“Mom Guesthouse”

I wake up to someone rapping outside my door. And not like, rapping along to some Jay Z or something that’s already been produced, but just free stylin’ without any music.
It was awful. He kept rhyming swear words by changing the way he pronounces them…. and taking a long time in between versus to think about it. Extremely bizarre at 7am, BUT I am in Bangkok so I shouldn’t be surprised by this.
I lay in my rock solid bed trying to fall back asleep, and reading my books when I can’t. At 10 I decide it’s time to venture out into the world and look for a clinic. My ankle is a god damn mess.
It takes me about 2 hours of wandering around Bangkok before I find something. I keep asking shop keepers and wait staff at restaurants I pass by, but they either don’t understand what I’m asking, don’t know where it is, or don’t care. Some point in various directions and I follow their advice but I find no clinic. I even come across a street sign pointing me in the direction of the “Bangkok international clinic” which is exactly what I need, but when I follow the signs I still end up lost. Finally I do manage to stumble upon it, WAY further down the road than I ever expected it to be. Whatever. I’m here.

The doctor is very nice and cleans my ankle for me before bandaging it up and telling me to return again tomorrow. They give me some antibiotics for the infection as well, which is awesome because I need this thing to heal STAT. I have already accepted that I’m going to have a scar, but I don’t want a nasty scab on my ankle for my first few weeks in Australia either. Unfortunately that is my fate.
The good news is that when I ask her about my leech bite, she laughs and says the head is not lodged in my ankle (MOM!) but that the small bite wound was infected by my ankle. It should go away quickly with the antibiotics. Thank the baby Jesus. I really didn’t want to cut off my foot.

I return to Mom Guesthouse (what a name) where I have to sit in the hallway on the floor in order to charge my dying phone. They didn’t find it necessary to add any sort of wall plugs to the room I’m in. Not a one. The one thing this place is good for though, is wifi. It’s free and fast and doesn’t cut out every 10 minutes like some of the places I’ve stayed. So that’s a plus. I hang out in the hall until my butt is numb from sitting on the hardwood and decide that my phone has charged enough for now. I go back to my room and rest my ankle while I finish reading the mystery/thriller novel that Ilona had been given by one of the girls we met on the slow boat. It’s called The Executioner if you’re interested, but I don’t really think I’ll be reccomending it to anyone. It was okay, but I also haven’t read very many mystery novels.

When I’m done reading, I decide I should probably go back out into Bangkok to find some food. I only have a few Asian meals left so I want to make it a good one, but there’s so many choices! Street food stalls are abundant on Khosan, so I make a couple of stops instead of choosing just one. I buy some watermelon, which comes in pieces inside a small plastic sac with a long, thin wooden stick for cutlery. I eat the watermelon on my way over to another food stall where I buy spring rolls, which are ungracefully cut with big scissors into smaller pieces before being placed on a plate, so that I can eat these too, with a thin wooden stick. Finally, as I walk around I decide on pad thai, which I knew I would all along but thought I’d take a look to see if anything else caught my eye first. I order a pad thai with chicken and watch as they fry it all together in a large black wok right there in the street. This one, thankfully, comes with a pair of chop sticks instead of a thin wooden stick. That would take far too long for me to figure out how to eat.

I take a look at some of the street stalls on my way back towards my guesthouse, because I would really like to purchase a painting before I go. Now is the time to do it, because I wont have to worry about it being crumpled in my bag while I tote it all over the place, but I only have 1000 baht left, and do not want to have to use an ATM again until I’m in Australia, so I decide to save my money for tomorrow.

I come back to the prison cell of a room in Mom Guesthouse where I pick up where I left off in Life of Pi. What an appropriate novel to be reading on my travels!
While I read, the silence in my room is frequently interrupted by horking guests outside in the hallway and in the washroom next to me. Charming. I have noted that if theres one thing I truly hate it’s people who hork. I don’t think I find anything more offensive than when I’m walking down the street and a man horks in my pathway. Please refrain from making that awful noise and spitting where I am about to put my feet, until I have passed. I say ‘man’ because I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a horking woman. Not yet. I am sure they exist, but it’s definitely something I see A LOT of men doing as opposed to women, and not just abroad but back home, too. Though it’s much worse here, and even worse in India. I just don’t understand the point of it at all, but I digress. I just can’t help but wonder ‘WHY’, and then hate it.

I leave later in the evening to visit the Wat Pho Temple and Grand Palace, which I read on trip advisor as being even more beautiful at night. I leave around 8:30pm. If theres one thing I have learned as a backpacker, it is that taxis and tuk tuks will always, ALWAYS try to take advantage of you. When they see a white tourist they try to charge as much as they possibly can. I have no idea how much it should cost me to get to this temple because I don’t even really know where it is, and therefore decide to ask a couple tuk tuks about a price and try to haggle to see what the best deal is before actually choosing one. I must ask 6 different tuk tuks or taxi drivers what the cost would be to get to Wat Pho Temple, before finding one who will take me for 50 baht (which honestly still seems a little bit pricey, but it’s better than the 100 I’ve been quoted numerous times).
I hop in the tuk tuk for a 3 minute drive down the main road where he turns off onto a dark and quiet street. I’m a little sketched out, but I’m still not far from the main road and he seems like a nice man. He pulls over and points at a gate on the side of the road and says “Wat Pho”. I pay him his 50 baht and get out. There is a security guard having a cigarette outside the gate and I ask him how much the entrance fee is. He points at the sign informing me that Wat Pho Temple closes at 6pm. I am too late.
Why not even one of the taxi drivers I asked to take me to Wat Pho thought it would be helpful to mention that it’s actually closed, is beyond me. But now I am here so I try to make the best of the 50 baht useless tuk tuk ride. I kindly ask the guard if there is any way he would let me step inside the gate walls and take some pictures and he is kind enough to let me. When I am finished I ask him where the Grand Palace is, because I’ve heard that they’re very close. He points to the end of the street, where I can see some lights still on outside another gate, and smiles at me. I try to confirm the fact that it is still open and he nods. I make the short walk down to the gate, which is obviously not open. I don’t even know why I tried. I’m not even sure if this is the Grand Palace. The guard was extremely nice, but he didn’t speak a word to me. Just a lot of smiling and nodding. Oh well. I take some pictures from the outside, across the street where I can get a shot of the temple or the palace or whatever it may be, sitting behind a relatively low gate wall. It’s quite classic Asian architecture, with pointed tips on its roof top and gold trim. But it also features a beautiful brown and gold shimmer on portions of the building. In the night sky and reduced lighting, in combination with the gold trim around the edges of the palace/temple, it is absolutely stunning. I snap some photos on my new camera and take one with my cellphone as well. I’m hoping I can later try to mark my location on Instagram and have it give me options for where I actually was. I have to assume it was the Grand Palace. However, the other day when returning from the Siam mall in a tuk tuk with Ilona and Carrie, I had pointed at a building covered in sparkling lights and giant photos of the King on display, and asked if this was the Grand Palace. Carrie informed me that it was the train station…where I have been twice before. So who knows where I could have been tonight. The pier?
I find another tuk tuk who tries to quote me 100 baht to take me home, and I am sure that I still over pay when I talk him down to 50. I don’t care, I just don’t want to walk.

I get back to my guesthouse and walk upstairs past fellow backpackers pre-drinking before going out to the madness of Khosan road. I wish I had the energy or the desire to go out to the street party tonight, but I simply do not. I am more than ready to leave Bangkok tomorrow, and I look forward to packing my bag, maybe trying to re-visit Wat Pho temple when I know it is open, and then getting on my plane to Sydney.

Wandering Khaosan

We wake up and check out of the hotel. Ilona is leaving to Australia this evening and I cannot afford to stay in a double room all alone, so I’m going to go try find a hostel. First, breakfast. Carrie joins us, and as per usual we go to our regular Khosan breakfast spot. It’s just so good. Chancing breakfast is the worst. You don’t want to start your day with a crappy meal, ever. Especially when traveling. I feel weird stating this, because at home I don’t even eat breakfast, so what do I know? But out here I know my days are usually better when I’ve eaten something yummy in the morning.

Carrie goes to meet a friend she met while traveling earlier on in her trip who happens to be in Bangkok, so Ilona and I stay on Khosan and look for a new hostel for me. She carries a pink elephant shaped balloon, kept from the first night we got back to the city. I’m not sure why/how he’s survived this long but he gets carried around with Ilona all day. Normal social rules don’t apply here, and no one bats an eye when she brings it inside restaurants/shops/hostels.

I have trouble finding a good place to sleep. Mostly because I’m poor and lazy, but also because Bangkok has some really awful hostels. I find some that are literally jail cells with mouldy walls and no electricity, and then others that are lovely, but 600 baht ($18) for one night. Pffffft. Way above my price range.

We give up our search for a while because I’m getting nowhere, and can always look later. I have no fear because I know that I will always find SOMEWHERE to sleep, even if it sucks.

We get hair wraps on the street, where I get two different shades of blue and one lilac purple string braided into a small section of my hair. I’m not really sure how I feel about hair wraps yet, but I decided to try it out anyway.
We walk around Khosan a little longer before the fatigue hits me and I want to nap. Ilona leaves to get to the airport to catch her flight, and I go back to my search for a hostel. I find one with extremely basic rooms for 250 baht ($7.50) a night. That’s expensive for what it is, but I’m right on Khosan road and the room looks clean so I take it. The room is legitimately a small rectangle with just enough space for a single bed and some space for my bag. There is a fan on the ceiling and a long horizontal “window” on top of one wall. The “window” looks into the bathroom, which I share with everyone else on the floor. Luckily there’s a small curtain so I can pretend it isn’t there. None of this really bothers me, but it’s definitely not mon my top list of places I’ve stayed.

I fall asleep on the rock hard bed and wake up in the early evening. I know it’s my last few days in Thailand but I am just SO tired, and I like having nothing to do for a change. I take advantage of it. I don’t leave the room except to walk down the road and grab a quick dinner, and spend the rest of my time reading, updating my journals, and trying to repack my bag to fit more stuff in it.

Carrie comes to visit me around midnight when she is on her way home from a bar. She is leaving for Cambodia tomorrow morning and we haven’t said a proper goodbye so she drops by for a few minutes before going to bed.

After she leaves, I make the mistake of Web MDing my symptoms for my ankle because I’m 90% sure it’s infected. I should seriously delete this app and block the web page from my phone because I always regret it instantly. The results suggest that I have a sciatica, and I will spare you the details but it was not pretty to read about. I know I probably don’t actually have it but… now I’m all grossed out.
I Facebook my mother and ask her to look at my wound. I send her a picture and even she thinks it’s gross. She also suggests that it’s possible that the leech that bit me in Koh Sok left its head behind IN MY ANKLE when I pulled it off. Now I need to just chop off and toss away my whole god damn foot. I plan to go to a clinic first thing tomorrow morning. Ugh.

Out in Bangkok

I’m leaving for Australia in a few short days, where my parents will be meeting me to visit over Christmas. I need to buy presents, STAT. I have been trying to pick things up for them along the way, but honestly the thought of carrying anything around in my backpack that I don’t need to, wins out most of the time.

Ilona, Carrie and I head out downtown to the Siam Paragon Shopping Centre…again. Realistically, I don’t plan to find any gifts for family there because it’s all regular priced items in stores where I can’t haggle (what?) but I need a new camera and some make-up from a real make-up store, so it needs to happen. We shop around a little bit in stores that we cannot afford, admiring all of the things we cannot have. Ilona actually buys a pair of shoes that are expensive for backpacker standards, but cheap for normal people.
I make the mistake of walking into a shoe store… just to look. Seriously I wouldn’t go into any stores in which I didn’t think could contain myself, I skipped coach entirely, but this store catches me off guard. I did not know that they would have Julian Hakes heels laid out on display in an array of colours in the middle of the store. I have never ever seen a pair of these in any stores before, and I’ve been in love with the signature ribbon-like design ever since I saw them about a year ago on the Internet. Damn StumbleUpon. I must try a pair. I ask the sales woman for my size, which, because I’m in Asia, is the largest they have. Ugh.
She brings me a white pair with red soles, which is a little too Christian Louboutin knock-off for my taste, but I slip them on just to see if they’ll fit anyhow. They fit like a glove. Well actually, the shoe only really fits me on my left foot, but I know that it’s only because my right ankle is still swollen af from my motorcycle incident. When I realize that I am trying a pair of these absolutely gorgeous shoes on, in a fancy store in a fancy mall, while my legs are prickly, my ankle covered in bandages, and my feet almost permanently black on the bottom, I am mildly embarrassed. I realize the sales associate has no real interest in helping me because I clearly look like I’m not going to buy anything, and she’s right. I try on another colour anyway (just plain black but with a green sole) and walk around looking at my feet in a mirror, doing the math in my head and trying to figure out how I could successfully stuff these in my backpack, until Ilona and Carrie come to join me in the store. They are good friends, who talk me out of a completely unnecessary purchase. Alas. I leave the store, plotting ways to make enough money in Australia to order a pair.

Next, we walk into H&M which I think is silly, because we’re in Asia and I can shop at H&M every day (and do) if I want in Toronto. It’s massive like all H&Ms are, and when we exit the store we’re in an entirely different place from where we came in. It has lead us into a department store, which is somewhere between the Asian equivalent of Holt Renfrew or a good The Bay. I use the opportunity to purchase some make up that I know hasn’t just been pulled out of a cheap bottle and then stuffed into MAC container,. like I see on the streets all the time.
On our way out we walk through the electronics department where I find an array of waterproof cameras. I fall in love with one in particular, a blue Panasonic that is both a good price and seems like perfectly good quality. Most importantly it is not just waterproof but shockproof, dustproof, and sandproof too, which I definitely need. Almost entirely Naomi-proof, except for the fact that it does not float… which would have come in handy on my last camera when I was paddling down to Vientiane….

I play with it in the store for a while before actually buying it, after remembering what happened to my father when he bought a “good” camera in HongKong a few years ago, which was a total piece of garbage. I feel like the department store cannot possibly be ripping me off, so I buy it. I can FINALLY take more pictures! The ones on my phone just aren’t the same and it must be getting close to full with over 1,000 pictures on it already. I am so happy!

We go back to our guesthouse where we get ready to go out on Khosan Road again tonight. It’s Ilona’s last night in Bangkok before flying to Australia, so we want to make it a good one. We meet up with Jake again and go to all the usual bars on the street where they all play the same 3 songs on repeat. You cannot escape. I swear to god, I didn’t think I’d get sick of them so quickly, but I will be content if I never hear Gagnam Style, Starships, or The Whistle Song ever again. The street is not as busy as it was last night, and I realize later into the night that it’s because it’s a Sunday. I never know what day it is, but I guess I’ll have to go back to reality when I get to Australia.
Jake is staying at the hotel where they filmed
The Hang Over Part 2. Not the shitty one they wake up in, but the fancy one where they have a meeting with that famous guy. I can’t remember his name… You know the one. Not Mike Tyson. He’s in Barney’s Version. It doesn’t matter, it’s a fancy ass hotel. He invites us all to go check it out, and tells us about his fabulous room while we’re sitting in our basic double bed square box of a room, but it’s really far away from Khosan so we don’t go. I know I will regret this later in life. Probably tomorrow.

Farewell, Islands

I sleep so soundly on the boat, that I only wake up when a Thai woman wakes me to inform me that my alarm has been going off for the last 5 minutes. Somehow in my sleep my headphones have come loose from my phone, and the alarm is playing over the external speakers. Apparently loud enough to wake someone at least 10 mattresses down from me, but not myself. Whoops!! Sorry everyone, my bad. I had set the alarm 20 minutes before we are expected to arrive, so that I could make sure to get all of my things together and wake up enough to get off the boat. Everything besides my phone is already safely tucked away in my backpack, which is strapped around the front of my body and being hugged like a teddy bear by my chilled arms. They always blast the AC in these things. I spend the next 20 minutes outside of the cabin and on the boats’ deck, trying to warm myself up and watching the sun rise as we approach Koh Tao.

Even though I know I’ll be leaving the island again in a few short hours, I’m happy to be going back. I try to be sneaky and get a free ride to a resort just walking distance from where Ilona is still staying. They always offer free car rides if you are going to check out a place to stay so I pretend to be interested, but my plan to disappear from the group as they show us around fails, when I am the only person going to the location. They have me figured out pretty quickly, when I have absolutely no luggage besides a small day-trip backpack. I give up and pay for the tuk tuk ride, and just walk down the pathway to the cottages where Ilona is. You can’t blame me for trying.
It’s only 6am, so I wake her up when I knock on the door. We get to sleep a little while longer because check-out isn’t until 11am.
I could shower, but I’d rather sleep longer. My hygiene is at all all-time low.

The rest of the day consists of more traveling. We get breakfast at our favourite Koh Tao morning restaurant, stock up on snacks at the 7/11, and bring our luggage to the pier. Our boat is the fanciest I’ve been on yet. Flat screen tv’s and large, comfortable leather seats are laid out in rows like there would be on a plane, with a small snack counter in the middle. It’s always a gamble when you book these things. It’s a “high speed” boat so we get to Chumporn (yes. The name of a town in Thailand. For real) very quickly. We only have to wait another half hour before our bus to Bangkok arrives, where I will be sitting for the next 7 hours of my life.

My ankle is still slightly green and swollen due to the fact that I can’t keep it out of the water, and that the bandaids in Thailand suck. They do not stick to my skin properly, and always fall off before the day is done. I would just buy a billion bandaids, but they cost a Thai fortune. The ones big enough to cover the wound on my ankle cost 350 baht a pack, and only 5 come in each box. Ridiculous. They must know that westerners like me are prone to accidents.
I buy two boxes and some cleaning paraphernalia at a pharmacy so I can take advantage of this travel time (with no chance of swimming or other contact with water/dirty things) to try and heal.

Finally, at 2am, we arrive in Bangkok. We walk down crazy Kohsan road, and pick a guesthouse which is right on the street and therefore extremely loud with base pumping music. I don’t even care because I’m so exhausted and fall asleep basically instantly.

Happy Birthday Ilona!

Wooo! Ilona’s birthday begins at midnight so we wait until the clock strikes 12 to sing happy birthday before falling asleep.

Most of the day is spent just hanging out, hoping the rain will stop soon. It’s supposed to be nice later on, but for now the beach is out of the question. There is a Dexter marathon playing on the TV in our room (incredible) The Asian premiere of Dexter season 7 is on tonight, so we chill out and watch that until the late afternoon but miss the actual premiere. Whatevvvv. I saw it when I was back in Canada. God I miss Dexter. And American Horror Story. Damn you Apple for not equipping your iPads with Flash Player.
Alas.

Ilona, Carrie and I all go down the street to a bar where I order the most delicious beverage I’ve ever tasted. It’s called a Bailey’s Shake, and I seriously suggest you make one some day. It has Bailey’s, Vodka, Milk and Bananas…mixed into a shake. Wtf, heaven. I drink two because it’s happy hour, and I can. We go back to our room to collect everyone else before getting dinner. We watch some more Dexter.

When everyone is ready to go we walk down to the restaurant attached to our cottages where I order a yummy chicken skewer. We sing Happy Birthday to Ilona and give her a gift, which is a bathing suit she has been wanting. It’s not much, but we’re all dirt broke and the bathing suit is pretty. Afterwards we walk down to a bar where they have a fire show and cheap drink deals. Sarah and Cara run out to the 7/11 and get Ilona a cake….again because we are dirt broke, and finding a proper cake in Thailand is not easy. We light some candles and bring her the cake at the bar while we sing Happy Birthday again. The ability to bring your own food and drinks into any restaurant without a problem here is the best. The bar even gives us a knife (that looks more like a machete) to cut the cake.

It is awful tasting. We smear it on Ilona’s face instead of trying to pretend to eat it. We hop around to a few different bars on the strip of beach, and go to bed long after the bars are closed.

 

Full Moon Party

My day consists of various preparations for the evening. We go into town to get breakfast, and afterwards walk down the street to shop. We need full moon tank tops, glitter, and a pedicure. Ilona and I choose a random nail salon on the street to get our nails done which only cost 150 baht (4ish dollars). All they do is soak my feet in cold water and paint my toes, there is no scrubbing or filing or much else at all. For 4 dollars I don’t care, but my feet still look atrocious.

Afterwards we come home and have a nap, because I know we are going to be up all night and the last thing I want is to be too tired to carry on. We go over to the night market for dinner where I get a pad Thai, and then we come back to start the face painting. Cara draws another awesome cheetah print pattern on my face in pink this time instead of blue, and I cover it in sparkles. Then, I cover my entire body with sparkles too. I am now ready to attend the biggest party in Thailand.

Unfortunately, this is where I must leave you. What happens at The Full Moon Party… stays at The Full Moon Party.

Jungle Party

The rain has hit Koh Phangan at the absolute worst time. Since we arrived last night it’s been wet and rainy, but today in particular it’s absolutely pouring. I wake up thinking Ilona is in the shower because the rain is so loud outside our window. All I can do is hope that it stops by tonight, but more importantly by tomorrow night for the Full Moon! Ilona and I have woken up a little later than the other girls who are all ready to go get massages, so we tell them to go ahead and we’ll do our own thing for the day. It’s been a pretty long time since I’ve spent a day where it’s just me and Ilona. We eat breakfast at our guesthouse and then grab a tuk tuk into town to go shopping. I am in need of a cross-body bag. I refuse to ever go out dancing or even to a bar again with a huge tote hanging from my arm.

It’s surprisingly much easier to shop with two girls instead of 6. We stop into a lot of little shops on the “busy” strip in town and sift through a lot of junk to find the good stuff that we do. I buy a long black tie-dye dress (I know, who am I?), a small nude toned cross body bag, a used version of Life of Pi, and a pair of flip flops, because mine have been breaking every 100 steps I take ever since the motorbike accident. Ilona buys a dark brown box hair dye, and trusts me with the task of dying her hair for her later tonight. Exciting!!

It’s a successful shopping trip, and on our way home around 3pm we stop at a nearby restaurant titled “Proper Fish & Chips M8!”… We can only assume the M8 is meant to be mate. We order 2 fish and chips while we watch the credits to Finding Nemo on the TV screen mounted against the wall. We’re the only people in the restaurant, but we are eating at an awkward hour after all. About 20 minutes pass before we start to wonder where our food is, but we’re content just chatting and exchanging any details we’ve heard about the jungle party tonight, so we don’t think too much of it. An absolutely massive man comes rolling up on a tiny motorbike to the restaurant with some street food style chicken, and sits at the table next to us. He strikes up a conversation with us about where we’re from etc etc while we’re waiting, and even after the food comes he keeps talking. We find out he’s originally from America but has been living in Thailand for 12 years. The wrong end of a bounty hunter situation, he tells us (cool story, bro). Ilona is the first to bite into the breaded fish, only to find out that it is actually chicken. Not so Proper Fish & Chips after all! It’s good all the same so we just laugh about it and continue eating, but when the large man beside us asks what we’re laughing about, we find out that he is the owner of the restaurant. Oops.
It’s good for him to know that the order was messed up but I don’t want our waitress getting in trouble because I’m just as happy with chicken instead of fish, Whatev. He apologizes to us and I think he says something to the waitress about our order, but it is all in Thai, so I’m not sure.

We finish our meal with him continuing to make awkward conversation about just about anything, including mosquito larvae in the shower water…while we’re eating. He also confirms that the M8 on the sign out front is supposed to be ‘mate’. We laugh all the way home about our Proper Fish and Chips experience. When we get back, all the girls are all about to leave for dinner at the night market, so we plan to meet back at the guesthouse at 9. While they’re out, Ilona and I dye her hair, shower, and start to get ready for the party tonight. We run out quickly to grab neon face paint in order to do animal print make up for the occasion. Koh Phangan is always filled with neon-clad tourists!!

When we come back the girls are waiting in the common area with the group we met from Waterloo while in Koh Lanta. Everyone who travels Thailand goes to the Full Moon Party, so a lot of people that we’ve met along the way will be here tonight (and obviously tomorrow) which is exciting! We paint our faces as quickly as we can, because we hear we can get in for free before 11pm. We are in such a hurry that some of the girls don’t have time to paint their faces, but Cara does a really cool cheetah print design on my face in blue. We grab a tuk tuk, and drive down to the party which isn’t far from where we’re staying. They can only drive us so far, and we have to walk the rest of the way, which is about 500 meters down a pathway lit by black lights stuck to various trees on the way. We make it just in time to still get in for free, and avoid the 300 baht charge. It’s an absolute shit show of tourists all wearing bright greens, oranges and pinks, with a DJ blaring dance music across from the jungle-hut bar. A small river runs through the party area, but they’ve installed wooden bridges at many different points along the way so it’s easy to cross. We’re actually in a jungle. On my way to the washroom, I see the largest spider I have yet to see, which is legitimately the size of my face with its legs included. I almost die.

We do our best to stick together all night, even though it’s hard for such a large group of us. I manage not to get lost in the jungle alone so that’s a plus. The amount of backpackers at this party is apparently only half of what we will see at tomorrow’s Full Moon event, and I am already over whelmed.

To Koh Phangan?

We’re all nervous to find out what will happen with Matcha Tours today. Will we get to Koh Phangan? Or will we be stuck in Krabi for another day. or 5. Forever? Who knows? We go get a quick breakfast where I FINALLY find a decent breakfast sausage!! Ilona points it out on the menu to me, that it says “most other restaurants serve hotdogs as breakfast sausage and one piece of fruit to make it look like you’re getting a variety”… and I know that they will not serve me a hot dog. It’s the most exciting part of my morning so far, so I order it. Obviously I am still in Thailand so it’s not the most delicious breakfast sausage I’ve ever had, but it’s good and most importantly, not a hot dog.

We walk over to the travel agency where we are half an hour early, so we sit and wait until 11 for a bus. Sam, our lovely travel agent from yesterday, pays no attention to us at all, even when Ilona goes inside and stands at the desk waiting to ask a question, he just doesn’t acknowledge her. I am not surprised though, let’s be real. When 11:01 rolls around I am beginning to be concerned, but by 11:15 a bus does actually arrive for us. He almost doesn’t let us on, when we tell him that we’d like to keep our original ticket (which we’ve read you are always supposed to do) so we give him a fake ticket instead so that we can get on the bus. He doesn’t notice, and tosses our bags in a pile in the van. Success! We are one step closer to Koh Phangan!  We drive 10 minutes away and are dropped off at another bus station. He gives our fake ticket to the staff member at the counter, where she glances at it and gives us new tickets for the boat or the van or something, I am never sure exactly what they’re giving me, and apparently neither are they.

We wait 15 minutes before a new van rolls up. This van seats 14, and we have exactly 14 people with 14 backpacks all crammed into it (they don’t have a trunk). It’s not the most comfortable 2 hour ride I could have asked for, and our driver insists on flying over each speed bump or pothole at full speed, but we’re getting there so that’s all that matters. We get dropped off at yet another bus station in Suratthani, a town much closer to the pier. We wait there for half an hour and grab some snacks. We are offered the option of paying 50 baht to upgrade to a “high-speed boat” which gets us there an hour earlier, but we don’t care and don’t want to put ourselves in anymore weird situations, so we decline and decide to stay with the slower ferry for 3 hours. No big deal. As the bus pulls up and we are about to board and have it take us to the pier, a staff members pulls me aside and tells me that we can take the fast boat for free as long as we don’t tell anybody. I figure what has happened is that there are two boats anyway, and not enough people paid the far upgrading price of 50 baht and now the “slower” boat is over booked. So I grab the girls and tell them to wait for the next bus. Obviously we’re not hopeful that this alleged high speed boat will actually get us there any faster, but if it does that’ll be cool and if not we haven’t lost any money. Whatever.

We get on the sketchiest bus I’ve ever been on, with a rainbow painted ceiling, stuffed monkey dolls hanging from all over the place, and a front door that won’t close. They pile all of our bags in the back, except for these two absolute princesses who are carrying two purses each and a duffel bag. They bring all their bags to the front with them and lay their stuff across a seat beside them. The bus is, as usual, packed with people, so their bags taking up two entire seats to themselves doesn’t work for me. There are no seats left for me to sit down in, or I wouldn’t have said anything, but when I am forced to choose between standing or saying something, I ask one of the girls to move their shit so people can actually sit down. She does it after rolling her eyes, and I take my seat. Now it’s awkward because I have to sit beside her, but luckily she just pulls a pillow out of one of her two purses, and goes to sleep against the window. I don’t know why people like this even come to Thailand, or how they’ve survived this long. Who knows, maybe today is their first day. The broken front door that remains open for the duration of our trip, does not become a problem until the rain starts. Then, I am splattered with cold and tiny rain drops every now and again while I try to sleep.

We finally make it to the pier for the last stretch of this ridiculous adventure. It looks like we’re going to make it Koh Phangan!! I notice while we’re waiting in line that my right ankle with the scrape from the motorcycle accident is definitely much bigger than my left. And it’s throbbing, a lot. In fact it has been all day…which concerns me a tad. The rest of my body is healing but my ankle is getting worse if anything.
We get on our fancy speed boat, which I’m still sure is the same as the regular boat, by pushing and shoving through a large crowd onto a very small metal board connecting the boat to the dock. We pass by the princess with her two big purses and duffel bag, whining about when she can get on the boat to some staff members instead of just pushing and shoving like the rest of us. I can’t help but laugh. We are so lucky that we shoved our way down here when we did, because it becomes clearly pretty quickly that there are not enough seats for everyone, but we manage to snag 6 close to each other. The downside of this is that our seats are also directly behind a crying baby. It starts puking everywhere and wailing when the boat starts up. Dear god. I just hope that maybe, just maybe, this boat really is faster than the other one, and I can get to Koh Phangan without the smell of child vomit being burned into my nostrils forever.
I don’t know how (but I thank my body for it regardless) but I manage to fall asleep until we arrive at Koh Samui, which is another island just below Koh Phangan. We will be at our destination soon! I almost can’t believe it. There was far less conflict than yesterday even though today was a little rough at times, we’ve made it and that’s all that matters.

The ride is not “smooth sailing” by any means. I feel more like I’m on a roller coaster than a boat, with the strong waves pushing the boat up and out of the water and causing it to go crashing back down over and over again. I have a relatively strong stomach in most cases. I am un-fazed by stuffy car rides, I can eat fried bugs and keep them down, and I have yet to get sick from any questionable Indian or Thai food. But this boat makes my stomach feel uneasy. It’s like being on a 2 hour roller coaster. 10 minutes after I go outside to get fresh air because I am DYING inside, the boat stops and we’ve made it!  We get in a tuk tuk with a Swedish couple who hopes to find accommodation at our guesthouse, because they haven’t booked anything in advance. They are fortunate and find a room at the place we booked, which is very clean and the rooms are quite comfortable. I am definitely happy to stay here for the next 4 nights.

We walk down the street to grab a real meal which none of us have had since breakfast. There aren’t a lot of options but the restaurant across the street has Pad Thai so I’m content. Just happy to be here! To Koh Phangan?

We wake up at 9am, all nervous to find out what will happen with Matcha Tours today. Will we get to Koh Phangan? Or will we be stuck in Krabi forever? Who knows?. We go get a quick breakfast where I FINALLY find a decent breakfast sausage!! Ilona points it out on the menu to me, that it says “most other restaurants serve hotdogs as breakfast sausage and one piece of fruit to make it look like you’re getting a variety”… and I know that they will not serve me a hot dog. It’s the most exciting part of my morning so far, so I order it. Obviously I am still in Thailand so it’s not the most delicious breakfast sausage I’ve ever had, but it’s good and most importantly, not a hot dog.

We walk over to the travel agency where we are half an hour early, so we sit and wait until 11 for a bus. Sam, our lovely travel agent from yesterday, pays no attention to us at all, even when Ilona goes inside and stands at the desk waiting to ask a question, he just doesn’t acknowledge her. I am not surprised though, let’s be real. When 11:01 rolls around I am beginning to be concerned, but by 11:15 a bus does actually arrive for us. He almost doesn’t let us on, when we tell him that we’d like to keep our original ticket (which we’ve read you are always supposed to do) so we give him a fake ticket instead so that we can get on the bus. He doesn’t notice, and tosses our bags in a pile in the van. Success! We are one step closer to Koh Phangan! We drive 10 minutes away and are dropped off at another bus station. He gives our fake ticket to the staff member at the counter, where she glances at it and gives us new tickets for the boat or the van or something, I am never sure exactly what they’re giving me, and apparently neither are they. We wait 15 minutes before a new van rolls up. This van seats 14, and we have exactly 14 people with 14 backpacks all crammed into it (they don’t have a trunk). It’s not the most comfortable 2 hour ride I could have asked for, and our driver insists on flying over each speed bump or pothole at full speed, but we’re getting there so that’s all that matters.

We get dropped off at yet another bus station in Suratthani, a town much closer to the pier. We wait there for half an hour and grab some snacks. We are offered the option of paying 50 baht to upgrade to a “high-speed boat” which gets us there an hour earlier, but we don’t care and don’t want to put ourselves in anymore weird situations, so we decline and decide to stay with the slower ferry for 3 hours. No big deal.
As the bus pulls up and we are about to board and have it take us to the pier, a staff members pulls me aside and tells me that we can take the fast boat for free as long as we don’t tell anybody. I figure what has happened is that there are two boats anyway, and not enough people paid the far upgrading price of 50 baht and now the “slower” boat is over booked. So I grab the girls and tell them to wait for the next bus. Obviously we’re not hopeful that this alleged high speed boat will actually get us there any faster, but if it does that’ll be cool and if not we haven’t lost any money. Whatever.

We get on the sketchiest bus I’ve ever been on, with a rainbow painted ceiling, stuffed monkey dolls hanging from all over the place, and a front door that won’t close. They pile all of our bags in the back, except for these two absolute princesses who are carrying two purses each and a duffel bag. They bring all their bags to the front with them and lay their stuff across a seat beside them. The bus is, as usual, packed with people, so their bags taking up two entire seats to themselves doesn’t work for me. There are no seats left for me to sit down in, or I wouldn’t have said anything, but when I am forced to choose between standing or saying something, I ask one of the girls to move their shit so people can actually sit down. She does it after rolling her eyes, and I take my seat. Now it’s awkward because I have to sit beside her, but luckily she just pulls a pillow out of one of her two purses, and goes to sleep against the window. I don’t know why people like this even come to Thailand, or how they’ve survived this long. Who knows, maybe today is their first day. The broken front door that remains open for the duration of our trip, does not become a problem until the rain starts. Then, I am splattered with cold and tiny rain drops every now and again while I try to sleep.

We finally make it to the pier for the last stretch of this ridiculous adventure. It looks like we’re going to make it Koh Phangan!! I notice while we’re waiting in line that my right ankle with the scrape from the motorcycle accident is definitely much bigger than my left. And it’s throbbing, a lot. In fact it has been all day…which concerns me a tad. The rest of my body is healing but my ankle is getting worse if anything.
We get on our fancy speed boat, which I’m still sure is the same as the regular boat, by pushing and shoving through a large crowd onto a very small metal board connecting the boat to the dock. We pass by the princess with her two big purses and duffel bag, whining about when she can get on the boat to some staff members instead of just pushing and shoving like the rest of us. I can’t help but laugh.
We are so lucky that we shoved our way down here when we did, because it becomes clearly pretty quickly that there are not enough seats for everyone, but we manage to snag 6 close to each other. The downside of this is that our seats are also directly behind a crying baby. It starts puking everywhere and wailing when the boat starts up. Dear god. I just hope that maybe, just maybe, this boat really is faster than the other one, and I can get to Koh Phangan without the smell of child vomit being burned into my nostrils forever.
I don’t know how (but I thank my body for it regardless) but I manage to fall asleep until we arrive at Koh Samui, which is another island just below Koh Phangan. We will be at our destination soon! I almost can’t believe it. There was far less conflict than yesterday even though today was a little rough at times, we’ve made it and that’s all that matters. The ride is not “smooth sailing” by any means. I feel more like I’m on a roller coaster than a boat, with the strong waves pushing the boat up and out of the water and causing it to go crashing back down over and over again. I have a relatively strong stomach in most cases. I am un-phased by stuffy car rides, I can eat fried bugs and keep them down, and I have yet to get sick from any questionable Indian or Thai food. But this boat makes my stomach feel uneasy. It’s like being on a 2 hour roller coaster. 10 minutes after I go outside to get fresh air because I am DYING inside, the boat stops and we’ve made it!

We get in a tuk tuk with a Swedish couple who hope to find accommodation at our guesthouse, because they haven’t booked anything in advance. They are fortunate and find a room at the place we booked, which is very clean and the rooms are quite comfortable. I am definitely happy to stay here for the next 4 nights.

We walk down the street to grab a real meal which none of us have had since breakfast. There aren’t a lot of options but the restaurant across the street has Pad Thai so I’m content. Just happy to be here!

Afterwards we go back to our guesthouse and hang out for the rest of the night to prepare ourselves for tomorrow night, when they have the pre-full moon party party, the jungle party!!

We Hate Matcha Tours.

We wake up early enough to pack up our things and check out before the bus is due to pick us up at 11:30am. We are finally on our way to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party! Woot woot! We have a full day of traveling ahead of us first though, where we will be on long bus rides and overnight sleeper boats. Our first mode of transportation is a van. We are fortunate, and get to climb into a very spacious van and toss our bags in the back. We pick up many more people on our way to the ferry, and quickly the van feels less spacious, but is still quite comfortable for what we expect to be a short ride. The ride however, is not short. We’re in the van for over 2 hours, on our way to Krabi. This doesn’t bother me though, because it means less transferring of heavy backpacks to and from boats and busses. We finally arrive at our not-quite-half-way destination of Krabi town, where we are supposed to be transferring to another bus, and then to a ferry for Koh Phangan. The bus driver drops our bags on the curb outside the Matcha Tours office, and drives off before returning our original ticket back to us.

When we go inside to ask what time our ferry is leaving, the awkward and gangly man at the desk, Sam, tells us that the ferry is full and we can’t get on until tomorrow. Obviously we are not happy about this, especially after booking our ticket two days in advance to avoid this problem. When we ask what went wrong, he tells us that there are no overnight ferries on Sundays, yeah right. Ilona walks down the street to another travel agent to confirm the fact that there is indeed an overnight ferry leaving tonight, but that it is full. We have paid for the ferry tonight, and counted that as one night’s accommodation as well, so the last thing we want to do is stay in Krabi and have to pay for a hotel. We ask for our money back for the ferry, knowing that they have screwed up by forgetting to book our boat ticket. But of course, he refuses to refund our money and tells us our only option is to for him to book us into (definitely a flea bag) motel for the night at their expense, and get on the ferry the next day in the afternoon. This is not acceptable for any of us. We had traveled through Krabi on our way to Railay Beach, and it’s a shit hole.
We argue with Sam for hours. First off, Carrie tries a friendly approach where she sits down alone and calmly tries to reason with him, but he’s not having any of it. He refuses to call the original office we booked through, or to let us use a phone to call them ourselves. He blatantly tells her that it’s not his problem, and he doesn’t care. He’s rude to her, despite her calm tone, and clearly has no interest in trying to fix the mistake he’s made, he just continues to lie about there not being a ferry. Next, I try my approach. I can’t say I am as calm and collected as Carrie is; my approach is more similar to the one a ONE restaurant clientele would have used, but I like to think it’s more dignified. I basically just tell him that he has made the mistake, and needs to find a way to fix it…now. But he simply plugs his ears like small child and tells me he doesn’t want to listen, he doesn’t care, etc. I raise my voice and we yell at each other for a few minutes. Soon enough, Sam becomes aggressive. He is pointing his finger in our faces and throwing our bags across the room. He later tries to spray us with a hose to get us off the sidewalk when we have given up, and are standing there with our backpacks trying to figure out what we were going to do next. It is out of control. They complain to us that they lost money after booking us a 50 baht hostel (basically free, which is why I know it would have been garbage) and having to cancel because we refused to stay there. All we want to do is get on a boat. We don’t even care if it’s all the way to Koh Phangan, we just want to get closer, but I certainly did not pay 900 baht to get to Krabi. No.

Eventually, after about 4 hours (I am not kidding) Sarah and I decide to go to the police station because he keeps telling us to go and saying it won’t make a difference. We decide to call his bluff, and go anyway. It’s about a 5 minute walk so we leave our bags behind and climb the hill to the police station. When we walk in, I approach a police officer sitting at a desk doing nothing. I speak slowly and clearly so that he can understand, but he says nothing the entire time. Just stares blankly at me. Eventually, he gives me a piece of paper and motions for me to write down my problem. I do so, again as neatly as I can, and explain that this travel agency has essentially stolen our money. He walks out of the room in silence and returns with a cell phone. The person on the other end speaks English and asks me to explain the problem. I do, for the third time, very calmly and very clearly, and at the end he tells me that he will translate everything to the police officer. He listens to the translation for about 5 minutes, and again gets up silently and walks out. We are not sure what to do so we follow him. He walks outside to where some other police officers are watching TV and smoking casually. They chat and laugh for a few minutes, not even looking at us so I’m pretty convinced their conversation has nothing to do with us. Right when Sarah and I are about to leave, a man on a motorcycle comes to get us and says he works for Matcha Tours and that they’ve finally arranged for us to get on a bus to a town closer to Koh Phangan. Sarah and I have to cram ourselves onto the back of a motorbike with this stranger (and after what happened to me yesterday I am not too excited). He drives us back down the hill and drops us off. It turns out that they are not actually taking us to a closer city at all. Sam has changed clothes. Why? I cannot tell you, but it’s weird.
He continues to yell at us and tells us to leave the property, and we continue to hold our ground and ask for our money back, or just SOME form of compensation that doesn’t involve a crappy motel. blah blah blah this goes on forever. Eventually after hours of this garbage, his manager/maybe the owner comes out. She is much more friendly but still won’t get us on a bus or a boat. She apologizes for his mistake, and tells us that we are booked on a ferry tomorrow morning at 11:30am. We’re all exhausted and they aren’t budging, so all we can do is trust them and hope we can actually get on a boat tomorrow, but we won’t know until it happens. We find the cheapest accommodation we can right down the street so that we can get up bright and early to be waiting for this so called bus. I swear to god I am going to lose my mind if they mess this up again.

At the end of the day it’s only 30 dollars that I lost, but the fact that he lied to my face, was rude to my friends and me after HE made a mistake, and wouldn’t help us at all, made me absolutely hate him. Raging. I don’t want him thinking he can just push tourists around, it’s ridiculous. This would never happen if I were Thai. I begin writing negative reviews on Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor before we’ve even left the property, which is conveniently when the manager comes out to remind me that it was his mistake, not hers, and not the fault of Matcha Tours…which is bullshit. I notice that Sam is wearing yet another outfit, WTF, why are you changing clothes so frequently?

As I am Googling the company, I notice that the first results on Google begin with “beware of Matcha tours”, “don’t book through Matcha”, which now I wish we had seen earlier. All I can do now is try to spread the word to every traveler I encounter, and hope that they go out of business. As other travelers walked into the tour office, we would tell them to leave and not to book with the company, which Sam didn’t like and told us to shut up numerous times. It was worth it though, because everyone who walked in turned right around and left. They’ll thank us later. We. Hate. Matcha. Tours. All I can do is pray that we get on a boat tomorrow. And if not, if the Matcha staff have the balls to screw us over AGAIN, I guess I will just spend the extra 30 dollars to book through a different, reputable company, and some old smelly eggs…

The only upside to us having to stay the night in garbage Krabi, is that some of our friends we met on Koh Phi Phi are here as well. We meet up with them and visit a fun night market where they have lots of games to win prizes, some prizes being a fish. Sarah wins a fish, but we don’t know what to do with it. She gives it to the boys who have also won a fish, and asks them to keep him alive as long as possible. Oh no. We come back to the room early and sleep, preparing ourselves for what madness surely awaits us at Matcha Tours tomorrow morning. Dear god.

Oh, and if you’re a current or future traveler and didn’t get the message, DO NOT BOOK ANYTHING THROUGH MATCHA TOURS.
 

Motorbike Scrapes and Bruises

This morning we have planned to go out to the Emerald Cave, where you can swim to a lagoon through a dark cave. It sounds so cool and I can’t wait to go so we eat a quick breakfast and get on our motorbikes. Ilona and Carrie stay behind but plan to go out later in the day to possibly meet us at the cave. AJ doesn’t feel comfortable driving so she hops on the back with one of the boys and I drive the motorbike alone. How hard can it be? It’s my first time really driving one, so I take it easy, but most of the group is already gone so I try to learn fast. It’s an automatic bike so it’s not so difficult, just gas and brakes really. I make a couple turns and all is well so we set off on our way to the cave. Some of the other girls waited for me so I follow them down the road, where there are some windy curves. We can’t find the rest of the group anywhere so we wonder if maybe the cave is the opposite direction and turn around to look down the other side of the street. I don’t know exactly how this happens, but as I am following the road around another curve, I lose control of the bike. I don’t bank my body with the turn, so the bike doesn’t turn as much as I want it too, which freaks me out because now I’m headed for the ditch. I freak out and bail off the bike on the side of the road where I fall on my side. The girls are ahead of me so they don’t know what’s happened, but 4 different Thai people all come rushing over to make sure that I’m okay. Mostly just my dignity is lost, and I feel extremely embarrassed but the scrapes don’t hurt much. I get up and walk my bike over to the side of the road and wait for the girls to realize that I am not following behind. It only takes a minute before I see them down the road driving towards me. By the time they get to me and pull the bike over the pain has actually begun to set in. My hands and legs are shaking out of shock, and the whole right side of my body is stinging. I am the luckiest bike wounded girl ever, because 20 steps away from me there is a pharmacy. I walk in and buy some antiseptic and Bandaids to clean the scrapes myself, but as I’m walking out of the pharmacy I notice a nurses’ clinic directly across the street. I decide it’s better to have these cleaned professionally considering I can barely handle having a hangnail let alone cleaning out my own cuts, and I want to make sure it’s done right. The ladies at the clinic are very kind and friendly, they help me clean the scrapes on my ankle, knees, hip, hand, elbow, and shoulder while the girls wait for me out in the waiting room. I feel awful that they haven’t been able to make it to the cave yet, and I encourage them to go but they stay until I’m done. Sarah drives me back on her motorcycle, which truthfully I am afraid to get back on, but Sarah is the best and most experienced driver of all of us, so I try to calm down and just trust her. Our bungalows aren’t far from where I fell fortunately, so it’s just a short ride. They all continue onto the Emerald Cave while I lie in bed drinking water and reading a book. I am so jealous that they get to go on such a cool adventure, but know that I couldn’t possibly swim under this condition. Ilona and Carrie still haven’t left yet by the time I am back in my room so they come over to visit and find out what happened. They tell me that they have just rented motorbikes and are going out to drive around the island for the day. Hopefully tomorrow I will be well healed and able to do something fun, too. I’m just thankful that it wasn’t much worse. So many tourists and locals alike drive around the islands on motorbikes in flip flops, shorts and tank tops which is really dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. I was lucky that there were no other cars on the road for my accident, and that I wasn’t driving up the side of a cliff or something. I guess that protection bracelet I was given in India is legit!

I lie in bed all day, reading a creepy horror/mystery book that a girl we met on the slow boat gave to Ilona. Ilona is still in the middle of reading it, but lends it to me for the day. I read 150 pages in and out of napping. Reading always makes me so sleepy.

The girls who went to the cave return around 5pm and tell me that they were unable to get to the cave because they got lost on the map so they went shopping instead. Secretly I am sort of happy that they couldn’t make it out to the cave, because I am so upset that I had to miss it, and at least now I’m not the only one, but I’m also sad for them that they couldn’t go. I plan to find something similar in New Zealand, where I’ve heard they have awesome caves to explore. The group from Waterloo made it to the cave, but found out that the entrance fee was 1000 baht ($32), and decided not to go inside. It seems like no one’s plans to get to the cave unfolded the way they had expected today! When the girls come back they’re tired, so they hang out with me in the room where we watch some Thai TV, sleep for a little while, and I continue reading. We plan to go for dinner later, but luckily nowhere that requires me to get on a motorcycle.

We eat dinner at the hotel where they offer a fish barbecue. Like a full fish. With a face. That’s not for me, so I order a small salad and a sweet and sour chicken dish instead. The barbecue is cute though, because the hotel is family run and they catch the fish themselves. 3 of the other girls order the full fish barbecue which is less than impressive. I am extra happy I didn’t order it, because I hadn’t taken into account the possibility of bones, which are definitely a problem, and I am finished my entire meal before any of their dishes arrive. We laugh about the ridiculousness of this meal, but I have yet to have a meal in Thailand where everyone gets what they want. At one point Cara asks our waitress to open her beer, so she nods, takes it off the table, and never comes back with it. We have to ask numerous staff members many times to find out where the beer has gone. It does finally come back but now we don’t know where it’s been or why. It’s just a very confusing meal in general. It’s funny to have this happen sometimes, and tonight especially I think it’s hilarious, but sometimes you just want to get what you’ve ordered and it’s hard to sit down and KNOW that you aren’t going to get it. But I can’t complain because the most I’ve paid for a meal probably tops out at $10 maximum. I have trouble at dinner with my scrapes, being unable to rest my elbow on the table in any way. The only comfortable position is for my arm to hang at my side, so I’m really hoping I heal sooner than later.

After dinner I wait for Sarah Lindsay to Skype me. We were supposed to Skype this morning (morning my time, night her time) but we left for the cave before we had time to Skype. Now I wish I hadn’t cancelled the Skype date because I would have been safe and sound in my bed without any cuts, but the idea of missing such a cool experience got the best of me. Bad friend karma! But then she stands me up. Hoe. So we’re even now.

We meet up with the kids from Waterloo to hang out and chat in the common area, but I’m exhausted so I go to bed relatively early.