12 Feb My New Bangkok Neighborhood: I am Dances with Elephants
So you are probably looking at this strange heap and wondering what am I looking at?
That would be my morning breakfast concoction.
Now, using my mind reading prowess (it doesn’t work on women by the way), you are probably thinking, oh great another blogger taking photos of their food and throwing it up all over the online world thinking they are producing post modern art and is subtly bragging about how great their life is because of the wonderful strange food they get to consume (see possible food borne illness).
Au contraire my friend. You see today is a glorious day for it is the first morning in my new apartment in Bangkok Thailand (new to me mind you, old dilapidated as fuck in human years). I am light years away from the backpacker Tijuana shitshow of Khao San Road, and am now enjoying some strange mix of food in non-English speakers bliss on my balcony.
What is most interesting is that I did not really explore my new barrio until this morning, at which time I discovered my new hood is in fact farang (foreigner) free. All of the whities stay locked up in their full serviced luxury buildings getting cultural eating English breakfasts, and for the more adventurous souls – chicken pad thai. Me? Well I am obviously a hardened upper-middle class street kid who likes to throw down with my kinfolk and get local. So I decided to meander around to hunt for my morning meal. It is quite literally a hunt, as many of the products seem to be kicking around with their last breath of life in the window display.
Unlike Khao San Road, where the whims of all white people are very much established and catered to, here, I am alien. I am Kevin Costner in Dances with the Wolves. No menus or signs are in English, no one seems to speak English and when I order anything from anywhere, a haircut, breakfast, an orange – a tribal meeting consisting of the village elders is called to deduce what to do with this white incursion who seems to want something. They have decided to call me Dances with Elephants. As I stroll through my new neighborhood I am a bit taken aback for I haven’t been offered a massage, a boom boom, a ping pong show, a tuk-tuk ride that goes the long and unscenic route or even a scorpion on a stick. I feel a sense of pride for now I am one of them. They must have heard of my ability to sell wooden frogs like a boss.
Getting Healthy in Thailand
Because I am officially living in Thailand now, I thought it would be better if I didn’t get mistaken for Buddha as I walk the streets. It is weird when Thais stop and start rubbing my belly and looking for places to put their incense. As such, I am trying to lower my carbs and pump up the protein. However, in Thailand, the carb to protein ratio per meal is about 10 to 1. I went to a restaurant this morning trying to ask for 4 to 5 eggs in my omelet and to throw some vegetables in there for good measure. The nice lady had to phone a friend. After a long discussion, she began to produce my desired manly protein in fused meal. She looked utterly perplexed at me not wanting the rice. I suspect turning down rice in Asia is like turning down anything deep-fried and wrapped in bacon in America, it just doesn’t happen. My new barrio is also wonderful in that they sell meals to go in little plastic bags. No need to ever learn out to cook or do dishes again. I am in bachelor-ville bliss. All I needs is an auto-parts store and maybe a sports bar or two and I can quickly see Thailand becoming divorced dads sanctuary.
Of course I am not so naïve to think I can eat my way to resembling Brad Pitt for the upcoming beach season here in Thailand. I know I must hit the gym. Luckily for me my new state of the art apartment building has the finest equipment not maintained since the late 90s. What my new gym lacks however in equipment that works, it more than makes up for it with is array of early 1980’s fitness role models posing on the walls to give me the extra bump in motivation that I need. Now all Dances with Elephants needs is some spandex and a hair poof and I will be ready to for Thailand beach season in no time (Khao San Road has got the neon shorts and tanks).