Three Mistakes on a Hot Day in Bangkok


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I think I’m finally adapting to the heat and humidity here. By adapting, I mean that my entire body has transformed itself into a single, massive sweat gland.

Yesterday morning, as I dressed for my visit to the Amulet Market, I made the first mistake. I’d run out of clean underwear and decided to just go commando. I do it all the time at home, right? What could possibly go wrong?

My second mistake was wearing a fancy shirt I’d purchased from REI right before I left home. It was a high-dollar, high-tech, water-resistant short sleeve with an SPF of 30 (huh?). I think it even spoke Spanish. What it did not do, alas, was ventilate. At all. Wandering about the market in 96 degree temps and 100% humidity, I felt like I was wearing a $50 garbage bag.

I was soon drenched, with sweat running down my back and soaking my pants.

I was soon drenched, with sweat running down my back and soaking my pants — I looked like I’d been bobbing for apples with my ass. Eventually making my way onto the grounds of a quiet university, I found a bench in the shade, and sat awhile to cool off — setting the scene for my third mistake.

Without even thinking, I leaned to the side to sneak a fart and… well, you probably can guess where this is going. I immediately lept up from the bench — dear God, had I caught it in time? Some cautious shifting of my cheeks told me nothing — everything was soaked and slippery.

No matter how you turn and twist, you really can’t see your own ass.

This is when I realized that no matter how you turn and twist, you really can’t see your own ass. At least I can’t (and don’t bother writing to tell me you can, hippie). I didn’t have a mirror and I sure as hell wasn’t going to put my hand down there. The only solution I could think of was to find a bathroom where I could drop my pants and assess the situation. (no pun intended)

I set off for the Banglampoo district — with its tourist-oriented restaurants — hoping to catch a tuk tuk. For the first time ever, there were no tuk tuks to be found. Not a one. Dropping my backpack as low as possible to hide my hypothetical badge of shame, I did a crazy Charlie Chaplin duck-walk for over a kilometer, my stomach protesting and my butt cheeks clenched. A sped-up video of this with a Yakety Sax soundtrack would have been a YouTube sensation.

Two waitresses pointed me to the toilet while keeping their giggling to a polite minimum.

The first restaurant I found was a small Korean cafe and it was thankfully empty, save for two waitresses who kindly pointed me to the upstairs toilet while keeping their giggling to a polite minimum. The bathroom was an unventilated box — much like the ones they keep prisoners in as punishment — and just slightly hotter than the surface of the sun. To my surprise and relief, I found that I had caught it in time — no badge for this road warrior! But after five minutes in the Box, sweat was cascading off me like a Las Vegas fountain.

Walking down the stairs, I discovered that the cafe had now filled with tourists. It was their wide-eyed stares that finally broke my will — I was done. It was time to go back to the hotel. I thanked the still-giggling waitresses, scurried from the restaurant, and caught a tuk tuk (now sitting right outside) to the water taxi where I nearly fell into the canal while boarding.

It would have been a relief.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

John March 8, 2010 at 6:21 am

Oh yes. This is going to be very fun following your adventures. Glad to hear the $10 I sent ahead to bribe all the tuk tuk drivers to disappear on you did its work.


wes March 8, 2010 at 8:14 am

Thanks, jerk. :D


tavia March 8, 2010 at 8:16 am

L> M> F> A< O!!!!!!!!!!! you gave me a belly ache !!! I still cant catch my breath from laughter ….. good on ya mate! wow….if this truth comedy writing doesnt get you anywhere…..i dont know what will. Good luck on your next trip to the market. :)


Anna March 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm



Joel March 8, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Every post is a glorious education. Whether we want it or not.


wes March 8, 2010 at 11:21 pm

ha! just like life, no? ;)


Sofia- As We Travel March 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Hahaha yeah maybe take it easy with the spicy food there ;) Hope you haven’t caught a bug or anything like that?


wes March 8, 2010 at 11:20 pm

yeah I think it was just a combo of heat and spicier food than I’m used to. Hasn’t reoccurred (knock on wood)


ayngelina March 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm

OMFG. I laughed out loud at work reading this and couldn’t even begin to tell people why I was laughing.

Your honesty is going to make this one interesting blog to follow.
.-= ayngelina´s last blog ..My Traveling Companion =-.


wes March 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Thanks, Ayngelina. Having no sense of shame helps ;)


Rich Littlejohn March 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Nice! Dude, you only just got there and ALREADY a sharting story? This is going to be an eventful year, my brother…


wes March 9, 2010 at 9:16 am

from your lips to God’s ear…


Michael March 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm

ha! yakety sax…


kiki March 8, 2010 at 9:54 pm

hahahahahahaha! gross.


Casa De Hamilton Pool March 8, 2010 at 11:10 pm

So tell me how this is different from any other day you were here in Austin?

; )


polly March 9, 2010 at 3:22 am

Seriously though, Wes – if you pour on ALL your charm in the first week, what will you do for the rest of the trip? Pace yourself!


wes March 9, 2010 at 9:03 am

I have charm? don’t remember packing that…


Lisa March 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Oh Jesus ! Had to stop reading halfway through, doubled over with laughter and catch my breath before continuing…still have tears in my eyes. Bood this trip is going to be soooo fun. Thanks for the birthday wishes, BTW. Man, wish I could celebrate by taking a year off and travell…etc. you get it, Jerk.

(just kidding w/ the jerk thing, LOL. U know I love ya Wes.)
.-= Lisa´s last blog ..By: wes =-.


Sue March 9, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Ha -Ha … funny thing, same thing happened to Cassie today…. :)


AJ Alexy March 15, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I love this “Shart Tale,” Wes, can’t believe we still haven’t met.


wes March 16, 2010 at 1:19 am

thanks, dude! It was a lot more fun writing it than experiencing it ;)


Erin March 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Hilarious! Your honesty is very impressive.

Yeah, those fancy shirts just aren’t worth the money. On my last trip I could never bring myself to wear my North Face trousers in the heat, so this time I have nice cotton trousers that cost a fifth of the price and are much more comfortable.


Nomadic Chick March 18, 2010 at 1:01 am

I’d say this is an education – into all the nooks and crannies that Wes can sweat into. Could you fill an entire glass? Wait, don’t answer that.


wes March 19, 2010 at 1:11 am

yeah, you really don’t want to know


anth May 14, 2010 at 5:37 am



Matt Hope July 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm

This happened to one of my friends while we were in Central America, except he got his badge of honor! Luckily he had some boxers on that he could just throw away, but it was definitely hysterical for the rest of us!
.-= Matt Hope´s last blog ..Featured Travel Photo- Lake Atitlan Through a Spider’s Web =-.


Al Dennis December 17, 2010 at 4:05 am

Very well done! LMAO!!


wes December 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

It was a rough start to a wonderful trip :)


het January 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm

These should come with a warning. Get this – 10am on a nice monday morning, work week has started and I am “supposed” to be finalising a report. In the midst of all the number crunching thought to have my daily fix of your blog (not a good idea during work as I discovered). Found the link to this post and in the midst of the aforesaid report preparation – am laughing like a hyena. Reactions from colleagues range from monday morning blues / hungover / finally cracked under pressure. As proof of my sanity am emailing the link to this post to them :). Thanx for the hilarious start to the week.


wes January 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Ha, thanks. Wasn’t trying to get you fired. Really :)


Theodora February 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I am LOVING the spelling of Banglam-whatever… And this story isn’t as bad as I thought…

Also, sneaking a fart is, I can assure you, definitely not just a guy thing. God knows what they did under their bustles…


wes February 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm

“And this story isn’t as bad as I thought… ”

What? Nothing but quality entertainment here!


Theodora February 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm

It’s such quality entertainment I consider it family-friendly enough for Z. Over to you, spawn…


wes February 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm

ruh roh


Theodora February 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Oh. It appears unworthy of a comment from someone who populated a car so pungently on a 4000k plus drive across Australia that I was really concerned about returning the vehicle to its owner.


wes February 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm

haha. My kind of guy. Say hi for me :)


Aaron Schubert February 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Hahahaha. Very, very well written. I have now had my laughter for the day!



Madhu Nair July 12, 2011 at 12:00 am

It was nice to read this one again as part of your 7-Links … One of the funniest blog posts ever … Cheers!


Mary May 8, 2012 at 12:19 am

Was trying to read this covertly at work… wasn’t successful. One of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. Awesome writing btw!


wes May 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Thanks so much :)


Desirea July 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

OMG Hilarious!!! I can’t wait to read your other posts.


Joey July 24, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Literally had tears pouring down my face laughing so had. It all kicked in about here “dear God, had I caught it time?”. Thank you once again for telling things the way shit is.


wes July 25, 2012 at 9:24 am

Glad ya liked it. It was about my second day on this trip — what a start.


Becca September 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm

this was beyond hilarious! Needs to be sent to a write to be inserted into a movie script funny!


Dan September 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

In my first week in Vietnam I spent two days in a Hanoi hotel room thanking god for the “bum gun”. This is nothing unusual, I gather, but eventually I fell asleep. I’m not sure how long I slept, but I’m sure it was the deepest I’ve ever had. After some time I woke up, shivering from fever yet feeling oddly warm; this is when I realised I was lying in a pool of my own s&$t.


Mo Draj May 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Hahahaha Classic Wes, I read this a few weeks ago, and thought about returning back and reading it again! Thanks mate, now i can start the weekend :D Haha


Lori August 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Wes, you’re soooo funny ! The only thing ….as I’m reading your stories, is that I wish that they do not end !! I want to hear more and more !

Looking forward to seeing more of your posts and stories !


wes August 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Thanks so much. I, however, was *quite* glad it ended ;)


Paul August 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm

You’ve come along way since this lol


John August 22, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Saw this today. Made me think of this post again. Still hugely entertaining my friend.


wes August 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Thanks, brother.


Steve @ Backpacker Report August 23, 2013 at 4:13 am

hahaha great story! and with a happy ending too! you can’t always catch those surprise ones in time :D


Ian September 29, 2014 at 2:30 am

Late to this post but that was some brilliant writing.
Funny, engaging and disturbingly…tactile.