So this is my first blog from South East Asia, which is where I'll be for the next eight or so months. I landed in smoggy, mental Bangkok on early am, January 12th, cabbed it to the Overstay, which is a hostel in Pinklau. Pinklau is a teeny bit out of the way of the traveller action, or whathaveyou, but the hostel was great. Basically, a bit like the squats I've been living for the past year or so, everyone chipping in, really friendly etc.
On the day I landed I had a gig that night, so I hung out for a bit, napped, then scampered across Bangkok. I decided, in all my misguided arrogance, that walking to the station would be a great idea. It wasn't. It was insane. The walk was ninety minutes, and I don't know if you know Bangkok, but everything in it seems unplanned, ridiculously fast and smoggy. Its like a city tripping over its own feet, so finding stuff as an ignorant, foolish cretin like myself is next to impossible. Still, eventually got to the gig, which was at a hotel (two hours late), managed to squeeze one poem out of my brain, talked to some lovely people and then went back to the hostel.
It's taken me a little while to get into full on backpacker mode. Not being the best with big crowds (at least in a sociable sense. I'm fine shouting and screaming pre-planned rants at them), I was standing on the side, being a bit quiet, with nothing of any interest whatsoever popping into my head. Fortunately, at The Overstay there were a few people who cajoled me out of my weird neuroses and made me drink alcohol and be sociable, which turned out to be jolly good fun. The last night I was there had an awesome reggae jam session, and a did a poem or two, plus a Ruby Kid (Dan, if it helps, I totally forgot the words so I don't think you can sue for breaching copyright or anything), which was really good fun.
Oh yeah, and I was stopped and searched by Thai police in Bangkok. A bit intimidating given all the horror stories of corruption and so forth. They found a leaf in my bag, and the one of the policemen (he looked about ten) showed it to his old, grizzled companion as if to say: YES. WE'VE CRACKED HIM. HE'S DEFINITELY GOT DRUGS AND NOW WE CAN EXTORT MONEY FROM HIM.
Sadly, it was only a leaf. Leaves aren't illegal in Thailand, and I'm not fully sure that having a leaf on you is illegal anywhere. Maybe in Canada its illegal to damage a maple leaf? Do let me know about any leaf-related laws.
The night before old squatmate, friend, fellow poet and now travelling companion met me in Bangkok, and now we've travelled down to Kho Phang Yang, which is home of the dangerous-sounding full moon parties... we've not arrived in time for those, which is probably a blessing, as we'd obviously just get stupidly, hopelessly, pathetically hammered and probably drown ourselves or something equally horrible. Its all relaxed at the moment though, but, as we all know from our Lord of the Flies and J G Ballard, from paradise is born eating and fucking each other in a state of collective psychopathy induced by a tyranny of leisure.
And, God knows, when you get bored, don't you just feel like eating and fucking the nearest person?
Anyway, in a teeny rush, got torces to buy, dinner to eat, I-pods to charge, Thai people to gesticulate wildly at and motorbikes to ride.
Over and out.