My Time In Thailand So Far, Part 4
Ko Samet. I had heard about it and decided to go there for a few days to get out of Pattaya for a while. My usual business travels were more or less a combination of aeroplane – taxi – hotel – customer visits – hotel – aeroplane ad infinitum until home time. This is great when it is new and exciting, but after a while, every airport lounge, hotel receptionist, hotel room, and taxi starts to look the same, and you seem to remember only fleeting glances of the famous places that you have been to. Having often been asked what it was like to be in New York or Sao Paulo or Kuala Lumpur or countless other cities and countries I have visited over the years, I found it impossible to tell anyone about them in any detail when I came home, simply because I didn’t know any more than being in an aeroplane, looking through a taxi window, sleeping in another hotel or being in another customer’s office. I hadn’t really been there at all. The often self-imposed schedule of trying to cram as many company revenue-generating activities into the trip sometimes precludes the opportunity for enjoyment while abroad in exotic places. Corporate life sucks. Travelling on your own time is different. No expense receipts to collect and fill in on a complicated form, no hire car worries and you need not care if you get bladdered of an evening because you do not have to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning to have breakfast with the cunts from ABC Corp. who will no doubt have some wide eyed smartass from the purchasing department eating pancakes smothered with crap, trying to broker your granny’s cat as part of the deal. I’m glad that breakfast in Thailand is different.
A 110CC Honda Wave motosai hired at 2600 baht for a month isn’t a bad deal to get yourself and your companion around the environs of Fun City Pattaya wherever and whenever you liked, provided you have a certificate from the Evil Kinevil School of Motoring tucked inside your useless Calimero hat. It still beats the aggro of having to deal with the taxi drivers, even if they have a better view out the window side. If she, my long time cuddle, was sleeping when I woke up, this being often or always, then my early afternoon breakfast sojourn became another journey into surreality. The Soi 6 motosai autopilot steering kicks in easily and for some reason I find myself again in the embrace of another young lady who could quite possibly have been employed by Acme Exhaust Systems in the position of chief chrome remover. A simple transaction is executed with aplomb with no contractual obligations remaining after the deed was done. Breakfast in Thailand. A delightful pleasure. Now for some food.
I was in the habit of taking a stroll to the old ladies’ food stall at the end of the road from my room on Soi 14 off Naklua Road. It was improbably called the Sunshine Inn. Sunshine Inn my arsehole, leave it alone, never go there, it’s a dump of a place with a landlady who would have the shirt off your back and your wallet too, if she could have managed it, the bitch. However, the good ladies at the end of the road served a tasty helping of sticky rice, fish on a stick, chicken on a stick with a few other tasty accompaniments and of course, the all important Som Tam, without which I would probably have been assaulted had I forgotten to add this to my carry away bags for her indoors, who was still gracefully sleeping, in practice for her place in the Thai Olympic snooze-athon team, most likely recovering from her previous exertions bedside. SOM TAM, never forget it. Such is the importance of the volcanically hot pappaya salad, ordered Pet Maak Maak. There is surely something crazy about the body chemistry of a Thai woman that demands a workout with the multi-coloured feast of chillies served up in a happy bowl that defies all farang culinary logic. When your girl’s nostrils start to flay open and she starts blowing her nose heartily into a hanky, you know you’ve cracked it on the breakfast scene. You have at least an indication that she is enjoying her Som Tam and the rest of the day is guaranteed to be a good one. Kellog’s Cornflakes didn’t have a look in with this lady.
We ventured out on the Honda to partake in the afternoon sunshine on Jomtien Beach and had a great time playing volleyball with Gee’s sister, Ead and her nine-year-old son Tao whose boundless energy reminded me of days well past. Ead is the same woman I spotted after a double-take in ‘Barbie’s’ short-time bar on Soi Lengkee and she was sitting on a couch, in between an elderly couple, her legs splayed with the three of them playing hide the finger. Hi Ead, nice work if you can get it.
Now for the motorbike horror story. After a while of driving around Pattaya completely shitting yourself at the motoring habits of the locals, it starts to become a little easier to anticipate their lack of signalling, their complete disregard for traffic lights and the frightening manoeuvres of Mr.Boy Racer on two wheels. I had stupidly but confidently decided that after an evening of fun at Xzyte nightclub to take the Honda back to Naklua Road for a night’s R&R. Mistake #1. Driving far too slowly for the police to notice me and my gal, who was poshly sat side-saddle on the back laughingly brushing her hair, completely impervious to the impending danger as we went through the Dolphin Roundabout and slowly headed towards Soi 14, Naklua Road. I wasn’t completely sober so deserved everything coming. A fat, baldy cunt staggered drunkenly out between a couple of tuk-tuks. He went right, then he went left, then he went right again, all the time I was trying to correct my steering to make sure the bike didn’t coincide with his staggering. Even though I saw him from a reasonable distance it was all too late to take evasive action and rather than putting the anchors on and skidding all over the place, I thought it better to brake slowly and deliberately control the accident. I headed straight for the drunken fucker at a fair pace and whacked him between the knees and he fell in a heap while the bike took a tumble with Me and Gee inelegantly taking the cruel scars from Naklua Road. I was up instantly to check Gee was OK. She now has the classic scabby knee seen on most of the dancers at the Go-Go’s, join the club babe. I had taken most of the skin off my left arm, down to the muscle at the elbow. I turned then to see if my assailant was still alive and the prick was sitting on the road with not a mark on him. German bastard. Instead of giving him a well deserved boot in the bollocks, I picked him up off the road to save him from further vehicular damage and sent him on his way and Gee and I headed straight to the Pattaya International Hospital to have our wounds treated. The following advice is free and valuable. Do not under any circumstances hire a motorbike in Thailand, ever. There are thousands of them out there, madly determined to break you up given half a chance, so take a taxi, please. Ko Samet. I had heard about it and decided to go there for a few days to get out of Pattaya for a while.
Motorbike accidents in Thailand are horribly common. Just this past week, an Aussie guy wrapped his bike around a power pole and his lower leg was ripped off in the accident…