Refreshed we go down and eat breakfast. Afterwards we decided to walk down the beach to shop, use the phone and visit the ATM. Nick stops off first to look at some stuff in this collection of tents that form this little shopping area. KB goes down further to find a phone.
There is a lot of stuff in these stores. I decide that I need to get some stuff done on the computer and I leave to find KB. Walking down the boardwalk is no easy task. You are constantly asked to buy things along with do we want to get a taxi or took-took. So many people you have to say no to. They usually start with the line, “Where are you from?” I clearly look South African to them. That is to start conversation to lure you in to their stands and shops. Finally I find KB. He is talking to a tailor and I then tell him about this guy I met that seems to have some good stuff. We pass 2 more tailors before we can get to him. We didn’t walk 2 blocks.
The guy that we met name is Harry. We spend close to an hour getting KB fitted for a suit and I fitted for a shirt. The fabric is top notch and to get an entire suit tailored from some of the best fabric you can find costs only 5,000 baht. That’s a little less than $150!
Once our measurements are done, we look for Nick. He’s nowhere to be found. We head to the room and wait for awhile, but he does not arrive. Once we head out again, we see Nick next door as happy as can be. He was in the same place I left him for like 2 hours shopping. He bought a suit from this guy next door and had to ride with him to his other location to use his credit card. When I say ride with him I mean on the back of his motor bike.
Motorbikes are by far the most common way of transportation. I’ve seen whole families on them. I’m talking dad, two small children and mom rollin down the road @ 40mph! The shyt is insane how they ride side saddle and by 2’s and 3’s with no fear or helmet in the anything goes streets of Thailand. I can’t remember the last time I saw a traffic light or cop.
Nick and his buddy take off into the neighborhood of Karon. KB and I return to the hotel, relieved that we have finally found Nick. When we regroup, I suggest that we get some motorbikes to ride to Phuket. I sense hesitancy among my peers. This is my main goal of the day… to ride the motorbike.
We rest a bit and then it’s unanimous; we are getting the motorbikes. I’m stoked! I can’t wait to join in with the locals on the treacherous roads of Phuket. We walk down and talk to the lady in charge of extracurricular activities at the hotel, Kwan. Kwan is a very sweet 5months pregnant Thai woman. She is just like so many people down hear, very friendly and very helpful. She ends up giving us 50 baht off the price so that the rental comes out to be 200 baht each for 24 hours. That’s about $6.
I’m so excited and then it hits… rain. I am so disgruntled right now it shows on my face. We decide to try and wait it out by having something to eat at the hotel. The food at the hotel is pretty good. We all try Thai dishes. I must have ordered the spiciest soup in Thailand because after 3 minutes of eating my lips were numb. For the main course I had duck. I should have noticed that I didn’t see any ducks floatin around Thailand. The duck clearly came from the freezer, but I did not mind so much about the toughness of it. I was hoping the rain would dissipate before Nick and KB changed their minds on the motorbikes. Little did they know I was going to get one if they did or not.
We finish eating and the rain stops… perfect! We have already given Kwan the necessary documents to obtain the bikes so we grab the keys and a helmet and take off. Not immediately. The guys put on rain ponchos. All I needed were my sunglasses and Mohawk baby, lets ride!
We cruise down the coast with no problem, but the road connecting Karon Beach to Patong Beach was going up and down steep hills through the mountains and had curves throughout. It was like maneuvering a video game. Halfway through the mountains we saw elephants. We decided to stop and take pictures. These guys were riding the elephants similar to the way you would see someone riding a horse in the street back home in Texas. It was pretty cool. We hopped back on the road and eventually arrived in Patong.
Mind you, the traffic here goes to the left so were at a slight disadvantage to making natural decisions on the road. Plus the locals drove with no rules anyway so it was a trying experience to ride in traffic. We managed to get in with the huge flow of traffic that consisted of few cars, with took-tooks and motorbikes. We cruised all the way down the boardwalk. Let me tell you now. This place was sprawling with tourists! It was so busy around here that we were thankful for the quiet beach of Karon where we were staying.
We made it onto the second street about 4 city blocks away from the beach boulevard and were caught in a tourist trap. “Whistle!” a cop standing stopped us as we were riding down the street. He informed us that we had to have helmets on. He took the key to my bike and said we had to pay 300 baht a piece for the infraction. I was pissed. I asked why we could not get off with a warning. He gave me attitude and kept telling me to just pay. Cops! no matter where they are from are usually assholes! The first asshole we meet in Thailand is a f***ing cop! Go figure. KB and Nick took off on the motorbikes to the police station to pay the ticket and I hung back waiting for them. I was still livid, but that would soon change.
There were 3 girls standing behind me. One of them was especially attractive. They all marveled at my hair and asked to touch. They started talking to me and were telling me about how things worked out here, but not to worry. I explained to her that I was looking for an internet connection out here because I needed to get some work done. She instead let me sit in her little office just outside near the sidewalk and use her computer. Very nice gesture, but the connection sucked ass. I soon gave up and continued my conversation with them. One of them offered me squid on a stick and I accepted. It was rather tasty. It was coated with some sort of spicy sauce. There was another meat on the stick that I will just have to say tasted good.
Nick and KB finally arrived. They told me it was a slew of tourists in the police station all paying tickets. Gotta keep the economy going I guess. I said bye to the girls and then we put on our helmets and took off. I at this time became rather adept to riding through traffic. I was weaving in and out just like the locals. KB and Nick trailed behind me.
We road back to the beach to park our bikes; and then proceeded to go on foot. I found a space to the left of the road nearest to the beach. KB rolled up next. Nick somehow got stranded on the right side. After a few moments he decided to brave the traffic and cross to our side. He sped across right in front of this bus and that’s when it happened. The sand made him spin out just a bit and he lost controlled and went belly first into the pavement as if he were trying to steal a base (baseball). He got up rather quickly and we saw that he was ok. That gave the cue to laugh because that shyt was hella funny! I was laughing uncontrollably for at least 5-10 minutes. Nick has scratches on both legs and a nice red cherry on his left knee. Classic!
I immediately pulled out the video camera and recorded the whole ordeal. We had no first-aid kit so KB took out some mouthwash and told Nick to put it on his wounds. Nick took a swig and then doused his leg with the wash. At this point we were all laughing about the accident and then headed off down the boardwalk.
The boardwalk was bustling with tourists and people selling any and everything. We hit the main walking street that leads towards the other road parallel to the boardwalk. Lady Boys are an attraction here in Thailand. They are basically drag queens. We thought that they looked funny so KB and I decided to take a picture with them for shyts and giggles. Little did we know it would cost us 100 baht. Everything is for sale in Thailand.
We pushed all the way through this madness and arrived back at the point where we received our citations. Nick wanted to find a shirt with all Thai writing on it. I saw the girls again and they told us to hit the mall across the street. It was similar to the malls back home. KB and I stopped in the New Balance shoe store and were immediately impressed. They didn’t have these types of kicks back home. They didn’t have our size though. No big feet people in Thailand I guess.
We wandered through the mall and then headed outside. Nick got some Burger King and we kept moving. We finally turned right onto this street to get back to our bikes. We affectionately named this street Boner Boulevard. There were nothing but saloons and massage parlors down this street. It felt like a scene out of the old west to me.
These girls literally jumped on us as we were walking down. “Sexy Man! Sexy Man!” is their calling card. Nick and KB were just ahead of me. I was slowed mainly because of my hair. KB was stiff arming hoes left and right wile nick got straight tackled by 2 or 3. They would literally block our paths through the alley as we would try and walk down. After I fended off like 5 of them and put a mean juke move on one of them this drunken girl came out of the blue and wrapped her legs and arms all around me applying all her strength in her grip. She was expressing her willingness to do anything for 300 baht in the room upstairs. The liquor on her breath was pungent. The girls were pressing so hard on us trying to give us erections. I speak for myself when I say it worked. I had to do a swim move to get this girl unshackled.
Somehow we made it past the hookers and through this narrow shop full of items back onto the main boulevard. Lets get the hell outta here we all thought. It was night time now and we faced a challenge ahead. We had to brave the treacherous road through the mountains on the way back. Let’s do it. After a few minutes on the road back to Karon I felt at ease and was ripping through the street. I kept KB in my rearview as not to leave them. When I arrived at Karon I finally realized that it was not KB and Nick that I was seeing in my rearview.
I was immediately worried. They were nowhere to be found. I rode back up a quarter of the way through the mountains and realized that they had appointments with their tailors for the suits. I rode back to Karon and was relieved to see KB standing their trying on his suit. Phew.
The tailor named Harry was a very cool guy from Nepal. He offered us a beer and we stayed and kicked it for awhile. This was some strong beer. After 2 we were buzzin big time. It was a holiday for Thailand. Harry explained that he was going to pop firecrackers on the beach. He asked us to join him. We were poppin firecrackers for about 10-15 minutes and then walked back. Harry wanted to get more. We didn’t want to be rude.
He told me to hop on the back of his motorbike so we could go and find some more firecrackers… big mistake. I should have noticed how drunk he was when he almost blew me and KB up with a rocket earlier on the beach. That thing fell over and whizzed a few feet right by us before it exploded. Glad we could have a laugh about it.
I hopped on the back and we rode a few blocks into the village. We could not find any firecrackers so Harry decided to pick up a 4 pack of beer. I now see why it comes in a 4 pack instead of 6. That shyt is potent. When we hopped on the back of his motorbike he tried to peel off with out getting proper balance. We fell and busted our ass’s right in the muddy water. I was now fearful for the few blocks we had to travel back to his shop. I was literally flying by the seat of my pants! Remember how I say that they drive with no rules? Now imagine that at night on a 2 lane road with all sorts of twists with a drunken dude. It was a rush to say the least, but we made it nevertheless.
KB had split so we decided to part ways. Harry gave me 3 out of the 4 beers and burned off. Harry is a nice dude. With beers in tow I hall ass back to the hotel. I am buzzin hard at this point but not on Harry’s level. At the hotel we decide to go to Ging’s. We go by three on the motorbikes and pull in. Nick needs to play catch up to me and KB’s buzzed state.
Ging, Som, Puhn, Beau & crew are all too happy to see us. Ging orders a round of cocktails on the house! Seriously, you gotta love Ging! She is awesome! She had no idea how tossed we were though. This was by far the most rambunctious we all were at Ging’s this night. We were laughing and boisterous and it soon effected the entire restaurant.
We stayed until close and pretty much rolled out with the entire restaurant crew. I swear these people loved us! We needed to gas up the bikes before we pulled in so we followed Beau to this Shell gas station. This wasn’t your normal gas station. It was literally some guy sitting on a stool next to what looked like an ice-cream stand that housed his gasoline. The gas was in three different containers no larger than 5-10 gallon jugs. Your car is bigger than this dude’s entire operation. It was funny.
After we filled up and used his bush style bathroom we hauled off. Halfway back to the hotel, we saw Puhn scootin down the boardwalk. We asked her what there was to do around here. She said follow her to one of the local bars. KB said he was gonna head to the hotel because we had to get up at like 6:30 to catch a bus to go to Phi Phi Island. Nick and I were feelin too good to call it a night so we followed Puhn.
Side Note: There was a Lady Boy that stopped behind us before we pulled off. As soon as Nick and I scratched off he approached KB. When Nick and I found this out the next morning we were dying laughing! He said the Lady Boy grabbed his arm and said, “What’s up?” KB snatched his arm back holding back his punch and fled the area. LOL
Once Nick and I caught up to Puhn at the bar she caught ghost, not 1 minute after we got there. That shyt was weird. Nick and I decided to have 1 beer and leave.