Somewhere

Hanoied in Hanoi

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Somewhere | 18 Comments

Best Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam might include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

“Eat here,” this teenage punk said as he shoved the menu against my face. I’m not being hyperbolic. He pressed the sticky plastic pages against my nose and cheeks and forehead. I ripped the menu out of his hand and thought three things: Tear the book in half, throw the menu among the chicken bones and napkins swimming in the gutter, or shove the menu back in his face. But as a guest in someone else’s country, I decided on the taking the high road. I fucking hate the high road.

Read more

Bus Travel: Views from and on a Bus in Thailand

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Somewhere | 1 Comment

Bus Travel Thailand

As promised, here are all of the highlights from our short bus trip from Phuket to Sulat Thani.

Car accidents:

An SUV had jumped the median.

Driver’s Ed:

Middle-school-aged kids, running around in their yellow shirts and blue Adidas knock-off pants, dodging their classmates who brought their motorbikes to school.

Thai Baby Strollers: Dozens of mothers driving on motorbikes at 40 mph with their toddlers crammed between their legs. No helmets on anyone. Giant buses threatening to knock them off the road.

Thai Uno:

The boy in front of me was playing the card game Uno with his mother. The Thai version. Instead of the Draw Two card, the deck had a +2 card. Reverse was replaced by two arrows chasing one another in a circle. Skip a Turn is a zero with a slash through it. The wild card says +4 with a pie graph of the four colors. Uno is very smart or getting ripped off.

Phang Nga:

A quick glimpse of an authentic Thai town, which the guidebook described as “unappealing,” where not a lick of English appears on any of the signs. Quite refreshing if you’re looking for real Thai culture, which no longer exists in the tourist towns.

Architecture:

Pastel homes with rusty corrugated steel roofs.

Markets:

All the vendors carting in their goods on trailers tied to their motorbikes. Devout Muslims shopping in their town. Devout Buddhists shopping in theirs.

Monks:

Robed in burnt-orange cloth, walking around with briefcases and cellphones.

Patios:

A nursery-school-aged kid sweeping his mother’s front porch with a homemade broom. Elderly men and women swaying in hammocks or lounging on couches, watching the traffic pass by.

Wildlife:

Nomadic dogs, nomadic roosters, nomadic cows, squashed lizards all curious of the highway

Billboards:

Giant posters of the Royal Family beside every town and along every highway.

Transport:

Men riding atop flatbed trucks, sitting on piles of timber, fifteen feet off the ground, moving at fifty miles per hour.

Fellow Riders:

The kid in front of me, the Uno player, probably about ten, kneeled toward his mother. She inserted his penis into a small juice bottle. He urinated. The bus shook and the mom had trouble putting the top on the bottle. Then he took a five-minute break to chug a second bottle of green juice. (He would go on to fill that bottle too.) The boy gave me a big smile afterward and then the mother and son left the bus… leaving behind the pair of pee-filled bottles.

Note: It was hard to get photos since the bus was moving rather fast and any pictures from the bus would have been illegal to post online. So to make up for the lack of visuals, here is a photo of where the bus took us to: Sulat Thank where the night boat to Koh Tao was docked. This is how close we slept next to strangers. Stay tuned for that story…

Night Boat Thailand

37 Hours: Luang Prabang

Posted on by Noah Lederman in 37 Hours, Asia, Somewhere | 2 Comments

Best Things to do in Luang Prabang Laos

When the New York Times gives you 36 hours in a city, we at Somewhere Or Bust say, stay a bit longer. Here are the best things to do in Luang Prabang. Enjoy 37 Hours in Luang Prabang.

Read more

My Favorite Signs in Southeast Asia

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Somewhere | 10 Comments

20120720-232343.jpg

I guess you really can’t trust anyone else to roll your sushi these days.

Read more

Thai and You Will Succeed: The Battle to Perfect Pad Thai

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Somewhere | 7 Comments

How to Cook Thai Food in Thailand: Cooking School Chiang Mai

To toot my own horn a bit, I can cook. I cook well. But the one dish that I love to eat, but always botch up in the kitchen is Pad Thai. Over the years, I’ve found at least fifty different recipes listing fifty different sets of ingredients. They’ve all been wrong. So when I came to Chiang Mai, Thailand, I knew that a cooking class was mandatory. Not only would I finally learn how to make Pad Thai, but I’d get my wife to increase her recipes by five. (Before our Thai cooking class, she knew zero recipes.)

Read more