THE LEGEND OF BANGKOK: CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 5: SNAKE OF BUDDHA

7:45am

It was a bright and sunny Sunday morning the day after our little market and river adventure and we were about to head back out to the Chao Pray river for another. The first order of business was a bit sad as we had to bid the rest of our class goodbye. They were heading off to Phistanulock and from there onto Phuket, while we would remain in Bangkok for one more day before going back to London. Although, we weren’t thrilled about this (Phutket is an amazingly beautiful place and I have every intention of going back to Thailand just to see it), it couldn’t be helped, we had job ‘interviews’ that week. I crawled out of bed, went downstairs, said my goodbyes, crawled back up to my room and promptly went back to sleep.

8:30am

I woke up again, hurriedly dressed up and jumped into the bathroom, cleansed myself, ate and proceeded to the hotel lobby to wait for the rest of my crew to congregate. Once everyone was good and ready, we called two taxis, hopped in and sped off toward the private pier we had accidentally gone to the day before. In a fit of stereotypical Ijebu-ness, my friend ‘Miss-O’ decided to renegotiate the prices we had previously agreed upon the day before and we ended up getting the same deal for a cheaper price. Everybody needs that one friend…

The boat wasn’t really a boat; it was a canoe with delusions of grandeur. Long, with a plastic ‘roof’ and a motor at the back, it was nothing like the boats you would expect on a ‘private boat cruise’ but then again, it was bloody awesome fun, so I didn’t much care. For example, when our driver sped up, the boat hopped on the waves and sprayed a little bit of the river water upward. As much fun as this was, I did my best to keep my mouth shut, I was sure that if any of that river water entered my mouth I was going to become a mutant turtle or the incredible hulk. Up close, it looked like it contained all the pollution of all the factories in Thailand.

Go ahead. Drink. I dare you.

After about 10 minutes of ‘sailing’ along the main river, we branched off onto the small pathway that led toward ‘Snake Island’ running into fishermen selling things, waving at random villagers standing around and taking pictures of the scenery and temples along the way. Finally, after about 25 minutes on the boat, we finally arrived at the Snake Farm.

11:08am

Things got off with a bang once we stepped off the boat. We were ushered in, told to buy our tickets and quickly led into the premises where there was already a show in progress. The show took place in a circular arena surrounded by raised seats where we were expected to sit and be amazed. There was an announcer in a corner providing factual/comedic commentary and occasional misinformation. He spoke with a slow, deliberate pace, heavily accented but passable English and a bizarre intonation which I’m not sure how to describe. It felt like a scene out of something on National geographic.

The first snakes on show were two cobras which the commentator informed us were some of the most poisonous snakes in Asia. After charming and tossing the snakes around a bit, he took one, brought it right to our front and ‘milked’ it – extracted the venom.

The Cobra dance of death

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Venom. Are you not entertained?

He then put it back in its cage and another fellow brought out the next display, a viper. The bloody snake kept trying to crawl off the stage and come to our seats and the silly fellow in charge would let it wander a bit close before he pulled it back, I’m sure this was part of the show but it scared the righteousness out of me.

See how the bastard keeps trying to crawl toward me? God pass am

Anyway as per badt goiz, I didn’t flinch, just sat there, like a boss. When he was done showing up the somewhat boring and yet scary viper, he picked it up and without warning, swung it around 360 degrees so it went right past my face. In the 2 seconds it took for that to happen, I made my peace with my maker. I swear that must have been the fastest repenting of sins that heaven has ever received. When the snake was put back and I realized I was not dead, I relaxed and settled in for the next display – a black mamba.

The Black (and Yellow) Mamba

When they pulled out the mamba and the charmer started his dance of death with it, all I could think of was Wiz khalifas ‘black and yellow’ , that and the Kobe Bryant vi 6 sneakers.

I'm sure you can see the family resemblance.

Apparently, the black mamba has one of the highest kill rates on the planet; almost 100% of its bites are fatal. I also learnt that brightly colored snakes are to be feared since they are the most poisonous. Nature tries to warn people not to mess with these snakes by giving them bright, visible colors, essentially, the bright colors are the “Don’t fuck with me” T-shirt of the snake world. The ones that blend into the environment aren’t so dangerous hence they have to hide so as not to be seen. (Don’t quote me on this).

Anyway, when they dragged out the Pièce de résistance – the python, I was genuinely excited because by this point all my fear had gone, I’m not sure why. The snake was huge! The creepy commentator/lecturer told us that slow snakes are the most poisonous, again, since they cannot move fast enough to run away, they have to be badasses. On the other hand, the faster snakes were generally not as dangerous. (Again, don’t quote me on this, for all I know the guy might have been talking out of his arse)

The Big Boss

After the talk, milking the python and a few stunts, they asked us to come and take pictures with the snake…on our necks. I could have sworn that for a millisecond I smelled raw fear from myself and my companions. But after I led the way… as usual, we eventually dragged ourselves up and posed to take the picture. The snake skin felt like a living breathing ‘Loois v00itton’ handbag. Anyway when that was done, we were roamed around the farm where there were lots of other animals to play aroung with…monkeys, tigers, deer… it was buckets of fun. By the time we were ready to leave, we were asked to take one more picture with a python and this time, it was to be personal. Only ‘Miss O’ and myself had the guts to do it. She’s a Five-star chick in my opinion, with more balls than all of the others combined. (Suckers! :p)

Pure undiluted Awesomeness

2:40 pm

When the snake and animal tomfoolery was done, we took the boat back to the pier and decided to head out to see the largest solid gold statue in the world – The Golden Buddha. It was located in the temple of Wat Traimit which we headed to via taxi. The temple itself was awesome with a gigantic picture of the king in the background.

I still maintain that this is an awesome picture. Sweggs.

Gold topped white buildings in the entire compound gave it a feeling of royal peace. It was spectacular in many ways. Some of my more religious companions refused to come up to see the statue; I guess they were scared of being infected by some stray spirit. There might have been something to their theory but still, there was no way I would come all this way and not see the statue. Those of us that were willing, went in and I can tell you, there is a big difference between gold and GOLD.

Behold! 5500kg of pure Gold... Okay, you can pick your jaw up from the floor now...

The statute was 5500kg of pure radiant gold and it shone even in the shade. We didn’t stay long so as not to disturb those that came to pray here, we took our pictures and left in peace.

3:38pm

The final stop on our Bangkok trip was the Gem gallery. A giant building that housed a workshop and sales shop where jewelry is made and sold. The place was pure class. When we walked in, they offered us drinks, told us pictures were not allowed and two of the most polite Thai ladies ever walked beside us offering information and asking questions. It was obvious they were putting the moves on us, trying to get us to buy something. While the prices were reasonable, the gems were stunning and there was a great variety, we were quite simply…broke ass niggas. We couldn’t really afford anything of the quality on display there but when I am good and ready, there is every possibility that I will buy my wedding ring from them. We walked around, admiring the craftsmen at work, looking at the finished products and the shark tank in the center of the gallery. I bought some smaller items I could afford for a friend *wink* and we headed to the tailors to pick up my suit which was finally ready.

6:09pm

Finally back in the hotel, I ate dinner, started packing up, collating all the pictures from the days before, and mentally preparing for the 13 hour trip back to London. It was going to be a long and hard goodbye to the Land of smiles and gold.
THE END.


Yeah. I know what you mean bro. I feel your pain.

~And thus concludes the Legend of Bangkok. Its been fun recording the memories and sharing them with you all. On a personal note, I think a lot of us Nigerians don’t have enough of a traveling culture, how many of us have even been to Obudu Cattle ranch? Erin-ijesa waterfalls ? Ghana? Cotonou even? Is it fear, do we think too much about things? Whatever the reason, travel more. Theres splendor to behold in the world . Take advantage of every chance. Don’t think, just go. Cheerio~  

SINS OF THE FATHER

 “One can be a brother only in something. Where there is no tie that binds men, men are not united but merely lined up.”-  Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

 To a child, family is everything; his refuge from the storms of life, his comfort in times of pain, his source of endless happiness. Uncles, aunts, all are kind and full of smiles, always handy with a sweet or two, kind words to say, a tickle here and there; everyone is kind and loving to the child of a family member. Sadly, by the time this child grows to be an adult, this beautiful, simple, loving construct of family is usually gone and replaced by disillusionment, apathy and in extreme cases: distrust. If the child is lucky, this stops with extended family and the child can remain fully trusting of close nuclear family members, in extreme cases, by the onset of adulthood, this once much-loved child is an isolated, paranoid adult with misgivings about everyone including his/her own siblings. Sad it may be, but true it is. I’ve seen it happen several times over.

 The deconstruction of the original, loving family image usually occurs as a result of several different driving factors. For one, adults act differently to you as you grow older. Everyone loves a young, innocent, cute child. Even strangers will play with a random baby off the street making such remarks as “Ooooh! What a cute baby!” or “Awwwww, he looks adorable”. But with puberty comes loss of innocence, “cuteness”, and “adorability”. No one offers to carry the brooding 11year old girl sitting in the corner. And by the time the final teen years are reached, most people don’t know who the child is really. He/she becomes a decoration in the home of the parents. Uncles, aunts simply know you as “Brother Tunde’s Son” or “Doctors daughter”. Then when they see you, they ask silly questions like “Are you the one that won the scholarship to covenant?” or “Youre brother Emeka’s son, the one going to Unilag abi?” Like you have no name, no identity, save for the school you attend or the achievements of which your parents speak the most. This happens to most of us to one degree or the other and I guess, in many ways it is understandable; every family member can’t be expected to know everything about everyone else.

 But nothing completely shatters the sheltered family image that most of us have like the sudden death of a parent. See, parents (good ones anyway) are what I call the “Family Bullshit Dam (FBS)” to their children. They keep all the external family bullshit away from their children by dealing with it themselves and not letting their children become unduly biased against or hateful of anyone. This is usually the job of the father. Sadly, when the FBS passes on, all this pent-up, historical bullshit comes crashing down on those left behind and in some cases, the remnants of the family drown in it. Sometimes, the fathers themselves are the source of the bullshit: the direct result of keeping secrets that shouldn’t really be kept for example:  illegitimate children showing up at funerals are now common for many Nigerian families – but that’s not what I refer to today.

 Today I’m writing about internal family dynamics; the uncles that gave insult to your mother and as such became persona non grata, the uncle that your mother inadvertently offended, the aunt that refused to help your dad in a time of severe need, those quarrels between your mother and her sisters you never knew about, the unspoken feud between the family of your father and mother, simple misunderstanding that got blown out of proportion and became lifelong vendettas….all those things that shouldn’t come into play when the main protagonists make an unexpected exit from the stage of life, but still, somehow, do because some ‘adults’ cannot let things go. They must punish the children for the sins of the father, real or imagined.

 I personally experienced this, having lost both parents last year, I initially thought the entire family (at least most of it, anyway) would rally around us – me and my brothers and help till we were stable again, being orphans and all. Oh, how wrong I was! At first yes, there was the perfunctory eye service from all corners, people overcome with emotion promising things they could not deliver, saying we could count on them…yeah….right… This was just the calm before the bullshit storm and its associated flood.

 I cannot go into the details of all that has transpired so far, that would be out of place and quick frankly, stupid of me. But I can safely say that we are well into the bullshit tsunami now and all the creatures are showing their true natures. Of course, there are those family members that have done a lot for us and to whom I will be eternally grateful. I cannot thank them enough, for they have gone well and beyond the call of duty. The sad thing is that there are so few of them. Judging by the sheers quantity of siblings and half-siblings my parents have, I imagined that we would have more care at our disposal, sadly not. Till today I and my brothers are yet to receive a phone call from some of these siblings. I don’t understand…how can your sibling and his/her spouse both die and yet you feel no obligation to even call the children they left behind for well over a year? Do you not fear God? Even beyond the apathy and lack of care, which I can deal with, it now appears some family members have actively started seeking to undermine us and our attempts to be something more than just mediocre. That is the biggest shock of all.

 I’m not sure why I decided to write this today, it being father’s day and all, a day to celebrate and cherish family. I guess it’s because I miss my father deeply and I wish he were here to tell me who I could trust, what the history behind this apparent animosity and apathy is, what to do, how to handle it. In many ways I’m not sure what to do about it. I’ve never been much of a people person and my natural instinct is to isolate and insulate myself from people. But I don’t want to do that, I can’t. My elder brother and I are our own men now and have to speak with one voice, march to one beat, heading in the same direction toward a common goal. I’ve sworn to myself, that I will never let anything come between us. Anything. But in order to do that I need to be able to make decisions about things and people, carry my own weight, know how to handle the complex situations that have been left behind in the aftermath of our parents demise.  I miss my father’s wise counsel and the calm manner with which he handled things which I described in my father’s day post last year.

(https://thinktankt.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/memories-of-my-father-on-fathers-day/)

 If there is anything to take away from this post today, I guess it’s the need for children to know where the family skeletons lie, where pitfalls exist and where dangers lurk. I understand that parents have a need to shelter their children from the bullshit of life but personally I feel that once a child is old enough to go to war, drink alcohol and have children of their own, it’s time to break them in. Gradually let them know who can be trusted, what transpired before, not with malice or bias but simply for them to know and understand. The last thing you want when you’re sailing your ship of life through a storm after your captains death is to have a saboteur on board.

 HAPPY FATHERS DAY.

 

~Oh a few things: the final chapter of The Legend of Bangkok will be up this week. Sorry for the long delay. Also, I’d like to thank those of you that saw fit to nominate this blog for the Nigerian Blog awards thingy. Thanks. ~

THE LEGEND OF BANGKOK – CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 4: THE GOLDEN SUN

I woke up on Saturday morning surprisingly hangover-free. I guess my liver had finally manned-up and learnt to process alcohol quickly. (or maybe I just didn’t drink that much, the night before)

Anyway, I had to be dressed quickly today; we were headed for the Grand Palace.

 <History lesson>

 The Grand Palace or Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang as it is called in Thai is a sprawling assortment of buildings surrounded by a beautiful garden. Apparently, it has been the official residence of the Kings of Thailand since the 18th century and was built in 1782, by King Rama I, when he moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok. The Palace has been expanded over the years and new structures continuously added. The present King of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose picture can be seen on more or less every street in Bangkok doesn’t live there though. He resides at another palace.

Full details for those interested are here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Palace

<End of History Lesson>

 Once I had I breakfast, I met up with the rest of the crew, hopped into our cabs and headed out. The sun was blazing overhead with the vengeance of hundred angry volcanoes, though it made things uncomfortable, it also made everthing look more beautiful. When we arrived, we were informed by a friendly looking con artist outside the gates that the palace was closed till 1pm for the day and we would have to wait till then. He then proceeded to tell us about a snake farm and some other sights we could go see while we waited and of course offered to help arrange all this for the meager sum of 2000 Baht per person. As per sharp guys and things, one of us (he was French) decided to actually walk into the palace to check. He came back and told us that the guy was trying to scam us and that the palace was actually open. It was a pity though, this con artist, like all Thai people was actually very friendly and some of us (me) didn’t want to believe he had lied to us, but the evidence was clear. Confused and disappointed slightly, we left him and headed into the palace.

 Shorts, miniskirts, armless shirts and other clothes that expose flesh were not permitted in the palace (Since, well… I guess they didn’t want people distracting all the serious, contemplative statues of Buddha from their introspection)

Bitch, I'm contemplating the path to inner peace. Do not distract me with your cleavage

Once we entered the grand palace, we were struck by a constant barrage of gold and light and color. Everything was so ancient, so beautiful, it was almost overwhelming. From the statues of ancient Thai gods and demons, to the gold-tipped spires and rooftops with images of dragons sculpted on them, it was all very….impressive. I doubt I have the words to adequately convey the beauties which my eyes witnessed in the grand palace, I will simply show you.

The main palace in front of the garden

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Entrance to one of the temples

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Monks in the inner temple...where shoes and cameras are not allowed 😦

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Using wetted lotus leaves to cool my burning head.

 
 
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Statue at the base of a temple. I assume its a demon of some sort. The gold is awesome though

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Amazing detail on the temple wall

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"The sleeping Buddha". (actually, this wasnt taken at the palace, its in another temple X_X)

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Amazing temple roof detail.

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Me and my wingman at the entrance on one section. I apologize the his umblerra. Kilin' the sweggs

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Palace Decor. I see this and i think "short man devil"

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I love thai roof decor. You see the shine from the sun? Awesome.

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Me. At the foot of a temple. Obviously suffering from sun-induced tiredness

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The row of contemplating buddhas.

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Somewhere in the world there are two young German girls wondering why their picture with some weird black guy is on the internet.

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"Shhhhh....quiet. I'm pretending to study the ancient drawings on the wall...."

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The obligatory picture with a monk. Dont leave Bangkok without one.

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Another Dragon designed roof

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These guards were kinda scary though...maybe it was the bayonettes

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thats a big sword yo...

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The end :-)

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Once we were done being amazed with all the sights we had beheld in&nbsp;the palace, we headed out to the biggest market in Bangkok – Jatujak market. I have never in my life been to such a huge market before. Simply put, that market was insanely gigantic. So gigantic that we needed a map to navigate around and our party of 15 got lost several times. After trying desperately to decide what to buy and what direction to go in order to please everyone, we eventually split into groups.

They give out free maps to the market. Free. In Bangkok. Free. Yes, Its that serious.

One group stayed on to further explore the market while my group (mostly Nigerians) headed out for the Chao Praya River. We had heard we could get boats going toward the “snake island” and the “floating temple” from the pier so we decided to go there. Now, two of our friends decided (against my advice) to take the “tuk tuk” while the rest of us went in a cab. This little bit of foolhardiness eventually led to comedy of errors as the following ensued:

 1. Our taxi arrived at the pier first and we found out that not only was the boat to the snake island closed for the day, the pier we had come to was a private pier and would be much more expensive than public piers which, by the way did not have boats to go to the snake farm anyway. So, we would have to come back the next day.

 2. My friends in the tuk tuk went to another pier and did not know how to tell the Driver where the rest of us were to come meet up because well…his English was about as good as my Hausa (embarrassingly terrible)

 3. We left the private pier and went to the nearest public pier with the intention of just taking a boat to Chinatown. We asked the other group to meet there.

 4. They told the driver where we were: ‘Chao Praya’ boat pier. Unfortunately, the entire river is named Chao Praya and so he took them to yet another wrong pier.

(At this point, I’m sure you can see how all this was going and imagine the rest)

 To cut a long and irritating story short, we wasted 2 hours trying to reconstitute our group. By the time they arrived it was 6pm and the sun was about to set. Somehow it seemed fortunate that we had wasted all that time because Bangkok by boat at sunset is a most glorious sight to behold.

A view of a temple from the river at sunset. Those arent lights by the way, the jewels on the temple are sparkling. Beautiful, No?

Whilst waiting to get onto the boat we ran into the most interesting fellow: Jacob. Jacob is a German Jew (yes, you read that correctly) that had come to Bangkok to interview for a job as an English and German teacher for an upper class school in Thailand. He had also been a teacher in Kenya, Brazil and many other exotic locations and he was just 26. Fun, friendly and very trusting, Jacob immediately took a liking to us and joined our group. We planned to take the boat ride together and have dinner at Chinatown. I sat next to him throughout the boat ride asking ridiculous questions like “how does it feel to be a German Jew?”, commenting on the beauty of the Temples at sunset and the make-up of the Thai architecture as compared to other exotic cities. It was a delightful conversation, so much so that we decided to stay on the boat all the way to the end of its rout and then come back before alighting at Chinatown. That was a mistake.

Errr...I cant think of a caption....would "I'm on a boat" suffice?

The boat ride was much longer than we expected and after one and a half hours riding without reaching the end, we were tired and had run out of conversation. We were also getting anxious because it was night now and we were far away from mainland Bangkok. We asked and were told that we had to get off at the next stop and return or else risk being taken very far away ( I for one was sure that boat was headed for Vietnam or Laos or some other not so awesome place). Once we got to the next stop, we jumped off the boat like it was a molue on fire. It took a while for us to realize that Jacob was not with us. I guess he got carried away with the boat ride or maybe he just wasn’t quick enough. If he were a lady, I’d remember him as the potential P that was never set, you know the nice movie-type chance encounters that just start and end suddenly… anyway #NoHomo.

I can totally picture this as the storyline for a gay romance movie or novel. "Chance Encounter: Lost love on Chao Praya". Once again...#NoHomo

 This was also the night I had to rush off to the tailors and get my suit fitted. We did that quickly and returned to the hotel exhausted. We immediately finalized plans for the next day as it would be our last full day in Bangkok and we had to make it count. My group of friends was a bit skeptical about the plan but my mind was made up, nothing would stop me from heading to the infamous Snake Island.

To be continued…

Coming next…  CHAPTER 5: SNAKE OF BUDDHA

THE LEGEND OF BANGKOK: Chapter 3

 

CHAPTER 3: NIGHT OF THE LADYBOY

I was shocked with disappointment. ‘Spankys’ wasn’t really anything worth watching in my opinion. It was just a bunch of topless, skinny, ugly-ish girls vibrating on the elevated dance floor while a bunch of mostly old white men, sat round tables looking at them. It wasn’t even a decent strip club. I would not insult the talented strippers in Vegas and other places of premium quality carnality by calling what they were doing “dancing”. Imagine if you will, a 40 year old woman with the body a 12 year old girl, topless, being occasionally poked with a cattle prod. She would shake violently for a bit and then stop, right? That’s basically what this was. Every other thirty seconds or so, one of the girls would spank the others with a padded stick. I assume this is what inspired the name of the club. I ordered one drink, endured this absurdity for all of 5 minutes before excusing myself and rejoining the rest of the group that had decided not to go in.

 (I was later informed by one of my friends who had decided to stay back that about an hour after I left, they had gone to another, considerably more interesting club where the…erm…strippers used their vaginas to do many…erm… interesting things…like launch ping pong balls into the air, pick up coins and the like. I guess that would have been fun to see but by this time I was long gone from the Nana area. To this day I’m not sure if by leaving, I made the right decision or not. I guess you all will tell what you think in the comment box. Oh well, that’s what it was)

 We decided to go get dinner and some Shisha which turned out to be much more fun than the little strip club that I had seen. We spent the evening eating Arabic food, drinking fruit cocktails and smoking shisha. My friend “Tiu” tried to teach me and another friend “Bear” how to blow the smoke in rings but the best I managed was to blow it through my nose like an angry bull. 

After we had exhausted our gist and the drinks we walked through the town for a bit (this was at midnight or so) and observed some interesting things.

First off, the town was absurdly lively even at that late hour. Shops open, cabs running, people hustling and bustling around. It was quite comforting to see a city function at midnight as though it were broad daylight.

 

Bangkok. The city that never sleeps. Because its busy banging kok? No? Errr...Moving on then...

Second, there were a lot of young Thai girls with old Caucasian men walking around. I should say that of the “girls” we saw, I estimate that 40% of them were actually men parading as women – ladyboys (transsexuals) as they are called. It was quite ridiculous. I had learnt the trick to spotting them earlier from “the Lion” who simply told me:

“forget ass and tits, always look at the jaw and throat (adams apple)”

Simply put, they had square jawlines and prominent adams apples which you could use to spot them. But still, some of them were so stunningly beautiful that I’m sure a little konji and alcohol would be enough to blind many men to the fact that they were indeed ladyboys. 

Pictured: A hot Ladyboy. Would you hit that?
Lucky for us, most of the ones we saw were fairly obviously men. Like this group (below) who decided to pose for us…I’m not exactly sure why.
 
 

A herd of Ladyboys spotted outside Nana.

 

We completed our walk, bought a few souvenirs and caught cabs home. I was on my way back to my room, thinking the night was over, when I got a call from another one of my friends “M-man”. “M-man” is without a doubt the hardest drinker I know on God’s green earth. He and a few buddies had been drinking for a while and at this point were inebriated and looking to head to a club (at 12:30 am). I had a full day planned ahead of me and I wasn’t particularly interested in going clubbing but how could I resist? We were here for faaji. I went to my room, took a shower (it was still hot), changed and got dressed and we headed out.

 We were a party of about ten, including, my course coordinator whom I assume had come along to have some fun as well as babysit us and make sure no one ended up at the police station by night’s end. Once we walked in, we were led to a table where “M-man” had already ordered drinks for everyone. We started in on the drinks and chatted nonsense for a bit (you can’t really carry on logical conversations with drunken engineering students). After a bit of this, me and my wing-man for the night “H”, made our way onto the dance floor and danced with some Thai girls. At first we were met with violent resistance by a group who I am sure were lesbian Satanists (Don’t ask me how I know this). Their warrior queen pushed “H” back and shouted in damaged english:

“No, these my girls, they for me!!!”

I dont remember clearly, but I'm sure this is what she looked like

We backed away and squeezed through the crowded dance floor to another group of girls who weremuch  friendlier 😀 . From there on out, it was a haze of dancing, drinking, Hi-5’s to random strangers, laughter, silliness and people offering us their drinks. I have to say Thai clubs have a much friendlier vibe than any other I’ve been to. I can’t imagine what manner of demon would possess a Nigerian in a club to offer his drink to a random stranger whom he couldn’t even communicate in the same language with.

This is before the drinking really started.

  As was bound to happen sooner or later, due to the large amounts of alcohol being consumed and the konji reaching critical levels, there was an incident with the lady boys. During the middle of our groove, while I and “H” were dance floor hopping, we walked past a group of Lady boys standing in a corner flagrantly disobeying Wizkids instruction to “Not Dull”. Anyway, Lady boys are definitely not my thing so I pulled a Johnny walker and kept walking. After a few minutes, I looked behind me and noticed “H” wasn’t following me. I retraced my steps and found him dancing with (dry humping) one of the Lady boys we had walked past. I decided not to judge him and firmly blamed it on the alcohol. I walked up to him and whispered in his ear:

“You know that’s a guy you’re dancing with right?”

To which he responded in a drunken slur:

“Nah, Wole. Don’t say that. She’s a tall beautiful lady”.

It was obvious that he had lost all reasoning capacityat this point and I had no choice. I grabbed him by the arm and dragged him away before he ended up with a lifetimes worth of regrets.

A lot more stuff went down that night which, well, since it didn’t happen to me, I cannot really reveal. All I can say is: A lot of drunken people mistook a Ladyboys for girls that night, At least one person had sex with a Thai girl (at least I hope it was a girl), one person puked on the dance floor and someone (me) got his ass grabbed by a girl ( I really, really, realllllly hope it was a real girl).

Yes Boss! Err...wait tho...What was that second thing you said?

Anyway, I mostly confined myself to dancing and laughing and generally having a good time. When the music stopped playing, the live band that had played earlier came back on and began what I can only describe as ‘Thai bizarro club theatre’. They brought some girls on stage, made them dance, stand around and act out weird scenes with other male club patrons. Nothing sexual, just weird. Like the guys would kneel down while the girls dance round them, touch their heads and say some weird stuff. Later when I asked, I heard it was some kind of game. But in a club though? Thai people are odd. We left the club at around 4:00 am, hailed taxis and headed home. It had been a pretty awesome night all round.

By the time I lay down in bed, I was exhausted. I really needed to rest because the next day would be tiring as well: we had already laid out plans. We would be heading to the most grandiose and awe inspiring set of buildings in Thailand: The Grand Palace.

 To be continued…

 Coming next: CHAPTER 4: GOLDEN SUN

THE LEGEND OF BANGKOK: Chapter 2

CHAPTER 2: THE BURN

The following morning, we all had to wake up early to head to the office of one of the Companies that sponsored our trip in Bangkok. This was all part of of our ‘official trip’ charade and so was a necessary song and dance to perform. I will not bore you all with details of this; it should suffice to say that the discussions, interactions and experience were pretty mildly interesting (if you’re into drilling and reservoir engineering anyway). I did however find out why the entire country was so bloody hot. First, it’s a tropical region so the suns heat is intense overhead, second, it sits on the ‘pacific ring of fire’ so the ground underneath is hot too. Basically, Thailand is a giant oven with fire from above and below. This knowledge however did nothing to comfort me or cool down my overheating brain cells. For all I care, it may just be that Satan comes there to fart and the farts heat up the place.

 When we were done, the good folk at the company decided to treat us to lunch at some fancy restaurant opposite their office. It was delightful. Really. No Really…

Lunch. Tastes that much better when its free...

Really. Thai food is pretty awesome with lots of flavor in everything. And they hardly cook with grease. Just the right amount of oils to get the flavor in. I loved it. 

Lunch times...Good times

With that formality all done, we were returned to our hotel and at this point I realized there was no plan. Everyone was meant to make the most of the trip in their own way but I had little or no information on what to do and so I turned to the most reliable person I could for help: Google. I found out that there were a number of interesting attractions in Bangkok and I promptly laid out a plan to make the most of my few days there. While doing this, I was interrupted by “Rima” who told me that they were going to a tailor in the middle of Bangkok to get suits. When I asked how long it would take for the suits to be made and how much it would cost, He simply replied “2 days and about £100”. I was in shock. How could a suit be made to fit be ready in two days?! Surely he was conspiring with the tailor to scam us. First off, £100 is about 25000 Naira which is quite cheap for a suit tailor-made for an individual. Second, 2 days is quite literally, well 2 bloody days!!! And this was a Friday. Meaning they would have to work over the weekend. The last time I had a suit made to fit for me; it cost me 35000 Naira and took 3 weeks to be done. This seemed preposterous. But it was true. We went to the tailor to pick out our material and have our measurements taken on Friday; came in for fittings on Saturday and collected the suits on Sunday. Along with a shirt and a free tie and pocket square. SCORE!!!

Thats Mr. Narry, the Tailor/Suit-making babalawo.

  When we were done with the Tailors on Friday, I headed back to the hotel to cool my head. While on my bed, I received a phone call from my friend “The Lion” informing me of plans for the night. “The Lion” is one of the most intelligent, charming, funny, interesting and outright diametrically insane people I have ever met. He had also been to Thailand before, so when he called and told me that they were going out to a place called “Nana” for some fun, I agreed to show up without thinking too much about it. However, before going, I did consult with my ever reliable friend: Google who referred me to his girlfriend Wikipedia. This is what she had to say about Nana

 

“Nana Plaza (officially Nana Entertainment Plaza; shortened NEP) is a 3 storey red-light district in Bangkok, which is rumoured to be the largest sex complex in the world”

(If you would like to read more about nana, this is the full link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nana_Plaza)

Oh really?

And I was like....

Largest.

Sex.

Complex.

World.

O_O

🙂

I see…

Needless to say, I was hooked with curiosity. They say curiosity killed the cat but I happen to know several cats that also go laid out of curiosity. Not that I wanted to get laid there or anything. God forbid that I would be “laid” in a place that sounded as vulgar as “Nana”; Nah, Nah, Mba, no way, I just wanted to see er…what was er…going down (pun intended). I am a good, pristine, chaste and holy virgin afterall, beyond reproach and as yet uncorrupted and unblemished by the sins of this carnal world.

This is what I see when I look in the mirror everyday...

 After rubbing my beard in thought for a few seconds, I stood up, got dressed immediately and headed out. I wasn’t going to miss this. I convinced my friend Ms. O to come along and we went outside. A strange thing happened when I asked the first cab to take me to nana, he looked at me like I was satans former side chick and drove off. I ignored this and hailed another cab, same thing again, once I said “Nana”, his eyes clouded over, he said no and drove off. By this time I was getting worried. What were they scared of? Why would no one take me to Nana? Was there something really freaky going down there that the locals were aware of and therefore scared to even go there? I was starting to feel like a pervert.

Ooohh? You go Nana? You is very very naughty man.

 I asked the girlfriend of one of my classmates, a lovely Thai girl, for help. She helped call a cab and speak to him in Thai. She then translated to me telling me that he said there was too much traffic that way and that was why none of the other cabs wanted to go. (Whew, talk about over-reacting! Just because of traffic!!! Jeeez!)

She advised I and Ms. O to take either the sky train or the smaller, more mobile “Tuk Tuk”. We opted for option two and hopped on Thailands answer to Lagos’s ‘Keke napep’: the infamous “Tuk Tuk”.

The plates ae just in case you forget what city you're in. Or maybe just for Swag.

Sitting at the back of that Tuk Tuk, my Nigerianness started to get the better of me: I became tense and held my pen in my pocket like a dagger, ready to strike if need be. I mean, I had good reason to be scared; here I was halfway around the world, heading to one of the most infamous urban areas on the planet in a contraption that could barely be called a vehicle, driven by an over-enthusiastic barely-literate young man who for all I know, could have been a robber, a killer or some sick transvestite rapist cum serial killer who would rape, kill and sacrifice us to some strange elephant god. I sha know say Waffi no dey carry last, I was ready to kill him if I had to. But after a while I relaxed. This was Thailand, not Nigeria, the people were absurdly friendly, so much so that it was to a fault as I would soon discover.

 Once we arrived safely at the nana station, I called “The lion” and he came to grab me and the others that had shown up. He took us to a place called ‘spankys’

This is Nana. Spankys is in the corner over there....

 Once we arrived, the entire party of nine froze outside. For a few seconds, no one was sure they wanted to follow “The Lion” into the “den of sin”. This was the infamous Nana after all and surely there would be plenty of carnal debaucheries in progress there, right? After about 10 seconds of ‘dead air’, two of us suddenly motioned forward and climbed up the stairs. There was no way I was going to come all this way and not witness what all the fuss was about. I hesitated at the entrance of Spankys for another second before taking a cautious step inside and looking around. I wasn’t sure what I expected to see there but it was most assuredly not what I saw when I got in. I was shocked to my core!

To be continued

Coming next….CHAPTER 3: NIGHT OF THE LADYBOY