Some Random Memories – Widespread Panic Edition

Note: There is no hope of remembering the whole trip in order, so my travelogue is going to be patterned after the trip itself – wildly chaotic, but hopefully enjoyable.
– The day before we left Bangkok to Nam’s hometown, the door of the safe in our room got stuck and refused to open. Contents: Both of our passports and airplane tickets, most of the dowry in cash and gold jewelry, our wedding bands, my camera, my laptop, my Omega, etc., etc., and just what in the hell do we do now. Several calls down to the front desk only to be assured that “someone was coming up right away” to fix it were not very assuring after a couple hours of no-show and repeated excuses. Nutty saved the day by threatening the pissant on the other end with Vigorous Blows to Cranium, as well as demanding to see the night manager. Five minutes later, the manager, the pissant, and a chubby safecracker dude bearing a bruteforce card-cabled-to-scanner device (just like the one Edward Furlong used to jackpot an ATM in Terminator 2) showed up at our door and got that sucker open. The problem, as described by Mr. Safecracker: “You crammed too much shit in there.” Yeah, well it’s hard choosing which of my pieces of shit (comp, camera, wedding ring display case, or watch) to leave exposed to the jackals, pal. Besides, I’m providing you with work, you little hacker nerd, so shut up.
– The day after the wedding, we chartered a double decker bus to take our group of fifty or so to Khon Kaen airport, where we would all board the same flight back to Bangkok. It was sweet, real sweet – a double decker bus! With an Orientalish Santa Claus airbrushed on the side! – but we encountered a problem that I, noob to the ways of double decker buses, never even considered. The bus was too tall to pass under the ceiling of the terminal building! Panic! Only an hour until our plane leaves! Panic! The great thing about Thailand, though – most everything is for hire if you ask nicely and offer compensation. We parked the bus in a parking lot adjacent to the terminal building and hired a nearby van to shuttle people in, and a pickup truck for the luggage. It took the pickup four or five trips – completely stuffed to the gills – to take all of the luggage to the departures curb (most of our group had never quite taken to the whole “travelling light” concept). I took the last van in, again with loyal friend Nutty by my side, sure we would be left on the runway watching the rest of our group fly off into the bright blue sky… Only to have to sit and wait for an hour because the plane was delayed.
– I made a previous reference to this, but it bears emphasizing: A speedhead taxi driver, in between spurts of almost killing us during his mad dashes between road hazards and battered trucks carrying fermented soy milk packaging, kept touching my forearm and telling me I could be a boxer and how he “like a man.” Panic! Finally, right after he finished telling me how he had two sons at home (note: quite disturbing after the Like a Man confession), tried to grab at my grointifical region! Luckily, I saw it coming a mile away and grabbed his wrist! He made another grab with his other hand! Can you say Runaway Taxi? The cab careened wildly down Soi Ratchada as we battled for possession of my testiculars! Suddenly, Nam came to my rescue and used her sandal straps to strangle the gayhomospeedheadcabbie-freak into unconsciousness, just as we plowed into the back of a tuktuk carrying a family of five from Munich!
Okay, not really.

2 Replies to “Some Random Memories – Widespread Panic Edition”

  1. downstairs on the double-decker on the way to the airport. Some points in time remain classic in my mind. Remains my most vivid memory. Simple moments. Thank god it don’t take much.

  2. Makes me all that much more eager to visit Thailand. Everything sounds so much more chaotic yet organized in its own unique way compared to Korea and Japan. Gets kind of dull here sometimes. Damn Confucianism!

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