Day 6 The Beach And Phi Phi (Pee Pee) Island
Francesco was insistant on seeing Phi Phi island because he’d seen The Beach with Leo Dicaprio, like thousands of other people. I wasn’t so much against seeing Phi Phi as I was against paying money to see another island when we were already on an island. How different can two islands in the same vicinity be? I was secretly happy when we both burned a deep, future cancer causing, red and would probably “have to cancel” the trip. We had breakfast at six a.m. and Francesco, much like that depressing donkey from Winnie The Pooh (the one that ruined my childhood), said, “I really wish I didn’t get burned, I really wanted to go…” My guilt kicked in and I felt bad that he might miss out on something, regret it forever and obviously it would eat him from within and he’d die whispering, “Phi Phi” instead of, “I love you,” or, “You can finally buy that Capibara you’ve always wanted.” Now that I think about it maybe I’m just hoping that if I’m nice he’ll finally buy me one. The things one will do for a gorgeous coffee-table-sized rodent named Dwayne. After listening to him whine that we couldn’t go to Phi-Phi all through breakfast I finally suggested we go and anytime a sun activity was involved we could just drench ourselves in Nivea sunblock, (normal sunblock, not the whitening sunblock that you see all over Thailand), or hide under and umbrella with alcohol. He brightened up, “Yeah we could totally do that!”
Thirty minutes later we were crammed into a van of Australians, French, and Italians on our way to Phi-Phi which they pronounce Pee Pee. I understood why it was called Pee-Pee island as soon as we arrived because the entire island smells like a truck-stop urinal. Super Romantic. Every day thousands of people at the same fucking time stop by this island and seemingly piss all over it. The gorgeous cliffs, lush greenery and turqouis water disappears with the three billion speedboats, the smell of gasoline, and the over-heated, dimpled, water-logged representatives of every country on earth bobbing in the three square feet of speed-boat free ocean. I believe that I even saw a pygmy floating out there. The beach was so full that people were standing wild-eyed and confused as they tried to understand what to do with themselves for forty minutes. I hid under a tree.
The problem with group tours is the “group” part. Especially when the group includes enough people fill a football stadium. After the torturous forty minutes on the beach we climbed back into our boat to drive along with twenty other boats to do snorkeling. I do not snorkel. I really want to be adventurous and I’ve always admired beach babes with their fun, careless ways but I watch too much national geographic for that. Sharks exist, are huge, with serrated teeth, and I like having arms and legs for both clapping and walking or whatever. There are hundreds of varieties of sharks many which bite people to death. So, needless to say I stood on the boat watching Francesco paddle about like he was practically presenting himself for dinner. I wondered, would I stay with him if he didn’t have legs? The answer is yes, because I could tragically explain to everyone, even people who didn’t ask, “oh, my husband? He was violently attacked by a bull shark while snorkeling in Thailand. I saw the whole thing. I told him not to go in but he’s such a free spirit, or at least he was before the wheelchair.”
Day 7 Motorcycles, Shanty Towns, The Big Buddha and Dumbo
We rented a scooter for three hundred B, which was like six euros for the entire day. Since we’d seen enough of the city and the beach we headed to the mountains following the long, curvy road that zig-zagged between resorts and villages, dipping into the city, before climbing up, up, up towards “Big Buddha,” a house-sized Buddha head on the top of a rolling green hills. We saw all kinds of things like rubber tree plantations, aluminum shanty towns next-door to gold and white mansions.
And I saw elephants.
If you’re anything like me you grew up watching Dumbo and hating anyone who ever even looked at a circus with elephants. So, I was clearly caught in a rut when I saw a chained baby elephant by the side of the road at an Elephant Trekking business (tours on the back of an elephant). My first thought was, I shall steal the baby elephant and find its mother! My second thought, I really want to feed the baby elephant cucumbers, while doing so I can ask where its mother is. I opted for the latter because I decided the baby elephant looked hungry, and cute, and inviting. His nose was strong and his head covered with thick, long tufts of brown hair. He had long brown eyelashes that batted when he looked up at me for more cucumbers. His little foot was chained to a post and he wasn’t given more than two feet to wander. “Where is his mother?” I asked. “His mom at other place. He see her sometimes when he performs in shows. He one year.” I will punch everyone. We humans have a lot of fixing to do and luckily some people are trying to help these elephants.
Before you say anything let me add that I do understand poverty, and the complexity of these people’s lives. Yes, I do get it (in a spoiled, privileged, American kind of way). Doesn’t mean it doesn’t bum me out and it doesn’t mean that exploitation is right. Dumbo, I love you.
After we left Dumbo we stopped here to take a picture of the ocean surrounded by jungle. Beautiful, right?
After three hours of driving our little scooter up all over Phuket we finally arrived at Big Buddha. And yeah, the statue is kind of fucking huge.
Day 9 Patong
The thing about Patong is that it makes both Hangover movies seem like a Teletubbies episode by comparison. Thailand is where people go to be legally monsterous and Patong is one of the hubs for this. Drinks come in buckets, the streets are steamy with cardboard covered open sewers, and lined on both sides by dance clubs, pubs, and Go-Go’s which are basically strip clubs. Each establishment aggressively recuits alcoholics, perverts, and the terrified yet curious, to fill the seats and the dance floors. Every meter someone shoves a sign in your face that reads, “Live Ping Pong Show,” or, “Go-Go!” With a menu type list that looks like this:
Ping Pong Show
Hard-Core Sex Show
My personal favorite is the all lady-boy go-go clubs. Now, don’t confuse a lady-boy with a drag queen because they are not the same breed. While drag queens are often a little over-the-top and too Barbara Streisand or Cher for me, lady-boys are women. I could barely tell that they used to be men, and the men can’t tell at all. “You have to look at the adam’s apple or the feet babe. No one-hundred pound woman wears a size fourteen shoe,” I’d tell him. There is a great lady-boy club in Patong that provided more scandalous entertainment than Hustler Magazine. During a Furgie song, one lady-boy in a short, latex, red cocktail dress popped her perfectly shaped, more natural than mine, size C breasts out for pictures. Her long, black hair framing her new, obviously expensive breasts, nicely. Another lady-boy with cafe latte skin, a high ponytail and a yellow spandex dress was fanning her expertly shaped, brand-new vagina. She laughed boisterously every time she hiked up her dress to “air out” her hoo-ha. In the back of the club an elderly man through hundreds of dollars in the air and a dozen lady-boys fought to catch it. A bleach blonde from Sri-Lanka pretended that her finger was my vagina and licked it before mouthing, “Me, you, and him,” at me. By “him” she meant Francesco. I turned to Francesco, “You know, the post-op vaginas are usually totally functional. If they use intestine to shape the inside they even self lubricate. Only, their vaginas are really short, like half as deep as a normal vagina. So, yeah…” He choked on his whiskey/coke. “How the hell do you know that?” He said. “How the hell do you NOT know that?” I shrugged.
A small Thai girl walked by holding a Slow Loris who I subsequently named Brutus. “Do you want to take a picture with it? She asked?” I nodded and practically yanked the thing out of her hands. So, guys, I got to hold a fucking MONKEY! My life is now totally complete or at least it was until it turned rabid and tried to eat me. I was watching a lady-boy do some fancy dance moves when I felt a little tongue on my arm. I thought, “Oh, it’s licking me! So cute!” Then I realized that I was wearing rose perfume and that it thought my arm was food. Then I felt little teeth on my arm and I tried to yank the monkey off but it started growling at me. THE BABY MONEKY IS EATING ME! The monkey owner girl waved my hand away and put her hand flat and stuck it between my arm and the monkeys teeth, then easily scooped him up. I had two tiny red marks on my arm where it tasted me. I am delicious.
Later I found out (thanks to google) that the slow-loris is endangered. DAMNIT!
To Be Continued….