Buckets Up

In America we have a pretty unique drinking culture.  Our international reputation for high school keg parties, drinking games and the world-renowned Happy Hour have made us infamous for our consuming habits.  Well I must say America, nothing that we do in the States can compete with the Thai-bucket.  I first encountered the bucket while I was staying on the breathtaking island of Koh Panghan.  This island is covered with palm trees and is surrounded by fine, white sandy beaches with green-blue water so clear you can see 10 feet under.  It is famous for its diving schools, snorkeling trips, yoga retreats, and crazy nightlife full of beach bars, jungle parties and of course the Full Moon Party.  One evening I decided to escape from my relaxing, private beach bungalow and head south in search of fire dancers, beach parties and total mayhem.  I was intrigued by the rows of stands along the beach specializing in Thai-buckets so I had to put my drinking skills to the test.  For those of you who have not been to Thailand and have yet to have the “bucket experience” the Thai-bucket consists of five main ingredients: a colorful plastic beach bucket (the ones that you used to use as a child to make sand castles), ice, a flask of alcohol, some mixers, and a lot of straws.  These buckets come in a million different varieties: vodka and red bull, rum and coke, mojitos and the deadly Sang Som, also known as “Thai whiskey” even though it’s rum.  These buckets are so popular on the island that they are sold up and down the beaches, in the bars and even in the streets.  The night started off easy with a cocktail, but shortly after I moved on to a bucket (or two) which led to a night full of dancing on the beach and a whirlwind of memories only to be forgotten the next morning.  I think that most people have two reactions to their first bucket experience.  They either wake up the next morning with a splitting headache and queasy stomach in the unbearable Thai heat swearing off the bucket for life.  Or they wake up infatuated with their newly found alcoholic drink of choice and set off to become bucket connoisseurs pursuing the various concoctions and becoming a sort of bucket sommelier.  My reaction was neither of these.  I enjoyed my experience and I would definitely do it again, but only if I’m dancing under the stars on the beautiful beaches of Thailand.   Everyone needs to find their right Thai-bucket moment and when you do remember sharing is caring (that’s what all the straws are for!), eat some Thai curry before going to bed and take a taxi.  Buckets up!

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