Saturday, November 20, 2010

Photos! Round 1

Haven't had time to update this thing, but thought I'd share some photos with everyone... I'll let these tell the story for now. Maybe when I get back I can do a summary of the whole trip. One thing I will say though is that my dear friend Chonga, from the european tour with xTrue Naturex, is here with me right now in Chiang Mai! We are currently enjoying frozen watermelon juices in the sweltering heat of our hostel. Leaving tomorrow morning for a 3 day trek up into the jungle!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A short trip through Thailand pt. 1

Hello everyone,

So today I'll be leaving for a 2 week journey across Thailand. I had initially planned on doing a short tour, but I decided that for once I'd like to travel and actually take some time and enjoy myself. Plus, not having to carry around my heavy, bulky guitar is a definite plus as well. Looking after that thing is almost like looking after a baby; can't be too cold, can't be too hot, someone will steal it if I don't keep an eye on it... etc. etc.

My journey began with a 1,400 mile drive from Vancouver Island, BC to Los Angeles, CA to catch my flight. I stopped off in Portland, OR for a night to visit friends and eat some delicious vegan food. I can't remember the last time I had decent Mexican food... spending so much time in Canada has gotten me used to eating dry, unseasoned beans and bizarre tasting "spanish rice". So naturally I went to Taqueria Los Gorditos and devoured an entire enchilada plate with soy curls and a tamale in about 15 minutes, and amazingly avoided slipping into a deep food coma as I usually do whenever I eat there. If you're ever around Portland I definitely recommend going to this place!

After my second day in Portland I left and headed south around 6 pm. I said goodbye to some friends, drove about 6 hours listening to "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" series on Audiobook, and ended up sleeping at a rest stop somewhere near Yreka, CA. Using my Liberate hoodie as a screen to block out the streetlights, foolishly I did not consider that my window had to be slightly cracked open to do this. I fell asleep immediately, slept for a good 6 hours or so sitting upright in the drivers seat, and awoke in the freezing air of Mt. Shasta with ice all over the windshield. As miserable as that was, it certainly made me feel alive... that's for sure.
Later in the day I stopped off at a gas station to buy some oil for the car. Walking into the store I overheard a conversation happening at the counter, little did I know that they were talking about me. I kept hearing a man say "watch him, WATCH HIM. I don't trust him.." over and over again, and when I approached the counter to pay (don't act so surprised) I heard him say to one of the employees "Charge him extra" as he was walking out the door. In a daze from staring at the road for the past 12 hours, I finally pieced together that he was talking about me and that he was most likely the owner of this gas station. Was it my long scruffy hair and beard? my sleeveless 7 generations shirt with it's prominent anti-christian message? The fact that I hadn't showered in 4 days and probably reeked of BO and Thai Food? Whatever. This asshole was wearing khaki pants with a blue tooth in his ear, who's he to pass judgment on me? The womyn behind the counter gave me an apologetic and embarrassed smile, I'm sure this isn't the first time he's acted like an asshole towards her. I paid, walked out and filled my car up with oil. On my way out of the parking lot I saw him changing the numbers on the front sign, which confirmed for me that he WAS in fact the owner. I rolled up alongside him about 6 ft away or so, gave him a friendly *MEEP MEEP* on my car horn, extended my middle finger and gave him the happiest, most excited smile I could muster. He turned to give a friendly wave until he saw that I was quite literally telling him to go fuck himself in the politest of ways. He was bummed to say the least. Fuck you and your blue tooth, I'm still punk.

After the grueling, traffic filled final leg of my drive into LA, I finally made it to my Uncle's house in Torrance. I took them out for some awesome vegan food at Veggie Grill in El Segundo which they all enjoyed and filled up on food bars at Whole Foods for my trip (did you know they sell jars of live ladybugs there?? so fucked).

I only have a few hours left on this continent before my flight leaves. As of now I have about $200 for food and accommodations while in Thailand. People are telling me that it's a stupid idea to go alone to a country you've never been to before with not enough money, but I'll show them who's stupid (or to phrase it more politely: I'll be just fine). It's not my style to go somewhere completely prepared, it just wouldn't be me.

I'll try and keep you all updated with photos and entries as often as I can, but I'm not sure how well that will work out. Take care!

Mike XVX