Winston’s tire was flat in the morning. He changed it while I watched: “You’re getting pretty good at this.”
I have to say, skateboarding across Japan was much easier, more enjoyable, less strenuous, than cycling across Thailand. On a longboard like mine was, with giant smooth, buttery wheels rolling across Japanese grade-A pavement, you just kick and push and coast. But on a bicycle you’re forever pedaling; your back arched over the handlebars, your neck straining to look up like sitting in the front row of a movie theater. And on a skateboard, if the going ever gets too tough you can simply step off and walk. You can do the same with a bicycle, of course, but not when your friend is in love with a Thai anal sex fanatic and in a hurry to get back to her. If I’d had the same piece of ass waiting for me, then I’d be Lance Armstrong too.
Winston bought me cheesecake, a brownie, and a coffee. He took a bite of his own brownie and said, “MMM MMMM this is what my Thai girl’s asshole tastes like.”
Not long after that, because we were racing along the highway like this was a race, or because Thai asshole is toxic, Winston jumped off his bike to puke his guts out along side the highway.
“We got to get off this highway, mate,” said Winston, his lips shaded with regurgitated brownie. “An Englishman died cycling on this very same road while trying to set a record. His family was following behind him when a truck came in to the shoulder and ran over him.”
He was right, we had to get off this highway. I needed to get out of this country, too. Skateboarding across Japan would have been a noble samurai’s death, but cycling across Thailand—what a retarded way to go. Friends had warned me so. “Why don’t you do it on a motorcycle instead,” they said. “Because I like to travel slow, I said, “and a bicycle is more of an adventure.” I deserved to die.
But as you can see, I’m still alive. And do you know why? It’s because I’m Azor Japbanger, the prince that was promised to populate the earth with mixed Japanese babies.
I stopped for street food, when seeing a lady grilling the same rice and noodle filled sausages that I ate yesterday. I asked her how much for five of them, and she told me something like 100 baht, but after she glanced at my wallet as I thumbed through several notes, she jacked the price up to nearly 300 baht. Without saying anything, we got on our bikes and rode away.
Winston got another flat tire. The same back tire. And he changed it on the grass next to a gas station while I gave encouragement. “Your ass is too fat.”
An Australian on a motorcycle, with a Thai woman on back, just having topped up on gas, pulled next to the curb to say hello, asked us what the hell we were doing, said we had a deathwish, that we should be on motorcycles instead, and just before leaving, told us to be careful on this highway.
Although the Australian would be in Udon Thani in at least two hours, it would take us two days. He’d road tripped all around Thailand with his girl, but she was just barely more attractive than my kissed-by-fire-redhead Winston, so I didn’t feel jealous.
It was getting dark. What Google Maps told us was a hotel, was no longer a hotel. So we continued on for a few kilometers, towards the only other red dot on our map. If it didn’t turn out to be a hotel either, we were screwed. Not a city around for hours and hours. If the trucks didn’t get us in the night, the dogs would.
But it was a hotel. Thank the Red God. We checked in and cleaned up, then looked for food in this tiny-ass town. There were no restaurants, only nasty street food. Flies kept landing on my chicken and fucking my rice. I threw it away, a whole plate full, and went to a convenience store to feed on gummy bears instead.