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Binge Drinkers and Bloated Bellies in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand


Please don't let me lead you astray... WE ARE NOT binge drinking in Bangkok, or any other city for that matter, but it seems that the majority of our fellow travelers, as well as the locals like to "get their drink on" regularly. It's a great spot to stupify oneself, with many hip bars and alley-style cocktail stands to choose from, but it also leaves a certain residue on everything and, as we've found on more than one occasion in Thailand, makes it tough to get a good night sleep.

This is definitley a 24-hour city. You've got the bar patrons stumbling back to their rooms next door until the wee hours of the morning. You've got those catching an early flight banging around as they pack up and head out before breakfast is served. Then you've got the weary ones that are just stepping off a bus to find a cheap room to drop their stuff and start it all over again. We've found ourselves in the last two scenarios more than once and have as much patience as we can for those in that situation, but we seem to have less and less patience for the late night stream of drunken backpackers. We even had one girl try to open our door at 2:00 in the morning thinking that our room was hers...

It's not hard to spot these hardy partiers during the breakfast people-watching session. The younger guys can usually get away with a hangover a day over the course of a few weeks on the road, but some show their post-party fatigue like a badge of honor. We don't envy them, and while we do complain from time to time about the disruption they cause throughout the night, we are glad top be on the other side. We've slowed down and prefer snuggling to singapore slings... and to be honest, this makes the whole travel scene a bit difficult. I guess we are just getting a little older - there, I said it.

As for the bloated bellies, there are a few different kinds.

There is what I call the "Fried Rice 15" (as opposed to the "Freshman 15") and I would have to admit that I fall into that category. I thought I would lose weight with the lack of western fast-food and the abundance of rice (coupled with walking tours and the absense of red wine), but I was wrong. 70% of the menu falls under fried foods - fried rice, fried noodles, fried ginger, fried snails. 20% falls under curry - delicious, coconut-milk laden heaven, with heaps of calories. The other 10% falls under western food - eggs, bacon, hamburgers, club sandwiches, french fried (not an error -that's how they say it) and pancakes. And if none of that suits you, there is a 7-11 on every other corner... not a nutritious item on the shelves. So I'm feeling the bloated belly, but will likely continue to eat yummy curry and pad-thai - I'm looking forward to a proper ceasar salad when I get home, but I know I'll miss REAL thai food.

The other type of bloated belly is that which belongs to the MANY, MANY western men that come here looking for that "special massage". I don't mean to be rude and I try not to judge, but I have to say that this phenomenon, which has been going on for decades, is hard to swallow for both Tim and I. We come across endless couples walking hand in hand - the oversized, older white men with the young, petite and usually "out-of-their-league" beautiful girls. It's disturbing and confusing. And because it's a major part of Thailand's economy, it's something that I'd like to understand better. Do these men pay for all her food and buy her gifts for his entire stay? Do they summon the same girl on subsequent trips? Is there some level of "faithfullness" that occurs between these two? Did he find her in a massage parlor or was it a buddy that gave a referral? It feels like it unbalances the world, but perhaps I am just naive. We all need a little love and affection, so maybe it's perfectly harmless? The feminist in me thinks not, and I suspect that I'm not the only one who feels this way.

So Bangkok... sassy and convenient. loud and tough to cross the street. yummy smells waffing from one corner and sewage under your feet on the next. a strong sense of pride and a great place to buy a custom suit. a mixed bag.

Mmm... ceasar salad sounds good.
Peace out - Jen

permalink written by  TwoSouls on May 7, 2008 from Bangkok, Thailand
from the travel blog: Thailand: You Want Massage Mista?
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Why don't u stay in a nice hotel? hhh.. ^_^ and why don't u have foods in a good restaurant? hhh.. That's ur prefer trip, isn't it. So u're not happy with Thailand trip.. haha.. u r so unlucky... haha

permalink written by  hhh... on July 4, 2008


I don't think I mentioned anything about being unhappy in Thailand. I was simply trying to explain to those that haven't been there that it isn't always a resort experience like some tend to think. We purposely chose to travel on a budget to get a ture experience, so unless you read the entire blog, I don't think it's fair for you to judge us. Our blog was supposed to be a positive link for those we know that do not choose to travel and it comes from a place of openness and respect. I'm sorry if we've offended you.

permalink written by  TwoSouls on July 8, 2008

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We are going to explore the unknown and there's no turning back now. Why explore? Here are a few reasons why we start on this journey...

- To breathe deeply, appreciate the moment and SLOW DOWN
- To let go of our fears
- To rebel… prove that we can live outside the system
- To challenge...

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