Hosers’n’Tots

This past weekend was basically split into three equal parts: the first involved an abundance of testosterone and hosers, and the second involved an abundance of estrogen/progesterone/prolactin/insertyourfavouritefemalehormonehere and babies. During the third part, we were basically comatose, which is always a good time but difficult to describe, so we’ll just leave that part out.

Part 1: Samut Prakan’s finest attraction: Taco Lake

This blog may have somehow given you the impression that T-bone likes doing Stoopid Schtuff on a regular basis. You would not be wrong (for further evidence, see this post or this post or this post or this post). In fact, I strongly suspect that this is why he married me, but I digress. T-bone’s favourite Stoopid place to go in the Bangkok area is Taco Lake. When I first heard of it, I started dreaming of Mexican food, but sadly, Taco Lake doesn’t appear to have anything to do with its tortilla wrapped namesake. Rather, it is all about wakeboarding.

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T-bone is also All. About. Wakeboarding.

The lake has a bizarre/ingenious rope system that runs a bit like a t-bar at a ski hill. Wakeboarders wait on the edge of the dock until their rope is pulled, and if they can manage to hang on, they can ride around the lake until they either fall off or give up.

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The pulley system that miraculously keeps on pulling.

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Lining up for their turn (and not at all weirded out that a pregnant farang is taking their picture).

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T-bone in his element.

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Not sure if this one was a “give up” or a “fall off”

Every time Todd comes home from Taco Lake, he has a limp in his step and a gleam in his eye, and I can tell that he is already dreaming of his next trip. We have agreed that after Bannock is born, he will be responsible for all care-giving/breastfeeding duties (only fair since I am incubating her), so he decided he’d better fit in one more wakeboarding session while the gettin’ is good. Stoopid Schtuff is the most fun when done with Stoopid People friends, and it didn’t take much for Todd to convince his entire math department to join him.

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The hoser math department. Motto: We dig numbers’n’neon.

Part 2: Bobbleheads galore

After Taco Lake, Saturday was a bit of a shock to the system. In the morning, BAMBI, Bangkok’s biggest mothers and babies group, put on a massive garage sale of baby/kid stuff. Partly because baby gear is so expensive in Bangkok (crazy import taxes), and partly because my deeply entrenched value system tells me to “never buy anything new if you can buy it used and never buy anything used if you can find it in a back alley/dumpster,” I knew this was a sale I needed to hit up. Todd had to supervise Saturday detention, so other than the two dozen friends I bumped into and the ten million members of the general public at the sale, I was utterly alone.

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This is only a small corner of the sale: I couldn’t fit the whole scene in the frame.

Clearly, this was the place to be for anyone in Bangkok who has ever spawned, is preparing to spawn, or thinks that they may spawn at any point in the near or distant future. Honestly, it was all a bit terrifying. I had a few items that I was searching for, and I ended up finding those, plus a few things that I forgot I needed. Most of my purchases have names that are neither English nor any other identifiable language: ie: “Boppy” “Bumbo,” etc. This is why parents end up speaking gibberish to their babies. After 1.5 hours of the feeding frenzy, I called it a day, because I needed to make myself semi-presentable for the second baby-centred item on the agenda: my friend Nicole’s baby shower.

Nicole used to be a teacher at our school, and is the mother of a two-year old. She is one of the first people I went to for advice after I found out I was expecting. Turns out that she was/is too, and depending on when they decide to make their grand entrance, our daughters will be born just a few weeks apart. That’s where the similarities end, though, because she is a stylish belly dancer who wears clothes and makeup that actually coordinate.

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The lovely mother/mother-to-be

I dig mini men, but I have to say that baby girls are way more fun to shop for. Nicole’s baby received the usual explosion of pink frills, with a bit of purple thrown in to mix things up. I didn’t even attempt to be original with my gift: my cute reflex has officially overridden my gag reflex these days. It was an adorable afternoon.

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The four pregnant peeps at Nicole’s shower. From L-R: 36 weeks, 34 weeks, 32 weeks, 21 weeks. Note how we have all succumbed to the allure of “sensible shoes.”

On Sunday, we went to church. The rest of the day is extremely hazy – I think it involved McDonalds and a gory action movie, but I can’t be sure…

Boneheads in Paradise

This past weekend, one of Todd’s oldest and dearest friends came to visit us. Todd and Andy have a long and glorious history of doing boneheaded stuff* together, and Todd was very excited to be reunited with his partner in crime.

Sa-waa-dee-kaaaaap!

We picked Andy up at the airport on Friday, and had a tame start to the weekend. We took him to Koh Lanta, one of our favourite restaurants. To be honest, the food at Koh Lanta is kinda sucky, but the decor is so amazingly bizarre that we keep going back for more. It is a good place to go if you want to experience the joys of psychedelic substances without actually consuming anything illegal.**

Case in point: a man-made lake complete with pegasus, fake huts, and awkward sculptures

Don’t even bother trying to hide, Andy. The Blog will find you.

By the next day, though, Todd couldn’t restrain himself any longer: it was time to celebrate almost 3 decades of friendship by doin’ somethin’ stupid. He hauled Andy to his favourite spot in Bangkok: Taco Lake. Taco Lake is a man-made lake set up for wakeboarding, and it has a t-bar system in the middle – you line up with your board, and clip in when it’s your turn. Taco Lake is the paradise that haunts Todd’s dreams. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of their experience to share with you, because they spent the entire time face-planting into the wake, then lining up to face-plant again.*** Andy also managed to twist his ankle, and by the time they finally got home, he was a gimping mess. So we decided it was a good idea to spend the evening dragging him all over the city and feeding him bacteria-laden street food.

But not before we made him clean our apartment, as we do with all our guests.

First up: we trekked across the city to the river, where we went on a one-hour river cruise in a long-tail boat. This is my favourite type of site seeing – you get to see cool stuff, but you get to avoid the heat/crowds/any type of useful information.

Random but very cool buildings.

Wat Arun – temple of the dawn

A mothah of a suspension bridge

Every time Andy tried to prop up his throbbing ankle on his seat, our rough’n’ready captain screamed at him in Thai. Welcome to Bangkok, Andy.

After the boat ride, we squeezed our large farang selves into the non-existent gaps on the train, and headed to Sukhumvit Soi 11. Time for a bowl of mystery noodles in the pleasant 100% humidity of downtown Bangkok.

Todd knows what’s coming…

The enthusiasm cannot be contained.

These adventures weren’t quite enough to give Andy a complete picture of life in Bangkok, so we pumped him full of ibuprofen and took him to Above Eleven, one of Bangkok’s numerous roof top bars. The photos don’t do it justice, but the views are almost as dizzying as the price of drinks.

And a creepily overexposed photo. It’s so rare that I get a normal photo of myself that I had to post it anyway.

We finished the night off by getting stranded on the highway when our taxi ran out of gas. Not a problem: we hopped the median and scampered/gimped across four high speed lanes of traffic. And then binged on Magnum bars to ease the trauma. Just another night in Bangkok.

Today, Andy flies home. Todd is mourning the loss of his partner in boneheadedness, while Andy is probably finding his long-haul flight surprisingly restful.

*Exhibit A: exploring Calgary’s underground sewer system and nearly passing out from noxious gases.

**Although their chocolate cake is so revolting that it should be illegal.

***In the words of Todd’s mother: “Tell those boys that they aren’t as young as they used to be!”