Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Time I Got Kidnapped

Okay, duh, I didn't really get kidnapped (who does that?), but I needed an excuse for not blogging since November 10. And, let's be honest, I need the click bait at this point.

Wow. Longest stretch of no blogging for me EVER. Why? Lots of reasons. Gone to Thailand for 2 weeks followed by jet lag with a side if diarrhea followed/combined with excessive work load topped off by a nasty respiratory virus that has me sounding like I have smoked all of the legal pot in the state of Colorado. It's sexy. Then the holidays, yeah those sneaky days of over-cooking, drinking and socializing. I am alive, but barely.

Also, do you find that when you haven't written for awhile, shit piles up and it is all the harder to start writing again? There is so much to say - I don't know where to start so I don't say anything. And, at this point in time I can't say anything because my voice is non existent. Oh, and I still don't have a tooth (the implant I got in September failed, which happens to 2% of people. Just lucky I guess. Instead of getting a new tooth for Christmas, I'm hoping for one for Ash Wednesday - in March). When I say SEXY, I mean SEXY. 51 years old has never looked so good.

Thailand. Oh Thailand. The land of the Thais (<I made that up). There is way to much to say so I'll just do a huge photo dump and let that do the talking. Suffice it to say, I've probably never been somewhere where the people were so kind and gracious. Or a place that as so vastly different in every way, shape and form. I've traveled a fair amount, but I've never spent time in  Southeast Asia at all. Now I'm hungry to do so much more exploring! Bring on Vietnam (the place of PHO, pronounced FEH!) India! Indonesia! All of it.

But, could we skip the 30 hour travel thing? That's kind of a drag.

Hey, guess what? You can avoid that 30 hour travel thing and just look at these pictures. Totally the same thing as being there.

Just as a recap - We spent the whole time in Chiang Mai, which is the second largest city to Bangkok and the largest city in northern Thailand. My son, Sam, who goes to ASU, is spending a semester there. I'm not sure if there is a place kids party more than at ASU, but if there is it is Chiang Mai.

The first day we got there and under the influence of no sleep and bombers of Chiang Beer I took photos of stuff that caught my attention. Like this strange man with a large belly and small other things (next to a pussy).

In Thailand, 7-11 is everything. Need a tube of lube? Got you covered. Need a bag of lobster flavored potato chips? This is your place!

The best way to get around is the "Red Truck" or Songthaew . You just hop in and hope they are going where you are going. Also, if you call an Uber (or a "Grab" in Thailand) this is often what shows up. It would be about $3 for us to go wherever we wanted.

Here is my friendly Grab driver. I call him Pong for short.

The cable system is very advanced in Thailand. Even the graffiti below thinks it's funny.

If you're not taking a red truck, chances are you're taking a Tuk Tuk. Think motorcycle with a little open air car on the back.

This is my favorite dish - Khao Soi - the specialty of Northern Thailand. You need this in your life if you love savory coconut milk infused with curry, chili and soft egg noodles and topped with crunchy noodles. J'adore this dish. Come over and I will make it for you.

In Thailand, which is almost completely Buddhist, it is expected that a man will be a monk at some point in his life, even if only for a week. Here are two of my monk friends. I prefer the lighter color robe. This was at Doi Suthep the most famous temple in Chiang Mai, high on a mountain above the city (which we did hike).

Image result for doi suthep
I did not take this picture

These are bugs for sale. I only ate one plate, the one on the right. You take weird shits after.

Let me introduce you to Savanna, Sam's girlfriend, who I have a crush on as well.

This is me. Big Mama does not care that I do not have a tooth. We went outside of the city to an elephant sanctuary called Elephant Empire. It was magical. There were three elephants (mom was 26, one kid was 5 and one baby was 11 months). We fed them, took them into the jungle for a bamboo snack and washed them in the river. I now would like a pet elephant.

This was when the baby elephant "attacked" Ken. Baby elephants are strong and they like middle aged men with sexy dad bods.

As I said, I need a pet elephant who will toss me around. Do I have something between my legs?

Best senior picture ever

Just some amazing Pad Thai the elephants served up.

Not sure what is going on here. Probably has something to do with that giant Singha beer in my hand. This was at Huay Tung Tao Lake outside of Chiang Mai. They have these bamboo huts you can rent on the lake where you sit and drink big beers and wear your hair over your face.

SINGHA magic with a lake view

Sam appears to be having a bad day

We rented motor bikes, which I found extremely stressful in the Chiang Mai traffic. One day I will tell you the story of how I made a wrong turn and got lost for over an hour. I had all of our phones, so no one could rescue me. And, I cried on the Thai streets alone and overwhelmed. But I lived to tell about it and it made me stronger as a person.

I found an ox made out of stone and had my way with it.

I found these in the night market. I still cannot decide which one I like best. Probably the Rasta one with hair (i.e., pubes). There is some fine shopping in Thailand!

This is my new friend Tae. He taught me to cook really good things - spring rolls, pad thai, khao soi.

Our hotel (U Nimman) lobby.

I was very excited to find this shop near our hotel. It gave me an idea for my next money making scheme. I think people would want to buy human poop as much as elephant poop, no?

We got Thai massages as a family. Here they are washing Sam and Ken's feet before entering the massage place. These massages were given by ex-prisoners who are learning a new trade. Massages are $7 per hour so if for no other reason, you need to go to Thailand.

I have a million more pictures. But that is too much already!!

Suffice it to say you need to visit this place. Do it for the food! The wonderful people! The elephant poop! The warm weather that makes your hair frizzy! The massages (happy endings are available, but we passed. Didn't seem like the family thing to do). Another reason to go?? It is SO cheap. The only expensive part is the 30 hours of flying to get there.

Since this is supposedly a running blog - I did not run outside in Thailand. Chiang Mai streets are really busy and although there are kind of sidewalks, they are clogged with lots of things (trees, people, trash cans, motor bikes). I never really saw any parks with running paths. I did run on the hotel treadmill twice. Yay me. Now I'm out of shape.

Leave me a comment! Let me know you still care!

Which bottle opener would you choose? 

Would you eat a dead/fried bug?

Ever been to Thailand?

Favorite place you've traveled?