Bahrain and my jihad on Ramadan

I felt like I needed a change… Bangkok keeps sucking me in and soothing me into staying there every time I go there… plus I also had a craving for really good pasta. So, I thought, I’m going to go to Italy.

The flight from BKK to Italy is over 11 hours and I cringe at anything much over 9 hours as my inability to sleep on planes makes those long trips quite painful. So, I thought, I’ll stop over in the middle east and check out some spots.

I decided to stop in Bahrain for 2 days, then do 2 days in Qatar, then go to Rome.

I arrived in Bahrain and my initial impression was this was quite a nice, modern, cool city.. although I didn’t actually see too much, only what I saw from the taxi on the short ride to the hotel.

I arrived at the hotel and the concierge asked me how I was… I said fine… I asked how he was… he said, “good… it’s very quiet here. Veeerrry quiet. Ramadan you know. No nightclubs, no disco, no drinking”.

By the time he got to the “no drinking” part, I still had a polite half smile on my face but tears had already started streaming down my face.

Ok, I am exagerrating but seriously, that was a devastating pronouncement to me!

I got into my hotel room and immediatelly began looking for flights out. I cancelled my trip to Qatar and tried to find a flight to the closest civilized city… it appeared that Gulf Airlines (based out of Bahrain) had a direct flight to Athens, and I like Athens, so I called them, here is the conversation I had:

Me: Do you have a flight to Athens tomorrow morning?

Him: Yes. Ooohhhhhhh. It is too bad… so unlucky. We have an amazing seat sale to Athens but you have to book 72 hours in advance to get it.

Me: Uh, ok… well, how much is it?

Him: Ohhh I cannot believe. If only you had called earlier. Would you believe if you had called earlier you could book the flight to Athens for only $100? Such a great deal. It is really too bad.

Me: Well, how much is it then?

Him: I can barely say it, it is so difficult. I feel so bad for you. The price is now $1,100.

Me: Hmmm, well, I really wish you wouldn’t have even told me about the special price that I can’t get

Him: Hang on, let me see what I can do . I have very good news for you!! Very good news. I can get you the sale price.

Haha, I love airline pricing, it is always so bizarre.. their prices change by 1,000%+ from hour to hour sometimes, it makes no sense. But, anyway, I was happy that this guy got me the $100 deal.

I ended up spending one day and 2 nights in Bahrain, and never left my hotel room.

To add insult to injury, some apparent Ramadan revellers kept knocking on my door at 4am, probably looking for their praying buddy on their way down to do some awesome praying… I have been up ever since then and am not in a good mood.

It looks like almost every hotel I check online in Athens is full tonight or extremely expensive, so I am just going to go there this morning and see what I can dig up at the airport.

So, I intend to spend 2 nights in Athens and then try to catch a flight to Rome…

Bahrain actually seems really interesting and I am very sad that I picked the wrong month to come as I heard that the nightlife here is the best in the middle east… maybe I’ll stop by on my way back through if I come back this way.

Thailand Coup ’06 – woot!

I received a barrage of emails and MSN messages over the last 24 hours as CNN reports on the crazy, unbelievable scene of tanks rolling through downtown Bangkok in an unbelievable military coup and ousting of the current government.

While I appreciate your concern, this event was far from dramatic. I’ve been to softball games with more danger!

In fact, for the most part, this is just generally how Thailand resolves some of its political problems… it probably isn’t the best system, but its something they do well… they have had 16 successful coup attempts since 1932!

If you are interested in knowing more details, please see my blog on SH as I have been updating it wrt this event:

Part I: StockHouse Road Trip: Live from the Thailand Coup”

Part II: StockHouse Road Trip: Live Thailand Coup Update 2

As you can see by reading them, this really wasn’t too big of a deal.

It was, however, my first coup! I was pretty happy about that.. I was actually out of town at the time, on my way driving to Myanmar when I heard the news and I drove back first thing in the morning to check it out.

Here are some pics:

Me with the tanks
Roadside checkpoint entering Bangkok
Barricade at Government House
Tanks adorned with flowers

Singapore / Bali / Jakarta

Just on a brief follow up on that AIDS thing, I found a really well done documentary on Google, called AIDS = HIV – Fact or Fraud. These guys had it all figured out in the early 90’s… HIV and AIDS for the most part is a massive fraud… check out the documentary.. it is 2 hours long so grab some popcorn… its worth it alone just for the 1980’s hair in the documentary! But seriously, how sad is it that all these facts have been known for so long yet the public at large has no clue. Please pass on to as many people as possible.

Ok, now on to other things

SINGAPORE

I stayed with Jane for 2 or 3 nights in Singapore… I had been to Singapore before around 2000, so had an idea of what the city is like. It is really nice there… totally livable city… its got its own nice vibe to it… all the people speak excellent english and are well educated and cool. But, other than that, not too much to say on it… it is just a nice city.. a bit like HK, but without the chaos. I guess the only thing of major note to comment on is I went to the new Ministry of Sound nightclub there… it was really cool… huge and nicely done.

BALI

We then flew direct on Singapore Airlines to Bali. I didn’t know what to expect at all, but for some reason I thought it was going to be really nice and cool. We stayed in the Kuta beach area, which is the most popular area. It seemed quite quiet… not sure if that is still residue from 2 prior “terrorist” bombs in 2002 and 2005 or not. The place was just full of Australians… barely saw any actual Indonesian people there, so I didn’t really like that. And the vibe wasn’t really that great. After one night in Kuta we took off to a resort at the Conrad Hotel in Nusa Dua, about a 30 minute drive away. The hotel was beautiful and the food was good, but the beach wasn’t really that great there. I definitely won’t be opening a beach bar in Bali… and I likely won’t ever go back there either, not my style. Too many Australians… plus non-stop Indonesians hassling you for taxis or to sell you stuff… and we got ripped off a few times by a taxi in our first day until we found out that the “Blue Bird’ taxi’s are metered and you end up paying about 1/10th what you pay the guys who just come up and try to drive you somewhere in their car. Although we had one funny experience where we accepted a taxi solicitation and as he opened the door on his panel van, there was a guy sleeping on the seat, who IMMEDIATELY woke up and took off like a bullet, lol… not sure what that was all about.

JAKARTA

So we didn’t stay long in Bali for reasons stated above and then we took a cheap Adam Air flight from Bali to Jakarta.

Jakarta was interesting. The traffic seemed even crazier than Bangkok (like WAY crazier, I didn’t think that was possible) and lots of traffic jams. The air quality was horrendous… I later read that Jakarta is the most polluted city in the world.. if the air quality is any indication then I would have to agree… it was the kind of place where it always seemed kinda like night time because you could never really see the sun.

I heard the nightlife was really good in Jakarta… there was definitely a few pretty well designed clubs, including the BAT Bar at the Shangri-La Hotel, where Jane just happened to know the bar manager, and the band, from Bangkok (she knew the band in Singapore too… kinda funny… her ex bf used to be in a band and they all just seem to know each other).

But in general, from what I saw, the nightlife there was no where near as good as in Bangkok… althought it was pretty good… I wouldn’t have any problem going back to Jakarta for a few days, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do it.

The other thing that kinda sucked about Jakarta is there is MAJOR security, concrete barricades and all kinds of security guards everywhere… I guess they have some problems with a few ‘terrorist’ type things there, mostly related to those wacky Islamic people… so that gives a bad vibe too.

So, after exactly one week away from Bangkok I was SO craving the street hot pot place outside of my apartment, and missed Bangkok in general, so we hopped on a plane and headed back home.

So, that is where I am at. I may just hang around Thailand for the next month or so… I just like it too much here.

Next trips could possibly include HK, Macau and the Philippines… but I’ve been to all those places before, so nothing to exciting. Barring that, I do want to take a trip, at some point, to Myanmar. But nothing planned in the near (2 weeks) future.

That’s all for now, gnite!

HIV/AIDS

Did my subject line already get you scared? Do you think that I am about to tell you that I have HIV/AIDS

WELL I DO NOT SO DON’T WORRY MOM! :) (I know my mom would already be trembling, especially after reading about my boat incident via this blog, so that line was purely for her)

But the point of my subject line and first sentence are this: what is it about HIV/AIDS that has most people so scared?

You know, my whole life, I have never been the kind of person who follows the crowds… just because most people believe it (conventional wisdom) doesn’t make it right… and the reason is, because “most people” are idiots.

I tend to follow my instincts, listen, learn, read and question everything.

Today I stumbled across some information that may actually show that, yet again, I was dead right on something even despite massive conventional wisdom against it.

When I was 16, and just about to enter my sexual maturity, AIDS hit. I’ve always been pretty pissed off about that. Everyone stopped having sex for nearly a decade (well, promiscuous sex anyway).

I always stated what bad luck I had, that I was born just after the 60’s and 70’s with all their “free love” and was just becoming an adult at the time when AIDS hit, which dramatically reduced my chances of engaging into any sort of desirable sexual pleasure with any potential female candidates (although, given that I weighed 120 lbs, had acne, braces and a mullet, I probably had a pretty slim chance anyway).

So, fast forward to 2000… for whatever reason I had now become sexually attractive to a lot of girls and I began to take advantage of it and really enjoyed it.

But, I hate condoms… it really isn’t even worth having sex with one… I’d rather just go home and play poker on the internet or something.

But I kept hearing over and over and over… you are crazy… you have sex with people you just met without a condom?! You are insane, you have to stop!

Over the years I did a lot of research… checked out all the different diseases, how you can identify them, what are the odds, what type of groups (ie. intravenous drug users etc) more commonly have them etc.

And given the info I found, I made a rational decision that for all the risks I see, it is not worth the reward (no sex or only condom-sex) to avoid them. Therefore, I decided to continue living my lifestyle.

Hundreds (yes, literally hundreds) of ‘unsafe’ sexual encounters later, in 2006, I have only once caught anything. It was chlamydia, for which I took one little pill (an antibiotic) ONCE for, and it was completely cured… and considering I had no symptoms, I would have never even known I had it, except the doctor said I did… talk about a disease that is completely no problem! Give me 10 diseases that I’ll never know I even had… why worry about those?? And, btw, I knew i was risking a lot with the girl I did it with at the time and actually said to myself, I bet this time I get something… she was the kind of girl who slept with EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE… lol

Anyway, I kept noticing… you know… given all this talk all the time in the media and stuff about HIV/AIDS epidemics, I have never once, EVER known anyone who knew anyone who had it at all… much less died from it.

And having travelled around the world to many different places where they say they are really risky areas (not Africa… but other places, such as Cambodia) I never once saw any sign of anyone or anything being a really horrible place because of AIDS.

Then I received an article from a really smart guy, who I have already quoted once before on this blog, so you know he is super smart, named Doug Casey. He commented that he just spent the last few months travelling through Africa, and even talking to doctors and stuff, and he can’t find any sign of AIDS being a major problem, even on the so-called continent that is being ravaged by it.

So, that REALLY got me thinking.

So, I turned to the internet (the true lord and saviour) and googled “AIDS Hoax”… well, wouldn’t you know it, there are quite a few other people (many doctors and nobel laureates etc) who basically state its a hoax… but even worse than that, the actual drug they give to people who supposedly have HIV/AIDS is the thing that actually kills them.

Now, I haven’t researched it anywhere near enough to go so far as believing that this is a sinister plot to kill people… what is more likely is it is a sinister plot to profit… but I am not even going that far yet as I would want to take weeks more to look into it before I made that sort of conclusion.

Here is just one interesting site you may want to read more about: http://www.harmonikireland.com/print.php?topic=HIV

One of the most interesting things I have come across is the story about a doctor in Spain who injected “HIV infected” blood into his own body to prove it is harmless… if this is for real, wow, that says a lot!

So, anyway, the main reason I am writing this today is that I think ONCE AGAIN, by not just believing/listening to the media and so-called “official” sources such as governments (which are in many cases our worst enemy), and by just using the information I actually see and hear myself, I have once again found out that my “so-called” highly risky, unbelievably stupid acts of having sex with young, healthy looking girls without using rubber or plastic, was probably not so much of a risk after all.

Now, that said, I am aware that there are quite a few undesirable things that I do leave myself open to acquiring, such as possibly herpes, but again, given all the information I have gathered, I think it is worth the risk…

It’s funny, isn’t it, how some of the biggest supposed scares in my lifetime, HIV and “terrorism”, are both nearly completely harmless and/or fake.

EDUCATE YOURSELF. And stop worrying so much… this planet is becoming full of just worrying losers. What happened to the people that lived in the 50’s and 60’s and stuff… they flew to the moon on a rocket with less technology than my cell phone… NOW THAT IS RISKY! But they were like, hey, no problem… only live once right?

On a completely different topic, I just came back from a one week trip through Singapore, Bali and Jakarta, replete with numerous sexual encounters… oohhh I am such a risk-taker. 😛 I will update on those adventures in the following few days. So c’mon back y’all.