Lazy Mondays and the Ladyboys

We found out at 5 am this morning that our guesthouse doesn’t have real windows, only louvers of glass that very clearly let the sound of the neighborhood roosters beginning to crow in.  We snoozed off and on for a little while before resigning ourselves to getting up, or at least fully waking up.  We spent the rest of the morning booking most of what is left of our Australia trip.  We booked a 3 day, 2 night scuba and snorkeling trip out of Cairns and Lynn booked us a lovely 8 day trip along the southern coast near Melbourne with a different small town that we stay in each night.  We also managed to finagle our way through Jetstar Asia’s website and get them to accept our credit card, which you may have read we had been having issues doing.  It seems the trick was to be in USD currency on the Singapore version of the mobile website.   Who knew?

Finished with Australia, we started looking at flights around South America before we got hungry and decided South America could wait while we got some lunch. We headed across town to a nice little restaurant tucked in a back alley and ordered spring rolls, a spicy pork stew with rice noodles, and an eggplant stir fry. It was all quite delicious and we washed it down with a Thai tea with lemon, which was something we had not heard of before but it tasted a lot like a very sweet Arnold Palmer.

Spicy pork soup with rice noodles.
Spicy pork soup with rice noodles.
Chiang Mai, it seems, is very fond of biking. This is just one of the many graffiti, shirts, and bumper stickers we saw in support.
Chiang Mai, it seems, is very fond of biking. This is just one of the many graffiti, shirts, and bumper stickers we saw in support.

At this point we headed back to our guesthouse to book some more flights and research how to spend the rest of our afternoon. Feeling quite lazy and again, very tired of temples, we decided to make this day a weekend day for us back home. We had so far treated it like one with some sleeping in and a delcious lunch so why not continue with a movie and some dinner. The Martian was playing in English near the airport and so we set off in that direction.

We successfully made it to the mall the Major Cineplex is located in (that really is its name) and headed to the top floor, where we have learned movie theaters and food courts are always located in Asia. Low and behold there it was. We purchased two tickets at the ticket machine as well as some cheese flavored popcorn and a pair of drinks and headed into the theater with a few minutes to spare.  We had anticipated being a bit late into the theater since we were right at the advertised start time, but we ended up walking into an empty theater despite the ticket machine showing a lot more seats as being occupied.  It seems Thai people like being late to movies but you can bet they were all in by the time the tribute to the King began.  Now old hats at this, we stood up with the rest of the theater and reverently watched a different video play but again with pictures of the King (almost always with a camera around his neck) and the national anthem being sung by schoolchildren.  Compared to the other one we had seen you could say it was “same same but different” – a delightful Thai phrase we have become fond of.

The movie itself was very good and Lynn and I both appreciated the characters and story as well as the science seeming to make sense throughout which is rare in a movie.  The one part we didn’t care for was the very forced romance between Kate Mara and the other guy which did literally nothing to advance the story or the two throw away characters.  Stupid Hollywood.

Very satisfied that we were now two for two in our movie experiences in Thailand we headed back to our room to grab the camera before we headed off to the main event of the evening…a Ladyboy show with great reviews over in the night market.  Along the way we stopped for dinner at a northern Thai cuisine restaurant we had walked by earlier in the day.  I had noted it as being a lot more lively and full than all of the other mostly vacant restaurants around it so we returned to see what all the fuss was about. Deliciously spicy stews and vegetables served family style is what we were in for and we partook in a fish, a pork, and a vegetarian one coupled with some steamed rice and a couple of waters before it was off to see the ladyboys!

Stewed everything at a delicious restaurant on the way to dinner.
Stewed everything at a delicious restaurant on the way to dinner.

TripAdvisor had told us that the ladyboy theater can be difficult to find but we had no trouble at all just following the ladyboys like a trail of breadcrumbs through the night market.  We were, again, some of the first people there so we bought our tickets, laid claim to a prime table and headed back out into the market to kill some time.  On the way through earlier, we had spotted some pretty cheap durian and I was quite excited to try what has been described as the smelliest, most disgusting fruit on Earth.  Lynn bought a mixed fruit smoothie so I could wash the taste out of my mouth and then started the camera taping while I opened, smelled, and ate the horrid thing with Lynn giggling beside me.  It was not as pungent as I expected but God did it taste awful.  The best description we can both come up with is burnt caramel mixed with rotten eggs. Needless to say, much fruit shake was needed.

It was now time for the ladyboys and we headed back to what had quickly become a sold out theater.  We were escorted to our seats where our waitress ladyboy took our two free drink orders while being very rubby with her boobs on my shoulder.  Just as our drinks arrived the show began…sort of…it was about five minutes of epileptic fit inducing lights and the same song played very loudly in a loop and then finally a voice over announcing the “world famous” show beginning.  Most of the acts featured fabulously costumed ladyboys lip syncing (sometimes better than others) to the staple hits of Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, and Celine Dion.  Occasionally they would come out into the crowd and give a lap dance to the same guy seated front and center who very much seemed to like the attention.  The highlight of the show though was a rendition of S&M by Rihanna which featured some much more involved audience participation.  After choosing several lap dance partners, one was brought up on stage where two ladyboys took his shirt off and bit and kissed his chest – lucky him?  We also very much enjoyed a rendition of Simply the Best by Tina Turner, in what we thought was the most true to form performance.

Ladyboys in fabulous costumes.
Ladyboys in fabulous costumes.
A very PG-13 performance of S&M.
A very PG-13 performance of S&M.
Doug with some of the ladyboys.
Doug with some of the ladyboys.

Very satisfied and quite entertained, we headed back home through the night market, noting with some amusement that almost every white couple we passed in bars on the way back had a Thai girl talking with them.  Out later than we had been in a while, we quickly fell asleep.

Daily Walking Miles : 11.1

Fun Facts:

  • Most ladyboy shows are to help pay for their gender reassignment surgeries and post op, ladyboys are referred to as t-girls.
  • The King of Thailand seems to be an avid photographer. In about half the pictures of him he has a Canon SLR around his neck.
  • Durian is banned in a lot of public places because the awful smell is so strong.

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