Category: SE Asia

Fuck Face Roommate Part 2

by brokenrecordbaby

So, in the morning I tell the hostel’s owner about what happened. Thankfully I had spent a couple of hours talking to the owner before so we were friendly with each other.

I tell him the story and he offers me a private room for free which I obviously refuse because it’s not his fault the guy’s a freak. He ensures me though that he won’t let him stay another night. He will tell him that all the beds are booked and that he has to go. We sit down and have breakfast together. Suddenly Fuck Face appears, I think he can sense the unwelcoming vibe and if not right away then definitely when he is told that he can’t stay another night.

He requests to speak to the owner in private, then he comes back, sits down at a table right across from me, gets out his laptop and starts typing, making sure to glance at me every so often. I give fucking evil glares.

When he leaves to grab something from our room I take chance to find out what he told the owner. Apparently I did not wake up from the alarm (oh right, the alarm that was set at 6 am but decided to go off at 1 am) and he didn’t realize it wasn’t 6 am so he went to wake me. Leaving out the detail that he was touhing me.

He comes back and keeps staring at me. I didn’t want to regret not saying anything to him so when he yet against stares at me I say:

“Are you just going to keep on staring at me or are you going to apologize for last night?”

His face takes on a puzzled look. “I don’t know what you mean. Sorry, I’m busy right now,” he says pointing at his screen. “But we can have a drink later and talk.”

Unbelievable. “I’m not having a fucking drink with you. And you might be trying to work right now but I was trying to sleep last night.”

“Oh, yeah it was so hot last night. I had a hard time sleeping.” he replies innocently.

What a twisted bastard. I just shake my head in disbelief.

I go for run, a shower (which freaked me out because I imagined him standing in the room waiting for me to leave the shower in just a towel) and went back to the reception area to write this. He is still there on his lap top probably perving on people online. He gets up to leave and heads over to my table.

“I’m going out for lunch now. Would you like to join me?” In what fucked up world does climbing into a sleeping person’s bed, scaring them, basically forcing them to sleep on the floor score you a lunch date??




Fuck Face Roommate Part 1

by brokenrecordbaby

This blog is pretty much always positive. We talk about the amazing people we met and things we see when traveling. But it’s not all fun and games in this crazy world we live in. I don’t want to have a blog where travel, or anything, gets sugar coated. The matter of the fact is that you don’t “find yourself” every week, have a mind boggling epiphany or meet inspiring people at every stop. Just like in real life there are irritating factors and fucked up people. I’d like to share some examples of this…

I’m currently on the Perhentian Islands, 2 beautiful, tropical islands off of Malaysia’s East Coast. I’m staying in a dorm of a super cheap hostel in the jungle wedged between Long Beach and Coral Bay. I’v been having an immense time just taking things slow. I get up before 6 am, do yoga on the jetty, go jogging along the beach, snorkel, read and suntan all day, catch some live music with people I’ve met out here after dinner and go to bed pretty early. So far so good.

Last night I got into my dorm around midnight to find everyone asleep posing a problem for me; I needed someone’s alarm to get me up at 6 am to meet my yoga friend. Thankfully the guy sleeping in the bed next to mine had his eyes opened so I asked him to set his alarm for me which he gladly did and asked if he could join me for yoga. ‘Course he could. So, I head into bed and fall asleep.

This dude, from Saudi Arabia (I found out the next morning) and around mid forties, rips me out of my sleep. I wake up to him sitting next to me in my bed, touching my arm, shining his mobile in my face. I am startled but immediately remember that he wanted to wake me up.

“It’s 6 already?”

“No, it’s 1 am”, he replies showing me the time on his phone.

Then why the fuck am I being woken up? He is uncomfortably close to me. I’ve never heard of the need to sit on someone’s pillow to wake them up. He grabs my hand and starts stroking it.

“I want to talk to you,” he said softly.

I take a second to realize what’s going on. I don’t want to know how long he had been staring at me while I was asleep, contemplating if he should pay me a little visit or not.

I finally gain my composure and tell him to get the fuck out of my bed. He’s reluctant, stares at me and takes his sweet time. I sit upright as rigid as the bed post holding up the bunk above me, heart racing and body shaking. Then the dude has the nerve to get out of bed again, kneel beside my bed, tries to take my hand saying he wants to “talk”. I shift as far away from him as possible without falling off the bed and tell him to fuck off. He gets into his bed again and I sit there for a couple of seconds realizing there is no fucking way I can fall asleep again with that freak a meter away from me.

I grab my keys and head out. The reception was closed and I’m in the middle of a jungle. Thank god I spot a lit room and I can hear two girls talking. I gently knock on their door feeling like I’m the creep now, they open up and I start apologizing, my voice shaking and my eyes brimming with tears.

They invite me to sleep on their floor and I gratefully accept. I left my bag with money and camera next door though and I want my pillow so have to enter the freak’s lair again. I quickly grab my shit, see that he is still awake and get the fuck out of there. I have the hardest time falling asleep feeling seriously violated.


My Last Glimpse of Thailand

by brokenrecordbaby









The Click Shop

by brokenrecordbaby

Life is good. My only task today (a self-set task at that) was to get to The Click Shop, a photography shop in Kuala Lumpur.

I had every intention of getting a not expensive analog camera as my Beirette camera broke just days before I left for Sydney. (It broke because I dropped it. It still makes my heart clench).

I found the shop asking for directions only once and it looked fucking amazing. There was a tiny waterfall and stream at the front of the store, the store was super minimal with glass cases, grey walls and chunky wooden/metal furniture. There was a small library of photography coffee table books and I spent an hour and half chilling on the sofa reading the books.

The cameras are mostly analog “toy cameras” There are various varities of Holgas, Lomos, Diana Fs, Fisheyes, multi-lens cameras and some awesome stuff. Like a miiiiiiini camera in the shape of a chocolate bar which you then hook up to your computer, or cameras in the shape of juice, milk and cigarette boxes, cameras made out of lego, biscuit cameras and blackbird cameras.

I ended up buying the “Ultra Wide and Slim” camera. A kitsch, plastic, point and shoot with a super wide angle lens (22 mm). It’s a summer time camera though cuz you need loads of light.

Check out the curves on this baby

I got the baby blue. Ignore the granny in the one piece cloud suit. It's just the packaging

Couchsurfing with a French girl in Kuala Lumpur and hanging out with her group of Malaysian friends has taught me…

by brokenrecordbaby

…how to eat curry-covered, messy rice with my hands, that Malaysians make better burgers than Westerners, that Muslims pray 5 times a day, to say “potong steam” when something you are excited about gets shut down, that the spikey fruit Durian increases your body temperature and when consumed in copious amounts you get a fever, that unripe mangos are healthier than ripe mangos (don’t Western parents teach you that unripe fruits give you a bad tummy?), that Asian ghosts and spirits are way more aggressive than Western ones (never acknowledge a ghost’s presence or else he will follow you)

It has also taught me how to order Indian tea with ice and no milk, that I have love for Bollywood movies, that some markets open in the evening and stay open all night and that this is apparently a good place for toddlers to hang out, that putting “lah” at the end of a sentence gives it emphasis, that not wearing a helmet when you are mopeding is illegal unless you wear a turban, that there is an “acid thrower” on the loose in KL – he drives by on his moped, targets skin-exposing women, and throws skin scorching acid on them, that kids in their 20s can have fun though their religion forbids them to drink, that banana leafs are used as plates and the way you fold the leaf after you finish eating is all revealing – if you enjoyed your food fold the leaf towards you, if you never want to come back to the restaurant fold the leaf away from you, that I’ve got the stamina to climb a mountain for 3 hours at 7 in the morning.

I climbed thiiiiis high at a time of day usually spent at bars

Before and After

by brokenrecordbaby






I was hungry so I ate a Snake

by brokenrecordbaby

When we got back from the waterfalls Samart had a bag with a dead snake inside it – still warm.

I don’t know where the hell he got that freshly killed snake from as he doesn’t kill animals (ex-monk) and as so often Samart wouldn’t answer a question I posed but I understood one thing – this was going to be our dinner.

First the snake was boiled for about 20 minutes and then roasted on an open fire. The increasing heat caused some of its insides to burst out making the snake look like a tumor victim. Its open mouth was oozing blood and slowly but surely the slippery skin was roasted to a crisp.

Josh then pulled the snake apart into thread like bits of meat, chewy skin including bones and all. The dismantled snake was then thrown into a pot of vegetables, mushed up chili, garlic, shrimp paste and tomatoes.

So now I can say I’ve eaten snake. It doesn’t taste like chicken or fish or anything really for that matter. I tried the roasted snake before it was thrown into a pot of flavors and it’s really bland. It’s texture is the more unusual thing – it’s very stringy and very chewy. The skin is the best bit though: like roasted chicken skin it’s crunchy and a bit fatty.

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Bungalows and Waterfalls

by brokenrecordbaby

I’ve been offline for awhile. I spent last Wednesday ’til this Thursday surfing at Samart’s place – my was-once-monk-now-trekk guide-and-organic farm-owner CouchSurfing host.

The dudes always got at least 3 or so people surfing at his place in Chiang Mai as a way of promoting his trekking company and organic farm/guesthouse which is cool by me. It’s like going on an unofficial press trip.

We, an Cecilia (Argentinian), her boyfriend David (Andorrian), Josh and Quinn (Americans), Samart and his wing man Nicky, headed up to Huaypong Village which is about an hours drive from Chian Mai and other than to drive through to go trekking no tourists go here.

Samart’s got a bamboo bungalow “farm” built on a hill. There is a bungalow kitchen, 3 private room bungalows, two dorms, a fish pond, a swimming pool with natural water (meaning it comes outta a pipe without chlorine but with a brown tinge), loads of things growing, chickens and kittens.

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We drove up there, as mentioned to probably get the word out a bit, and to help him out. The boys headed into the jungle to cut bamboo which they used to build an irrigation system and a gate and Cecilia and I got to pick weeds with Nicky. It was pretty therapeutic but I did go there thinking I would be teaching English to village kids. Oh, wells.

We bambooed and weeded in the morning and in the afternoon we went to a near by waterfall for a swim. The waterfall was coming down with such fury. We all took turns sitting on the rock the waterfall fell on and I’ve never experienced mother nature at such high volume and pain. I then layed on a rock a bit further away from the smashing waterfall and looked up. It was one of those moments. Seeing the waterfall drop from its source onto you with a bright blue sky as a backdrop.

Chiang Mai’s Women’s Prison

by brokenrecordbaby

I went to prison today. Not for drug possession. Or getting in a bar fight. Or for unsightly PDA. But for a Thai Massage.

Chiang Mai’s Women’s Correction Facility offers Thai Massages by their inmates. I was expecting the “massage parlour” to be in a uncomfortable, brightly lit room, surrounded by metal bars and gun strapped prison wardens. Instead it was in a building across from the actual prison with no bars or fences holding the girls back. Just two wardens and as far as I’m concerned there was no real difference to a “real” massage parlour.

I got a pink two piece thing. And I needed help putting it on. Super confusing let me assure you.

I was greeted by a typical super groomed and smiley beautiful Thai girl in a green, two piece massage uniform. I was asked to take off my shoes, if I wanted a Thai or foot massage and if for 1 or 2 hours. I’d never had a Thai massage before and man, shit can get intense. There was pulling and cracking of fingers (so next time someone tells me off for cracking my fingers I’ll tell them I learnt to do so in Thailand and it’s totally medicinal), bending of the leg in places it shouldn’t bend, smacking and yanking. But the pain was worth it; I left feeling as fluffy as a marshmellow.

The Prison Canteen

I got talking with my massage lady at the end of my session when I was sipping on some herbal tea and she told me a little bit about herself and the prison:

200 people sleep in the same room on shitty mattresses, when you are a masseuse or cook (the prison also has an inmate-run restaurant/cafe) you “only” share a room with 25 other women. The prison offers a massage and cooking academy to teach inmates skills so that they can get a job once outside. The inmates working now get some of the money the prison makes with their skills but she didn’t know how much so that seemed a bit dodgy.

To the left is the entrance to the massage parlour. I wasn't allowed to take pictures so they're a bit lacking.

She’s been in prison for 2 years and is getting out next month. She hasn’t seen her grandmother, mom and little daughter in 2 years because they are too old to travel so far. She lost all her friends when she had to serve time and told me that she hasn’t made good friends in prison. She was super optimistic though that with her skills (she has worked in spas for years) she will have no problem getting a new start. She was so positive and radiant. It was impossible to believe that this woman had been behind bars in a room of 200 for nearly 2 years.

Though with 180 Baht (4 Euro) this massage is 30 Baht more expensive (Oh my god, 69 Euro cent!) then the ones around town it’s so worth it for the fact that you are helping these women lead a better life inside prison and eventually outside too.

Elephants & Mosquitos

by brokenrecordbaby