Courtney. June 24th, 10:00AM.
I'm sitting here in the café of our hostel with about 50 backpackers, locals and expats.We've been in Bangkok for two days, and we are leaving in 4 hours to make our way to the Full Moon Party.We found a hostel in the heart of Khao San Road for 630 Bhat ($19 USD) per night, with 3 beds and its own bathroom.Khao San Road must be about 2 square miles in size, but we haven't set foot outside of it because this place has everything you could ever want and more.Leonardo DeCaprio recommended it to us in The Beach.He called it 'the halfway house between the East and the West,' and, after being here, I have to agree with him.
Our first night here we met Nikki Scott from Southeast Asia Backpacker magazine.We went out to dinner with her and her friend Penney.They are both incredibly nice and easy going Brits - very cool people.We talked about the video diary, got some business cards from her and made tentative plans for her to meet up with us a little later in the trip.While we were at dinner, we experienced our first 'monsoon.'The weather went from absolutely no rain to rain that I can only compare to the flashflood on the Universal Studios tram ride, and then 20 or 30 seconds later, the rain had completely stopped and hasn't returned since.
Last night we met some people at our hostel and hung out with them (at our hostel) until the sun came up.Kelly from Switzerland, Teis from Denmark, and Ryan from Canada. They were each traveling alone.Teis is on a trip for summer before he starts nursing school, which, in Denmark, is 4 years and pretty much like medical school.He looks so much like Edward from Twilight that I might take a photo of him and sell it to the Enquirer.Ryan the Canadian is on his way to South Africa for the World Cup final.His family is Lithuanian Jewish and he actually had a really interesting story of how they came to Canada.His grandparents were in Lithuania during a pogrom, and his great grandmother put his grandfather in a basket with the intention of sneaking him onto a ship, where she had arranged for someone to find him and look after him until she got out of Lithuania herself and could come get him.But the person he was being handed off to didn't make it onto the ship.Fortunately someone found him, but he ended up in foster homes for his first part of his life.He had no idea where he had come from until he was an adult and got in contact with his family somehow.
Anyway, there were a few additions to our little hostel party.Around 4AM we came across Michael, the craziest human I've ever met, and around 5, I watched him catch a wild cockroach off the ground and eat it.Thailand is infested with cockroaches.Inside or out, they are always running around under your feet.One of us 'dared' Michael (dare, like the game you play when you're 8) to snatch one up off of the ground and eat it.And he did.He bit its head off and ate it and I got in on video.At least the scorpion that Danielle ate was fried.The last edition to our party was Nico.He's from Ireland, and looks and acts exactly like the rock star from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, except the backpacker version. He insisted that we stay with his friend in Ko Phangan tomorrow, and gave us a piece of paper that is supposed to lead us to him, but the problem is that all it says on it is his name, the bar where he hangs out, his friends' names, where they hang out and that he goes to Vang Veine a lot.And Nico was positive that we would find him right away, with that information.
When I sat down this morning, I started talking to the two Israeli guys sitting next to me.One turned out to be one of the three owners of the hostel we've been at here in Bangkok.He has been to over 40 countries, including places in Africa and Latin America, and lived in a van in Japan, selling jewelry like a gipsy.He has been traveling for 10 years now, surfing every day, and owns 3 hostels.He is 32 years old but he looks 22.Traveling must be good for your health.