Who put pepper in the vaseline?!!
Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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I reckon I've met more random characters from every inch of the what-the....??!! scale this weekend than I have in months. As the title suggests, this weekend could only be described as a mad-arse bender. Haven't been on a proper bender for ages and this weekend, with it's insane delivery of randomness has more than made up for it.
The Bang Saen Speed Festival
It all started in Klong Jet. After leaving the old capital of Ayutthaya I made my way over to Rangsit and up to Klong Jet to meet John at his place mid-morning. The family pickup was already loaded with a strapped down motorbike, Air the wife, Annie the beautiful eight month old princess, Walnut the adventure-loving family dog and a back seat supporting an eski full of Beer Leo on ice. We were in full swing from the off to be honest, Air handing over can after can of 'road soda' from the back as we blazed a two-hour trail down the east side of Bangkok over to Bang Saen on the coast. From there it was straight over to our friend Rodney's place, who happens to have a bar on the beach-front right in the middle of all the speedway action, a bar that on this particular night was packed with the maddest mix of characters I've met in a long time. Let's just say the next day spent nursing our wounds on the beach was a necessary move.
Take the seedy side of Patong, multiply it by a factor of ten and you pretty much get modern day Pattaya, or as it's otherwise known: the 'sump of Asia'. Bang Saen sits only fifty kilometres or so north of Pattaya and as I still had a day or two to kill (and as my sick curiosity was itching for stimuli) I took an early bus out of Bang Saen heading south.
Depositing myself in Pattaya took two buses and a tuk-tuk, which got me to the general seedy beach area. The place was absolutely heaving and I practically had to force my way through the tightly-packed hordes of pedestrians that were all to-ing and fro-ing between brothel and breakfast bar - full English and tackiness all the way of course, each plate feeding the same tacky shit that fuels the ever-booming sex-tourism for which Pattaya is so notoriously known.
All I wanted to do was sit down and breathe and after twenty minutes of pushing through so many idiots I was starting to get lairy, that is until a homely accent of northern England drifted into my ear from afar. Four lively girls from Sheffield, fresh out of an air-conditioned taxi, all sporting clean clothes and brand new backpacks. They wanted to know if I knew of a place where they could sit down. If only.
By the time we were all sat round a table feeling the relief it had gone noon, and within seconds it was clear that these four raucous rebels were outrageously good value. They were just my type: gutter humour, loads of banter, constant piss-taking and an unstoppable desire to have the time of their lives. Turns out they'd just arrived fresh from England having thrown the towel in on their standard black and white 9-to-5's. And now here they were sitting opposite me with a loaded bank account, loaded smiles, loaded with er... contraception and a highly charged will to have an absolute scream here in wallet-friendly Asia. Fair play. In less than a minute we each had a bottle of cold Singha in our hands - hair of the dog for each of us. I'll leave the rest to your imagination but it was gone 7.30 the next morning by the time we were back in the guesthouse. Wounded doesn't even come close..
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Where I stayed
Big Ivan's Place (Bang Saen), JP Inn (Pattaya)