his smiling wifey who climbed into the canal and netted us a dozen crabs. they grilled them and made (picked, ground, cooked) chili sauce to dip it in, and then they soaked a fresh fish in some basil and chilis and made tom yam (soup). divine. but unfortunately it was something of a slaughterhouse as well, as i had to watch the crabbies gets their chests cleaved with a machete and grilled still half alive, the flopping fish get its head chopped off.... then after i had managed to keep down my food fairly admirably the man pulled a squealing chicken out of nowhere by its feet and slits its throat. i was aghast. this man was a blood thirsty fiend.... but really it's totally normal in small villages to have to kill your dinner first. and it's ultimately delicious. i can forget about the piles of steaming innards they pulled out of it's plucked arse, in time.

accompanying me on this process in this grand day of death were several young thai boys. awkward, zitty, no english at all except "number one!". somehow i remember us as having had a great conversation though. it was a good day on the porch. these were fisher kids who never see farangs let alone speak to them and they were in awe. it's nice to be the center of attention sometimes.

ot and i met a swedish couple we had previously taken on his boat trip on white sand beach. it was their last night here and they were leaving so they gave us their bag of pot and a fishing pole. yippee! ban bao here i come.

:3/4--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

white sand beach, ko chang

if the mosquitos don't get me here (i'm quite sure of eventual malaria), or the hoardes upon hordes of ants, then i am sure it will be whatever is screeching like a new year's party favor outside my door.

i cleaned my entire hut today, did my laundry and aired it on the porch. updated my site for the past couple of weeks (see below), and quit being so goldurned uptight.

i rented a happy fun motorbike and went to apologize to otto for being a creepy beyotch last night when i was fed up with the premature "i love you"s. he wasn't on his post at white sand beach & i was sort of relieved. i left him a note saying i stopped by. give the kid some space. me too. one can be too nice to a person.

have to admit i'd love to go see songkran (thai new year) water festival in issan (otto's home) in april. that would be a traditional thai experience (insanity) in it's ancestral setting. i heard they do all kinds of questionably fun shite like mix chilis into colored powders and attack you (on motorbike) with it mixed with a whole lot of water. incessantly all day long. the night is of course spent drinking and fighting. and washing crap out of your hair and clothes. (and probably offending his parents because i am utterly tactless.) fun.... um, maybe not?

paid a salon gal 240 baht for cutting my hair. the thieving sneak was from chiang mai but at least she was good at her job. her little assistant gave me an hour long shampoo and massage too. yum. queen elocin with her 5 bucks.

:3/3--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ot



fishies




otto woke me up at 7am (ouch) today and dragged me off to his boat trip with him. i didn't really want to go, i felt more like sulking and lazing in my room another day, but in retrospect i am glad i went. spent most of the day reading and snorkelling in the sun. cooking with ot in the kitchen room. watching people catch fish off the side of the boat. wishing i had enough money to build a bungalow on ko kham and have a little boat i could take to ko rang now and then.

otto and i got stoned later, sitting on my hammock and gorging ourselves on thai sweets from the moto guy with the bakery sidecar we hijacked on the way home. i tried to explain to him why i couldn't afford to take him travelling with me (though he knows i have enough money to change his entire life around- $3000 in thailand and you are a rich man), and i couldn't promise to be anything more than a playmate for him while i am around. i don't want to bat him around like a curious cat and then run off to the next thing twitching seductively in the distance (ie. a new place) but i don't want to lie either- i never intended to have a boyfriend here. it's touchy all around because thai people simply think differently from westerners. they don't understand why people can't fall madly in love after a couple of days with each other and glue themselves together like popsicle stick puppets hand in hand for all eternity. everything else is just details, which they seem to ignore. how can i explain to someone so traditional and idealistic that i am a fast, hard girl and he can't possibly know enough of me to feel anything real in such a short time? he barely understands half of what i say anyway. sigh. maybe i should follow my own advice and just enjoy it until i leave. maybe i should just leave.

ack. i hate obligation. but again we have so much fun.

(by the way, do you people care? haha)

:3/2--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

water



guess

limbo.

one thing about solo travel i should have expected but didn't is the fact that you have much more time to think about things you don't particularly want to think about. i have spent a lot of time alone lately and my mind characteristically roller coasters all over the place. things on my list; x's self-destructive sexual addiction. that's an important social issue you know. my unpaid tax debt. moral play. my lone ranger of a country (which i must someday return to) and their fanatic unwillingness to live up to the expectations or desires of the common people. politics. my crazy dysfunctional but only family which i haven't seen in five years(?). guilt. my chronic and ridiculous awkwardness. insecurity. hmmm.... is it possible to just stop thinking? is that what the buddhists are getting at? well it's nothing that a little joint-smoking and sunset-viewing on my beachfront hammock with the newest moby (hate him, love that album) grooving in the background won't fix.

ran out of good reads and had to settle for a newer stephen king. what happened to him anyway. his new writing is so redundant and boring. just a side note.

i made a list of things to make myself accomplish on ko chang before leaving. among them are learning to dive, firedance, and practice yoga. thus maybe returning to the state of being i was in a couple of weeks ago of blissful non-worry.

ko chang is so fucking beautiful.

:3/1--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

market



otto's work

march 1st already?! how can that be? i have lost all track of time here. days are becoming same same, running into each other, making my journal boring, eh? :) i still haven't had the guts to chop the umbilical cord tying me to mama chang as of yet though.

i went to white sand beach to see otto today when i finally reached the point where i could move without feeling like i would hurl (got out of bed around 3). i was surprised to find it swarming with cops there and heard that there was a C4 bomb which went off at the bungalows near where otto works on the beach. crazy. most likely someone became a little too successful in the bungalow business. the "thai way" is to knock such a person off. the problem is pretty much solved then isn't it? ...also read in the bangkok post that the death toll (of people shot by cops) in the first month of thailand's stupid drug war has reached over 1100 people, including one 9-year old boy. the way it works is people are caught dealing, are rounded up and made to join a task force to turn in other dealers (with the promise of reduced penalties) and once they do their job they are betrayed/eliminated. this place is nuts. i don't understand why the thai people haven't revolted yet... just this morning i read that the death toll will be kept under wraps for the rest of this "war", as it seems to disturb too many people. what a joke. is there any government which truly works for it's people instead of against them?

otto spent most of the evening yet again trying to pin me down to a status as his girlfriend (over another delicious thai meal). it's common knowledge that i am but i don't want him thinking this is some everlasting love or anything because in the long run he'll get hurt for sure. maybe i should back off a bit, it gets more precarious the longer i hang out with him. have to admit the sex is great though- otto is infectiously happy, adorable, and irresistably sexy....as much as i try not to like him i really do.



 

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