****I've finally uploaded all my pics from my trip! Click on my website to the right (Beware: I took A LOT of pics) to see them.****
It just wouldn’t be Xmas without being blessed by Buddhist monks; transvestites lip-synching on a boxing ring; a nice German dinner with 2 Israelis (Happy Hanukkah!?!), an Irishman, and an Ozzie; opium fields; a drunk Thai planting a wet kiss on me; a hardcore tournament of “Connect Four;” and a celebratory Muay Thai boxing match that left one guy coiled on the ground in the timeless fetal position. I don’t know if anyone could have possibly had a more random holiday than me, but as dysfunctional as it was, it proved that it doesn’t matter where you are; you can still have a kick ass time if you’re in good company—and I was!
David and I spent the best part of the day visiting a wat on a mountain top, overlooking Chiang Mai. We stopped by a hill tribe on our way up. Even in the middle of the rural mountains, the village kids were putting up a fake Xmas tree outside of their school. Other kids were flying kites while the adults were busy trying to push their souvenirs on unsuspecting tourists. There wasn’t anything particularly remarkable about this hill tribe except for one thing: there was a vast poppy field. Since the tribesman aren’t officially Thai citizens (many of them are Burmese, Chinese, etc.), there’s not much the local government can do about them using opium, and I don’t think that they necessarily care either.
We then made our way to the wat. Despite the cloudiness, I still could feel the distance to the ground. Like every other wat in Thailand, it was elegantly decorated with gold, large spires, rows of antique bells and massive statues of Buddha: the man, the legend, the uncontested Supreme Being in Thailand. And yes, he is holier than thou—shut yo mouth!
Since I couldn’t really be doing the whole Jesus thing in Buddhist Thailand, I opted to get my quick holy-fix from the local monk in the temple. Right…well, women aren’t supposed to make direct contact with the monks, so I nudged my bribe for holiness (is 20 baht enough to slide my way into spiritual stardom?) to his feet, stayed on my knees and remained bowed over my legs. From there it was a blur. I remember indecipherable chants, sprinkles of water on my head, and before I knew it, he was tying a thick white string around my wrist. “Leave this on for 7 days,” he commanded, and for 11 days I did (I figured a few more days were good in case Buddha forgot about me. There were a lot of people in line that day).
Xmas night came and David and I met up with Justin and 2 Israeli girls he met. After gorging in a German restaurant and doing a bit of shopping in the night markets, we went to a big square surrounded by tiny bars encircling a proper boxing ring in the model. With a drink in one hand, and the other strategizing where we’d put the next chip in the “Connect Four” games on the tables, we pissed the night away. Highlights of the night:
1.) The drag show on the boxing ring. The lady boys in Thailand are everywhere and have gotta be the most convincing and beautiful lady boys in the world. Need proof? More sex change operations are done in Thailand than anywhere else in the world and it shows! I heard countless stories of innocent guys (I won’t mention any names, but you know who you are! hahah) trying to hit on these “women” or being picked up by them.
2.) The Muay Thai boxing match after the drag show. For those of you who don’t know, Muay Thai is considered to be one of the most dangerous forms of combat because you can punch and kick.
3.) The drunk Thai guy dancing on a bar stool and the drunk English bartender who couldn’t even read our bill straight. It would’ve been too easy to walk away with a forced, sloppy kiss and without paying for our drinks at all, but only the former happened.