Thailand’s Night Markets

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One thing I completely forgot about Thailand are their random outdoor markets that seemingly pop up from nowhere. I was cycling home from sorting out some book stuff and stumbled across this little gem, which was mainly food stalls scattered in various colours.

One thing Thailand has going for it is its energy. You can’t help but be in awe of the energy this place exudes.

BOOM! BOOM BOOM! BOOM! I’ve Got Ants In My Room…

Yeah… There’s ants, then there’s an army that can overthrow The Ottoman Empire! So this has been my life for the past month. My landlord went to Hong Kong when I moved in so I couldn’t tell him about the problem until he got back. The room had DEFINITELY not been cleaned. If it had, then it was a quick sweep jobby and that was it. The place stank, there was a stain on the wall that looked like Pepsi or something had been poured on the table and it ran down the wall (It’s still there, as I’m not sure if I can scrub it or it has to be painted over), the bathroom had white stains where it hadn’t been properly cleaned in months, and yeah, I had a few hundred friends who get into bed with me every night to say hello…

Fucking hell, Why didn’t you tell him?

I did, but it fell on deaf ears. Being English it’s very uncomfortable to physically say the words ‘can you fix this please’, instead you tend to do this very passive thing of saying the problem where the other person then apologises and fixes it so you don’t have to be rude and ask for someone to do something. Yeah, that didn’t happen here… He kinda just stared at me blankly until I felt uncomfortable, my anxiety kicked in and I quickly changed the subject. (anxiety’s shit...)

Well then, you should have just cleaned the room yourself you lazy fucker…

That’s exactly what I did in the end. I felt that instead of waiting on someone to do something for me, the best solution for most problems like this is to do it yourself. So I got on my hands and knees and scrubbed the bathroom and all the floor tiles in the apartment with some seriously powerful cleaning products. The smell had gone, and so had the stains (well, most of them…) but the ants were still saying hello every hour. So much so that if I sat down, I would be constantly swatting them from my body. It was soon clear that there was a massive ants nest under the tiles, and no amount of bug spray was going to get to it…

Because of this I did eventually go against my Lewisness and flat out ask him if he could help with the ant problem and he said he would give me some poison to put down the cracks, but that’s the last I heard about it.

So I did what any independent adult male would do and rang my mum. Not to fight my battles, although that would have been handy, but for advice on how to get rid of the ant problem. She told me that I needed some special poison powder that the ants would take back to their nest and it would kill the queen.

“TREASON!!!!” I thought jokingly being a stereotypical Englishman. But instead of calling my mum a traitor to our country I took her advice and bought some clear greenish box with arsenic inside, placed it near two of the main holes where they came from and sat in purgatory for a while…

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Die you arsenic loving bastards!!!

Within 30 minutes they’d surrounded the box like police on GTA when you are doing a difficult mission and some arsehole decides to jump out in front of you. I left to go and play pool with a friend of mine (I won by the way, everyday I’m hustling, Katt Williams style!) and when I got back the ants had all gone! So they’d either killed the queen, (you can’t trust anyone nowadays…) destroyed their own nest Bam Margera style or decided to go on holiday to Australia for a couple of weeks. There’s still a few in the bathroom, but I’m gonna move the arsenic box in the bathroom and try and kill those feather pluckers as well. I’ll tell you what, I’m looking forward to being the only one in my room from now on that’s for sure! Now all I need is some luck with my visa at the second attempt and I can FINALLY begin to get settled here again, after three bloody months. Wish me luck!

Keni Styles video

My friend Keni Styles (Some of you may know the name, if not, google him and you’ll find out what he used to do…) is now doing a daily vlog on his life in Thailand and I was fortunate enough to not only make a special guest appearance, but to also receive a shout out on the video. I appear at around 14:20 on the video. Click anywhere on the text or on the photo to see the video on Youtube

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Vegan Pizza With, Erm… Well, Vegans…

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I don’t have a bike at the moment, but luckily for me one of my friends let me borrow his bike while he went to Phuket for a couple of months. So when he came back I said that I’d give his bike a good clean, and take him and his family out for dinner as well. I haven’t cleaned the bike yet because I’m a lazy sumbitch, but I did keep my word on the ‘taking them out for dinner’ dealio…

Keni, Jamie, Kai… Legend, Female legend, Little legend… Now you know the family lets get on with this blog…

We went to a pizza place called ‘By Hand’. And Keni had told me before that they did eyesrollbackinyourheadchantingrussianwords pizzas. Keni, Jamie and spawn of Keni and Jamie are vegans, and this restaurant does vegan pizzas. So yeah, well, you read the title…

I thought I’d join in on the old veganness and order a vegan pizza as well. I thought it would be quite rude softly eating processed meat and making orgasm sounds within arms reach of them, so I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about, ordering the ‘vegan veggie’ pizza. Nothing says ‘Let me tell you why I’m better than you’ than ordering a pizza with a name like ‘vegan veggie’…

Alternating between having a three way conversation about wherever the conversation took us and staring lovingly at Kai, eventually our pizzas arrived. They smelled good. Preliminary test passed with distinction! Now it was time to eat this bad boy and then start telling people how much healthier I felt after seven bites.

Seven bites happened, and yeah, I actually felt healthier as funny as that sounds! Of course the pizza wasn’t as good as a stuffed crust meat feast back in England, but it was still good. Food demolished, now it was time to stare at Kai until he either smiled or cried…

Kai still hasn’t figured me out yet. He’s like the geezer on the film Gladiator not sure whether to give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down. He kind of jumps between almost smiling and nearly bursting into tears. So when he started fidgeting I decided to go for it and ask Jamie if I could take him for a walk up and down the restaurant. “By all means!” Was the reply.

I have experience with kids now as I have 2 nephews, so I bounced with him a little bit and sung to him. It didn’t take long before he was mesmerised. Flawless Victory!

Then Jeff rocked up. He looks like Jeff Bridges from the film Dumb and Dumber so I’m torn between calling him ‘…my name is Jeff!’ and Jeff Bridges. Anyway, he rocked up and joined us. I had to slyly sneak off and pay for our three dinners otherwise the bill would have come and there would have been a very awkward conversation where I’d have to tell Jeff that I was paying for everyone’s food except his…

Next stop: Vegan Heaven. This place does vegan brownies and vegan ice cream, so off we popped, and the brownie never stood a fucking chance. Keni noticed that I was eating the brownie like a five year old child and began filming me for his blog. (He’s putting a video blog up about this in a couple of hours, so when he does I’ll leave a link for it on here. Until then this link is for his Youtube channel where you can browse through and see if any videos he does tickles your fancy…) I kind of panicked because I’m not very comfortable on camera (I’d make a shit pornstar!) but I managed to not say anything embarrassing even though I had brownie all over my face…

And that was it. I will clean the bike one day. Honest! Here’s some more pictures to stare at and shit…

Songkran 2017!!!

Songkran is essentially a 3 day water fight, which is kinda handy as it’s usually unbearably hot around this time of year.

So now I’m back in Thailand it’s time to enjoy Thai festivals, one bucket of water at a time…

Even though it is really fun, these few days can be a bit of a pain. Especially if you have no cooking facilities at home and you eat out most of the time. The majority of restaurants are shut. Not only this, but are normally replaced with people setting up camp almost like Command And Conquer trying to waterboard you into submission. This also means that not only can you not bring your phone out with you for obvious reasons, but if you don’t want your credit cards and paper money being destroyed as well it’s probably best to leave it a home.

Also my key card to get into my apartment block has been replaced with an electronic keyring, so now I’m only armed with my charismatic charm and obscure references. Oh, and a few coins I’ve collected over time. At least I can get those bad boys wet…

Walking around the first corner I see a few Thai people with sadistic smiles on their faces holding buckets of water. “Here we go, let’s soak that foreigner until he cries, then we can film it and make money off of it!” I can imagine them thinking. Not to be deterred I get down into a 100 metres starting position ready to run the obstacle course of 6 continuous Thai people ready to throw ice cold water at me until I scream like a sissy.

“SAM…SONG…NUHNG…” I shout (Which is Thai for ‘3, 2, 1…’) Then begin to sprint. I say sprint, I’m in my thirties now, so it was more of a leisurely jog. You know, like when you go to the gym for 10 minutes and declare that you are infinitely fitter and almost pissed off that you don’t have a six pack yet…

And yeah, I got soaked, by everyone except this seven year old girl on the end who threw the bucket of water and completely missed me. I looked back and she looked genuinely upset, slowly trundling back toward the inflatable pool where the rest of the water was. So I ran backwards like Bugs Bunny wondering why Yosemite Sam can’t keep up with him, and looked at her as to say, “Go on then, have another go…” She beamed as she filled up her bucket of water and chucked it at me. Good deed done for the day!

On another day I went to get some lunch and as I got to the restaurant a tuk tuk driver pulled up beside me and asked where I was going. “There…” I replied, pointing at the restaurant 5 metres away from me. He smiled and carried on. I should have said to him I’ll give you 5 Baht (about 10p) if you drop me off there…

To be honest I didn’t go out that much during this year’s Songkran. I mean I did, but nowhere near as much as the other years I was here. This could be for a number of reasons, but mainly because:

  1. I’ve done this so many times now that maybe I’m just getting old and bitter, and want to stay in. Especially since I’ve just bought a PS3 so it gives me a reason to stay in and cane the hell out of it.
  2.  It wasn’t that hot this year. It rained on the second and third day as well, and nobody wants to get wet in cold weather. That’s why there’s not many water fights in England.
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Recycled picture from about 3 years ago, because fuck the world but make sure you wear protection…

So Songkran is over for another year. Now it is back to reality, and trying to figure out how to destroy an ant colony that invaded my apartment before I moved in. The place wasn’t that clean when I did move in and the landlady was on holiday in Hong Kong so I couldn’t ask her to clean it, and I assumed the ants were there because the place wasn’t clean. So I cleaned it myself with lots of different cleaning products. Only the ants haven’t gone away. I’ve found out today that there is most likely an ants nest under the tiles and need to destroy it somehow. I hope so. I’ve had over 10 ants run across this laptop and over my body as I’ve written this…

Romanian Reunion in Chiang Mai!

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From left: Nicoleta, Spiri, Michael and Willem. From this angle it looks like the place is derelict. Trust me, it’s not. There are literally hundreds, sometimes thousands of people there every night…

Remember Hostel Costel? Of course you fucking don’t… Anyway, when I was in Timisoara, Romania I stayed at a hostel there owned by a cool bloke that helped me overdose on Palinka (A traditional Romanian spirit). As with most people you meet travelling I said to him I was looking forward to seeing him again one day, assuming that would be when I’d be back in Romania possibly in a couple of years and had a reason to go back.

I didn’t have to wait that long though; when I was in The Philippines, Spiri (the Don Corleone of Hostel Costel) messaged me saying he was going to be in Laos and Thailand the next month and it would be pretty ay double-u ee-some if if I would be there around that time.

As fate would have it I was going back to Chiang Mai to arrange a work permit there so two months after I met Senor Costel in Romania, him and his wife were going to meet me in Chiang Mai, and as I’ve lived here before I knew the area well and could return the favour in terms of hospitality (That doesn’t mean I’m going to knock him out, don’t worry…)

I met him, his wife, and Michael (one of the guys volunteering at the hostel) and hugged them with all my might. They instantly gave me a small bottle of water and a can of beer. I thought this was slightly odd, but I said thank you and opened the beer. I got chatting away to this South African guy called Willem and he mentioned his friend’s son was looking into teaching English in Thailand but didn’t know how to go about finding teaching jobs here. So I said to put him in contact with me and I’ll give him as much advice as I can since I know how tough it can be to try and find work in Asia for the first time.

Good deed for the day! Spiri was passing around some Palinka for people to drink and Michael mentioned to me that I could have loads of fun with the Palinka I had, pointing to the bottle with clear liquid they had given me…

“Oh that’s Palinka!?!” I exclaimed, “I thought it was water. I was going to take a big old swig of it!”

So I didn’t mistakenly down an alcoholic beverage to quench my thirst, and we went out for some food. It was shit, but the company was good. The mosquitoes weren’t; the fuckers were biting us from all angles and I was ready to declare war on the species until Nicoleta (Spiri’s wife) was an absolute hero and passed around some mozzy spray. We had (well, they had. I stuck to soft drinks because I was exhausted) a few more drinks, including me introducing them to Sangsom, before we went our separate ways.

They went to Doi Inthanon (Latin name: Mountainus Thailandius Bigfukkarus) for the day and Michael wanted a Chiang Mai football shirt, so he gave me the money and I went and got the shirt. While I was there I got one myself because I’m a bit of a diva…

Anyway, to the photos… This is called a ‘Moo Grata’ and is essentially an all you can eat outdoor buffet in a place that looks like an old aeroplane hangar. It’s proper Thai style and there’s a bbq on your table where you cook your meats and you can select pretty much anything you want for 210 Baht per person, which is approximately £4.20. If you want King prawns or anything fancy it was extra, but in general it was pretty beasty.

I was wearing my newly acquired Chiang Mai shirt because I’m a legend sometimes, and we all had a great time. They were all thanking me but I was only returning the favour they did for me as they were such great hosts while I was in Timisoara. Plus I’ve got a bottle Palinka to destroy during Songkran, so if any of my female friends on Facebook get embarrassingly drunk incoherent messages from me trying and failing miserably to flirt, it’s not me it was the Palinka. Hey, maybe I should just go Gung Ho and blame the Palinka all the time…

So the Romanians and the Swiss volunteer are now in Laos, and Willem is in Bhutan doing Bhutani things. I’m in my room caning the PS3 (Oh yeah, I bought a second hand PS3 for cheap and now I’m acting like my life’s complete…) I hope you had fun and I’ll see you all soon, whether it is here, Romania, South Africa or a random country in the world…