Hello everybody, greetings from the other side of the world again. This week officially ended the honeymoon phase and we actually got down to teaching business. As in we had homework every night and ~8 hours of tedious class per day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still important stuff, just not nearly as glamorous as feeding elephants, doing Muy Thai, and hanging out with new friends. Plus we’ve had homework every night! Ugh. I feel like I’m 12 years old again. Our teacher also got fed up with us fighting over our squabbles about US vs. UK English and threatened extra homework. I haven’t been disciplined like that since grade school.
Friday was just like any Friday back home. As we finally made it through a long, tedious week of school, we were ready to boogie. More of the same from Sam Sam this week with more karaoke spliced with a few cocktails. It was one of our group member’s birthday, so combine that with being our first real weekend, our whole group (all 90 of us) took over the place. The United States of the UK, US, Canada, and S. Africa were all represented. We’re just a big happy multi-cultural family. There were quite a few hilarious/regrettable photos from the night. (see? ->)
Saturday our next adventure began. Before we get into it, from the minute we got here, our program coordinators have been telling us to get rid of any expectations we had before we got here and get used to “Thai Time.” Thai-time means that you better be prepared to change your plans at any minute. Well this weekend we experienced that to the fullest.
As we gathered our collective consciousness on Saturday morning, everyone was determined to rent scooters to check out a local waterfall. After receiving some janky directions (make a right down the road right before the big street, cross train tracks, go straight, and watch out for wild elephants, and you’re there), we went to rent the scoots and get some food. Right after our breakfast of twisty bacon-croissants, the rain decided to arrive. Like tropical storm-status rain. Over the next hour it got crazier by the minute and officially holds the title of the craziest rain I’ve ever experienced. The streets were flooded, lightening was cracking within a mile of us, and thunder boomed like I’ve never heard. Driving scooters here is already scary enough in good weather, let alone in a torrential downpour. Thailand essentially told us, “Oh you have plans? That’s funny.” We resigned to getting food and figuring out something else.
But, us being the lucky folks we are, the rain stopped the second we got to a restaurant. By the end of lunch, the roads were clearing and the sun was coming out. We thought it was too late to do the waterfall, but we still wanted a change of scenery for the day. We all got our scooters and Rosa found this town called Prachuab Khiri Khan that was supposedly about an hour and 15 minutes away. “The Farang Gang” (foreigner gang) assembled and we prepared to depart. Our scooter’s names were: Hellcat, Trevor, Mah N*gga, and Megatron. We left at about 4pm, and it’s been getting dark around 6, so we figured we’d cut it close but that we’d be just fine. Again, Thailand said, “You think it’s gonna take an hour and 15? That’s funny.” 20 minutes in, as we cleared the city, we came upon a highway that was completely flooded. We wanted to take a picture but having someone fidget around in their bag on the back of a bike makes driving pretty tough.
I’ll bet you thought the road problems ended there? Yeah I did too. Next thing we knew, one of our scooter-gang members wasn’t with us any more. Flat tire… We thankfully had one stroke of good luck as they literally broke down across the street from a repair shop. The nice Thai people came over and fixed everything up for them for about 5 bucks. It took about an hour as the rest of us were sitting on the side of the road, pumping music through my speakers having a road party to ease the anxiety of having to make the rest of the ride in the dark.
By the time we were back together and ready to cruise, it was pitch black and we were less than halfway. Now I had a scooter back home, but that bad boy was 50cc’s and I’ve never had a passenger. Within the hour, I was flying down the highway (driving on the left side of the road mind you) at 55-60mph, Rosa on the back and hitting crazy potholes. It was honestly one of the most terrifying hours of my life. Plus one of our farang-gang members is speed demon (I’m looking at you Shapiro) and we were forced to drive way faster than we wanted to. After hitting 2-3 life-threatening potholes, we pulled over and agreed that staying alive was more important catching Shapiro. We were staying at 60km/hr the rest of the way.
That’s the end of the stress! We finally made it to the town at like 7:30-8. The 12 of us found a ghetto hotel and split 3 rooms. We had to pay $5 each for the night, although it would have been $3 each if we weren’t all splitting beds. After dinner, we went to this bar right on the beach that had a bunch of portable tables that they literally set on the boardwalk that was 3 feet from the beach. The Chang beers and Hong Thong whiskey flowed like water. I brought the pill speaker so it quickly became a good old-fashioned farang dance party. We met some locals there who worked for a Thai redbull-equivalent called M-150 and we all ended up with hats and some other sweet swag. After a little ocean swimming and chicken fighting, we called it a night.
The next day, we explored the town a little bit. It was so beautiful there. When you picture postcards of Thailand with the rock formations dotting the coast, that’s what it was like. We found this awesome little beach that had straight up white sand with warm, clear water. We all got beach chairs ($.30 per day), drank from coconuts, and napped in the shade. Headache be gone! We wanted to hit the road before it got dark again but we still checked out this cool little market at the base of this mountain. It wasn’t until then that we realized how much we’ve been overpaying by living in a tourist area. All of the food that we’ve been paying 50-60 baht for was 10-20 baht here. Want some cockroaches and other bugs to snack on? Yup, they got em. The market was at the base of the mountain and at the very top was a beautiful Buddhist temple. We didn’t make it because it was getting late but it was cool seeing wild monkeys running around the base of the mountain.
The ride back in sunlight was infinitely easier than the night before. It literally took us half the time. Welp, I think that’s about all I got for now. Today has been my rest day because I felt like I was fighting off a sickness for the past 24 hours. It’ll also be the first time I’ve slept 8 hours the entire trip. Love y’all, I hope everyone is doing well back home. And if anybody has any interest in doing this same experience that I am, even if you only want to do 4-6 months instead of a year, let me know. I can get you a discount through my program. Peace everybody, Bald Eagle out.