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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Alright
 
You're thinking? What? Two entries in one day? Wha...How? Its this simple. For all of you that have ever in your life had a bad haircut...

I feel your pain. And there is nothing worse. NOTHING.

So I waltzed into the joint. Girly hair-dye pictures everywhere. The woman is lying on her couch in typical Thai fashion. As I walk in she leaps to her feet and says "Sawadee". I say hi and motion that I want my hair shaved short. She nods. "She understands" I think and sit down in the chair.

She pulls out clippers and instantly, and I mean like lightning flash instantly, starts to hack at the side of my head, cutting nearly to the scalp, no hair left...Just stubble in the shape of Africa right above my ear.

"WAAA!" I yelp and yank my head away. She sort of cooed in a confused manner that made me angrier than if she had just stuck the damn clippers straight into my eye. I desperately try and get my point across, filled the whole time with the sinking feeling that this is not going to end well. She picks up a phone and phones some man that speaks English...Badly.

"You want your hair shaved right?"
"Yes but not totally, just very short, like a 1, do you understand?"
"Yes yes"
"Ok, can you tell her?"
"Yes yes"

She gets it. But its too late. She starts cutting like nothing happened but I can see that shes scared, she can see that I'm angry. But every time she makes eye contact I can't help but start to feel sorry for her, so I give her a smile. She smiles back and tries the best she can to work it out. But alas..

That was 15 minutes ago. The walk from the barber to this internet cafe took days and days. Everyone is staring, and not just the people who see me coincidentally. I swear that people are leaning our windows, slowing down their cars, no one blinks they just can't get enough of THE WORST HAIR CUT EVER!

So I dove in here, its cold and kind of dark. A moment ago a beautiful western girl walked by the window and I made immediate eye contact. "Alright...Nice" I thought and looked away. A second later a second look. She had turned and was still looking. "Whoa...What the hell?...OH...Oh...Its not me...IT'S MY HIDEOUS HAIRCUT!"

So what can I do? I don't think they sell spray on hair out here and my hat doesn't even come close to covering the hole. Ah, I know...Sweet Death...My only friend....Would you be so kind as to kill the lady that did this to me? Thanks Man, I'll be in the falafel place...Thanks, cool, See ya

Max

 

 

 




Tuesday, July 20, 2004

So a story?
 
Lemme think...Well, I'd have to say the best part of Laos was leaving it. Not that I didn't love Laos (You can't really dislike it) but in order to get out from Luang Prabang we had 2 choices if we were to head to Thailand. One, the fast boat. Now, basically the fast boat isn't much of a boat. I'd say it was more of a piece of driftwood with a jet engine strapped to the back. You can hear the damn things coming from about 3 miles away and in about 30 seconds they're past you and round the next corner. The best part about them...And I'm not kidding...Is that they make you wear a helmet and a life jacket\body armor. Insanity. So, valuing our lives over a day of discomfort (I mean, whats that compared to a day of PURE UNRELENTING FEAR?)we chose the slow boat. So on the day we left, we awoke before the sun, ate breakfast silently and boarded a Tuk-Tuk (Taxi) to the launch. After a far too exciting Tuk Tuk ride, we arrived at the dock to see our little pathetic "boat" being PACKED with supplies for the neighboring towns. We boarded, assumed the uncomfortable positions we would be holding for the next 2 days and braced ourselves for what might come next. We braced for about 3 more hours (Schedules don't mean much in Laos) in which time we had had 2 moments we thought the boat was sinking, and one alarming moment when we thought that maybe, just maybe our captain was the baby gripping the steering wheel at the front of the boat (It sounds funny now, but at the time we were seriously concerned). BAM! The engine, conviently located about 3 feet from my already sweating self, ROARED to life, pouring boiling hot acidic fumes all over us...It was going to be a fun trip.
And so we chugged up stream. Moving at about 2 feet a minute the beautiful scenery that surrounded us quickly became blurry and monotonous, I was bored in less than an hour and I had about 20 more to go. I turned to Luke who was trying to read behind me.
"Check out the buffalo!" The engine was roaring, but I didn't realize how loud. Luke kept reading. "Luke!...LUKE!" It was then I realized in disbelief that no matter how loud I yelled, I couldn't even hear myself. So I closed my eyes and waited.
And waited, and after about 11 hours....11 starved, sleepless hours the engine started to slow and I opened my eyes to see a tiny town on the banks of the river. I could hear, faintly, some of that insipid Thai pop that I've come to love to hate. Dirty roads and screaming children never looked so sweet.
After another upsettingly long docking we jumped onto solid ground and grabbed the nearest tout wanting to take us to his guesthouse.
"You have sleep? How much?" Luke muttered through his beard.
"13,000..."
"Ok"
Before the tout could offer to grab our bags, we were in our beds staring at the thatched bamboo ceiling listening to the roosters and the babies and that same old Thai love ballad that has haunted us for the last 2 months. Soaked in sweat and fearing the worst about mosquitos in the area, we slept.
The next morning, we awoke to a hundred roosters telling each other off underneath our room. "SHUT UP! I WILL eat you!" I could imagine Luke yelling, if his face wasn't twisted and mushed into a sort of pile of sleepy rage. Unable to speak at a normal level without screaming like a banshee, unleashing his anger upon everything that has ever made a noise, he whispered to us.
"Last night I had to go to the washroom'
"Uh..huh"
"And when I was done...I reached for the soap dish..."
"Yeah...?"
"Except, it wasn't a soap dish...It was the biggest bug I have ever seen in my entire life"
We all thought. Nick thought of getting up and maybe getting something to eat. Luke thought about sleep. I was left with one question. What if luke had washed himself with the biggest bug he had seen in his entire life? In half an hour we were on the boat. After eating the sandwiches we had bought for lunch and dinner for breakfast, again we fell silent and let the Laotion country side slide past, occasionally giving us glimpses into forgotten forests, forgotten worlds where people that I had no idea existed just weeks before, sat and eat and lived, and continued to do so, whether I knew it or not.
I could go on about how uncomfortable it was, on this boat of misery. I could tell you that, as an example, it felt like sitting on a giant, ever-boiling kettle that no matter how hard you tried to ignore it, would never stop whistling. But I won't. Just know that we spent another 10 hours of slow moving, boiling hot pain on the HMS Suffercraft. Until sweet relief in the form of Huay Xai, a border town, came quickly (and by quickly I mean very, very slowly) into view. We spent another night in Laos and in the morning crossed into this beautiful monster, Thailand.
 
Heres me in Ankor Wat, doing my best Jay-Z impression:
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And me in Ankor Wat being Batman:
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Nick and I crossing into Vietnam from Cambodia. In a second we are yelled at by a borderguard:
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Me drinkin' some sugarcane in Vietnam:
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And Luke and Nick lookin' good on a boat on the Mekong:
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Me lookin' badass and out of proportion on the Ho Chi Minh Trail:
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Luke, Paul (In a girly pose), and I chillin' in Ankor:
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A hot French gal and I in a boat, I'm looking happy:
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And last but not least. Me and my dirty children freinds in Nam.
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