It’s been more than a week since my last entry and so I’m going to break this one up into two manageable chunks for your reading pleasure.
Last Thursday was the last time I or any other students on our course had to do any teaching, and as such we met the tutors out for some drinks at their favourite local English-themed bar. Much gin was drunk and many chuckles were had. I gained further insight into the expat experience in Thailand and then promptly destroyed all brain cells responsible for retaining that information. By this point we knew we would all at least get a pass grade, which is unusual for this course as our tutors said there was usually at least a fail or, more commonly, someone who dropped out part way through. There was much congratulations and visits from random street dogs.
The next day we had just a few admin things to get done and then had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves, which we spent utilising the unattended pool bar.
That’s the bar in the background. We drank all over the pool because we are total badasses.
The next 3 to 4 days involved a continuation of festivities, meeting up with students and hanging out with course-mates. These sorts of things happened
No, I didn’t drink the whole thing myself. It was a team effort.
Shortly after this picture this hedgehog shat on my hand. Rock and roll.
A kickass bar on the back of a tuk tuk.
Rocking out at the rock bar. Too many bottles of Thai rum.
One night I was lucky enough to visit an Irish pub, and after a clueless cab driver dropped us off on a long, empty street in torrential rain (at least as heavy as I’ve seen in Australia) we arrived drenched and eager. I was concerned we might not be let in in our drenched state but the bar girls just handed us some towels and poured us some delicious pints of Guinness. I’ve come to a disconcerting realisation. South-East Asian beer is nearly entirely all absolute piss. No flavour, just watery bullshit. I’ve heard apologists say that it suits the climate but those guys are all arseholes who don’t even really like proper beer. Without exception. It was so awesome to finally drink a beer that had some actual flavour and I believe I shall return to the pub again just to drink it. They also do a pretty fantastic schnitzel and some potato and cheese croquets and I’ve been stinging for some proper pub food. All in all, more pricey than other places but definitely worth it.
Towels and Guinness.
The price of this four day bender was 3 days of sickness. I was out of action for a few days where even the thought of alcohol made me feel ill, although this may have been due largely to the final evening of the bender being spent consuming copious amounts of warm Thai swill. We did manage to visit the local mountain temple, but I’m finding the local Buddhist temples a little bit underwhelming. This one was particularly busy with tourists and this might be insensitive but it also seemed a bit… garish. Here’s some pictures anyway.
Nice view of Chiang Mai, though. You can sort of make out the square of the city.
Jenny made me bang on the tourist gong for your benefit. Incidentally, the guy who donated it was called Joel. What a badass.
There were some steps.
And a souvenir market.
The most notable thing to happen in those three days was the discovery that our hostel room had quite the bed bug infestation. We had originally thought the huge amount of bites on Jenny’s back were from mosquitoes in the hostel garden/social area but they continued to get worse and eventually we went to a pharmacy to get something for them. The pharmacists in Thailand are able to speak English really well and are all super nice. She recognised them as bed bug bites immediately and gave her a bunch of tablets and ointments to help (another awesome part of Thailand is that medicine is outrageously cheap). We told the hostel and they sent someone up to clean the room but it didn’t help. Turns out I was being bitten but because I am a god like specimen of manliness I didn’t have the ridiculous skin reaction that Jenny had and they barely registered on me at all. However, during one sick, sleepless night I did turn on my light to find no less than six scrambling across my sheets. I smote them justly.
Were you expecting a picture? Of a bed bug?
So that brings us up till about Wednesday morning of this last week. We were leaving to go on a trek on Wednesday morning and were checking out of that particular hostel. I told the management that the bed bugs were still out in force so I hope they did something about it after I left. And thus on the morning of Wednesday we set out on an overnight trek into the mountains around Chiang Mai; me with little to no sleep but powering through sickness with some kind of raw masculinity, and Jenny with what looked like some horrifically contagious skin condition. That will do for this post though and I’ll get the next one written up promptly for your reading pleasure.
Your prodigal son.