I don’t know much but – these Thai people have adapted to the cards they have been dealt. If I consider South Africans, rain = STAY INDOORS NO MATTER WHAT. Braais are cancelled, parties postponed, nail appointments cancelled, the KFC trip postponed… etc. The only thing that isn’t cancelled are weddings – too expensive and we are stingy as fuck – and gym sessions. Duh. Man. Must. Lift. Protein. But Thai people – MONSOON and they just wrap some plastic around themselves like a smiley little present and off they go on their merry way as if the torrential rain was non-existent.
Living in Thailand I decided to adapt and not be the snobby traveller and instead of taking undercover transport to work I braved the scooter taxi. The experience was… joyful doesn’t come to mind at all… and neither does educational… perhaps I’ll just settle on that – an experience.
Firstly, the outfit.
Besides my Catholic Teacher outfit from the thriftshop – I purchased an orange plastic condom/sock. Best way to describe it. It has bands around your arms and extends tightly down to your knees and a sultry plastic hood finishes off the look. This is the common raincoat used by the average scooter rider/passenger/victim. Add a bright blue umbrella and a yellow helmet that was 2 sizes too big and you have sex on a scooter.
Secondly, the discomfort.
The scooter taxis are a sordid affair as it is, you are squashed up against the driver legs open, looking like a frog with your knees hiked up. Add rain to this and its like a bad Boy Band music video – a lonely traveller riding with a local, weathering monsoons to reach their destination. Plenty of rain drops pelting down on your face cause you don’t have a hand free to shield your eyes and for the idiots (me) who thought: “my make up will be fine” – You dumb fuck, you are in a monsoon. And the plastic condom/sock does poop-all. The rain gets in everywhere so you become a nice used condom/sock. I literally counted the seconds until it was over.
Thirdly and lastly, the dismount.
A ten minute drive will accumulate about a litre of water between your legs, a nice pool that splashes to the ground when you stumble off making you look like you just pissed yourself. The taking off of the helmet and whipping your hair about in a sexy dignified manner is not gonna happen. Not now. Not on this planet. Just, NO. Your soaking hair is plastered wet in your condom-hood and your face has make-up smeared from forehead to chin.
The funniest thing about this entire experience is that you walk away with a happy memory, because when you hand over your money paying the driver they flash you the most sincere smile you have ever seen and you remember why you love this country…