It’s been while, I know. I’m so sorry to keep everyone hanging around wondering where I’ve been, but life has been throwing some crazy curve balls and I think I’ve finally caught up.
So, I had to do another ‘visa run’ and decided against riding mountain buses in Nepal during the monsoon season–perhaps escaping some kind of natural disaster–and instead headed to Bangkok with friends. We had some free’ish airline tickets and it made the choice, um, not so hard.
In case you’re wondering where to travel to on your next big adventure, or a far away place to dream about. . . Thailand is amazing. Save your money, your vacation time, whatever you need to do to get to this lovely land. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
It’s pretty cheap if you’re coming from a Western culture, the people are very nice and not confrontational, it’s super clean, the food is tasty, and the islands are gorgeous. It’s an easy place to travel solo and also a fun place to travel with a family. You can gorge on the delicious street food and *not* get sick like in some other. . .ahem. . .places in the world.
We hit the ground in Bangkok ready to celebrate our friend, Raj’s, birthday. Heh. And we really, truly, partied. Like, Bangkok style. For those of you who don’t know what that means, well, it means buckets.
But, what is a bucket?
Ah ha. . .a bucket is a wonderful, sometimes too much fun, part of Thailand party culture. It’s an alcoholic beverage served in nothing other than what you might expect. A bucket. . .fully equipped with a handle for carrying whilst you wander the streets of the big city into the wee hours of the night. Bangkok never sleeps.
You can order buckets at the bars or you can order them right from the street at the bucket shops.
The cheapest bucket is called the ‘Sangsom Bucket.’ Sangsom is Thailand’s special rum and they mix it with Coke and Redbull, but this isn’t your everyday Redbull. It’s Thai Redbull, so it’s more like drinking the ‘natural’ source. . . if such a thing exists. It even comes in strange, little, glass bottles that look like old school medicine bottles.
I personally go for a Vodka bucket instead because I don’t like drinking things with names referring to red bulls, but if you ever go to Thailand, it’s kind of a must try once thingy. I’m surprised it wasn’t in that movie “The Beach” because I’m sure Leonardo would’ve had one or two while filming. It’s right up there with drinking a shot of snake blood or some of the other charming things one can do in the shadows of Bangkok.
Anyway, I digress. . .
The four of us checked into our hotel room, took disco naps, showered, and then hit the streets on a serious mission. . .a bucket mission. We ended up finding two more friends from Australia who just happened to be in town at the same time and they joined our birthday bucket celebration.
Near Kho San Road, there’s endless pop up bars along the little streets where you can get into plenty of shennanigans. We like this particular place where someone parks a VW van turned into a bar. They have little tables, music, and you can watch the crazy night life pass by.
And so, the six of us arrived at the established bucket location. . .
It all started out cute and worldly. Russia, Bosnia, America, Australia, and India represented at our table. We laughed, we talked about the magic of the buckets and the powers they have. We even sucked down the first round and thought maybe they weren’t working.
Another round of buckets piled onto the tables and we continued our random chats about the universe. It was great catching up with old friends and introducing them to new ones. People selling souvenirs and magic tricks passed us, the music turned up, and the six of us happily slurped down bucket after–um, I’ve lost count–bucket. And then, that funny thing happens when you drink buckets.
You start taking pictures with the buckets like they’re your favorite celebrity sitting at the table with you. I mean, who doesn’t like taking pictures with a drink that huge?
Once group sharing begins with the buckets, there’s no turning back. The rabbit hole starts flashing in neon lights, and in Bangkok, there’s so many rabbit holes to choose from, things can get more than weird.
Suddenly, our talks of an early night turned into hilarious talks about that crazy thing that happens in Bangkok. The thing that all the taxi drivers always try to take you to, but they only ask by making a popping noise with their mouth, instead of using actual words. The thing that you’re both equally disgusted and intrigued by. The thing that you talk about every-single-time you go to Bangkok, but never actually do it.
Leave it to the one Russian in our group to slurp down the rest of her bucket and tell us enough is enough. “We’re going. That’s it. Finish your buckets,” she said. Like Alice falling into wonderland, we set off into the night. Two tuk-tuk’s carrying the six of us whizzed through the city like blurry race cars. . .weaving back and forth so that we could almost hi-five on the streets at times.
It seemed like a long ride, but it was exhilarating and fun to hang onto the railing in the tuk-tuk as we flew through endless streets of Bangkok night life. We finally turned down some random alley and pulled up to a white building. It didn’t feel so real until that moment. I remember thinking to myself, “this is where they have a ping-pong show?” I half expected some seedy part of town with red lights and other scandalous views.
Now, you’re probably thinking one of three things:
- What is a ping-pong show?
- I’ve been to one, too.
The tuk-tuk drivers smiled at us and pointed to the door. We walked in and were immediately greeted by an older woman at a desk. She was classy, dressed in a nice outfit, and seemed to have some kind of elegant vibe about her. She told us the price and we haggled for a few minutes to get a better deal and then she reminded us to enjoy the show.
Another door opened behind the desk and then another woman came out of it to escort us. We walked into a dark room with a bar on one side and a stage on the other. There was some kind of music playing, but with the amount of buckets I had and the other distractions in the room, I have no clue what it was. . .nor did it matter.
I began to scan the scene. I’ve been to a strip club or two in my life and usually they’re filled with gawking men, creepy male gaze vibes, and objectification so thick you can scoop it onto a plate. But this place was surprisingly filled with mostly women. There were some men in the crowd, but it was a female dominated establishment, including the staff. In every single direction, I could see only women working, and not disturbingly young women, either.
The bartender could’ve been a grandma. The “bouncers” were probably in their 30’s or 40’s and even the women on stage were of appropriate ages and older generations. It was, to say the least, way more fascinating in a different way than I ever thought it could be. I was also glad that I didn’t drunkenly volunteer for some creepy child sex show. Whew.
We got one free drink with our ticket price and then settled into the sights of the show. A naked woman walked onto the stage. It was too dark to see any fine details but we all knew what was hiding in the shadowed crevices. She did a little shimmy. It wasn’t the normal gyrating you might think of. In fact, it wasn’t sexual at all. It was more like she was warming up her body instead of showing it off.
The woman laid down on the floor of the stage, put up her legs, and then placed some kind of straw into her crotch. Another woman came to the side of the stage holding a birthday cake with lit candles. The woman lying down then blew out all the candles with the power of her Yoni. It just happened to be around midnight when the show started, and that meant it was dot Raj’s birthday. It was, indeed, an entertaining coincidence. We all had a good laugh.
Then the second act began. Another lady came out and did a similar awkward shimmy and then laid down on the floor. A second woman threw balloons into the air and the horizontal woman shot something from her talented Yoni that popped all the balloons.
Another lady opened a Coke bottle with her magical Yoni.
At this time, I realized we weren’t at a creepy, kinky, nasty sex show. This was a mind blowing, feminist, freakin’ talent show. This wasn’t about sexualizing women, or their bodies, or turning themselves into objects of desire. The whole event was more like showing off how bad-ass a vagina is and how powerful Kegel muscles can tell the male gaze to fuck off. Ha!
It got even better when another woman walked onto the stage, did the usual pre-game dance, and then pulled twenty feet of streamers out of her vagina. . .wrapping it around the poles on the stage and then continuing to shimmy with the end still fixed inside the grip of her Kegel muscles. The streamers even glowed in the black light. Take that.
The final act was the name sake: the “Ping-pong” show. Two empty pint glasses were put onto one side of the stage. A new naked woman showed up. She remained standing and and put a ping pong ball into her Yoni. She then spit it out so that it bounced on the floor and into the pint glass. It was like watching a beer pong game at a frat party. . .minus the idiots, the stench of cheap beer, and vomit. . .Oh yeah, and the Dave Matthews music.
I think I was the only one of the group who got a kick out of the show. Everyone else seemed to be bummed that it wasn’t a sexually charging experience. I tried to explain the feminist awesomeness on the taxi ride back to our neighborhood, but the unanimous sentiments were nothing short of dissatisfied and grossed out. The idea of continuing the bucket story was more enticing than pontificating defeating the male gaze and the powers of the mystical vagina.
Kho San Road was bumping, as usual, and we found ourselves with more buckets, and suddenly, I escaped with Karina to do a shot of tequila?!?! I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea. . .considering I’m not one to usually even do shots, especially of freakin’ tequila. . .but, alas, it happened. It even happened a second time, at the same bar, and I thought it was an entirely new place. I even asked the same bartender if he was following me because I didn’t recognize him. Haha. Yeahhh. . . probably not my finest moment.
After that, the rest of the night was officially blurry. We danced, we laughed, and we all got back to our hotel rooms in one piece.
The thing that saved me on my walk back to the room, besides my amazing cartoon husband practically carrying me, was a coconut and bean ice cream popsicle from 7-eleven. I cried to the heavens how I needed it so and moaned with every drunken, delicious bite. 7-eleven is a real life saver sometimes. When you get to Thailand someday, you’ll understand what I mean!