Monday, July 10, 2006

The Life and Times Of Big Ell

I am now back in Taiwan after a wonderful 10 day break in Thailand. I took the family to Koh Samui and Bangkok and we lucked out with some great weather in both locations. It was my first visit to Koh Samui in over 8 years and it has changed quite a bit. Two McDonalds, a Burger King, Starbucks and plenty of 7-11s dot the landscape. This would drive many people crazy but I don't really care. I just don't understand why you would eat a Big Mac when you can get a much better hamburger on the beach for much cheaper.

The crowd is also different today with more families than I can remember. Mind you I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to families back in my booze-drug addled youth. There is also a large number of dance bars catering to Euro/American/Australian youngsters. Back in the day most of the dance bars were bars with pros dancing on the bars and giving lap dances. Bangkok was much the same except that Patpong and most of the bars close early. There is nothing like stumbling out of a Bangkok Bar at 7 am when the steamy heat smashes you in the body as you dive into a tuk tuk hoping it will take you home. Anyway here are some random observations about my trip:
  • Travelling with a baby kicks ass. On and off the plane first. Security checks become a non issue. Alarms were blaring and sensors buzzing and yet I was waved through every time. Now I understand the genius of Henry Hill.
  • The Thai people provide a level of service that is uncommon in Asia. They smile and bend over backwards to make you feel welcome even when they are being treated like dirt. A welcome change from Taiwan where service generally stinks.
  • Koh Samui has some excellent restaurants with cheap prices considering the quality of the food and the excellent service.
  • Foreign females who visit Koh Samui tend to have very large breasts. It's a fact.
  • Teaching English in Taiwan has allowed me to become fluent in the broken English dialect required to navigate in most Asian countries.
  • All of the Australians that used to go to Bali now go to Samui and are quite friendly.
  • You know you've been in Taiwan too long when the Immigration agent asks if you can speak Taiwanese.
I have a fairly easy summer schedule so I hope to increase my number of posts. I have been doing this for two years now and hopefully I can think of a few more things to write.



bizofknowledge said...

You make Koh Samui sound like heaven on earth! I was there almost a decade ago and I don't remember the McDonalds, but I'm with you, I couldnt care less. As long as the sun is shining and the pineapple juice is fresh, I'm a happy traveller!

andres said...

sounds like you had a great time.
i love thailand. in fact, i wanna live there some day