Point to the bottle and say, “Is this shaving cream?”
Cashier “50 baht”
Mime shaving gesture and point to bottle again. “Shaving cream?”
Purchase bottle with confidence.
Later I go to the bathroom to shave. Guy next to me points to the bottle and asks why I bought it. Foolish boy clearly knows nothing about courting Australians. I point to my scarf of neck hair and say that I need to shave. Foolish boy tells me that what I have isn’t shaving cream. It’s skin whitener.
Apparently, in Thailand it is extremely popular to dye your skin. Farmers and other laborers have really dark skin from working in the sun all day, so lighter skin is seen as a sign of higher social status. This has been taken to an extreme where people dye their skin a bizarre shade of white. I was seconds away from dyeing my neck and patches of my face this strange color. Buy foolish boy a beer for saving gorgeous neck tan.
(Mother of God there’s a spider on the computer screen. Attack it with a tissue and let out ninja cry. Leave its corpse on the table as a message to future spiders.)
After the shaving fiasco, I meet up with a group of friends to begin pregaming (predrinking as the Brits call it) for the ladyboy cabaret. These Irish girls teach us a drinking game to the song “Roxanne” by The Police. It’s fairly complicated, so pay attention. Guys drink when the song says “Roxanne”, girls drink when it says “put on the red light”. Phenomenal game. You can also play this game to the song “Jammin’” by Bob Marley and drink whenever it says “jammin’”. If you’ve never heard the song, give it a listen and try it out.
Another guy then teaches us a great game called “Copy, Paste”. After one person says a phrase, another person can call “copy”. The person who called “copy” can then say “paste” at any time, and the other person must immediately repeat the “copied” phrase. For example, if I say “the sky is blue” and a person calls “copy”, then whenever that person says “paste” I will have to say “the sky is blue”, regardless of the situation. The goal is to copy some strange phrase that then gets used out of context. I end up getting copied on, “I just really need to see some ladyboys!”. Excellent.
We head over to the cabaret. The walk is peppered with sporadic shouts of, “I just really need to see some ladyboys!”. Families near us look terrified, pull children closer.
We get to the place and take our seats. I end up in the back left corner and am upset that my seat isn’t closer to the action.
The show begins. Deceptively attractive lady boys dressed as showgirls begin dancing and lip-syncing various songs. The lead ladyboy walks out into the crowd, sits on a guy’s lap in the front row and proceeds to seductively lick his cheek. Very pleased with my seating position.
The show is actually pretty entertaining. Toward the end a bunch of us get to go up on stage. Much to my friend’s dismay, I leave my heart out on the dance floor.
I wake up extremely hungover the next morning for a nature expedition and decide to buy an M-150 to get myself through the day. The M-150 is an energy drink that is illegal in the U.S. Sounds like a wager to me.
I chug the bottle. A half hour goes by and I start to feel perky. Nice, it’s working. 1 hour goes by. Fear for life. Not sure if heart has stopped beating or is just beating so fast that I can’t tell the difference.
We begin the hike with our tour guide who is covered in tattoos and refers to himself as Dragon. Awesome. One of the girls in the group asks Dragon where a bathroom is. His response: “Open your mind. You can pee anywhere.” Dragon is wise.
I go out that night with the Irish girls to a placed called Spicy’s. We miss it initially because it’s totally dead outside but eventually find it and walk in. There’s this long hallway with a few people milling around. We’re confused and wonder if we might still be in the wrong spot. Decide to walk through the door in the back. Nearly have a seizure from sensory overload. The music is blasting and the lights are going nuts.
I acclimate to the lights and take in the scene. The majority of the place is filled with elderly white men and their Thai escorts or people in their late 20s absolutely strung out on drugs. Interesting. A drugged out guy starts hovering around the girls and staring at them with bloodshot eyes. He’s after me lucky charms. I attempt to protect them and box him out with my dances moves. Guy gently touches me on the face and says that we have great energy. Decide to move spots.
The night culminates with Adele’s “Someone Like You” being played and about 30 of us belting it out as loud as we can. Excellent way to end things.