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Eau de Vagabond

26 Jan

I bought a used book at a giant bookstore, read a magazine about knitting, had a fascinating conversation with a very loud bag lady at the bus-stop, sipped on a soy chai latte made by a former mechanic wearing a bow-tie and black-rimmed glasses, and ate lunch at an international food truck.  Where am I?
You guessed it- Portland.

I took the train down yesterday.  My boyfriend was doing a shoot for Nike again this week, and I like to have mini adventures.  And I like my boyfriend.

They just found out that they're BOTH my boyfriend!!!

They just found out that they’re BOTH my boyfriend!!!

The hotel we stayed at had wine hour in the evening, hot chocolate in the morning (a fact I have not verified personally, as morning for me begins at noon), zebra striped bathrobes, organic body wash, and two different recycling bins in the room.  Recycling is very chic here in City of Roses.

I almost didn’t make it though.  I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday morning, and was given some very foul tea to make into a tonic for my asthma.  It was the kind of tea that Portlanders might drink.  I boiled it for twenty minutes, as instructed, when I really only had ten, and the bus was going to leave in half an hour and the stop was at the top of the hill and two blocks over.  Gah!  I ran frantically from room to room, organizing things, sweeping floors, covering up my mess.  My boyfriend’s friend came over to check out his newly finished basement.  I opened the door for him, and proceeded to run around like a madwoman.  My hair was still in curlers (actually it was wrapped up in a headband in my curling method, but I just can’t describe that very well).

Almost as creative as the beer can bong.

Almost as creative as the beer can bong.

After having a chat with him in every single room of the house, he offered me a ride to the train station.  Lucky me, I never get rides to the train station.  Whew.  I had just enough time to bottle my foul tea and put on some coconut oil to hide the odor that had seeped into my pores.

On the train, I was still paranoid that I smelled of foul tea vapors. My boyfriend is practically allergic to tea so I had to cover it up, but I didn’t have any perfume.  Good thing I’ve been a vagabond before.  The things I came up with while down and out come in handy all the time.  I bought an orange from the food car, ate all of the slices, chewed off the white bits (it’s a great source of vitamin C and I was going to Portland so I needed to practice not being wasteful) and twisted the peels, rubbing the oil onto my wrists and neck, hands, and décolletage.  I was sufficiently orange-d and successfully de-odored.  Voilà.  It really does the trick.  I’ve used peels from lemons and grapefruit as well.  This all might have looked very strange were I not on train to Portland.  You have seen Portlandia, haven’t you?  portland-weird-nude-cyclist

I’ve done this many times in situations of few resources.  My friend and I found ourselves in the north of France one morning (the world is a magical place when you’re a 20 year old maniac).  After spending the night in an English gentleman’s tiny car

Oy, let's not tell Gran about this k?

Oy, let’s not tell Gran about this k?

in a ditch near a farmer’s field (and having to ask for help from the farmer to fix the car),  we decided to have a little bath at the beach.  Not smart, of course.  Not smart at all, but what is to be expected of 20 year old maniacs?  Sandy, sticky, sleepy, and smelly, we drove around until we found a campsite.  After sneaking in, we came across a heavenly lavender bush  and liberated a couple bouquets. We stole a hot shower and sponged with a wet wipe and rubbed ourselves with our freshly picked lavender.  I’m sure the French, unlike the Portlanders, would have been horrified had they caught us.

We don't make our own perfume, you little heathens.

We don’t make our own perfume, you little heathens.

Huge faux pas. The ride to Paris that afternoon was very calm, and well-scented.  Eau du provence e plague.  We steered clear of tea, tonics, chai lattes, and went straight for the wine and cheese.  We had insatiable cravings for champagne, remedied only by bottle after bottle of warm bubbly underneath the Eiffel Tower.  When in Paris…

Anyhow, after all that drama with the tonic and racing around like a madwoman and having to hitch a ride to the train station, and the orange peels and flashback of French adventures,` I didn’t even end up drinking the tonic. My boyfriend left early in the morning and packed up the toothpaste with him, the key to the minibar disappeared, and I didn’t want to catch my death from taste bud poisoning.  So I poured out the tonic, rinsed out the glass jars and put them in the very posh recycling bin (for glass only- newspapers are segregated) and checked out of the hotel with an insatiable craving for Kombucha.  Portland does that to you.  It really does.

Krabi 69

19 Jan

My favorite 69…

The Krabi 69 is about as about as sweet, nasty, and gushy as you can get.  And it happened in a jail cell in Thailand, which makes it even sweeter.  Krabi later became synonymous with crappy, lame, disappointing, banana hammock, overpriced, or vanilla if you’re of the Kristin Cavallari persuasion, which I am definitely not because vanilla is delicious and Brody Jenner is not.  The Krabi 69, however, is a parallel for sweet, nasty, gushy, romantic, kindred, and memorable. The Krabi 69 takes place on a last minute holiday from Thai School/vacation.  Destination Krabi, in southern Thailand, beaches and beauty galore.

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The journey:  was the mother of mood killers (similar to crabs, both kinds), except for the bright Disney bus that brought us to Crappy, I mean Krabi, which I’m not sure even counts, as Shimmer Tits still laughs at my uber-blonde emergence at a snack stop midway through the night.

SugarTits, as we exit the bus to purchase some strange, Thai snacks, namely fried broad beans and corn milk: “Taylor, don’t let me lose you.  I won’t know which bus to get back onto.”

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Shimmertits, staring at our bright-as-the-sun, supervamped, bedazzled Mickey Mouse overnight bus parked amongst a bunch of stream-line, plain-jane buses, dumbfounded by my hopeless oblivion: “Um…it’s the bright Mickey Mouse bus that Minnie and Goofy are skiing all over.” SugarTits, figuring out the obvious: “Right.  Well it is the middle of the night, and I haven’t had my Thai corn milk yet. I’m a little out of sorts, as usual. You should know this by now. We’ve spent the last 60 days together. My lack of awareness should be expected.” By the end of the trip, it would be completely embraced, as well as expected. Shimmertits, to herself: “Whew. Seven more hours to go. Bliss, here we come.”

Probably twelve hours later, a few Kinderbuenos and countless glossy magazines later, oh, and one princess towel to cover up against the leaking air conditioner, we finally reached Crappy, sorry I mean Krabi.  And it was, indeed Krabi, and I do mean disappointing/offensive.  We did not find golden beaches and frolicking bliss. We did not find cheap, cute bungalows, and we did not find clear, delicious waters. We found leathery banana hammocked European creepsters and very expensive mascara. We did not find Glitter Bliss (aka Ko Tao).  We found Krabi (aka lame).

The Love Shacks and the Nasty: The day was spent dodging banana hammocks and being absolute cheapskates, which we have a knack for, because we like to keep our wallets nice and plump, just like our hips (that don’t lie). Badonkadonk.  We finally gave in and spent a whopping $14 on accommodation for the evening after hours of exploring and one splashy longtail ride to Ralay Beach.  But there was air conditioning. Glorious.

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We were on a splurging roll so I payed $3.00 for a cup of Earl Gray Tea somewhere (during a tea obsession).  Taylor realized she had not packed her mascara (a must!) and spent $9 on some crappy stuff.  We spent the evening bitching about the stench and eyesore of Krabi and reading The Game , which means that I snuck a read in every time she put her book down because I got hooked.  I recommend.

Fearing our wallets needed to go on a diet, we opted to find a cheaper room.  In a state of what now can only be classified as Krabi-crazy, we agreed to rent a jail cell for the evening.  It wasn’t an actual jail cell, but it was definitely worse.  Did you see the Beach?  His first room?  It was way worse.  Down a dark little alley with a barred entrance, no windows, one tiny bed, a smelly bathroom, and a concrete floor.  But we saved a whole $5, which we spent drowning out our misery over Manhattans and steak.  Which actually means that the little jail cell flooded (and it wasn’t even Songkran, but that’s another story so stay tuned) and we went out for drinks to stay dry, but realized that Manhattans are not Cosmopolitans and steak in Thailand is…not steak…and we went back sober and hungry for a night of Krabi 69, complete with coconut incense to cover the stench from the flood. We didn’t actually both fit on the bed ($5 is a lot in Asia, okay) so we had to sleep in a 69 position.  Thank goodness for cheap Thailand pedicures because Taylor’s feet smelled great.  We slept through it.  We laughed a little, and we didn’t get sick of each other, the stench we did get sick of, but not the company. The next morning Taylor lost her swimming suit, neither of us got a tan, or swam in the ocean because it stunk, and we tried to raise our spirits by ordering our favorite morning glory for lunch, but the ritzy lunch place we went to didn’t have it.  Struck out again.  We made our way back to our little university town on another bus where the seats would not recline, with no more glossy magazines, but plenty of leaking air conditioners.  We did not find the Krabi we were looking for.

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The Romance: We found losing-our-swimsuit morning, and morning-glory-rejected afternoon.  We found cutting-our-feet-on-coral beach jaunts, overpriced-mascara-runs, and Manhattans-are-disgusting-evenings.  We found banana hammocks. We found Krabi.  But we also found the Krabi 69.  We found that we could travel together.  Through banana hammocks, dieting wallets, jail cells, and disappointment.  Through thick and thin. And so we found romance after all.  We found some kindred for our spirits, and developed a heavy reliance for princess towels, backup mascara, and incense matches for further adventures around the world.  We found that laughter is necessary for disappointment, and lame banana hammock/jail cell vacations make great memories.

Next up: Ko Tao (Surprise Bliss).

Love, Sugartits

Dear Portland,

30 Oct

You are an afternoon spent at a teashop sipping Love/Rose kombucha from tap and sampling chai, while listening to Moby and Bjork, inhaling the scent of granola, co-op store, and sandlewood, while wondering how many wide glasses have real vision lenses, and counting the pairs of tevas that walk by, and noticing that there is enough flannel and organic cotton tees in the city to clothe an army for centuries to come.  

You are homogenous in your mustached, Kurt Vonnegaut-reading, skullcandy, vintage record-store fostering, cowboy-boot hoarding, greasy hair, homeless teens, and holes in your thrift store ‘new’ threads population.  You are charming and alarming.  

You are a vortex for kindred spirits of the kombucha-worshipping, teva-obsessed, peace-sign slanging, is-my-chicken-really-organic??? people of the world.  

I am in great need of a uniform to  disappear into this place, but as it is, I am sipping on an organic, free trade coffee just one crosswalk away from a Buffalo Exchange.  

Assimilation, here I come.