I wrote most of this a few weeks ago, and it will probably be the final wrap-up piece in this blog. I was going to do some predictable Top-10 sort of stuff, but meh, nothing new there. Thanks for reading. I will continue to post periodically at Nintendo is right, Nascar is wrong for the time being.
On a kickin’ it old school tip, I’d like to thank all the people who have carbonated this trip. I’ll try to keep it interesting. Keep reading – maybe your name will be in this.
People I hung out with in person:
Lance, Robert, Pearce, Pearce’s girlfriend whose name I forget, that guy Robert convinced to drive us, the white girl that worked at Reggae Mansion Hostel, the bartender on Tioman Island, the eternally shirtless French dude, the weird Finnish girls, Lawrence – that dude I sang “Sweet Home Alabama” with at a Chinese Karaoke Bar in Melaka, Scott, Yo, Harold at Ringo’s Foyer, the middle-aged Spanish couple I ate with, the staff at Kang’s Lodge, the woman who ran the breakfast place that I ate at every day in the Cameron Highlands, Danielle, Joeby, Paul, the gorgeous Norwegian girls we met, the other Korea alums that I watched the terrible Chinese concert with in Penang, the Chinese singer who was cool and took our K-Pop requests, the woman who ran the Reggae Hostel in Penang, and the anarchist Spanish girl on my van to Thailand.
The German couple to whom I gave my Malaysia Lonely Planet, my Trang travel agent, the people who ran the cafe next to the Sri Trang Hotel, the van driver who wanted to show me a corpse, the Swedes that hung out at the Irish Bar in Ko Lanta, The English girls and Belgian kid at the only happening bar in Ko Lanta, the JET program group in Krabi, Jess, her hot friend, Jordan, the British, Finnish, and Aussie people at Pak Up Hostel whose names I forget even though I hung out with them for two days, Michael from Prague, the Muay Thai fighters at Reggae Bar, the Thai girl who thought my name was “Don,” the Canadian couple that woke me up on the beach, the little kids in front of Mr. Local Hostel in Phi Phi, the Kiwi girl that, like me, was forced to spontaneously babysit said kids, the overly in-shape honeymooning couple from Oregon, the old Australian, drunken Lynn, the Phuket ladyboys that improved my Connect 4 game, the ping pong show tout, the honest bus driver, the dishonest taxi driver, the lady who gave me a ride on her motorbike in Takua Pa, the ukulele-playing owner of Shangri-La, the cool Polish girls, the crazy Danish dudes, the tarot card reader, the midget hooker that I repeatedly avoided in Kho Pha Gnan, the French dudes in Ko Tao, the drunken Scottsman who gave me a ride, plain Jane, the 7-11 guy at Ko Tao, the dude from the Bronx who thought everyone was out to stab him, Boris, my dive master, and my Mauritian dive buddy.
Scott, the door guy who took my knife and wanted me to tip him to get it back, the lady with the house that flooded, the staff at Gecko Bar, the Thai grad students on the train, Honey at Malak House, the lady who runs The Hut Cafe, Sam the British girl, her friend, Thai, all the rest of the staff at John’s Bar, Tim from Chicago, Mike who runs Mike’s, the weird Germans on the mountain by Chiang Mai, Holly, the Dutch model, the all-girl punk rock band, the hungover dude from my van to Pai, the staff at Happy House in Pai, the drunken Thai dudes who hung out at the bar there, the worst ladyboy ever, Marcus the fellow Korea alum and his British friend whose name I forget, the Italian dude who sparked up the giant joint at the rest area, the old lady who ran the Reggae Bar in Ko Samet, the pajama brothers, Jon, Dana, the staff at Rambuttri House, the tailor who hangs out in front of Rambuttri House, Zon Cafe in Lopburi, the staff at Chokdee House, and the Tiger Beer girl at that bar in Chiang Rai.
The French girls, Harri and my fellow trekkers Chris, Bec, Marc, and Matt, the other people at the party we threw in Nyoungshwe, the Belgian documentarians, the cute girl from Boston and her weird Irish friends, Ms. Noy, the British dudes I drank with at the crazy Winner Guesthouse party, the Russian girl there, Benoit, Wenlu, our driver, the Bagan barber, the local dude who took me to his village, the persistent souvenir vendor, the staff at Winner Guesthouse, Ally the older British woman, the Israeli girls I spent the day with, Nay Cafe, my fellow passengers on the pick-up truck, the Chinese couple with whom I rode to Mingun, Kirsty, the monks that we talked to, and my airport taxi driver.
Taco Bell, the other dude checking the internet at my hotel, the horse cart guy, the dude selling one pair of shoes, the tequila girl at LA Cafe, Harold of Harold’s Mansion, Cores, Romeo, the Japanese tennis players, Fritz, the old dude from Arizona, the dirty old men that gave me a bunch of whiskey, and the staff at Niagara Hotel for letting me check out several hours late for free.
Scott (from Canada), Chris, Daisuke, the Korean dude Chris and I met in Phonsaven, the Swedish dude, the Irish dude at tubing, the large group of Brits I hung out with at Bucket Bar, the staff of Otherside Cafe, the army dudes in Vientiane, the Lao dude I had lunch with at Buddha Park, the Lao people I drank with near Buddha park, the Lao state prosecutor and his disreputable friends, the fat Lao dude I had to share a bed on a bus with, the New York City girls, the Slovakian dude, Christian, the bitchy French girls I kayaked with, the cool older British couple that I kayaked with, the Canadian dude and his Japanese girlfriend, and Liam from Nottingham.
The guy who runs Hengheng hotel, the guy who runs Red Sun Falling who somehow acquired and served the best bacon in Asia, Tony Montana, Martin, Kris, our tuk tuk driver, the questionable freelancers at Black Cat and Walkabout, the Finnish girl, the corrupt cop, the hero driver, the lady who runs Le Bon Cafe, Chris again, Dinar, his many girlfriends, the kids that hang out at Angkor, and the weird girl who was always online.
The lady at the motorbike parking place at Sam Mountain, the friendly temple monks, the annoying Swedes, Agnes, the lady who ran Queen Homestay, Lu, the British people at that one bar in Saigon, the people that ran that one cafe, the nice lady at my hotel in Dalat, the Brits at Booze Cruise Bar, Chris from Toronto, Nikolai from Paris, LK from Amsterdam, Ben from Stuttgart, Bell, Matilda, her Brazilian friend whose name I forget, the waitress at Lame Cafe with a boyfriend in Maine, those dudes I hung out with in Hoi An and Nha Trang whose names I forget, the Samsung Americans, India the Aussie, the Vietnamese college students I sat with during the best street meal evar, the Irish girls, Mae Chun, the English and Dutch girls whom I drank with for hours but never learned their names, Greg – my bar trivia partner, the 23 year old Brits that schooled us, Bill the tour guide, Tom, Sally, Mark, Charlotte, and Francois.
On the phone (not including people I saw in person)
My mom, my dad, Dylan, Daniel, Erika, 99, Wiley. I don’t get many calls.
On the Internet/FB: (not including people I talked to in person or on the phone)
Mae, Zach, David, Don, Ashly, Pete, Geneva, Cryn, Cree, Eric, Kevin, Chuck, Youngjin, Sunny, Jed, Aaron, Mike, Jack, Dan, Morgan, Sandy, Stong, Bo, everyone who follows this blog whom I haven’t met in real life, and others that I’m sure I forgot to mention.
In the media:
Adam Carolla, Bald Brian, Alison Rosen, Bill Simmons, Rick Steves, Matthew Berry, Nate Ravitz, Seth Macfarlane, Ricky Gervais, Carl Pilkington, Sylvester Stalone, Carl Hoffman, Daniel Silva, John Grisham, Neil Strauss, Dan Brown, George Orwell, Larry McMurtry, Lebron James, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Euro 2012, the London Olympics, “Friends,” Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert.
To conclude, a special shout out to those who have been the most instrumental on this trip. First, Martin and Kris for coming out to meet me in Cambodia. Next, Scottie, for the many good times in Malaysia and Thailand and the constant tips and travel talk throughout the trip. Finally, Cores, whith whom I communicated with pretty much every single day of this trip, who shared the best week of these amazing five months with me, and for so many other reasons.
So you tell me. Was I really traveling alone?