Lounging in Langkawi

Wake up to a knock on our door, “Hold my chains, I’ll be right there”. It’s the girl from Zackry’s front desk, we have to switch rooms, ours is booked. “MacKay, you didn’t get her to hold your chains for the room?” <hangover giggles>. Since MacKay told me the ‘Hold my chains’ story last night, in which I learned that he used to be a giant douchebag with a dyed red fauxhawk and wore chains, I’ve decided to chirp him about it every moment of every day for the rest of our lives. We’re hungover as hell, been up for 10 minutes and I’ve already hit him with 3 solid ‘Hold my chains’ digs.

But seriously though, he used to have a dyed red fauxhawk, eyebrow piercings (and perhaps lip and nipple piercings and I think he mentioned a cock-ring as well. I dunno, we were on one), and he wore chains, neck and wrist. He’d give the chains to bartenders as collateral. And this happened often enough that he would tell them to ‘Hold my chains’ until some time in the future when he’d return with the money for his tab. You don’t just receive solid gold joke material like this on someone and not use it extensively. I can’t get the visual of this out of my head, I’ve demanded to see pictures of MacKay from this era. It amazes me that he offered this up freely, he must’ve known that I would never let him live it down. Hold my chains?! That’s priceless.

Anyways, we get our shit together and go out to the lounge area to switch rooms. Fernanda and Mehrad are there with their backpacks all ready to go. I get some shitty coffee and see what they’re up to. They are both heading to Penang today and decided to roll together. We give them some tips on the cannon and clan jetties. It was a super fun time hanging with them and Alicia last night. Everyone is feeling a little rough. The taxi comes and they’re off. Hopefully see them again at some point.

We get settled up in our new room. It’s pretty much the same as the last but with two beds in it instead of one to share. Probably more comfortable for Boxer Time so I’ll chalk that up as an upgrade. We nab a taxi to the atm in town to grab lunch and get money to pay last night’s tab, “Do you take ringgit or chains?”.

Nearby is a decent looking Indian place. They are just opening for lunch and invite us inside. Nice place, very ornate, we’re the only ones here. We get a meza plate, tikka masala and a mutton sagawari. It’s amazing. Most of the conversation is still revolving around hold my chains at this point.

Back at Zackry’s and we decide it’s too hot and we’re too hungover to get into much today. We light up Boxer Time for a bit and look into flights to Singapore for tomorrow. Might as well hit one more place on the trip, right? Still a couple of days left, let’s see what the big city’s all about.

We’re working with some pretty dicey Asian airlines’ sites though and every time we get to the end of the booking process and put the card in the site just blows up and hangs/crashes. After a couple of attempts we’re not sure how best to proceed. Did we just book 3 extra flights? Is our card blocked right now? We decide to give it some time and see if confirmation emails roll in.

I take the downtime to chill in a hammock under a tree with a vendobeer. Man, what a great suggestion by Pedro back in Luang Pranbang. Langkawi may just be my favorite place on this whole trip so far. Great mix of relaxed vibe, fun stuff to do, killer hostel and good people to hang out with. People will always make a place. Having the right people around can turn otherwise busts in to a genuine blast.

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MacKay has the flights all figured out finally and finds me by the hammock. We’ve gotta be up at 6am tomorrow, I’m sure we’ll be fine. We hit the lounge for some more beers and some blog time. While I’m writing he books it down to The Woods to pay our tab from last night. 30 minutes later he returns, “Our tab just said Canada on it. Apparently we had 8 drinks each. Strong ones. Only came to fifty bucks”, “Sixteen stiffies for 50 bucks? Damn. You get your chains back?”, “Har har”.

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While we’re out in the common area some people start milling about the place and we invite them over for vendobeers. Analouse and Marko from Amsterdam have a seat with us. Ana says she could hear MacKay and I laughing from the road. “What are you guys laughing at?”, “I dunno, stupid shit probably. We’re easily entertained”, “I see that.”

Another couple check in and come over to meet us too. Ollie and Shannon from England. “Oh where in England are you from?”, “You probably wouldn’t know it, place called Wakefield”, “Oh yeah, we’ve been to Wakefield!”, “You’ve been to Wakefield? Why the fuck would you go to Wakefield?”, “Our buddy Peter is from there. When we started the Mongol Rally we were there for 5 days or so…”, “What the fuck? I can’t believe you guys spent time in Wakefield. Must have been miserable”, “Actually we had a pretty good time. Learned to drive on the left side of the road in a stick shift.  Dodging Sheep. Went out on the town…”

MacKay finds some pics on his laptop and starts to show them to Ollie and Shannon of us doing dumb shit around Wakefield. They’re still a little shocked, we get them some beers. Got a good group forming here now. Everyone is a good laugh and a couple beers in we’re already comfortably in travel stories mode.

Alicia comes out to join us too. She’s got her laptop though and has to get some work together. Says shes a marketing freelancer. Great girl to talk to and we get into it a bit about the whole digital nomad lifestyle. “You should just go for it? What’s stopping you”, “Well…..”. That’s a story for another time.

Steven Tyler come hang for a second as well. They’re about to go out for dinner, a taxi just showed up. Alicia has to work so she’s out. Wakefielders have to go pick up a rental car. So it’s the Dutch and us. The Coloradans say they’re going to a place called Yasmin on the strip. We finish our beers and grab a second cab downtown.

When we get there they aren’t in Yasmin. It’s pretty busy so they must have moved on to another spot. We take a brief walk around to look for them. Marko is a tall dude, something lke 6’6″, and the two of us seem like the tallest people on the island right now. Still it takes us a bit to track these guys down. So of course when we do at an outdoor Indian joint, they’re already finishing up and heading over to the Gecko Guesthouse. Tyler describes how they met a family on the beach yesterday who invited them to come hang out. We sit down for a bite and say we’ll meet up later. Place has good deals. I get a Falafel wrap and a chicken shawarma for about 2 bucks.

Afterwards, we roll down a dirt road between some places and find a whole group of nestled guest houses back there. This would have been a good option to stay at too, don’t recognize any of the names from our online search though. The Gecko has a great outdoor seating area with a bar. We find Steven Tyler hanging out with some hippy looking white family who have a couple of platinum blonde angel looking kids. MacKay and I could have sworn there was some booty chasing going on, but hey.

We grab some drinks and a seat with our new Dutch friends. They tell us they’re both doctors. We shoot the shit a bit about the different personalities you’ll find around the hospital. “Surgeons are the worst. Just batshit crazy and impulsive. Totally act like they’re rockstars. Usually a bunch of arrogant dicks.”

Once in a while a coconut falls from the tree above us and hits the tin roof just above our heads scaring the shit out of us. A few cats are lounging around here and there. The little kid Steven Tyler is hanging out with is watching some wrestling on TV. “So this is basically your Heaven, eh MacKay? Cats and wrestling”, “Fucking right dude! Cats and wrestling! Hold my chains, bro!” and we start cracking up.

“It’s amazing how you two can just sit and laugh at everything? I feel like if it was just the two of you in a room you’d still be having fun and laughing”, “Oh yeah, we do that all the time! Haha” and then almost in unison “Boxer Time!” which puts us into a table pounding fit of hysterics. Analouse just can’t get over it, like she’s a doctor studying the social anomalies of some alien race. Her and Marko can’t help but join in and laugh at our nonsense though.

Seems like the place is winding down. A couple of absolute knock-out blondes with incredible tans get up from a neighboring table. “They’re probably Swedish”, offers Ana, “Swedish? with tans like that?”, “Oh yeah, the Swedes get really tanned.” They stop by our table and ask if we want to go down to the beach. Ahhh.. of course we do. And yes, they are in fact Swedish.

We head down to the beach and there are a plethora of drinking options available. Some really cool looking spots, but we gravitate to a little bar a guy has made out of a trailer and hitched down here with a truck. It has a cool rusted metal look to it and a dude with dreads is up on it serving up drinks. I order MacKay and I a couple of jagger mojito’s hoping to recreate the ones we had way back in Hanoi. “Jagger mojitos? Never heard of that one”, “Well… just make a mojito and put some jagger in?”, “Will do!”

The bartender and I start talking about the trip and I mention that I’ve really come to like Langkawi quite a bit. Would love to spend more time here but we’re leaving in the morning. “Langkawi chose you, brother!”, “I like the sound of that!”, and I grab the jagger mojitos and return to our Dutch doctor friends. “Langkawi chose you..”

We take a stroll over to a collection of comfy, colorful looking bean bag chairs all laid out in the sand and sit with our drinks and our feet in the sand. Ahhhh this is the shit.

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Oh just kidding this section is closing up, they’re dragging the bean bags in. We take our drinks back to the little drink trailer. They’ve got these very simple pieces of wood with candles set up in the sand. There are some guys hanging out that I kind of met while ordering the drinks so we all just get around one of those and sit right in the sand. I go up for another jagger mojito and everyone is curious about it so I get an extra for the ‘table’ to share. Another Adventure Detective signature cocktail is born.

Everything pretty much shuts down around 2am and the Dutch are ready to go so we say good bye to our new sand friends and taxi back to Zackry’s. MacKay and I get a beer since the Wakefielders are still up in the common area talking to some old dude. We say good night to Marko and Analouse and thank them for the company this evening.

Ollie and Shannon are pretty gooned and giggly. MacKay pulls the chute after the first beer though, he doesn’t wanna get sucked in, “we’ve gotta be up for a flight in like 4 hours”. I hang out for a while and catch them up on Langkawi. They’ve got a car rented and are going to tour around the whole place over the next 4-5 days, “You’re welcome to roadtrip with us”, “If we weren’t leaving tomorrow we definitely would.”

I sit and talk to the old dude for a sec. He’s a curmudgeonly old fart named Robert. Cynical and negative as they come. He’s an old fuck to be honest. But I sit through the initial bullshit and listen to some of his family problems with his ‘daft daughter’ and whatnot and suddenly he starts to come around. Soon we’re spinning tales, soon laughing and next he’s got his hand on my shoulder saying good night and thanks for the chat. Ice just breaks at different temperatures.

Back to the room and MacKay starts to stir, “fuck dude, we gotta get up in 3 hours”, “no problem, you set an alarm?”, “Yeah”, “I’ll set one too, we’ll be fine…”

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