Happy New Year!
It is finally 2012! While half the world is convinced of our demise later this year, I’m here to tell you: I come from the future! It’s 2555 in Thailand now, so 2012 has long come and passed. The world is not ending. Don’t spend your life savings or sell your family heirlooms just yet.
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Last Thursday and Friday were Sports Day at school. I have to say, these were probably my most favorite days so far. It was like the Camp Cedarcrest Olympics on crack. All the students were dressed fancy in their costumes and team colors, and I was very excited to go around to each team and cheer with them all. They wanted me to pick a team to be on. I kept telling them I wanted a rainbow colored shirt because I didn’t want to pick just one color, but they didn’t have a rainbow shirt and I couldn’t find any dye at Big C or TescoLotus. When I saw the sports shirts I had to choose from, I picked a “green” one that was really more turquoise than anything. I thought that it may have been an old shirt and acceptable as a “non” color, so I picked that one. Nope. It was still considered green. I just told everyone I was on Team Leelawadee instead. Team Champion.
In addition to the students playing sports, they had “traditional Thai games” for the teachers to participate in. These were not serious games in the slightest. The first game was a relay race called the “Superman” game. For this game, you had to put on underpants, run down the field, take off the underpants, hand them to the next teacher, then they had to put the underwear on, run down the field, and so forth and on and what yadayada…. The next game, I had to pull another Thai teacher on a palm tree leaf across the field. Halfway down, the leaf split and I dragged her for a bit before I realized it. Once I noticed, I couldn’t stop laughing. The rest of that race was a slow process, as I was doubled over from laughing. Then, the male teachers participated in a relay of their own…. They had a waterbottle fixed to string that they tied around their waist which they used to hit a ball down the field. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the most appropriate game to play in front of 2,500 students, but it was quite funny for us to watch. I wouldn’t want you to miss out, so here’s 57 seconds of enjoyment… I’ve got a feeling this is going to be the next big thing in America.
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I have to say, I’ve already got a good feeling about this year. Like many of my adventures in Southeast Asia, my New Years evening was spent with an assortment of people from many different locations: America, Italy, Thailand, Iran, and more! Now you know you’re destined for great places when you’re starting off the year with such a mix of fantastic people.
We began the day in search for a new phone for my buddy Colin (Tennessee). He was trying to show our friend Alessio (Italy) and me his tattoo when his phone fell out of his pocket and broke into three pieces. The most important of these pieces (which held the SIM card) fantastically slipped through the hole of a gutter about the size of a tin soup can. The three of us knew immediately what had happened, and while Alessio and I were attempting to contain our fits of laughter, Colin stood staring in shock for a moment. Thus ensued a 20-minute attempt to move a 200-pound cement block and sift through about two feet worth of poo to (unsuccessfully) find Colin’s SIM card. It was a stinky task, but don’t worry… I was there to photograph it all. When we had decided it was too rank to continue with the search-and-rescue mission, a sweet old security guard walked over to see what mischief we had got ourselves into. When we had mimed to him the situation, he crouched down to jump in to look for the phone! I immediately yelled at him to stop, which later Colin was quite irritated about… But, I wasn’t about to let that man fish through that mess. No way. Somehow, though… Someone has Colin’s SIM card now. Maybe the security guard went back later and decided he wanted to go for a swim after all.
We then all began the evening at my friends’ condo with a pot luck of Thai finger foods. Then, we made our way over to Central World. Though I’ve never been to New York Times Square on NYE, I have been to the Sydney Harbour Bridge on NYE and I would describe Central World as Bangkok’s equivalent. As I said before, we had a variety of people with us from all over the world. There were so many people at CW, there was hardly any room to move. The countdown was nearly as loud as the fireworks above. Though everybody was on the same number, with 20,000 people counting in different languages, you can hardly expect it to sound like anything but white noise. When it was time to go back home, the BTS (skytrain) was swarmed by all the NYE attendees. By the time we got home, Gina (Colorado), Colin and I decided we were hungry, so we ordered some mexican food for delivery. Have it noted: my first meal of 2555 was Enchiladas Suizas from Sunrise Tacos.
I miss my family and each and every one of my friends from home, but I am loving this adventure. Like I said, I’ve got a good feeling about this year. I’ll be filling more pages of my passport out with stamps, meeting more people in my travels, dining on cheap Asian cuisine, and enjoying every minute of it. Thanks for a great start 2012… keep up the good work!
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On another note: I came home yesterday to a flooded bathroom. Easy enough to squeegie down the drain. Then noticed a line of bugs coming out of a crack between some tiles. Sprayed those suckers with some Thai RAID. Told the maintenance guy, he said he would come fill the crack today, but in Thai time that means he will come next week. This morning, I poured myself a bowl full of cereal…. Took a bite…. Then noticed the bugs had come back and infested my cereal. Wish I had looked in my bowl before I had taken that bite. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve already had larvae and grasshopper to eat over here. Actually, I wish I had waited to open that box until this morning instead of cracking into it last night. That’s an entire box of cereal I threw away. I think I’m more bothered by tossing a new box of cereal than eating a spoonful of bugs… I’ve now discovered a magic concoction of Thai RAID, Bleach, and some unknown Thai powder that has bugs crossed out on it left by the previous tenants that has left me currently bug free! Nonetheless, I still love Thailand. GOOD STORY, MORNING GLORY!