I was doing very well writing my newsletter and read to send almost when my computer screen starts spinning. I turned it off and then it would not turn on again. I took it to the Hewlett Packard service center and they are not trying to repair. I must stay another 3-7 days in Bangkok, just when I was ready to leave and again here...
I wish I could leave for the Islands.
Have too much happy.
Perfect Thai English for too much fun.
What you learn when you travel is how to not talk your own language correctly, but to understand a different way to think. I got a lecture on the fact that also maybe too much fun is not good also, and this is probably a Buddhist idea and maybe she is correct, the balance in life it too have the proper balance of all things good and bad.
I am in Bangkok and read to leave for Cambodia on next Wednesday or maybe Thursday, it depends? Just depends, not really important on why it depends, but that is also part of thinking different, not such a need to know why, but just depends.
I am doing very well, when to Pantip the computer mall yesterday and purchased some programs for translation, I am wanting to translate my 150 newsletters into 5-10 different language, a great way to be a get a more worldly crowd reading the newsletter and a simple way of making more money as the translation process is easier than me writing so I am a little greedy and a little worldly or international at the same time, I suppose it not greed because I do not want too much, but just a enough to get a little higher on the food chain.
Cambodia is a former French Colony with Laos, and Vietnams which means bread more or less.
ROUGH OUTLINE OF COLONIES
Laos France 1893-1953
Burma British 1826-1940-50s or called Myanmar
Thailand - Not colonized, but drive on the left so maybe a bigger influence by the British and electrical more British?
Vietnam France 1862-1950s
I am working to classify or break up the world into colonization or how they were colonized by the modern western world, not so much on like when the Chinese occupied Vietnam or very old dynasties, but more the modern dynasties. This is because I can almost predict the number or mix of countries visiting the country and how the food, electrical, sewer, or lack of sewers and things like that appear. I am not sure how this will all work out, but so far it appears the British were a little more generous in their concept of colonization than most of the other Dynasty builders, the French seem to be more on the take and not give back idea and the Spanish were just plain take. All of South America and Central America is almost a Spanish Colony, expect for small parts of northern South America Guyana, Surinam and Brazil.
I like to see where the French girls like to visit, it just seems wise.
My friend Francis read the blog about Patpong he thinks that the percentage of homosexuals or Gay boys in the Patpong area is higher than 50 percent. He also reminded me about the large number of Indian people from the country of India there and looking around doing what they do...
Muslims in Patpong... hehehe Head covered and in Traditional dress in Patpong, yep they are there also.
The epicenter of sex tourism in Bangkok.
"The place you do not tell your mother you went."
Francis and me went last night to Patpong in the older people tourist area or maybe the central part of Bangkok. It is considered the center of sex tourism for Bangkok or something like that, I was laughing because they for sure had all the major fast food restaurant chains, Starbucks Coffee, McDonalds, Subway, in fact Francis said he would rather have a 12 incher then some of the local girls, and then he thought about it and corrected himself saying, I mean I want a Subway Sandwich. It appeared that 50 percent of the business was gay or for homosexuals, or the vast number or travelers outside their closets to find what they want.
The one street we did not go down was “Boy Street,” not that we really have any real understanding of Patpong, or for sure really want to but for sure the advertisements on this street were for boys, but anyone with any street sense would see that 50 percent of the sex business in Thailand I probability gay, or boys with boys of some form.
I thought about taking my camera and on hindsight I should have, because it was more street sellers and stupid stuff than really outrageous place with big bouncers that will break my cameras. Strip clubs and places that are illegal usually have a great ways to intimidate clients to behave. Interestingly the strip joint we entered did not strip, but stood around with a stage full of 10 girls that alternated with 10 other girls dancing in Bikinis. The same as in the USA they try to convince you to buy a drink for 3 times the value.
I did not see any big mean bouncers, but really to find anyone big enough to really make me scared in Thailand would be difficult, they are more the stab in the back type of men and not the get in your face type.
I have been to Bangkok a couple dozen times in my life and have never went to Patpong, I probably complain about the inane nature of the place, but I really was complaining about something that I had never checked out on my own. So now I can say I have been to Patpong, and I know everything but the live shows, or ping pong, or bananas or other things they say, Francis said,
“You need a tape recorder here, and not a camera.”
I do think that would be a hoot and if I could borrow a tape recorder from someone it would be a real laugh as they say things like,
“You like boys,”
“No cover charge.”
Hard to explain Thai English, but they for sure speak some of the worst renditions of English on the planet and will not that they understand at everything and convince many a traveler that they have a clue they understand, but for me I always give them a test and see if they understand non-sense sentences and see what is up, I found that Francis did this also, what happens is when someone tries to engage us in a conversation to sell us things like Ping Pong shows we would say or reply back,
“Why not footballs?”
Francis must have asked that 10 times and not one intelligent reply, but really this question should be inbounds because there is nothing Thai people know more than Futbal or Soccer as the Americans call it and they should have recognized this word, but they consider it off track or not about ping pongs.
Well, me an Francis walked and walked and finally caught a taxi home, I did treat myself to two Ice Cream cones at McDonalds as Francis had a tough time to enter as he was smoking a cigarette, I told him to come in, but in Canadian manners he did not want to enter with his Cigarette, I was trying to say, this place is sold to tourism and why would they care, there are no laws or rules that are respected here, which is why lot of tourist are in Thailand and they can perform their desires without going to Jail, I am positive that San Francisco is represented here very well, as San Francisco is the symbol of Sadom and Gamorah of the USA, or maybe Key West,
SADOM AND GAMORAH FROM Encarta Encyclopedia.
“Sodom and Gomorrah, according to the Old Testament (notably Genesis 18, 19), two ancient cities near the Dead Sea. The Bible almost invariably speaks of them together. With Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar, they formed the five “cities of the plain,” all but the last-named of which are said to have been destroyed by a rain of brimstone, perhaps accompanied by an earthquake, because of the wickedness of their inhabitants.”
I always try to think of where the Sadom and Gamorahs exist on the planet, and for sure Thailand with Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya or the Patpong area of Bangkok, while the Khao San Road is a center for freaks, India is the center of crazy travelers of the world, but if you can come up with a good stereotype you can maybe get a grip on the world.
Pattaya has got to be the worst complete with Golden Calves and another “boys town,” or a that is the information I am told.
Me and Francis are sitting inside the strip joint where they do not strip, but just stand their wiggling in bikinis, better to go to the topless beach of Koh Pha Ngan, but we are sitting there. A girl keeps smiling at me and I laugh and she comes over and sits, I will not buy her a drink so she leave, me and Francis debate on the cost to buy one of these girls for the night, and he thinks it is 500, I think it is more like 1500 Baht, but then my friend Peter last year from Germany was always a buyer, so he told me more about prices. But we are sitting here, me drinking a Coke for 80 Baht, and him drinking a Chang Beer for 80 Baht (2 Dollars U.S.) and we are smiling and flirting with the girls, I said the one keeps smiling at me, and Francis says,
“That’s what they get paid for.”
I go oops, that is correct, as I forgot for second they were for sale in a way, it is not just for sale you have to chat them up, be nice, and then pay large, but it is definitely a place were ugly guys can score easy.
But Francis in his extreme way of accessing a situation is so acutely adept at accurately understanding a situation that seems to elude the normal tourist observes,
“So Thailand, look at the Buddhist Shrine.”
There is this elevated stage with 10 gild wiggling in Bikinis.
Stools surround the stage for what in the USA is the dollar tuckers.
We are at the back booths where girl come to try to convince us of things.
Behind us is a large mirrored wall where when the girls are not trying to get our attention they are looking at themselves. This is all quite normal for the world of strip joints, except the “King” or Elvis Presley is in this bar, as well as Jimmy Hendricks.
But back to the point. I am sitting there smiling at the girl with the perfect face and belly of a baby past tense, pudgy, but loveable in a way, and just does not have a clue that I think she is a prostitute, she actually thinks I am thinking she is a nice girl or wantable, but she is standing on a table in a bikini dancing.
“So So Thailand, look at the Buddhist Shrine.”
On one of the concrete columns is one of these small incense infested shrines that Buddhist people nod their heads to on a regular occasion just to the right of the dancers and above the head of the old man that is going to have to pay very large to get that young girl with the Grade School Clothing to come with him, because he is in the high pay epoch of life when all he is going to attract is what Benjamin’s can buy and not what doors a smile can open, so above his had is the Buddhist shrine tucked in so that all the girls can walk up as they enter or leave the place, light a few incense, tuck them between their hand, nod their heads at the shrine, and do other type of behavior of redemption like the Catholics would cross themselves, or the Muslims would wave their hands, I guess the Protestants wave their hands to the left and the right with their heads back… but we do not usually get girls to do this inside of Strip Joints, so this is the abstract, anal constrictions that happen in Thailand where the best looking girl on Patpong area according to Francis was a boy, and they nod there head to Buddha inside the strip joint, it is not hard to like a place when there is never a dull moment of you cannot avoid seeing crazy world on a minute by minute basis. Both me an Francis are totally immune to this type of freaky or bizarre behavior on the part of the Thailand people and the Tourist that pay the large money to masturbate their brains, we both are more concerned with other speculative adventures.
Francis spent two hours today working out a train route across China Russia and Eastern Europe that he wishes me to take before the new countries that have just entered the European Union adjust their greed prices and adapt to western Europe, I am thinking he is a little obsessive and tell him I could schedule a trip for 500 mile and would not go the way I plan, so really a plan just does not work for me as I never follow the plan even when the plan is for the next day, and do not plan on starting to follow a plan.
I am trying to get him to type this into the computer and not on paper as I could put this in my list of routes to take page, not that anyone has ever submitted a route to take, but one day I will convince the world to submit to the page. He is obviously a traveler as he keeps wanting to discuss possible routes, like the silk road, or the Christopher Columbus looking for a new route to the east, a good traveler is always dwelling on the next route or rites of passage to the next place to be a voyeur or world behaviors, and hopefully where people are not totally for sale.
Well we will dwell, muse, and obsess on our next trip and where it will lead…?
But been there done that, and can say, I have been to Patpong now, and that is past.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004, 5:43 AM
Johnnyjet.com trying out a Tuk Tuk!
I spent the day with John of Johnnyjet.com yesterday and I showed him Khao San Road and we talked about travel, later we went to the Palace or I think it was the Palace as it looked more like a Wat or Temple to me than a Palace. Very interesting to meet a person that makes his living from the Internet and knows it is really possible to make money on a Web Page.
I brought along Francis for kicks and we had fun from a different travel perspective than Johnny, he mostly travels in the USA or maybe more correctly a higher luxury level than us, so we showed him the inside of Hobo life.
Walked over the palace, they would not allow us to enter without long pants or socks and shoes, I had the shoes and socks, but needed pay 100 baht to borrow or rent some long pants, so the Thai tourism makes life possible to buy in way one way or the other.
The palace had to be one of the most splendid man-made places I have seen and so full of colors and landscaping. Mostly a temple in looks and design and absolutely fully involved in the Buddhist religion and concepts of life. Reds, Yellow, Greens, and points and statues. This place has the spiked or pointed dragon like arches and full of motives or sharp corners.
Johnny liked the place very much and it was interesting to watch and American as they view something in every aspect totally opposite of American culture. Whether on Khao San Road or in the Palace it overwhelming for an individual to see, smell, and feel a place like Thailand, for me an Francis living in the middle of the chaos we become immune to the too much world we live in all the time and forget to remember that we different from the normal tourist as we live here in essence, but they tourist is here just a week or two.
JohnnyJet.com in front of Temple at Royal Palace in Bangkok Thailand
Thailand Royal Palace
OREN COMES TO VISIT
Monday June 21, 2004, 7:55 PM
I wrote a few emails to friends and Oren a man I met in Varanasi, India came to visit, we spent the day talking about why and whats of travel, you know questions like,
“What is a traveler?”
I suppose we have an identity crisis sometimes when we are not sure where we fit in or who we are, this Thailand is full of tourist and some that call themselves travelers and others that call themselves backpacker, it is not really important I suppose unless you call yourself a traveler as I may on some days.
We also discussed a sort of Hobo creed of going on the cheap and not being overwhelmed by the ease of life so we chose the easy path and not a Hobo path. I suppose there is a snobbery in believing that we should pride ourselves in our ability to go on a very good budget, or just plain cheap.
Oren found some interesting places in Bangkok and even took me to a place where the internet is free, he is sort of half Israel or Jewish and knows the ins and outs of the Israel bunch, and they seem to really have Bangkok wired for sound when it comes to having locations that are very good values. He is from Canada, but says that he is going to live in Israel around September or October, this is excellent and I can go and visit him and we can muse about the world of travel some more. Interesting how we set ourselves apart from the other travelers and even somewhat do not relate to the other tourist, and it all has to do with the debate.
“Are we travelers or tourist?”
I suppose a traveler buys a one-way ticket and does not have an itinerary.
He said that he changed his travel plans for a woman and this seem quite reasonable for a traveler, and even forego a trip to tourist place for woman, I was an interesting conversation.
He went to Koh Pha Ngan and left tonight saying we could hook up again in Siem Reap, Cambodia or maybe even in Bangkok before I left and follow the path. Good to have a Hobo on the path, plus girls do seem to like us in pairs.
He considers Thailand pretty boring and is looking for some high excitement, I am not sure what he means, but he considered India much more exciting, but not as dangerous as Thailand, there is always a violent undercurrent in Thailand while India seem passive to the bone. Excitement and travel, looking for the adventure that is full of questions and things we do not understand, I have to admit,
“India is a question mark.”
So I had a good day and life was good.
PLANS IN BANGKOK
1. Try to finish my Webcam project with Steve from Farangs.com
2. Apply and wait for the 5 days for the Vietnam and Cambodia Visas.
3. Meet up with Oren if he replies to Emails.
4. Meet up with Johnnyjet.com for sure.
5. Go to Panthip the Computer mall and buy some translation software and other stuff.
6. Go to JJ Market on next Saturday as this is like a wholesalers market.
7. Buy a guidebook.
Sorry for the Blogger being sent out 8 times as glitch or problem happened in Khon Koen as I a tried to publish or post my blog on blogger the high speed connection or maybe a proxy caused a problem in clicking and results page. It is like when you send an email an it goes to a blank page, then you try again until you get the proper results page, well I tried 7 times before I gave up, and then on the next day sent from a different machine in Bangkok. But the blogger.com had kept the prior post in its memory.
So to say the least, the Internet and Computers are not perfect and right in par with people, so I guess they are like humans.
I am back in Bangkok and had to skip Khorat or maybe Korat, but the name is really “Nakhon Ratchasima” and Khorat or Korat is the common or nickname for this place, I was going to visit a reader Steve but saw the hooking up process in a speedy fashion as being a no go situation. I have learned over time what is easy and what is not easy, and trust me stopping to visit a person is just a pain most of the time as nothing ever goes correctly, in fact I will almost not even consider it unless there is an overwhelming amount of correspondence from a person, the human animal is just too undependable to taking buses across countries to visit.
I only had a day to meet Steve, he teaches English, I needed to call his cell and all sort of other arrangement problems, plus he is a day later email responder and not an immediate, which very few people are a immediate responder, and some are on the week program. The week responder to emails is impossible to visit, as I need constant contact to visit a person or risk the time.
In the end.
TAKING A BUS ACROSS A COUNTRY TO VISIT A PERSON IS DIFFICULT!
I am to meet JohnnyJet.com, but I have a definite hotel where he will live, a last name, and a reception desk. So I have three major factors in hooking up with people:
1. Address: Where the person is located.
2. Telephone Number: This is ok, but in the end calling a person is very difficult.
3. Time: I have a 3 day window of time to connect, because we both will be in the same city for 3 days and me more.
4. Johnnyjet.com is an immediate responder to emails, this is also a huge benefit and in the end my number one reason to visit with a person. If I am not getting a steady and quick response it is almost impossible to hook up, as the cost and time is extraordinary.
BUS FROM KHON KOEN TO BANGKOK a.k.a Krung Thep by locals.
Sunday, June 20, 2004, 11:09 PM
I am on the bus and from a stroke of bad luck am in the very back of the bus with a lot of bouncing going on, I hope I do not get motion sick as the up and down motion causes this the most.
It is a first class Thai bus that cost 302 Baht for the six hour trip, and has a lady stewardess, free food, water, and Lays Potato Chips, I am thinking they will serve some rice type dish soon because my seat is reclines almost flat and is above the Styrofoam containers of food, so I hope the smell is food and not the toilet.
Bad thing about being in the back of a bus is the toilet is usually there an traffic and smells can be bad, this bus is a very good bus though. The leg room is extremely large and I sometimes thing the first class buses are really a lot better than the tourist buses that leave from Khao San road.
I was going to go to Khorat but I have too little time between now an when Johnnyjet.com comes to town and I really want to meet him.
On the map in my Encarta Encyclopedia in my computer it shows some type of mountain range between Khon Koen and Bangkok, I am really hoping that this a small one as it would really make me motion sick.
There is the normal upper level type Thai people on the bus. Everyone has a cell or mobile phone and for the life of me I cannot figure out why the whole world has taken to looking at their phone all the time, they will sit there with the phone in hand and hold them like pacifiers or some for of comfort, the man next to me with the short hair, hollow cheek look has had the phone in his hands now for the last two hours.
The steward is a fox and is right behind me, she does not speak English as best I can tell, and I hope not as she is looking over my shoulder at my computer as I type this. I keep telling her she is beautiful, and most Thai girls in contrast to American girls say thank you if they understand while an American girl seems to have problems with compliments.
12 hours on the bus and slept badly as I think the
jet-lag from leaving Germany is still around and
bothering my sleep.
Same Same but different. Same bus trip, half way
through the trip they stop for a food break at the
normal type junk food place. Interesting is the proper
Thai girl that I am with does not like to be seen in
public with me, as I believe the more descent and
highly educated Thai people consider the Farang a.k.a.
Foreigners low class and only for the working women. A
very long and sad story about meeting this girl, but
she is definitely not going to ruin her reputation
with me. Very good for her.
I will leave tomorrow for Khorat closer to Bangkok.
I leave at 6:00 pm for Khon Khoen again, and then to Korat to see a friend and then to Bangkok. JohnnyJet.com is flying into Bangkok on the 21st and I can go visit, with one of the bigger travel site owners in the world.
I am excited to see him, as I almost never meet people with real working Travel WebPages that make money and do good. I suppose a few Hotel Web Page owners, but they do good in spite of themselves and Johnny does good because of himself. He as been in lots of Newspapers like USA Today and such.
YIKES MISSED SIAM HAMMOCKS AGAIN
I wanted to go see this hammock that is also a tent, but when I get to Chang Rai, I realized finally that maybe the address is in Chang Khong and not Chang Rai, I am not sure, but I wrote the owner and home he writes me before the day is done, and maybe there is a showroom in Chang Rai. What a hassle.
LEAVING ON BUS TO CHANG RAI THAILAND
Friday, June 18, 2004, 6:23 PM
I will leave this morning by bus for Chang Rai around 8:00 am more or less, I am not sure how often the bus leaves, but it leaves often enough that I do not have to schedule my day, just leave and when it leaves I go.
I will visit this Siam Hammock-Tent place today, it is very irritating that I got on their WebPages last night and had a Thai friend search for their address in the Thai language, one-half the website is Thai and the other half is English, so they should have one address in Thai.
I am baffled and irritated severely when people try to write or telling me addresses for places in countries like Thailand in English, I can understand it when the person speaks English, but for a Thai person to sit down and write me an address in English is of no value.
So I now have this English address.
Mr. Watchara Lewpongsawat
113 soi 1 M.8 wieng,
Chiangkhong, Chiangrai 57140
I suppose a map would be out of the question?
But what am I to do? There is no way to convince business owners to empathies with their clients and provide information on how to buy something and not just why to buy something.
I want to buy one for me to experiment, as I really think the design of this one has some fatal flaws, but that is ok, you are lucky to buy this tent in more than three or four places in the world, the Hennessey is one of the famous ones also, I first saw this one in Pai, Thailand a year or so ago.