I write this wrapped in a hotel-issued pseudo-kimono in our effing tiny (aka, NYC-regulation sized) room in Tokyo, belly full of Ippudo ramen, head ringing with “Irashaemasaaaaaae!”‘s. My mommy is snoring, so I’ll try to keep this one short.
Some highlights, ka?
Wat Pho: Temple of the Reclining Freakin’ Buddha | Bangkok
This is me offending a nation with my thigh. Foreal, though: I’ve only ever been struck mute by a work of art a couple o’ times. One of those was, for some reason, Botticelli’s Madonna of the Pomegranate—I don’t know, man, the tears just happened. Another was this. I’m lunging, but I’m really losing my shet.
Amphawa Floating Market | Bangkok
This is me and Uncle Au (prounced “Ooh.” Foreals.) lunging ‘NSync before boarding our longtail speedboat of Ecstacy. Uncle Au took us to all the hot Buddha spots in Bangkok, then over to the amazing Amphawa Floating Market. Traveler’s Tip: That tourist-trappy morning floating market is old & busted; the night market is where the party’s at (canal-side karaoke?!). I had mussels so good that I felt funny, new things in my pants. Those funny feelings came back with the 45-minute boat ride to & from the market, zooming through canal villages; on the way back, it was pitch dark and we stopped every few yards to firefly-gaze. I’m gonna go ahead and say it was one of the more magical nights of mi vida.
Asiatique at the Riverfront, Calypso Show | Bangkok
This is me doing you a favor, because I like you and I feel bad that you’re reading this.
Skip the drag shows. Skip all of the drag shows. Have your friends dress in drag next time they come over to drink, and spend this extra night in Bangkok with someone like Uncle Au. Besides, men who were that good at being women only made me feel bad at how I’m HORRIBLE at being a woman, and I was BORN this way.
Brick Bar, Khao San Road | Bangkok
This is me finally showing Bangkok w’sup. So, Khao San Road is to Bangkok as The Strip is to Las Vegas. All of the backpackers, all of the Singha tanktops, all of the white kids slurping down alcohol buckets, ALL OF THE TIME – throw in your odd lady-hawking-scorpion-pops and dude-trying-to-tattoo-you. But this hidden basement bar – danke, Lonely Planet – was clearly where all the Thai kids went to escape our obnoxious asses. Live band playing SICK T-Pop, locals bopping around suuuuper happily… This is what young America could be, if we weren’t so angry all the time?
Mommy Realness, Khao San Road | Bangkok
This is my mommy tryna show me up. Not sure if I’ve been clear enough about this, but this trip is a mama/daughtah affair; my mom and I travel together a bunch. But this time, I’m learning a lot about the differences between us, travel-wise — my mom, the bougie queen, loves to be taken places, served, shown around, toured. I love to strip down, take the bus, ask no one for directions and basically act like we’re studying abroad. This has mostly resulted in me taking us the really, really long way to a medium-level tourist trap where my mom agrees to buy everyone’s everything. YOU’RE WELCOME, TOURISM BOARDS.
Siam Nirawit | Bangkok
This is me getting RUDELY interrupted by a goddamn elephant. I had run out of pickles to feed her and Kyle (that’s what I call her) got sassy in the middle of my lunge. But you guys, she had these gigantic brown eyes and curly eyelashes and she looked at me — like, into my soul — and in that moment, she whispered into my being the secrets of this world and worlds beyond.
…Then a Japanese tourist shoved me aside and I cried. Bangkok, am I rite?
Overall, Bangkok was incredible, but not for the easily tired or easily confused. Vacationing in Asia puts you (and by you, I mean Google) to werk. You have to work for the hidden gems, crawl and hike for the non-campy goods. But it is sho’ nuff worth it, especially with a delightful co-pilot like my momz. I’ve made it a point to grill her thoroughly about her twentysomething days (& caught some on video!), and with that, this trip has become so much more than sightseein’. The bonding would make you vom.
It’s like that incredible blockbuster, “Crossroads” with Britney Spears, where her and two friends… Nevermind, I won’t do that to you, I’m so sorry.
Tokyo, take ya pants off, we’re here!
If you’re on Instagrizzle, continue to follow along @heyberna / #eatpraylunge!