I am five days into my trip and figured it was due time for a quick update. I still haven’t contracted malaria, been robbed, or woken up with a Mike Tyson tattoo on my face so I’d say things are off to a good start. Here’s the recap of my first few days in the Kingdom.
Getting to Thailand was one of the best experiences of my life. If you have the opportunity to fly with Qatar, do it. I would get on one of their planes again just to stay onboard and fly back and forth, it was that good. I spent the majority of the first flight shooting the shit with the stewards in the galley. I learned like five languages, tried several exotic fruits, and was given a free bottle of whiskey. The flight could have lasted thirty hours and I would have loved every minute of it.
We’re over here dragging doctors off planes while they’re letting me sip whiskey, eat blueberries and play cards with the crew… American Airlines could learn a thing or two about customer service from Qatar.
Being one of the wealthiest countries in the world I was expecting big things from Qatar’s airport, and Doha International did not disappoint. They provided private sleeping rooms for no additional charge. Nice ones too, 1,000+ thread count sheets. Classy shit. Also, they would have provided me with a free guided tour of the city had my layover been longer than six hours. But the best part of the airport had to be the bathrooms. Each stall came equipped with a “toilet wiper.”
Now, if you’re thinking what the hell is a toilet wiper, they’re exactly what they sound like. Literally, the bathroom was full of guys whose sole job was to wipe the toilets off after every use. They weren’t half-assing their wipes either, these guys were professionals. We’re talking full spray, wipe, and flush all done in less than ten seconds. I felt like a king, it was fucking awesome.
It’s nice to see all that oil money being put to good use.
My plane from Qatar to Bangkok had two stories. I was able to get upgraded to the upper deck by simply asking
“yo can I sit up top with the big ballers?”
The slightly malnourished but well coiffed man working the behind the counter took one hard look at me and knew I meant business. He clicked a few keys on his computer and boom! I was in the high roller club. It was that easy.
Talk about luxury. I had enough leg room for three people and was only a stone’s throw away from the full in-flight bar which provided unlimited drinks at no cost.
Did I deserve any of it? Absolutely not. But that didn’t stop me from taking full advantage of the perks. I walked up those stairs with my head held arrogantly high. Just before I got to the top I looked down at a guy around my age sitting in the front row on the lower deck. I could tell he wanted to be walking up those stairs like I was. I looked deep into his eyes and mouthed
Sorry man, big ballers only.
That plane could have crash landed right then and there and I would have died a very happy man.
When I arrived in Bangkok things got off to a rough start. Finding my hostel was easier said than done. I spent the better part of an hour walking through back alleys and side streets asking everyone in sight where the hell “Warm White Hostel” was. They all seemed to think it was in a different spot.
“Fifty meter that way, you find.”
“No no ten meter that way, take left, you find.”
“Ahh yes go over bridge, climb big wall, twenty paces east, you find.”
“Tuk-tuk take you there two-hundred Baht.”
I was on my own for this one. Eventually, I figured out that my cab had dropped me off on the wrong side of town. I found another traveler headed to the same area and split a cab with him. He was able to point me in the right direction and I was finally able to check in, put my bags down, and have a rest.
I’m calling the Hostel I spent the last four nights in “The Circus” — not because it’s been a crazy party or anything but because the people I lived with literally could all have been members in a traveling circus.
The first guys I met were Tim and Alliston, two brothers from South Africa. These two were cool as fuck. Kinda hard not to be when you grew up wrestling sharks and fighting lions in your free time.
Next, we have Alexi, a heavyset middle-aged man from Russia with a thick black beard and even thicker accent. Alexi was a tank, and at first, he scared the shit out of me. He had a nasty looking scar right between his brows. Guy looked like he crawled straight out of Chernobyl. He was tough. I’m talking hand roll your own cigarettes, no filter, tough. I was waiting for him to whip out a fifth of vodka and slam it down at any moment.
Aside from the terrifying accent and psychopathic appearance, Alexi turned out to be a really nice guy who wouldn’t have hurt a fly. Although, he was having some troubles with his girlfriend. They were only two days into their trip and he told me he was about ready to throw her off the roof.
I thought he may have been being a bit rash, but then I had the pleasure to meet his girlfriend and it all made sense. I wanted to throw her off the roof after only a two-minute conversation. (Alexi if you’re reading this, hang in there man.)
Finally, we have the Canadians, Duncan, and Willam, and no that’s not William misspelled, he’s just a Canadian with a Canadian ass name.
I couldn’t help but laugh when they told me they were tree planters in Ontariowhen I asked what they did for work. Fucking tree planters. I’m sorrey but that’s about as Canadian as it gets. I mean I’ve heard of lumberjacks but tree planters, that’s a first.
These guys were seasoned storytellers. I guess when you spend half the year single-handedly reforesting the North American wilderness and the other half traveling around the world you’re bound to have quite a few unique experiences to share. They told me all about life as anti-lumberjacks, and from what I got it’s basically a bunch of dudes running through the woods throwing trees into the ground. Not sure how well I’d fare at that job. I worked as a gardener for one summer and thought planting a few flowers here and there was hard work. I can’t imagine trying to plant an entire forest. Much respect.
Bangkok was fun but four days in that urban jungle is all you really need. The palaces are beautiful, the street food is out of this world, but shit gets weird real fast. We’re talking ladyboy weird. Somethings you see just can’t be unseen. Time to bounce.
I’m currently on a train headed twelve hours North to Chiang Mai where the airs a little cleaner and the beers a little cheaper.
I’m not gonna lie when I purchased a ticket for a “sleeper train” I had the assumption that I would have like a bed or someshit to sleep on. Not exactly the case. I do have a bed but it was designed so a Thai, who on average are much smaller than us Americans, could sleep comfortably.
I’m basically going to be balled up for the next twelve hours in my seat and you know what? That’s totally fine. Could be worse actually. Some people don’t even get seats, they just have to hang onto the outside of the train car. Not even kidding. I’m looking out the window right now and there’s a friendly looking Thai man just chilling there. I couldn’t tell you how old he is, could be twenty could be eighty, literally impossible to tell. The Thai age extremely well. I need to get my hands on whatever creams and potions they’re using because that shit works.
I’m not sure what the North has in store for me but I am ready for whatever comes my way.
Peace Peace Peace
Written on Sunday, January 21st 1:20 AM somewhere between Bangkok and Chiang Mai