Monday, February 1, 2010

Transvestites??, Chaos, and Pad Thai!

Must be something about Thialand that won't let us put the pictures where we want and erases our work before we can post it...forgive us...the above pictures are of Khao San Road in the rainstorm where we got street food Pad Thai.
Today we are coming at you from Eagle House 2 hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A town in the north that is most famous for its outdoor and trekking adventure trips. But we last left you on our arrival in Bangkok.
Immediately upon our arrival into Thailand you noticed a difference. Where Vietnam and Cambodia had rough roads with potholes and filled with bikes and motos, Thailand has better roads, so many cars, stop lights, and a little more roadway organization. In Vietnam and especially Cambodia there were children everywhere, beggar children, seller children, children at work with their parents, children playing in the street…kids kids kids. Thailand is less so which is fascinating. Tourism has been in Thailand for 20 plus more years than in the other countries, so we think that has something deeper to do with it. Kate really wishes she remembered more info from her demography days.
Over the course of our hellish 14 hour bus rides we made friends with a traveling father and daughter from Canada. We felt like the girl just needed some girl-talk and arranged to meet them for dinner. The dad helped us get a cab to Khao San Road, where our hotel was located. We wish we has pictures to share but we were too tramatized.

Caitlin’s description of Khao San Road in 100 words or less: the scene in euro trip where they drink the absinthe mixed with after school specials where they simulate drug use. Mixed with really loud music and wall to wall people and shops and you get this little wonder of a road.
Kate’s description: A scene from a really bad, cheaply made movie where the lead character is going into a dark place and demons and clowns jump out at the character with all sorts of crazy hethonistic offerings.
It was like that scene where Alice spirals into the well. When you land at the bottom you are on a road packed with venders on each side, with tuk tuk drivers, food sellers, ladies making pad thai, fruit stands, and the all important sex club promoters all vying for our attention over the pulsing beats of loud music from 100s of restaurants along the strip. (Note: the sex club operators had detailed menus that they held in front of your face as you walked by…we are still doing research for our sex tourism posting but don’t you worry we are working on it.) There are people getting dreads put in, tattoos, and people shining crazy patterns lights on the ground in front of you, hill-tribe members selling their wares and noise makers. With Oktoberfest-esque crowds of tourist, many of whom looked like they would enjoy the type of fare offered on the street…and a shower. (Adrianna –picture las ramblas riots on St Paddy’s Day 06 times 100) It was an assault to our senses. And morals. (See Moms…catholic school tuitions are paying off!) We were able to handle it that first night, however our second night we had to sneak into our hotel for a 15 minute breather just going out to get water and dinner.
Our first night we ate with Canadians. We got our first semi-authentic Pad Thai however the most interesting aspect of the evening was the staff at the restaurant. For those of you who have seen Bridget Jone’s 2…remember the scene where Hugh Grant had the Thai prostitute come to his room. In explaining to Bridget he said “The nice Thai girl who turned out to be a nice Thai boy.” Well my friends, that’s the norm here. Caitlin and her astute eye for these types of things noticed right away. Kate on the other hand must have not been paying attention and wasn’t aware of the waiter/waitress phenomenon until we left the restaurant. We now wish we hadn’t eaten with the Canadians so we could have discussed it and done more social research.
We got up the next morning and were going to try to see some sights in Bangkok but it was too hot and muggy and it took 3 hours to get anywhere in the traffic…so we hung out on a more mellow Khao San Road and waiting for the night market to open. There was a huge rainstorm in the middle of the day we were hoping would cool things off but it didn’t . It was during this storm we decided to get Pad Thai from a street cart…pretty good although we didn’t use the right spices. (See pics above!)
Sitting at a restaurant, still waiting for the night market to open, we drank a few beers (goodbye to $.25 or even $.75 beers…they are like $2 here!) we made friends with a boy from Nepal who lives in Bangkok who was smitten with Caitlin. He wanted to make us dresses that would make us look so good no one would recognize us. He was fluent in about 6 languages and had lived in Burma for a few years. It was fascinating to see him and the other employees of his shop interact and find out where they were from. We have his card if anyone needs a suit made or a tailor on the cheap.
Oh the night market….we took a tuk tuk there. You are lucky we are still alive to tell you about it. All we can say it that there was a near collision with a moto and rode about a block and a half down the street on a sidewalk. Our kamikaze driver was heavy on the gas and slow to break. We made it to the market in just about an hour though…which apparently was good for Bangkok traffic. The huge market had the usual tourist trinkets…the sellers aren’t as open to haggling or as animated as the sellers in Vietnam or Cambodia. Although we now are having trouble remember what we purchased…it was enough to fill up another box that was sent home the next morning.
We had some confusion with booking and tickets, so the next morning we booked plane ticket to Chiang Mai for later that evening. We spent the day checking out another market (shocker!) (this market had a whole section of live animals and the cutest little puppies you have ever seen- moms you are lucky we couldn’t figure out how to ship Pomeranians home) and getting ready to move on. And here we are!
Hope all is well at home. You people are getting better with the comments…we love it!
Peace and love!


  1. Hi girls,

    I continue to enjoy hearing of your travels. Sound like a cross between NYC and Marti Gras.
    I'd like to hear a little more detail about this sex menu though. Glad the Catholic school education payed off.

    You guys should think about attaching maps to your blogs. So that for those who are not geographically inclined have a better idea where you are. I know Caitlin, I cannot find my way out of a paper bag.

    I really am enjoying your fantastic photos and your vivid descriptions. Keep safe girls.

    Love you,

  2. hey ladies!

    it seems to me that about 84% of this adventure so far includes some form of shopping or beer consumption... Good job by you!

    the Canadians werent up to a conversation revolving around cross dressing wait staff? shocker!

    keep the pics coming, they are great!

    love, jay

  3. Hi Ladies, Lost an entire message I had written, not sure where it disappeared to, but if there are two here..Oh well. Anyhow, travel, shopping, beer - kind of goes together doesn't it Stay safe, remember your catholic education, and have loads of fun.

    Love - mom

  4. You two are looking good. I love reading the blog and can't wait to see more pictures. Kate Curry - I was on a conference call and I mistakenly said that I was on the leawning (learning) team. I thought of you and started laughing so hard. I miss you so much! I wanted to call and tell you the story right away and I nearly started crying because I couldn't. Miss you so much!!!! Love you cuz - Molly

  5. Hi Girls....

    So I am reading your blog as I usually do and I am appreciating your comic relief. Today I have the students looking at fish embryos that we bred in class. So far many have enjoyed the experience but others have NOT. Most of the quotes of the day consist of (1) I cannot find the f'in thing under the microscope. (2) I dont know how to use an f'in microscope. (3) this is a dumb f'in project.... why the f did you pick this??? O and these quotes are only from my first 2 classes.

    Anyway- it's a cool project and the majority of them will take something away from it. I set up an aquarium so they can see their 'babies' turn into Zebra fish. I might not be seeing elephants but I have a classroom full of fish at the moment.

    Miss you ladies and thanks for the laughs....


  6. this message is for momma cur..i too had a post up here and it is now gone!

    are you girls deleting them??!?!

  7. hello!! It is us!
    Lizz-zebra fish sound cool! sorry the students aren't into it. how are the dogs? send us a an em-mail or something.

    bridget and the lady- we don't deleate...why would be beg for comments and then erase??

    molly-haha glad you still find kates speech issues funny 20 years later.

    mom mizanin- we don't know about the menu. we are good catholic school girls and didn't look

    jay-is there anything to a trip besides beer, beaches and shopping??