Poor Stevie

July 2010 archive

a fella lookin’ dapper and he’s sittin’ with a slapper

I’m sitting writing this mere hours after exposing myself before the coffin of King Intef. As I admired the intricate gold decorations on his ancient tomb at the British Museum this morning, I saw a little London school boy glance at my crotch in horror. My fly was completely undone and because I’m wearing freshly washed, skinny tight black jeans it meant the zip was gaping like a laughing mouth, revealing my sensible flesh-coloured underpants. Flesh-coloured underpants which have lost a little of their elasticity and opaqueness. Excellent. That kid was more scarred by me than by dudes who have been dead for thousands of years. And poor King Intef! Although, he did live during an age where women used cow poop contraceptives, so he’s probably experienced worse.

I couldn’t let that one go to the keeper before doing a wrap up of our time in Thailand. So, Thailand! The one country where there were signs reminding me to keep my modesty in check. Here are some highlights of our adventures in Koh Samui, July 2010.

Partying like it’s 1979

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As you can tell, J-man was quite popular with the locals. I really admired him, he learnt lots of Thai phrases and delighted everyone. It would be mean of me to mention that he accidentally inserted the word “curry” into many phrases which didn’t actually include that word, so I won’t say anything about that. This photo was taken on our last night, which was probably our best night on Koh Samui. 

After a pretty quiet day relaxing by the pool, we walked up the beach to find somewhere to eat and saw that our resort was hosting a beach barbecue, complete with live entertainment. We gorged ourselves at a buffet which included crayfish, crab, lobster, massive prawns, Asian salads and kebabs. Just as I was pulling the head off a giant prawn after going back for thirds (yep, you read that right), some of the lovely ladies pictured pulled J-man and I up to dance. J-man attempted a white man hula dance with one of the girls, while my pretty partner avoided looking at my face and touching my hands which I know were both covered in a thick film of seafood debris.

But I did manage to find myself a new husband. One with fire-twirling skills! Here’s our wedding photo (check out those abber dabbers!):

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We also enjoyed the smooth sounds of the resident musicians – two middle-aged dudes named Val and Candi who played covers of old people’s songs, much to the delight of the resort’s guests who were all … super old.

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Turns out ol’ Val and Candi were also world-class salesmen and we ended up with a copy of their 2005 smash-hit album. Seriously the best Thai souvenir we could have asked for.

2. Tracing the footsteps of Leonardo DiCaprio:

Pretty much everywhere I’ve been in Asia (which sounds like I’m a seasoned traveller. I’ve only spent two weeks in Vietnam and ten days in Thailand), someone has told me it’s exactly where The Beach was filmed. You know, that awesome movie where Leo kills things with his own hands. Or, as I’ll always remember it, the movie with the mild sex scene I silently endured with my mum and our timid Japanese exchange student. Anyway, we were told we were visiting the Lagoon featured in The Beach, which upon further research turned out to be the inspiration for the lagoon in the book. But I still liked to think I had a slight chance of making out with Leo on our trip to neighbouring island Ko Toa.

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This was one stop on a boat tour of Ang Thong National Marine Park. We leisurely snorkeled and swam, but to get to the lagoon we had to climb a million stairs in crazy-stupid humidity and I almost died. No really, look at my face here. Hello, sweaty:

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3. Doing semi-Thai things:

I say “semi” because it was hard to do anything really authentic on Koh Samui, which mostly caters to cashed-up bogans on their holiday of a lifetime. And it’s not like we did our bit, staying in a resort and all, but we tried.

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We visited food markets, ate from street stalls, ate at places that made real stomach-busting Thai food, rode around in the famous no-meter metered taxis and watched an impromptu soccer match between some local men and tourists.

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Weirdest sign: “No weapon, no food, no pets, no smoking, no sex” – displayed in our bus to the airport.

Cutest Thai to English translation:J-man and I were constantly reminded of how lame we are only being able to speak English and getting by on the hope everyone else does as well. We admired Thai people for their ability to speak not only English, but French, Dutch and German as well. We did, however, come across some awesome signs and notes in our hotel. The list of DVDs we perused some nights listed movies starring actors “Hilaly Swank”, “Kate Wensak” and “Lewanwado Dicaprio”. But by far, the best was the description of the movie Up In the Air as “relationship felike”.

Funniest quote: “The Jackfruit is like a nice lady, the durian is like a yuck man” – A local recommending fruits we should and shouldn’t try.

Holler!

peanut butters of the world: the thailand edition

After almost a week in Thailand you might expect me to write just a little something about our adventures.

Maybe you’d want to know about our arduous pastimes:

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Perhaps you’d like to see a little of Thailand’s hideous, nay, disgusting wilderness:

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I suppose I could write about boring things like speedboat rides and snorkeling in the Ang Thong National Marine Park:

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Or I guess I could describe swimming off a nearly deserted island (if you ignore the swarms of sweaty, plump fellow tourists):

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But instead, I bring you the first installment of what I hope will be an extensive, in depth investigation into (dramatic pause) Peanut Butters of the World. Holler!

Joel and I decided to take a luxurious holiday to kick off our six month overseas trip. After spending a bunch of time being thrifty, saving up and depriving ourselves of lots of things, we wanted to splurge. So, I don’t feel too guilty saying one of my favourite parts of our Thailand trip is breakfast. Every morning we head downstairs for a buffet breakfast, which includes a parade of fruit, French toast, pancakes, pastries, donuts, fried potato (!!), bacon, eggs, omelettes, cheese, yoghurt and lots of different types of bread to toast. It took me a couple of days to try the peanut butter here, because I was too busy dancing on tables eating donuts off every finger between mouthfuls of greasy, crispy potato and fatty bacon. This actually isn’t far from the truth for some of our fellow guests – we’ve seen a grown man smearing Nutella on a chocolate donut and a woman getting a plateful of chocolate croissants, donuts and danishes and taking a tub of Nutella with her to her table.

When I finally had peanut butter on toast, I was a touch disappointed.

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The peanut butter here is called Skippy. I couldn’t read a lot of the label, except that it’s imported from the US and is milked from a kangaroo. It was actually a lot like most of the food we’ve tried here in that it was quite mild, which I suspect is an attempt not to offend any Western tastes. It was smooth, stuck to the roof of my mouth and was creamier than the peanut butter I usually eat. The one thing it was really missing was the actual taste of peanuts. And that, to me, is the ultimate offence. Until next time …

holy phut, bo phut!

J-man and I have ended up at a resort where many people seem to be taking their second honeymoon or celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. If I were any other person, I’m sure I’d be disappointed. But hanging with old people means quiet sleeping time, polite greetings in the hallways and feeling superior because my body is not yet on the great journey south. I get to do a lot of the latter because the old women staying here – they seem to be mostly European – still rock out poolside in their high cut, sometimes even string, bikinis.

It’s our second real day on Koh Samui and it feels a lot better than it did yesterday. We were in for a small rude shock when we realised it was a little more expensive here than we anticipated. We choked on our second rate food from the pool bar after handing over $30 for a burger, which came with a weird stale bread stick, and some beers. I mean $30! C’mon Third World let me take advantage of you, isn’t that the sole reason you exist? Luckily, my fat Western expectations were met once we left the compound and went across the road for $1 beers. That’s more like it! Now, fan me with your life savings, peel me a bunch of grapes with your eyelashes and hire a tame elephant to mix my cocktails.

The best part of Thailand so far is doing it with J-man. That came out wrong. Yes, there was that key party with the German family, which I won’t write about here, but I mean travelling with J-man. Having spent a very small amount of time in Asia, I know that smiling politely and saying “no thanks” is the best way to get rid of hawkers. But Joel, being the kind soul he is, will talk to them, hear what they have to say, consider their offer carefully before telling them a lie, like “we are late to meet friends” or “we’re just off to get some bottled water!”

While we’re here I’d like to: snorkel, see the Big Bhudda, look at the lude Grandmother and Grandfather rocks, ride a scooter, adopt a gibbon and get my nails done ghetto fabulous style.