Share on Pinterest

All I wanted was dinner. Scratch. Dinner and wifi. That was my plan. My mission. That was what I was looking for when I was walking down the street on one of my first nights in Pai. I certainly wasn't looking to meet a guy. In fact, I had promised myself that I wouldn't. No men in Pai. I'd been hurt enough lately and the last thing I needed was to meet yet another guy who would just break my heart. I needed Pai to just be fun, relaxing, devoid of any mental drama....

Johnny came into the bar one night. He was older, Thai, with thick black dreadlocks. He sat next to me and took out his guitar, playing with a cigarette perched between the strings. It was, maybe, 1 or so in the morning. I hadn't been drinking too much, but everyone else around me was heavily intoxicated. An Irishman begged Johnny to let him play and then kept arguing with no one that the way he was, poorly, playing the Bob Marley song wasn't the album version but the way it was played live. He told us to look it up on...

Renting a bicycle to visit Mor Paeng Waterfall in Pai, Thailand, seems, in theory, like a pleasant way to spend a day. Until, after maybe ten minutes of peddling, when you realize that you'll be traveling uphill the entire way. Until your ass hurts so much and your thighs are so chafed that you have to stand while your ride your bike. Until, at some point, you have to stop riding entirely and ditch your bike at a restaurant because you can't go any further. Until, you are so completely drenched in sweat by the time that you get there that...

I still wasn't quite sure where I wanted to stay when my minibus pulled up in Pai. I knew that I kind of didn't want to stay at the big party hostel. I wanted to drink when I wanted to drink and sleep when I wanted to sleep, so I avoided Spicy, where many of the other backpackers seem to end up. The guys at my hostel in Chiang Mai had recommended crossing the river and finding a bungalow, but I felt like maybe that would be too quiet, that I might not meet as many people. So I settled...

Almost every day in Chiang Mai I said, "tomorrow I'm going to Pai." It was the same thing that happened last time I got there five months ago. It seems to be where I end up going, and staying, when I need to recover. The first time I was there I secluded myself in a private room living off of Coca-Cola and peanut M&Ms as rehab from a ridiculous time in Vang Vieng. This time it was to rehab from India....

In 2009, I mounted a motorcycle for the first time. I made Mat take me. I was screaming before I even got on. 40 feet later I yelled at him to pull over, jumped off, and ran away. Jenny remarked the other day that I seemed way more comfortable on the back of her bike than I had last time I was here in January. She wondered if I had ridden them a lot in India, but I hadn't. Not once. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the last time I had been on the back of anyone's motorbike it had...

I want to throw out there this idiom (or whatever it is, The Google seems to think it's an idiom) that I'm sure you're all familiar with: "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free." Really, I never understood the quote. Because who the fuck wants to buy a cow even if they're not getting free milk? Cows are big and they smell and milking them is a bitch (OK, I've never actually milked a cow, but I've milked a goat, and it was a bitch). Shouldn't it rather be "why buy the carton when you...

We kept getting lost on the way, wherever the way was, to watch some Chiang Mai Muay Thai in, seemingly, the middle of nowhere Thailand. Jenny and I were piled in the back of a pick up truck with about 10 other people. We were following two motorbikes and had to keep pulling over to ask for directions. After a few too many wrong turns we found the right road, passing a giant golden Buddah that reminded me of passing roadside attractions when I road tripped back home. Except this was religious. Though, I suppose, the Effingham cross is too. When we...