Thursday, December 29, 2005

Phuket, Fergie, and Bono's Humps

"Happy in Phuket!"

As promised, here are the pics from our little sojourn to Phuket.

But before I get to that, let me tell you about the flight over. We sat in front of a young Japanese-American couple with three kids -- the oldest being around nineish and the youngest being a couple months old. The middle child, a sixish-year-old son, was at that age where he tried to spell and read EVERYTHING in sight. And when I say everything, I MEAN EVERYTHING.

KID: Ma, what day is it today?
MOM: Saturday
KID: Saturday. Today is Saturday. S-A-D-E-R-D-A-Y. Right, Mom?
MOM: [Busy trying to get her baby to stop pulling my brother's hair] Right, honey. No, no Takeshi. Don't pull people's hair.
KID: Ma, what's this word?
MOM: Philosophy.
KID: How come you don't call it pilosopy?
MOM: Whenever you see a P with an H, you pronounce it like an F. See? So this word becomes Philosophy.
KID: So how come we don't call Phuket Fuk-it?
Mom: Because...that' exception. Don't ever call Phuket that, sweetie.
[A couple of minutes later]
KID: [Flipping through the music selection at the back of the Thai Airways in flight magazine, reading aloud the various music selections] Black Eyed Peas. My humps. Ma, what is a hump?
MOM: A hump? A hump is like a bump.
KID: Why would someone sing about a bump?
MOM: I don't know, sweetie.
KID: [Putting his headphones on] Ma, help me find the song.
[Some twenty minutes later]
KID: Ma, what are lady lumps?

Needless to say, by the time we reached Phuket, my brother and I had nearly wet ourselves laughing. Kids -- ya gotta love 'em.

We had dinner at Da Maurizio's, seriously THE BEST Italian place I've ever been to. And that's not just because of the food, which was pretty spectacular. No, it was because of the view, which as you can see, was pretty damn stellar.

As you can see, because of impending midterms, I brought my lecture notes with me EVERYWHERE I Da Maurizio's, to the beach, to the pool, into the shower.
Just kidding.
Or am I?
But seriously, isn't the view BEAUTIFUL?

We decided to walk back to our hotel since we didn't want to miss out on the fabulous mid-70's weather. There were tsunami memorials set up along the way; pieces of art by Thai artists.

I liked this one the best...

Names of victims and their nationalities were imprinted on the silver badges. Thai, South African, Indian, Finnish, Japanese, Swedish, Taiwanese, German, British -- they were all there.

I'm not sure what this fella's supposed to represent, but that white blob off in the distance is a head...
More memorial pics here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Stopping to catch a late night game of soccer...

Pic I took the next day with my cell phone and sent to T as photographic evidence of my studiousness.
The actual text message: "c! told u im studying"
To which he replied: "big deal - it couldve been staged!"

Hah, I love how the book's opened to page one...

It started drizzling, so I was forced to run for cover. It was in the low 60's, by the way. I had my trusty cashmere sweater on and was shivering, but still this didn't stop the Scandinavians from sunbathing anyway.

You can't get more Irish than a green pub called Molly Malone's. It was only a five-minute walk from our hotel, so we ended up hanging out here later that night. The live band was AWESOME. Live Irish music + some of the black stuff = very good craic. I'm sorry I didn't have my tin whistle at hand, or else I would've joined in, too!

Nah. Just kidding. I can't play that thing to save my life.

We decided to hit the beach before it started raining again.

Played with the camera filter to see what would come up...

"I've still got sand in my shoes..."

It was a cloudy day, but it still provided for some awesome shots.

And even more soccer.

Hard at work.

We hit Soi Bangla the next night. I love how inserting a P into Patong gives you Patpong. Coincidence? I think not.

During our stroll down Soi Bangla, seven pimps called out to me -- SEVEN. I don't know whether to be flattered or offended. The thing is, EVERYONE thought I was either Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, or Singaporean. I got everything from konnichiwa, to ni hao, to annyeonghaseyo thrown at me all weekend. EVEN THE TAIWANESE TOURISTS THOUGHT I WAS TAIWANESE! I'm not even kidding. A group of Taiwanese tourists stopped me to ask for directions. Imagine their disappointment when all I could offer was a pathetic "Ni hao. Me sorry. No can speak Mandarin."

Not that I can blame them, considering I'm as Chinese-looking as they get.

And, the moment you've all been waiting for -- Here's the clip of transvestites trying to get my brother and I to watch their show. It's about halfway in, so you might want to fast forward past the pimp trying to pick up some girls... or you can watch, if you want. :P

If you don't understand Thai, basically the lady in green is asking if I'm from Hong Kong. I tell her I'm Thai (I SWEAR MY VOICE ISN'T THAT SQUEAKY AND HIGH-PITCHED IN REAL LIFE!!!), to which she replies, "If you're Thai, then I'll only charge you 20 baht," to which I decline. One of her tranny friends cries out as we're walking away (ดูเถอะค่ะ!), obviously disheartened that her fellow Thais would turn down a chance to support the nation's, um, burgeoning entertainment industry. I'm sorry, but I had to get back to the hotel and finish reading about the medulla oblongata!

A little later on in the clip, you'll see some girls walking down the street in bikinis. You can't hear it, but there was an elderly American woman walking behind us who was totally complaining to her husband: "You would never see this sort of thing in Kansas City!"

After our foray into Patong's reddest of red light districts, we went shopping. Or, rather, I went shopping. Tee hee.

I bought a ring and bracelet. The guy totally didn't believe I was Thai at first. He kept speaking freaking Japanese to me. In Thai, I was all, "I REALLY AM THAI!" But he was certain I was a Japanese expat living in Thailand. Sigh. Then he tried to charge me the damn tourist fee -- an inflated 750 baht -- so we started to walk away...

In the end, he called us back and that's when I got down and dirty, bargaining down to a much more reasonable 400. Score! It's too bad I can't get a business card that says Shopper Extraordinaire.

The view from our hotel room, which we TOTALLY THOUGHT WAS HAUNTED. Then, much to our embarrassment, we realized it was just the wind. Still, it was pretty disturbing to hear all night long; it even woke me up at one point, around 3 in the am. I mean, forget the fact that it sounds like something from out of a D-list horror flick, but listen to this and tell me how you cannot get just slightly freaked.

The next day was thankfully gloriously sunny, so by then, the wind had died down. Phew.

We took a little day trip down to Kata Beach, which is where my dad's new hotel is currently under construction.

Notice Exhibit A -- Roasting Farang in Serious Need of Sunscreen.
And Exhibit B -- Roasting Farang on Verge of Becoming Next Thanksgiving's Main Course.
And finally, Exhibit C -- Roasting Farang Complaining that Her Tan Came Out Too Orange (well what did you expect? That's what happens when you lay in the sun all day with no sunscreen).

I tell ya -- it was not verra pretty. Thankfully the view of the ocean did not disappoint.

Personally I like Kata Beach loads more than Patong Beach. Not only is it cleaner and offer a better view, but because there aren't any pubs and go-go bars, it doesn't get as crazy and horny tourist/transvestite/prostitute-infested at night.

What will eventually become my dad's hotel.
That big pit in the distance will eventually be the lotus pond, which is where the lobby will sit upon.

What will eventually be the eight main villas.

And even more of the hotel.
It doesn't look like much yet, but the computer renderings I've seen are pretty spectacular. The launch date is set to sometime next September. I can't wait!

A shot of the hills behind the hotel.

Later we headed to Kata Viewpoint, where the views are absolutely breathtaking. This pic here totally pales in comparison to the real thing.

And onward to the southernmost tip of the island -- Laem Phrom Thep, located between Rawai and Nai Harn Beach.

Again, these pics do the real thing no justice at all...

At the very top is a shrine to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, who Laem Phrom Thep is named after (Laem Phrom Thep = Lord Brahma's Cape). Next to it is the Golden Jubilee Lighthouse, which contains a small museum dedicated to all things nautical.

We climbed to the top of the lighthouse to catch the midday rays. That silver panel you see here is a map of the surrounding islands.

Wat Chalong, where we went to pay our respects.

We spotted this German guy there.
He was denied entrance into the temple, for obvious reasons.

Before heading to the airport on our last day, we stopped by Royal Phuket Marina, since my parents are interested in getting a place there.

After seeing the stellar view, I honestly couldn't complain.

The marina's still under construction, but the nearby beach is -- surprise, surprise -- absolutely breathtaking.

Caught the sunset before leaving the marina for the airport.

Now do you see why I would totally move to Phuket in a heartbeat?

And now I'm off, because we're leaving for Singapore tomorrow. HAPPY 2006 IN ADVANCE, EVERYONE!


Currently Playing: My Humps by the Black Eyed Peas, because even though this song is probably the dumbest I've ever heard, it's also incredibly cheeky and fun to dance to. Also, because we heard it at least one gazillion times during our stay in Phuket, and also because hearing Fergie sing about her lovely lady lumps while being approached by transvestites gives the song a whole new meaning, I tell ya.

Currently Reading: The Time article on my favorite rock star, Bono, who was chosen along with Bill and Melinda Gates as Time's Persons of the Year.

EDIT: I was just reading the Time article on Bono, and guess what he says about sleep? "I'm like a camel. I store up sleep in my hump." Because I was also listening to the BEP's My Humps, I accidentally snorted green tea up my nose.

But on a more serious note, check out what he has to say on John Lennon's "Imagine" ("You know what my least favorite John Lennon song is? Imagine. At the root of it is some rigorous thinking about the way things could be, but people have stolen the idea and made it an anthem for wishful thinking. I'm against wishful thinking. I hate it."), not to mention what he has to say about faith and religion ("I try to live it rather than talk about it because there are enough secondhand-car salesmen for God."). Pardon the pun, but does Bono rock or what? I didn't list him as one of the people I'd like to meet most for no reason, ya know.

>> Click to continue reading <<

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
--Luke 2:8-11

Thanks for all the ecards, emails, text messages, and happy wishes. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having a rockin' Christmas. :)

Much love,

>> Click to continue reading <<

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


So. I'm back.

And guess what?


Oh, and I totally didn't study. But that's pretty much a given. I mean, I don't know about you, but how the hell can you muster up any kind of excitement for the medulla oblongata when everywhere you look there is nothing but DAZZLING OCEAN and STUNNING SUN around to tempt you????


I have to go and cram my ass off now. And whimper. And cry. And scream, "I hate you Medulla Oblongata, I hate you!!!"

Looks like no sleep for me tonight. Or tomorrow. Or the day after. Or...

Anyway, hope everyone has a great week.

I know I won't. :(


P.S. More Phuket pics (like, um, nearly two hundred) -- not to mention the audio clip of our haunted hotel room and the video clip of the transvestites who tried to get me and my brother to watch their nudie show -- after the madness that is midterms is over.

>> Click to continue reading <<