We carried our bikes outside the bungalow, ready for day two of gay adventure cycling. Only farmers wake up this early. But guess who we first saw? No other than our friend Jerome, who had a little too much of the Red Cock vodka last night, and now he was sitting at a picnic table and drinking a big bottle of beer. He invited us to join him but it was too early.
“Coffee?” he then asked. “Yes please.” The woman who checked us in last night made us a cup. I noticed her home was a shack in comparison with the three new bungalows on the same lot. The wood was old and grayed, and light shone though the gaps between the paneled walls. It could not keep out bugs or snakes, that’s for sure.
After she gave us coffee, and a croissant, she inspected our bungalow to make sure we didn’t tear the place apart having crazy homosexual sex. She must have thought I was an Englishman too, the silly woman.
The early morning ride was nice and cool. We rode on the shoulder of the highway. It ran alongside a river. In front of homes on long wooden tables close to the road were rows of silver fish. No one was around and I could have pocketed one if I wanted.
Before noon, we had covered 40 kilometers in two hours. I saw a restaurant and rang the girly bell on my bike twice, our designated sign for “I’m stopping,” so we didn’t have to yell.
Behind the counter was an assortment of food like ice cream flavors: peppered meats and vegetables, soups and eggs. Tasting all of it, landing here and there, were flies. That’s one thing I didn’t like about Thailand. Even at a Bangkok coffee shop in a shopping mall, five floors up while writing a Tanuki post, I’d often swipe and curse at flies. They were everywhere, always fucking your food. Or the rim of your coffee mug.
I don’t like Thai food but thanks to hunger, my meal tasted good. I even ate all of my rice, and Thai rice is an ugly, inferior rice with no nutritional value. If rice was an American president’s wife, Thai rice would be Michelle Obama and Japanese rice would be Melanie Trump. Thai rice you only swallow because it’s simply there, you’ve already eaten the better stuff and you’re still hungry. Japanese rice, however, you swish around in your mouth and savor it like little clitorises.
We used the bathroom and bathed in the sink. Urinals and sinks, it’s interesting to note, were often outside. Thai men can more enjoy nature whereas we westerners have been forced to confine our winkies indoors.
We began our hot post-noon cycle. I had to stop at a 7-Eleven an hour later. I bought a chocolate milk and snickers bar. After strenuous outdoor exertion, when your vagina knows there’s much more to come, chocolate gives consolation.
If I was an antebellum plantation owner, I’d ration my black slaves one snickers bar and chocolate milk a day. In return, they’d pick so much cotton, sing their hymns happily, and none would run north. They’d be so grateful and subservient I would no longer have to tie them to a tree and give them 50 lashes like my name was Andrew Jackson.
And next to my bed I’d keep mini-snickers bars in a glass jar on my Victorian nightstand—positive reinforcement for when I beckoned my house slaves to my bed and stripped their nightgowns off. Why, I’d of given them so much loving, and they’d of been all so willing, that all of you Americans would be Obama-looking mulattos right now. Like I was Khan, your ancestry would be traced back to me.
We had a slow climbing hill before us. Despite having 21 speed bikes, it was still exhausting. So I looked at my map on my phone and searched for an alternative, hopefully flatter, route.
It’s worth briefly mentioning how we navigated. Besides our sim-free phones, Winston had a Beeline. A Beeline is new technology. He’d purchased it from a Kickstarter campaign. It looks like a watch and you can wrap it around bicycle handlebars. The face displays a digital arrow like a compass that points you in the direction of your destination, or way points you set on an app on your phone beforehand. So, like a GTA game, you can take whichever road you want, but the arrow always points you in the direction you need to go. It’s a drain on your phone’s battery and it’s not without its bugs, but it is useful. More useful in cities I would say, because this cross-country adventure cycling mostly involved us following a single highway.
I found our new route. We had to cycle a little ways west, towards the sea, to get there. First we had to cross over the high-speed highway that we weren’t sure we were allowed on.
There was a pedestrian overpass that went from sidewalk to sidewalk,with motorcyclist racing across it in both directions. We waited for a lull, then ran up one side and rode down the other.
Before continuing on, Winston stopped to put on a windbreaker. I don’t know how he did it, it being so hot, but I know why he did it. Winston is as white as bread, the good kind. He burns easily. He can’t get tan, just red. Despite having lathered on sunscreen, he was already burnt everywhere that his shorts and muscle shirts exposed his effeminate skin.
Myself, I burn once, then tan because my forefathers didn’t only massacre the Indians, but locked one or two in the basement to procreate with in order to pass down their genes to me so that I acquire greater fitness.
I wore not shorts but jeans. Winston thought that was stupid, but I wanted to be the first person to cycle across Thailand in a pair of Wranglers. My t-shirts were Levi. I bought them because I liked the soft quality of the cotton of the two I bought in New York last year. I even had left one in a hotel and went back for it under very embarrassing circumstances, when I shaved my balls over a toilet that I then shat in and it wouldn’t flush. The three new shirts I bought in Thailand, however, ended up being cheap, scratchy knock-offs.
Winston pedaled in front. He wore his white hood over his head. It caught the wind and inflated like balloon, making the back of his head look like the caricature of a klansman. I tried to take a picture with one hand but it was difficult, and I had to put my phone back in my pocket when the road dropped steeply.
Winston yelled at me to gear up. For the first time, I shifted the gears near my right grip to the highest—7. Never before, while flying downhill on a bicycle at such a speed, had I still able to peddle to go even faster. I nervously took one hand of the bike and flipped my cap around backwards to keep it from flying off.
At the bottom, we turned left onto our new road that we’d follow all the way to Pattaya. Eventually we hit another long-climbing hill. This one couldn’t be avoided. I cursed. Winston pedaled on, hit it hard, and a big gap grew between us.
I switched to first gear on my right, which had me pedaling and pedaling but only inching forward. I tried gearing up but my legs didn’t have the strength to turn over the pedals. I stood up and peddled. I sat down and peddled. I wanted to get off and walk, which I would have done if I’d been alone, but that would have been admitting defeat to a tea-drinking, all-boy-school homosexual loving Englishman.
I made it to the top somehow, the lower half of my body as useless as wet paper. We sat down, rested, drank the last of our water. I ate dried cantaloupe and didn’t want to share because I was a starving Calcutta whore, and the cantaloupe pieces were few. But Winston didn’t even know what a cantaloupe was, and besides, my mom had told me so many times while growing up that it’s not polite to eat in front of others without first offering them some, that even now I have terrific manners—and clean speech thanks to the bars of soap stuffed in my mouth. So I asked him if he wanted a piece. He said “yes.”
SON OF A BITCH.
Winston saw my lefthand gear was on 2 and said I should keep it on 3, the highest. All this time, he said, I’d been pedaling more than necessary while on level and sloping ground. It was then, for the first time, I noticed the two smaller chain wheels behind the big one in the front. Then it all made sense to me, why a 21-speed is a 21-speed and just what the left hand gears did.
We got back on our bikes but stopped again in less than a minute to refill on water at a gas station. Since it seems in Thailand, like in that gay state New Jersey, you can’t pump your own gas, there was a group of young kids, guys and girls, outside. They gave us friendly expressions. In front of them were packages of six, two liter bottles of water stacked in a pyramid. We wanted one, not the whole package, but you couldn’t just buy only one. Communication in English was impossible so we gestured like monkeys. They gave us a bottle for free. It wasn’t a big loss to them since water is as cheap as air in Thailand. You can shower for 30 minutes and not worry about your water bill. And your average 550ml bottle of water is 20 cents at the grocery store and 30 at a 7-Eleven.
Our highway went between and over hills. Downward descents were followed by upward climbs. The conditions of cars were nice. A preconception of mine was that a country that is poor by western standards must have a lot of beater cars like those you see in Mexico or all Mexican neighborhoods in Southern California. As far as I could tell, all the cars were new, as if Thais don’t buy second-hand.
We hit civilization again, power lines, shops, and intersections. Thailand has the longest lasting traffic lights I’ve ever known. As long as we weren’t going down hill, red lights were a relief, a two-minute needed rest.
When seeing a bicycle shop, we stopped and bought a spare tire, patch kit, and Winston got a clear iPhone case that attached to his bike frame just under the handlebars.
At our next stop, an hour or two later, at a 7-Eleven at the base of a hill, we bought another chocolate milk. I then made another bike adjustment. Although the balls of my feet reached the ground while sitting on my seat, I positioned the seat higher so that only my toes reached. This made a tremendous difference in my speed and endurance capability, especially combined with the left gear adjustment made earlier.
I powered up the next hill, fresh with chocolate milk supplied energy. Pattaya was now 10 kilometers away. The road split into multiple lanes to accommodate the increased traffic.
It was a long, downward descent, a mad pedaled sprint. We kept pace with scooters. A crash would have busted our skulls and spilled our brains.
I faintly heard Winston’s voice behind me. He had a flattening tire and had been trying to catch me, but I hadn’t noticed because looking backwards, for even a second, could kill you, and I was pedaling like a madmen so this day could be over.
We pulled over and I collapsed on the cement, lying on my back to rest, while Winston pumped up his tire. Luckily it took air and he didn’t have to change the tube.
Walking towards us, an Australian with python arms and blond hair pulled back in a pony tail stopped for a chat. He owned multiple gyms in Thailand and had lived here for 16 years. Winston asked him were we he could buy protein bars so he wouldn’t end up a skinny girl like me.
It was at that moment I knew I should lick frozen toothpaste and pound this Englishman in the ass to establish American dominance. The problem was that Winston was always eating to maintain his size, and I knew that because of a lifetime of shitty English food, his rectal cavity would be as inhospitable as the black, volcanic plain of Mordor for the highly permeable skin of my penis.
After a little more thought, I knew what had to be done. Tomorrow there would be six of us – two Americans, two Englishmen, two Canadians – in a city of thousands of prostitutes who would beg for our sperm. We’d play by Trump’s rules: whatever nation grabs the most pussies wins. And representatives of the loser nations would have to stand under the shower, put a washcloth over their head, and repeatedly look up at the shower head to waterboard themselves while saying the pledge of allegiance to the American flag.
Many intersections later, after Winston was almost ran over from behind by a scooter gang, we checked in at a resort on the beach, showered off two day’s of 150 kilometer-traveled dirt and sweat, and slept early to rest our brokeback bicycle bodies in preparation for tomorrow’s games.