Animals, waterfalls and blackouts

Sydney, Australia: My life is so much fun and so expensive.

As Craig, Sharon and I went to see The Lion King in Melbourne last year and enjoyed it immensely, we excitedly buy tickets when we hear about the upcoming Aladdin musical in Sydney. We’ve been so lucky with all these favourite Disney classics of ours happening to be turned into musicals in whatever part of Australia we are.

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Life of Pai


The road to Pai is a narrow and curvy one, about 3 hours away from Chiang Mai. Needless to day, I get carsick. When we finally arrive in Pai, it starts raining. A lot. We meet Sophie from Chiang Mai, and a guy from our hostel picks us all up and drives us to our home for the next two days, The Purple Monkey.


While it has good food (poutine!) and nice people, it’ss extremely basic. The bathrooms are tiny rooms without roofs. There’s a squatting toilet and a cold shower in each stall. With this weather, I don’t shower or poop for two days, which is awful – and gross. Why am I sharing this with you guys?

On our first night, we join the hostel pubcrawl. It’s one of the smallest and least fun pubcrawls I’ve been on. First off, I’m drinking… At least not in the beginning. So I guess it’s mostly my own fault.

We are handed these sheets of paper with challenges to do at each bar, and I want my team, Team Peach (Sara, Kaleigh, a French girl and me), to win. Here are the challenges:


As team captain, my first challenge is to shotgun a beer along with the other team captains.

IMG_2054 I don’t win that challenge, unfortunately. I do take a group photo and post it on The Purple Monkey’s Facebook though.


A few hours later, I get more competitive, taking shots for the challenges instead of waiting for others in my group to do them, running around the streets trying to get bonus points by getting a picture with a beer sign and learn new thai words.

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In the end, we win. Free breakfast, and lots of haters. I can honestly say that I didn’t expect people to be so cruel – they are loudly complaining that we don’t deserve it, since we aren’t drinking (I actually am, but the French girl didn’t bring money), or we have been sleeping with the guy that did the score. What!? Whatever guys, breakfast is 50 baht.

After our free breakfast, we rent two scooters for 24 hours. Since Sara and I have never driven scooters before, I thought we would share one while Kaleigh, who has a scooter at home, would be fine on her own. I say I’ll go first and then we can switch later. I hate it, and I take a long time getting used to the sensitive gas pedal, and suddenly I see Kaleigh drive off – with Sara on the back. I try to follow them, but I don’t want to go very fast, so I am ages behind before we end up at a gas station. I air out my frustration over being left behind like that. In response, Sara gets on the scooter, touches the gad pedal twice, and then decides she isn’t gonna ride a scooter. Ever. Well, now what? None of us feel comfortable riding the scooter, so automatically I am the one that should do it? Right.

We join a group from the hostel and go to the Pam Bok waterfall. I swim in the water, which is cold and brownish, but amazing.


We’ve parked on a bumpy road, so when I try to drive on to the road, I fall off. In front of everyone. This is only the second time in a month that has happened! .

We all start driving towards the main road. I am alone again. One of the side mirrors is broken, and I think of the 7000 baht we had to pay when the same accident happened in Koh Phangan. I am way behind the others, scared of going fast and crashing again. And I start to cry. For a good 10 minutes, I am alone on a small road bawling my eyes out about being alone and having to pay for this bike and so much more. I am furious that I have been forced to ride a bike, instead of taking turns like Sara and I had agreed to. What was the purpose of renting two scooters then? It has been a waste of my time, money and dignity. When I catch up with the rest, they are having lunch and a good time. The last thing I want to do is join them, but I do it anyways. One of the girls is nice enough to let me ride on the back of her boyfriend’s scooter, while she takes mine. She is my hero.

Next, we go to Pai canyon. We do a quick walk around, and then it starts to rain and we have to get back to town from this sandy hill, fast. I decide to jump on Kaleigh’s bike, while Sara goes with Rowan (the guy whose scooter I’ve been sitting on). We go back to the hostel and are stuck in the rain for hours. We order food while we wait, but that takes us over an hour just to get. By then we only have a bit of time driving around and seeing the White Buddha before the rain starts again and we go back to our beds.20140510-072052.jpg20140510-072059.jpg

We all get up at 6 in the morning the next day to go to the Lod cave, which is a 1,5 hour drive away. We have a bus back to Chiang Mai at 11.30, so we have to leave by 7. I am on the back of Rowan’s bike, and it’s a loopy drive up the mountain – very, very cold on top – and a loopy drive down, and Rowan is driving very fast. We finally get to the cave, but apparently, you need to buy a guide, a boat and a lantern. So we have to go back. And then Kaleigh’s scooter gets a flat tire. We call the company to pick up the bike, but we are running low on time. We have half an hour until our bus leaves. Sara and I drive back to check out of the hostel and try to arrange for a later bus, while Kaleigh waits with the bike. In the end everything works out, and we go back to Chiang Mai, just a little carsick.