“Don’t Drink the Water” (Pai, Thailand)

Ate a beautiful salad for dinner last night. It was full of grated beets and carrots, an assortment of toasted nuts, black and white sesame seeds, onions and avocados and served on a banana-leaf plate. I added a skewer of bbq street-meat and roasted vegetables to the top and gobbled it down with my friends around a van that was cranking out Pad-Thai as fast as you could say, “pad thai.” After, we played pool at the hostel, had a few Chang beers (I found out that Chang means Elephant in Thai, therefor making the Chang label with elephants on it make sense). We hopped from bar to bar ordering a few fruity/watered down drinks and a few rounds of Thai Tequila shots.

Out of my slumber, a all of a sudden awoke to the worst stomach cramps of my life. I was on the top bunk so I tried to let the feeling pass and not get down from my bed, but a fever kicked in and I felt absolutely freezing while sweating profusely in my bed. My stomach was churning, it felt as if it was eating itself. The immediate need to vomit hit me and I leaped out of my top bunk and sprinted for the bathroom. Thank god the girl that was supposed to be sleeping below me was shacking because there was no way I able to get on and off the top bunk every time the urge to puke hit me. I stole her bed and when she did arrive back at the hostel, she seemed a little perturbed that I was in her bunk. I explained the situation to her and the hostel staff, and they brought me electrolytes. I was wishing I had a room-service buzzer as it was too painful to get out of bed. The friend I’ve been traveling with since Ayutthaya brought a big water for me to snuggle up to all day.

Finally as it got dark outside, I began to feel better. I threw on some elephant pants and went with my people to find some simple food to eat. I ordered the only thing I thought my stomach could handle which was a a giant bowl of Vegeterian Tom Yum soup with rice. There were tons of vegetables in the lemongrassy herbal soup, but I didn’t want to risk it, so I stuck with only eating the broth-soaked jasmine rice. Honestly, I could have gotten sick from anything last night… the salad (washed in Thai water, or not washed at all), the watered down drinks, the tequila, but I’m positive it was food poisoning. It really knocked me on my ass, and the whole day went down the drain (literally).

Feeling much better after finally having something in my stomach again, I decided to go out to the clubs with everyone, but take it extremely easy on the alcohol. My favorite bar is this bar called “Spirit Bar” with lots of cool neon art covering the black-lit walls, unique spider-web decor, massive dream catchers everywhere, and incredible passion fruit mojitos concocted by the several Jack Sparrow-looking bartenders. They have two live bands every night, but they’re always playing the same song at the same time as it’s broadcast to the entire vicinity. My favorite part is the multi-layered outdoor courtyard where little seating corners and shacks are built up at different heights from the floor. Cool seating corners covered are draped closed with semi-transparent white flowing fabric and everyone lounges around on floor pillows.

We hopped to a dance bar where we noticed the speakers must have been broken last night. We didn’t remember it sounding like we were underwater the night before, but still people paid to have their faces painted with neon paint as they raged to the terrible-sounding music. On our walk to the last bar, stupid tourists, 3-to-a-bike, were riding their mopeds really really drunk past the crowd of pedestrians. They ran their scooter into a group of about 10 people walking, though no one was hurt since they were going pretty slowly. These are the tourists I absolutely hate, and you run into these types of people all over the place, from every country in the world. Some travelers travel to get fucked up, trash the place, boss the locals around, and be disrespectful. There are always two types of travelers, so please keep this in mind and choose to be the respectful, thankful, kind, collected, law-abiding traveler.


Alena Horowitz | Miss Potato

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