Challenge: Having Guests

I’ve lived in Thailand for about 7 months now, since August 2010, but the first time I visited Thailand was in August 2004 with my younger sister, Marlee. We went to Koh Phagnan for a few days, hit Bangkok for 1 day, then went back to Japan, where I was living. It was a whirlwind trip.

This was us in 2004. So young!

This time, my sister came with her husband and we all stayed together in my small one-bedroom apartment. I was worried that this would cut into my sitting-around-in-my-underwear-in-front-of-the-fan time–which it did–but that’s okay.

I like having guests. I always thought I would be a good tour guide because I have lots of opinions about things and I like to show off information I have about a place. Plus, if you have guests, they don’t know anything and they’re at your mercy. They’re like kids; you can mold their minds into whatever you want. Best restaurant? BOOM! Best bar? THERE IT IS! Worst food? Don’t even tell them about it and they won’t eat it! Problem solved! It’s all kinds of awesome.

Of course, the downside to having guests, especially in a foreign country, is that they rely on you for everything. Fair enough; I relied on my friends for a long time when I first got here. If my Thai were super fantastic and wonderful, this wouldn’t be as much of a problem. As it is, my Thai is pretty crap. I can usually get a taxi driver to understand where I want to go and I can usually order food and make myself understand. That’s about the extent of my Thai ability, but it’s generally enough for me to get by.

As everybody knows, though, when you have people looking at you expectantly, no cab drivers will understand you and all things you order will come to you with problems, which you are then powerless to resolve. And you look like an idiot, and you have to protest, I swear that I have never had this problem! And they’re like, It’s okay. It happens to everybody sometimes. And then everybody is slightly annoyed and embarrassed for the other person, but can’t say anything about it because that’s rude.

Anyway, I love having visitors, and if you want to visit, I will probably give you my bed and sleep on the couch. Because that’s the kind of host I am. Just saying.

The rest of the trip in photos:

Day 1: Street noodles, Chatuchak Market, and a recording of Bangkok Podcast, which I’m pretty sure my mother still has not figured out how to listen to. Also, Chatuchak Market on the weekend makes me a nervous wreck. It’s about 10 billion degrees, half of Thailand is there, and it’s a total maze.

Matt eating some pad see eu from the street. 30 baht (~$1).

Day 2: Wat Po, Wat Arun, walking around until we have sweat off 20 pounds, and then introducing my sister to mango sticky rice. You’re welcome, by the way, Marlee!

I'm not going to say it was hot, because it's Bangkok, and of course it was hot.

Days 3-5: Sitting on the beach in a lovely resort in Phuket. I read, like, 6 trashy beach reads and took naps. And we ate some food. Good times.

The sisters in Phuket. Yeah, she's 2 years younger and several inches taller. And somehow she has smaller feet, which doesn't seem fair.

Day 6: Thai cooking class!

Marlee and Matt, getting ready to cook some Thailandian food.

Gonna chop some stuff up.

Day 7 (Saturday): We send Matt off to the airport by himself because he had to leave at 6 a.m. and we were both lazy. I was like, Thanks for traveling 24 hours to come see me! Later, sucker! Marlee and I spend the entire day staring off into space, with me occasionally asking if she wants to do something and Marlee assuring me that she is too tired. We leave the apartment for about 10 minutes to get some noodles.

We decide Saturday afternoon that we should go to Chiang Mai the following morning, so I book tickets on Air Asia. Only I book the complete wrong times and Air Asia are total jerks to me and I hate them forever although I will have to fly them again because they are so cheap. Bastards. I put Marlee in charge of the hotel because I’ve already screwed up the flights.

SO Day 8 rolls around: We’re at the airport, trying to figure out our hotel reservations and it turns out that instead of one room with two beds for two nights, Marlee has booked two rooms with two beds for two nights, and we can’t get our money back. After we laugh hysterically, we start to wonder if maybe this trip was not meant to be.

Well, Day 8 and Day 9: Are awesome. We see some of my friends and walk until our feet are about ready to fall off. Also, we eat khao soi (curry noodle soup) about 15 times in two days because IT’S SO AMAZING.

 

See, Mom, we were thinking about you!

Day 10: I’m getting tired of writing all this now, and I’m sure the only person left reading is my mother. We eat at a raw food cafe in BKK, which was surprisingly good, although I generally like my food pretty cooked.

Day 11: Fabulous spa day, where we spend 3 hours getting massaged and facialed. For my sister’s last meal in Thailand, we go to 7-11.

I'm the best host ever!

Final Score

Having Guests: 0   Megan: 1

It’s always hard to show people everything you want to in a city and country you love when you just have a limited amount of time. Still, I think I did a decent job of showing them around and forcing them to eat lots of food they’d never tried and all that.

If anybody else wants to visit, let me know! I really do love having visitors…

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Filed under Living Abroad, Special Challenge, Thailand, Trips

The Illustrated Guide to a Thai Music Video: Part 2

A few months ago, I wrote about a Thai music video I saw played over and over again, in which this lady (Lady) is in a relationship with her creepy boyfriend (Creepy Boyfriend), but her neighbor (Neighbor) is in love with her. Turns out Creepy Boyfriend is actually Creepy Married Guy (but I’m keeping the name Creepy Boyfriend because I wrote it in Sharpie on my drawings) and Lady tried to commit suicide, Creepy Boyfriend tried to rape her after she got home from the hospital, and Neighbor saves her and you think at the end that Neighbor and Lady are going to live happily ever after forever, thank god. I mean, it was like a train wreck, and you just couldn’t look away.

WELL! The story does not stop there, people. I was shocked, horrified, and absolutely delighted to learn that the Saga of Crazy continues!

The story unfolds thusly:

Lady is with Neighbor and gets a phone call, which is clearly from Creepy (Ex-) Boyfriend, and ends up throwing the phone on the floor.  It shatters dramatically! She falls on the floor, sobbing. DRAMAZ!

crazy lady

Neighbor picks her up off the floor and takes her on his motorcycle to a bridge. Lady has a heart-shaped locket with Creepy Boyfriend’s picture in it, and she throws it into the water.  DRAMAZ! That is a theme in this video, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Neighbor and Lady hug and Neighbor whispers nice things to her.

(Side story: There was a guy who had a crush on me for years in middle and high school and one day in our freshman year he came up to me and whispered in my ear, “Sweet nothings, sweet nothings.” Yeah, nothing ever worked out between us, although I still feel guilty because I was pretty awful to him…and let me tell you, it wasn’t like the boys were falling all over themselves to get me, ya’ know what I mean? Then one of my friends went out with him and they used to make out in the hallway in front of their lockers and I was like, ew. Judging from his Facebook page, he is now married to a woman named Megan, has a kid , and plays in a church band.)

Neighbor and Lady get back on the motorcycle and Lady falls asleep. This is either a blatant rip-off of the Thai movie Hello Stranger, or maybe the song was part of the movie soundtrack, I don’t know. Check out minute 1:39 of the Hello Stranger trailer and you’ll see what I mean.

Neighbor and Lady get to a restaurant and Creepy Boyfriend is lurking around the background, positioned so Neighbor can see him, but not Lady. Of course. I just have one question about this whole scene: Say what, now?

So, Neighbor hitches up his pants (not really), looks angry, and goes to talk to Creepy Boyfriend, and of course when he turns around CREEPY BOYFRIEND IS AT THE TABLE and saying something that Lady likes—I can only presume it’s that he loves her, he’s left his wife, that kind of thing. Whatever it is, she buys it. SIGH.

Anyway, Lady OF COURSE goes off with Creepy Boyfriend in his very nice car, and he looks very smug and you just want to punch him in the face. I understand that violence is never the answer to violence…unless it is.

Neighbor takes off on his motorcycle and you think maybe he’s just going away, but NO! He is also totally into the DRAMAZ!

He drives in front of the car to cut it off and sits there until Lady suddenly remembers how great Neighbor is compared to her cheating, creepy, abusive, attempted-rapist (ex) boyfriend, and gets out of the car. She hugs Neighbor and it is clearly looooooove. Or something. I’m not a therapist; I’m not qualified to really put a name on this kind of crazy.

So, by this point you’re thinking—hooray, now the video is finished! But you would be thinking the wrong thing. Neighbor goes back and says something to Creepy Boyfriend, which is clearly cutting and horribly mean. Unfortunately, Neighbor has on the dorkiest helmet you’ve ever seen in your life, so instead of being like: Yeah, Neighbor, you tell him! It’s more like: Oooooohhhh…that is…really dorky.

Anyway, at the end, Neighbor and Lady ride off together and Creepy Boyfriend looks super pissed off.

Fin

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Challenge: Getting a Cab in BKK

February 2010: Snowmaggedon has hit the Washington, D.C. area, and everyone has been stuck inside their houses for what feels like weeks. The Metro is open for a few hours then closes back down. Buses aren’t running. I’ve dug my car out of the snow more than once, but am afraid to leave because I don’t want to have to murder the person who might steal my parking place. I would not look good in a bright orange jumpsuit.

It took me HOURS to dig that out.

Finally, after what seems like years, Metro announces they will open on Saturday and stay open until midnight. Pandemonium ensues. The bars and streets are packed with people who are desperate to get out and be with other people.

I make the trek in from the suburbs (really not that far), and I miss the Metro deadline to go home at midnight, but I figure I’ll get a cab.

Ah, the naïveté of youth, right?

Surprisingly, a cab quickly comes along and stops for me. I tell him where I’m going.

“No,” he says. “I’m not going there.”

“Uhhhhhhh…” I try to keep my patience.  This happened all the time with cabbies who refused to take me to my apartment. “It’s the law. You have to take me.”

“You want to report me to the police?” he demands.

“Well, kind of,” I say.

“Fine. Here’s my license number.” And at that point he shuts off the engine and points to his license number. I mean, really?! “I wouldn’t take you there even if you gave me $50. I don’t care,” he says.

I argue with him for a minute more, lose my patience, get out of the cab and say—and I quote—“I wish you very bad luck.”

ZING! Right?! I told him!

Flash-forward a year and it’s March 2011 (funny how time works, eh?), and I’m in Bangkok, still struggling with the cab drivers.

There are a lot of challenges involved in cabs in Bangkok. And yes, I just wrote about motorcycle taxis, but the taxicab is a whole different beast. I’ve been in them a lot recently and they’ve been on my mind.

So, challenges:

Challenge 1: Getting the cab to pick you up in the first place.

Sometimes I’ll wave for a cab, the driver will look at me, and then he’ll drive right on by. Argh. It can be quite annoying at times, especially if I’m in a hurry. I try really hard to give them the benefit of the doubt—maybe they’re going off duty!– but as I’m a pessimistic person by nature, that can be hard.

There are a lot of cabs in BKK.

Challenge 2: Getting the driver to actually, you know, DRIVE you where you want to go.

This is where jackassery starts to abound in Bangkok cab drivers.

Probably 50% of the time I try to get a cab in BKK, the driver just flat-out refuses to take me where I want to go. Sometimes I want to know why—I’m apparently more of a masochist than I like to admit, because I really do know this is an exercise in futility, and it always causes me psychological anguish (YES, ANGUISH).

The answer is usually just, “No. No go.”

“BUT WHY?” You know how you’re not supposed to lose face in Thailand? I always come very, very close to losing it at these moments.

“No.” Usually this is accompanied by a very stubborn headshake and the cab driver refusing to look at me.

At this point, I get very grumbly and grumpy and get out of the cab in a huff.

But my number one favorite excuse for a driver not taking me somewhere in Bangkok is:

There’s too much traffic.

Oh, hi, Mr. Taxi Cab Driver, you drive a cab. For a living. In Bangkok. Like, the worst place in the world for traffic jams. Yeah, there might be a lot of traffic, but I’m not asking you to drive me for free. And you drive a cab. For a living. JUST SAYING.

I WILL CRUSH YOU FOR THE JACKASSERY. Gah.

Challenge 3: Getting the driver to use the meter.

I’ve lived in Bangkok for over 6 months. I may still be a sucker, but I’m not such a sucker that I’m going to go somewhere without a meter, especially as they usually ask for more than the meter would be, of course.

I’m going to start a new campaign slogan: “No meter, no love.”

It’ll be like the “No glove, no love” slogan, except not at all.

This guy's like, 'Heh.'

Challenge 4: Getting a driver who knows where you’re going.

Me, after I’ve gotten in a cab, in Thai: I’m going to R— Road, near Blah Blah Hotel. Do you know where that is?

Cabbie: Yes, I know it.

Me: **Sitting back, getting ready for a nice air-conditioned ride where maybe I can play Scrabble on my Kindle and hopefully the stupid computer player, Al, won’t cheat (Al’s a freaking cheat and he knows words that I don’t think are really words).**

Cabbie: Go straight?

Me: Uhhhhh…yeah, I think so…

Cabbie: Turn left at Blahblahblah Road?

Me: Uhhhh…no…go straight and turn right at Blergblerg Road. What the hell?

From what I understand, a lot of cab drivers in Bangkok have come to live in the city straight from the countryside approximately 15 minutes before starting their shifts and really don’t have any idea where they’re going; that’s why they ask YOU for directions. And don’t even bother trying to show them where you’re going on a map—you might as well be showing them a manuscript in ancient Greek and asking them to translate it to a Martian language. Not gonna happen.

They kind of look like me when I was looking at this sign that said something like, "Entrance for Thais Only." HUH?

Challenge 5: Not getting screwed over by the wrong route.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked a cab driver to take me to the Asok BTS station from my neighborhood. I’ve gone this route in cabs at least, I don’t know, 40 times. I know the way to go, and every cab driver goes approximately the same way.

Except the cab driver who decided to take me for a ride.

“Excuse me, why are you going this way?” I asked (in Thai) when he took a turn that was going to take us WAY the wrong direction.

“Oh, this is the way to Asok,” he assured me.

Okay. Sometimes I don’t know everything—I KNOW THIS IS HARD TO BELIEVE—so I figured maybe it was just another way to get there in the same amount of time. That’s happened before.

Ha! God, just about every time I think I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I should just trust myself.

By the time the meter was past the amount it should have been and we were stuck in traffic with at least another 25 minutes ahead of us, I got out of the cab and took the MRT (subway) just on principle. I showed him not to screw around with me! Right?!

Another time a cab driver clearly went the wrong way so we were stuck in traffic that was painfully not moving. My friends asked the driver why he chose to go the way with traffic instead of the way without traffic and he gave us a heated lecture about how this is the country of Thailand! And there’s always traffic in Thailand! And there’s traffic in other countries, too! All the time! So shut it, stupid foreigners!

We shut it. And then we got out of the cab and took the BTS train to our destination. We showed him!

Yeah! Angry cab-riders UNITE!

 

Challenge 6: Remembering that there are good guys out there.

Sometimes things go just the way they’re supposed to with cabbie. I get in the cab, tell him where I want to go and get there in the right amount of time for the right amount of money. No jackassery. No arguing. Sometimes I even have pleasant conversations with the drivers and we both practice our respective foreign language skills and have a good time teaching each other.

Cabbies have a hard job. They have to work long, hard hours and deal with a lot of jackassery of their own. I respect that, and I definitely wouldn’t want their job.

I just want to get where I’m going without hassle, people. Is that too much to ask?

Final Score:

Cabbies: 1    Megan : 0

Really, they have all the power, don’t they?

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Challenge: Bangkok Podcast and Not Forgetting Stuff

So, the lovely guys at Bangkok Podcast asked me to come on the show and talk about my experiences as a relative newbie here in Thailand, and after I’d asked them what they were smoking (they said nothing) and determined they were serious (clearly they were lying when they said they were smoking nothing), I agreed to do it.

And then I panicked.

I started making a list of things I wanted to talk about so I wouldn’t forget in the heat of the moment. Very Important Points! Things that I needed the world to hear! I have opinions! Lots of them!

And of course I forgot the list at home when I went to record the show.

This was the first time I’d had a microphone in my face (I was at their Halloween show eating bugs, but I was one of many) and I was really nervous.  My sister and brother-in-law are visiting and my sister reminded me not to say um all the time, so all I could think was, ‘Don’t say um, don’t say um, don’t say um’, which meant that all other Very Important Points immediately vacated my head.

My sister and me in Bangkok in 2004. We look WAY different now.

When Tony asked me what was hard for me when I first came to Thailand, I went, “Uhhhhh….”

Because there weren’t a billion things that were hard for me? For the love of god.

He helpfully offered up cockroaches, and I latched onto that and talked about gross cockroaches and bugs and appendicitis and stuff (truly, the appendicitis sucked, but the hospital stay was kind of awesome).

Cockroaches are gross.

BUT what I REALLY wanted to say—and it was on my LIST AT HOME—was that the hardest thing for me when I first got here was loneliness. It’s still my biggest challenge, to be honest. I think this is true for a lot of women who move here by themselves, or even women who have moved here with spouses.

At least I hope I’m not the only one who’s experienced this. Tell me I’m not the only one who’s experienced this!

I don’t mind spending time alone. I don’t even mind spending a lot of time alone. I have the internets in my apartment, I have all episodes of 30 Rock, I have potato chips, I have Scrabble for my Kindle, and I also just successfully downloaded 866 books to read (not a typo, people!).

It’s just…living abroad by yourself can be kind of lonely sometimes. I’m not sure why it’s lonelier than living at home. I guess because I don’t have the same base of friends (although I do have awesome friends here), and I don’t have the same comforts of home when I get grumpy. In Bangkok, it takes a lot of effort to meet friends who live outside of my neighborhood because I don’t have my own transportation and traffic effing sucks in BKK at all times of the day.

I’m really worried about sounding pathetic for talking about this, so I want you all to know that I have a happy life here, for the most part, and I do stuff and know people and all that. If you do feel sorry for me, though, I’m sure I would feel much better if you sent me large sums of cash. Just saying!

But I’m also hoping that maybe an expat woman who’s feeling kind of lonely in Bangkok (or anywhere, for that matter) and happens upon this post will feel better that she’s not alone out there. It can be lonely. I get it. It sucks. Email me and we’ll commiserate.

I also feel better that I can say this since I forgot to say it on the podcast. Stupid brain.

Here is the list of things I wanted to talk about (with some lame notes so you can understand what I meant):

WTF?

  • Taxis (upcoming post on this)
  • Sewage (can’t flush toilet paper)
  • Noise (soooo noisy in BKK!)
  • Laughter (stop laughing at me, Thai people!)
  • Saving face (exhausting sometimes)
  • How some things are always more difficult in another country (phone, internet, etc.)

Awesome

  • Pampering (hair, massage, etc.)
  • Fun
  • Food—street food
  • Street vendors in general
  • The mix of new and old
  • You can get anything you want
  • People

Difficult

  • Language
  • Making friends (since I’m an introvert)
  • Knowing the city
  • Dating

Here is the list of things I actually talked about:

  • Cockroaches
  • Ants
  • Potato chips
  • Heat
  • How before I came here, I thought Bangkok was “…not backwards…but…what’s the word? How do I describe it? Like, not technologically advanced? But I was wrong.” SIGH.
  • Shopping
  • Prostitution (WHAT?)
  • Dating
  • Thai men vs. Japanese men
  • Va-jay-jay tightening serum
  • Pink nipple cream
  • Missouri
  • Squat toilets
  • GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT ELSE

I mean, it IS pretty interesting to talk about...

Final Score

Bangkok Podcast: 1    Megan: 0

They kicked my ass. I was so nervous I felt kind of sick to my stomach, but it was also so much fun! Greg and Tony are two of the nicest guys you will ever meet in your life and are super easy to talk to. And hopefully Greg will edit things so I don’t sound like a bumbling idiot. Yikes.

Okay, and by the way–ladies in Thailand and especially Bangkok: There’s a website out there called Chicky Net that’s kind of like Facebook just for women in Thailand. It’s a great resource and is used extensively by women in other cities throughout Thailand, but we here in Bangkok kind of neglect it. I’m guilty of it, too. Berthe, the woman who runs the site, said she’s tried various ways to get women involved in Chicky Net in Bangkok, but we’re not taking the bait! So, hey, Bangkok ladies, let’s be friends and do stuff in real life and all that jazz. I’m on there as Megan K, so find me!

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WTF? (What THE?! Friday) Part 19

Today’s WTF? is a mishmash of pictures from the past few weeks. No theme!

My friends, I hate to break this to you: Cheesecake is not healthy, even if they add fiber to it. I'm sure it's still delicious, though!

 

It’s a 7-Eleven ear cleaner! You really CAN get everything you need there!

 

The Breeze of Toilet! I have been told that this sign is actually an advertisement for how good the toilets are here.

Beat Me and Ride Me body wash. Um?

Happy Friday and day off in Thailand!

Oh, and I gave my notice at my job. Last day is March 4. I’m sure my parents are wondering how I got to be this old and still have no idea what I want to do with my life…

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Ode to 7-Eleven

There was a 7-Eleven next to my Metro stop in Washington, D.C./Maryland, and I used to stop in every now and then for gum, cash, bottles of water and occasional bags of late-night Doritos. That’s it. It’s 100% safe to say that I never ate a meal from there.

My ex-boyfriend routinely ate from 7-Elevens across the D.C. Metro region. Routinely. He got a lot of ribbing for this, including from me. I mean, hello, eating your meals from 7-Eleven? Who does that?!

Well, look what I have become, people.

Shut up.

I stop in for snacks, ice cream, water, milk, yogurt, and steamed buns. I have bought toiletries there, including a toothbrush. I pay for bills there, I buy phone credit there, I buy liquor there. 7-Elevens in Thailand (and Japan, for that matter) totally rock my world.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Oh, no.

I routinely eat meals from 7-Eleven in Thailand. ROUTINELY.

Fun fact from Wikipedia: Thailand has the 3rd largest number of 7-Elevens in the world. Japan is 1st and the U.S. is 2nd.

So here is my photo ode to 7-Elevens, because I would not survive here without them.

You can sing the following song while you look at the pictures.

(To the tune of “Rubber Ducky” by Ernie from Sesame Street)

7-Eleven, you’re the one.

You make snack-time lots of fun.

7-Eleven, I’m awfully fond of you…doodoodeedoo.

So, take a look at the collage above (yes, I just found out about the collage feature on Picassa and I’m using it like crazy). Those are the 7-Elevens within a 2.1 km (1.3 m) circuit around my apartment. That’s 12 7-Elevens, people. That’s a LOT of snacks.

I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to take photos in 7-Elevens, so I got some shots of stuff before I was shut down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the way, I am not being paid for this endorsement, but hey, 7-Eleven Corporation! Don’t sue me for this blog post. Just think: I’m cute—you could totally use me as a spokesperson!

I just require that you put me in a commercial with Ananda Everingham.

Ananda, seriously, call me! Imagine how cute our children would be!*

*Photo from Wikipedia…

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Challenge: Riding a Motorcycle Taxi

The rest of this post is NSFMD (Not Safe For My Dad), but as he doesn’t read my blawg, it’s actually NSFPWAGTTMD (Not Safe For People Who Are Going To Tell My Dad). Nobody likes a snitch (Mom).

One of the cool things about Bangkok is the number of ways you can get around the city.

Just in this picture, you can see taxis, tuk-tuks, cars, motorcycles, and busses.

And of course, the ubiquitous motorcycle taxi.

I love you and hate you, motorcycles! (in Hanoi, Vietnam)

In Bangkok, you can usually get a regular taxi to take you where you want to go (uh…sometimes, anyway), but the meter drops at 35 baht (a little over $1) and you can rack up a decent tab just going around the corner. Believe me, I’ve done it. (I was sick! I don’t normally take cabs around the corner!)

The thing is, traffic in Bangkok sucks. Bad. It makes the Beltway in Washington, D.C. look like a speedway, and that’s saying something. Sometimes it’s just simpler to grab a motorcy and zip around the cars.

The drivers are easy to spot because they’re everywhere, they sit on motorcycles, and they wear bright vests that designate what area they’re working in. If you miss them, you’re not looking very hard.

This is part of the gang near my building.

I’m usually pretty lazy in the morning. When I first came to Thailand I refused to take a motorcycle because I was a little nervous and also thought walking to the train would be good for me. Now I realize I was a total fool.

10-minute walk to the train station?

No, sir. I’ll take the 3-minute death-defying motorcycle ride to the train station, thank you very much. And please note: I ride sidesaddle, baby, and motorcycle taxis don’t offer you helmets. Praying you’re not going to spill your tea, fall off the seat and/or crash into a car is a good way to get the adrenaline flowing in the morning! Wakes you right up!

Here’s a video of what it’s like to ride to the train in the morning:

On a motorcycle, you can zip right around traffic and give all the cars the bird in your head. You can (not legally) go on the sidewalk, which totally pisses me off as a pedestrian, but thrills me as a passenger. You can get where you want to go, and you can get there fast, provided you don’t have a horrible, disfiguring accident before you arrive.

For me, the most annoying aspect of motorcycles is negotiating a price (before you get on the bike, people!) since there’s no meter. Sometimes I don’t know how far away something is, so I get ripped off when I accept a price and then we go 3 minutes to the destination. Sometimes I know how much a ride should be and the drivers try to charge me more anyway and then ride off (without me) when I offer the correct price.

I always end up in a rage when this happens. I can’t help it. I’m not a fan of jackassery. It makes me furious.

Like I'm GODZILLA.

p.s. I have learned that there is talk about having motorcycle taxis use meters. We shall see…

My biggest smackdown in motorcycle riding was learning to ride sidesaddle. It was a big, big step because it is really, really frightening. You can see Thai women riding sidesaddle, looking all Burberry picnic (bored, for those of you not in the know), talking on the phone, balancing in a teensy little skirt on the back of a motorcycle without flashing anything, and looking for all the world like it’s no big deal. Like, Oh, hi, I’m riding on the back of a motorcycle and I could fall to my death, but who cares?

When I ride sidesaddle, I have to take some time to situate myself, usually spilling tea on my pants in the process, to the amusement and bemusement of the driver, who is waiting kind of impatiently for me. Then I have to slouch down to keep my balance, and I always keep a death grip on the bar at the back of the seat. Also, I have big ol’ feet, so I’m always worried they’re going to get caught in the wheel, and that would be a really horrible way to die. Think about it, but not too hard if you’re my mother. I try to look all Burberry picnic when I’m riding, but I’m sure I look more Jurassic Park picnic (terrified and trying not to die, though not usually running from dinosaurs).

Although there ARE dinosaurs in Thailand. Sure, they’re just statues, but they could come alive. You don’t know! Didn’t you ever see Child’s Play? Chucky? I THINK I HAVE MADE MY POINT.

Final Score:

Motorcycle Taxis: 0  Megan : 1

I mean, I haven’t fallen off one yet, right? And even though I get ripped off sometimes, I’m still smacking it down. Be nice to me, motorcycle drivers!

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