From Bangkok we hopped a bus and took a 2 hour trip south to Pattaya. A resort town on the shore that is known for some rather ruckus-y night life.

The Sanctuary of Truth… kind of like a church, but they let you rent ATV, speed boats and play paintball.

By now I had been in Thailand for almost 3 days and jet lag was seriously kicking my ass. By 6pm I was almost asleep at the dinner table. Which was lovely – by the beach and frequented by some regulars. By ‘regulars’ I mean a pack of puppies and their mom who loved the spot because people kept feeding them from their tables. I may or may not have ordered toast for them.

She just finished the rest of my burger for me – so helpful!

Most of the time spent in Pattaya was spent relaxing or exploring the town. Honestly it was a lot like every other resort town you’ve ever seen. Lots of large hotels near the water, plenty of shopping but with the Thai twist of loads of cheap massage parlors. The food here was definitely more western influenced, but all and all pretty well done. Without access to cheap hamburger patties and frozen fries, most items were made from scratch, but that’s not to say you couldn’t find loads of authentic Thai food as well.

Feeling fishy??

My first pangs of homesickness started here. To this point I wasn’t loving my trip. It was fun, but not really what I had been expecting. Foolishly I realized that I had been hoping for a complete and total escape from all matters of the heart and to forget for a while what a drastic change my life had taken. Alas, I remembered to pack my brain and that baby kept going!

This is how I do my best thinking. Thanks Frank for capturing the moment.

Just before leaving I had been given the chance to put things in my life back the way it was. Maybe not to have the exact home I once did, but an offer to try. Perhaps it would be better, perhaps it wouldn’t. But the truth is that having the choice is much harder than it seems. Things are so much simpler when you have a hand of cards to play from and that’s that – but to decide to take the risk and hit or stay – that’s a lot more difficult that I thought it would be. All and all it summed up to be the quiet and introspective part of the trip.

Until night hit.

Then it was time to party Pattaya style. And that means the best people watching in the world on Walking Street!

In Thailand, most bars have ‘working girls’. Ladies that you can pay to sit with you at your table for the evening. You buy her drinks, enjoy her company and if you wish for a price you can take her home. (This service is also offered by the week or month through various web sites – the women are called ‘Thai-wives’ and they are everywhere.)

It does make for the funniest, best people watching I’ve ever encountered.

For every bar pumping out rock cover songs (for some reason they LOVED playing Bon Jovi), there was a go-go club. Basically a strip club but the girls are already stripped… no need to clean up pesky articles of clothing! Anything you wanted to find here you could. Ladies dancing, lady boys dancing, monkeys, ping-pong shows, company for the evening. It was all here to be enjoyed.

I’m obviously delighted.

Luckily no one ended up in a Thai jail – and in the end, the time to think was worth it’s weight in gold. I’m still continuing on towards places unknown and know that’s the best place for me right now. What does the future hold? Only time will tell…