Monkey in Bangkok

Trip Start Jan 09, 2006
Trip End Aug 15, 2006

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

....Attention....Attention.....Operation Monkey Drop a Success....repeat success. We have Monkey!

He back, he's tired (after a 41hr plane ride), he's drinking and he's, as usual, half naked. He is.....

M O N K E Y !

I was not kidding you on the 41hr plane ride. Poor Monkey was cooped up in coach like a domestic animal. Don't they know MONKEY MUST BE FREE!

A little background for you new folks. The Monkey is actually Ricky Dufrene, one of our Best friends and on of the Best Men at our wedding. For those of you who have not met him, Ricky is a character. I've known him for going on 10 years now and I'm never bored or surprised when the Monkey is around. Now I get to travel with my 2 best friends. For (those of you that do know the Monkey, 'nuff said)

We picked up Monkey, at the airport around 12:30 at night and whisked him away to our little hole in the wall down the dark scary alley. It being well after 1am when we returned Rachel chose to stay in while Ricky and I went out for a beer and to catch up on things. Roughly 6 hours later we returned, reaking of alcohol and stale beer. It must have been bad because some poor Thai woman that I was having a conversation with (and I don't even speak Thai) went off and got me some food. Must have thought I was a beggar or something. So, the first day in country for Monkey (and I)was spent in recovery, sweating alcohol out in the swealtering heat. It's never pretty when we get together and this one was worse than normal.

Once we were semi-recovered it was time to see the sites. We started with a canal tour on a longboat. These are somewhat similar to the longboats from Malaysia but much bigger and with much larger moters.

We spent the afternoon cruising around the canals, many of which looked surprisingly alot like the bayou's back home...well, except for the large Guana's swiming and lounging around. Once back on terra firma we ventured down Khoa Sarn again to initiate the Monkey to backpacker row and see how many Thai Lady Boys we could pick out. So far, Rachel is the master at spotting these hidden landmines. We soon learned that the Thai new year was about to start. It is called Songkran and is their water festival. It involves alot of water throwing and talc powder and, we were told, makes one hell of a mess. In combination with the celebration the Thai government is really pushing tourism and promoting Thailand to bolster the economy and tourism after the Tsunami. One of these promotions involved the local Tuk Tuks. The Tuk Tuk is the symbol of Thailand and the drivers were enlisted to help. In return for feul vouchers they would take tourist on tours of the local sites for dirt cheap prices. We're talking 30bth for 3 people for the day. Thats less than $1. Needless to say, off we went....

We were fortunate enough to meet Chun, a local tuk tuk driver, who agreed to show us the town. We hit the usual slew of temples, dodged a multitude of scooters, cars, buses and locals most of which save for those on foot were traveling at high rates of speed. It's like a video game the way these guys get around. See the video for details.

While touring around we visited a few of the local shops including some of the local tailors. In addition to it's plethora of knock-offs, Thailand is also know for it's tailors. Hand made tailored suits, custom made to order for less than you would want to imagine. Normally I avoid these places as much as I avoid carpet sellers in the Middle East but even I have bought a carpet in the past so in we went. I now know how the other half lives. While we were treated to beer and snacks and fresh fruit we were guided around the store to see all fabrics and choices. This place had a fortune invested in fabric and Rachel was in Hog Heaven! Being a fashion victim but clueless when it comes to whats fashionable Rachel eagerly took the lead. Who knew she had such an eye for fashion....well, we did really but don't tell her we said so. She was a whirl wind of action trailing fabric and a small army of Indian tailors behind her she but together a collection of suits for Ricky and I what were damn fine to look at. This was my first time ever having a suit actually made to fit me from scratch and we basked in it like hogs in slop.

Ah, to be pampered...

Who knew being a fashion victim was so exchausting. I was beat after this experience and Rachel did most of the work. Back in the tuk tuk with Chun we explored more before returning home for a good meal and nap, only to do it all again the next day for our fitting. They had these suits tacked up and ready for a fittings under 24 hours. Thanks Kathy Lee Gifford!

All this may sound like we did nothing but shop while in Bangkok. This may be partly true, but not all. In fact, one of the main things we wanted to do while in Thailand was to experience a Full Moon Party and that was part of the reason why the Monkey chose to join us when he did.

So, gentle reader, enjoy the pics and video while I continue to upload more pictures of our adventures. The Full Moon Party is next......

Monkey Mooners
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