Thursday, September 08, 2005

Welcome to Bangkok

I didn't have any plan what so ever for arrival in Bangkok, so it was nice of Zach to let me borrow his Thailand travel book during the flight. Located some cheap places to stay and decided to head to the "Banglamphu" area. I hopped on the airport bus and got dropped off at Khoa San Rd, "Backpacker Central".

Total culture shock after being in India which in my opinion stands for:
I 'll
N ever
D o
I t
A gain !!!

Burger King, McD's, 7-11's and vendors everywhere selling knock offs. It was late at night, but I had no problem finding a room for about $4. After a stroll around the area I crashed on a pillow thick and hard enough to send King Kong to the chiropractor.

In the morning I replaced my Bolle's which got crushed on the plane with a pair of "authentic" Oakley's for $4!! Then I had to put on my thinking cap. Now that I'm half way thru the trip I need to come up with a plan for the second half. So many options, so much to consider, no idea what I really want to do. So I spent most of the day going from one travel agent to the other (of which there is no shortage of) gathering information with which to sort out some kind of plan. Spent the evening people watching with the hope that something would click inside my brain.
Around 5:30 am there is a knock on my door. Time to go to work! You won't believe this but I got drafted into the Navy as a pilot!! Well actually, I got accepted as an extra to play a Navy pilot for a movie called "Rescue Dawn". It's starring Christian Bale (the latest Batman, American Psycho) and directed by Werven Herzog who is apparently one of Germany's top directors. Both by the way are super nice guys. In fact, Herzog took the time before and after the shoot to shake everyone of the 400 extras' hands and wish us "Good Luck"!! Definately not from Hollywood!

The movie is about a German born US Navy pilot who was shot down over Laos just prior to our "official" involvement in Vietnam. So most people never even knew about the event. "Deter" is the only pilot ever to escape and make it back to our lines by himself. Look for me in the very last scene where the carrier crew is welcoming him back. It should be out next summer. I doubt it will be a blockbuster though :(

So on the bus down to Pattaya I meet Josh (Germany) and Donald (Canada) and we take in the nice Thailand scenery which otherwise I probably wouldn't have gotten to see.

So all in all I wind up spending a whole week in Bangkok. Much too long, but I need to clear the remnants of India out of my lungs and airways before I can go scuba diving. So along with Josh, Jonas and the Englih crew: Neil, Morgan, Rory and Fran I spend the week partying and picking up cheap clothing.

I should mention that Bangkok is Sleazy with a capital "S". I'm not Mr. Innocent, but I have to admit that I'm pretty disgusted with this place. Finding a nice Thai girl is next to impossible here between the prostitutes, thieves and "lady-boys". Every day I check the mirror to make sure someone hasn't tattoed "Horny" on my forehead. Thai's are constantly trying to drive you into a sex club or a Ping Pong Show. (An all female sport, use your imagination!)

On night we decided we wanted to go out and experience the night life where Thai's hang out as opposed to tourists. So a little gay Thai fashion designer who was staying at our guest house suggests an area of Bangkok to check out. I don't know if it was his idea of a joke, but we wound up in a place that was just like Khoa San Rd. but 10 times bigger! So we checked out the local tits and ass for a while and left. But of course the taxi drivers there and back could not refrain for more than five seconds from asking something akin to "You go to Ping Pong??" Over and Over and Over...

But it wasn't all debauchery. Even though I was surrounded by some truly professional drunks I managed to keep my liver intact and see some culture. One day I hired a Tut-tut to drive me around and check out the city and some of the Temples. No shortage of them. Some really impressive Buddhas and buildings, although I can't help but think Buddha is rolling in his grave.

Before leaving Bangkok I was able to hear some of Jonas' music and help him with a drum track he was having difficulty ironing out. Now it's time to get the hell out of Sodom and go down to the island beaches. Koh Phangnan here I come..... (pics coming shortly)