Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
272Trip End Ongoing
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I have grown to really hate the average traveler that I come across here in Thailand, especially over on khao san road in Bangkok. I'm just tired of these young kids who are out on their "gap" year holiday spending mom and dad's money and behaving like complete fucking miscreants. You know it wouldn't be so bad if it was just a sort of cultural clash and misunderstanding because then it would at least be a mistake and we all make those occasionally but these people come out here and behave in ways that they would never even dream of trying to pull off back in their home countries. There is almost a complete lack of respect for Thai's in their own country. I'll give you a recent anecdote to drive home the point.
I was recently on a bus (big surprise there right?) where there was only one other westerner on board and the rest of the passengers were Thai. The other westerner was from Spain or Italy or something along those lines. He didn't speak enough for me to pinpoint the accent but it's not an overly important fact at this point. He was without a doubt "western" and was probably in his mid to late 20's and I noticed all this while he took the seat directly in front of me. We were both sitting against the window and we both had a Thai girl sitting next to us (not in a relationship sort of way). The bus gets underway and as happens sometimes on these things, the a/c can't keep up with the body heat being produced by the passengers and the heat beating down from the glorious sun above. The end result was that it was pretty damn warm in that bus. It wasn't out of control hot but warm enough to make you constantly adjust your a/c vent hoping that just a little more cool air will spill down across your sweaty brow.
Well it was apparently too hot for the Italian wonder in front of me because he decided to peel off his shirt. Now please understand that the Thai's are a very modest people(not counting the working girls) and for the most part you won't see a bare chested Thai man (beaches and hard labor besides) but now this sack of shit is sitting on a public bus without his shirt. Now honestly, would you strip half naked on a greyhound or Amtrak? Would he try pulling that shit on an airline if it was a little warm in the cabin? The answer to all these things of course is no. He was doing this simply because it was Thailand and there was absolutely no respect for the people or the culture. You had to feel bad for the girl sitting next to him because she was so obviously uncomfortable it filtered down to me. Now I don't like to stir the pot too much and it takes a lot to get me riled up and to be honest, although terribly rude I didn't think it enough to chastise him in public, I mean who am I?
So here I am sitting in my seat and contemplating this guy and his actions for a good 20 minutes. Thankfully a seat had opened up farther in back of the bus so the girl who was sitting next to him was released from the situation but in so doing she missed the most absurd thing of all time. It's been about 20 minutes and the guy in front of me is all fidgety because apparently he's still hot (imagine that in Thailand) and I'm sitting behind him just thinking of the various shades of asshole he is when I swear to god and all the holy saints he starts to take off his pants so he could sit in his tighty whities. He got them down to about mid thigh when I realized what he was doing and I just instantaneously lost it (warning: liberal use of the word "fuck" ahead) "what in the fuck are you doing?" I asked him in a shouted whisper not wanting to really call attention to the scene. "I am hot" the schmuck responds. "I don't give a fuck if you are hot. You are on a fucking bus....you are in Thailand. Put your fucking pants on and have some fucking common respect" I didn't threaten him but the tone of voice was definitely along the lines of comply or I'm going to beat you until you do. This is probably the closest I've been to getting into a fight since I stopped hanging out with the English during soccer matches. Some people should not be allowed out of their fucking towns let alone out of their countries.
You know, I hear a lot of people knock Americans for "not travelling" but the mass influx of walking talking human waste that is coming from Europe is not exactly endearing me to the thought that they are more sophisticated and well travelled. Yes I can understand why everyone has a passport in your country, I mean when it takes you only 10 hours to drive the breadth of your great land I can see why you feel the need to get the hell out and go on a holiday but please don't knock us (Americans) because we can go to the arctic, tropics, mountains, rainforest, desert and beaches without ever leaving our countries borders. I can go scuba diving, kayaking, mountain climbing, ice climbing, big game hunting, deep sea fishing, skiing, snowboarding, kite boarding, jet skiing, trekking, white water rafting.....hell if the mood strikes I can go watch a volcano erupt and spew lava or go climb a glacier and watch the northern lights cascade through the night, all without a passport. If this jackass on the bus is representative of what a culture produces because it is common to travel internationally then I would have to say it's time to rethink some shit. If nothing else can we all at least agree there should be an iq test administered at the airport before you are allowed to get on the plane?
The other evening I went out for a few hours with my friend Toby and he had met up with some of his friends from back home who were visiting. Of course we started to discuss traveling and I mentioned India and the girl with whom I was speaking with told me how she always wanted to go to India so she could meditate at some retreat. I always found the idea of forced meditation a waste of time, especially when you are contorting your body into ungodly shapes in hopes of finding nirvana. Of course I expressed all of this to her along with the knowledge that all meditation and fasting and contorting were just different ways of torturing your body into producing endorphins and allowing your mind to "transcend" to what you perceive as a spiritual awareness but in reality is just low dosage emotional hallucinations. Most religious exercises are based on this chemical cocktail, be it Buddhist chanting yoga, walking on hot coals or just the hours of soothing Latin that your local parish priest can spill forth during a ceremony, it's all to help you reach a point where you believe that you are closer to god but in reality your mind is just swimming in some fresh happy juice. The same effect 10x can be had when you ingest LSD or mushrooms. Like I told this girl...there are many different roads going to the same place. Some are meandering country drives such as meditation and chanting and some are fucking expressway's such as LSD. I thought I would pass this message on to everyone for no other reason then I felt very witty when I said this and I remember it 3 days later.
On the completely useless information front, I have become addicted to a cd (well I say cd but really just a collection of mp3's). it's by some guy named mika and the album is "life in cartoon motion". I warn you its kinda like an amped up version of the bee gee's on meth but I can't stop listening to it and its taking over my life. If I listen to "lollipop" one more time I think my computer will fry its own CPU in utter contempt. Just thought I would share lol.
So my 33rd birthday is tomorrow and I realize that I am a third of a century old. You know, if this were medieval times, there is a good chance that I would be dead by now. Can you imagine the average life span being about 30? Jesus, what a bummer that would be. I'm not saying the 30's and above are exactly prime but there are some good years yet to come for sure. There is a quote that says "the idea is to die young as late as possible". I always found this humorous and at the same time I think I have passed the point in which you can say I've died young lol. Oh well, I'm enjoying my crazy anchorless little existence. I mean let's face it guys, when you stop and look at the body of work that is my life, it has been nothing but a party and a travelling circus all the way through (except of course when they imprisoned me for a few years for partying just a little too hard.....honest mistake). I would say the year after I got out of the army is the only year in which I worked and lived what can be called a normal life. I was soon on my way to college and endless parties and crisscrossing the country to spring break and mardi gras and Vegas for new year's etc and I haven't looked back. I have been rambling around this place for 33 years and other then from 24-27 (talk about prime of life man L ) I have just enjoyed. No complaints from me....not even the prison stint though I could have definitely done without that but like hunter s. Thompson said, "you buy the ticket you take the ride, no rest for the wicked" and I definitely bought THAT ticket through sheer stupidity. Anyway, enough contemplating for now. Know that the sun is warm, the liquor is plentiful, I get paid to do the one thing in life I truly love and although she is psychotic at times, I have a girl who loves me..........in short, at 33, life is good.