Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fight Night

I did nothing today. Absolutely nothing from the time I woke up, until 5:00pm. Aside from devour the free breakfast I just hung out in my room watching Torchwood. Many hours were killed this way. And at one point it went from being delightful watching it to driving me insane. And I wonder what I would have done had I not bought these earphones. Still – My day wasn't set to start until late afternoon, and I still spent a good seven hours out and about. As I mentioned yesterday, I had a fight to see.

I wandered down to the town, passing a mall that I'd not noticed earlier. Seems that they have a Sizzler and a Pizza Hut there. What fun! After looking at the pizza and considering going in to buy one, I finally pulled away. True I've been wanting a good North American style pizza for some time now, but is Pizza Hut – full of greasey greasey grease grease – the best way to get it? It is probably my only choice out here though, and as such I will succumb soon. But not just yet.

Leaving the mall behind me, I began to walk to town once more, just in time to see a couple drop their camera, lens first, onto the sidewalk. It was a crushing blow and made me cringe. They picked it up to assess damage. I had to look away. Onwards towards the city.

Once more I played real world Frogger, Once more I succeeded.

The moat that surrounded the city so elegantly yesterday was dry now. Who can say why? Maybe it's a weekend moat? Seems a little odd – but so many of the decisions that they must think of as rational here strike me as peculiar, so what's a little mud? Crossing over, I once more entered the city.

Dawdling I had managed to kill a good hour in this process. It was now 6:00. Hunger had been getting the best of me. Toast in the morning, and 7-11 in the afternoon does not make for a happy tummy, all be it full. I found a restaurant right in the North East corner of the town, pulled up a chair, and sat down. Menu was delivered, and after a few moments I had decided on Bamboo shoots, noodles, veggies, and pork. And a lemon smoothie.

The food was priced similar to that which I was eating in Cambodia. Except for the smoothie which was twice the price. But all was forgiven when said smoothie arrived, and it proved to be at least thrice the size. I ate, and I ate, and little by little the world became a happier, more colour place to live in. When the meal was finally done, I was no longer trapped in the mindset of one who had been watching television all day. I had been transformed, reborn, ready to embrace the world around me. And the world around me was good!

But more than anything, I just wanted to read. It was seven by this point, and I wandered the streets looking for a place to sit down. There was an internet cafe where 15B would secure me an air conditioned room to read in for an hour. True, I've paid more than that to use a toilet alone (free with price of entry here) but if I paid to use internet, I'd probably end up using it. And that wold defeat the purpose of going there to read. So I pressed on. And out of the east gate. I was guided by a glowing sight in the heavens above.

Two golden arches led me home. Yes, to McDonald's I went. They would have toilets, and places to sit, and be free of biting bugs. And I could even justify my time there by purchasing a cone for 7B. Now that's value and savings people. And also the exact amount of change I had jangling around in my pocket. So no real loss there.

From the balcony (ah yes, this McDonald's had a delightful balcony looking out towards the east gate.) I could see people working on cheerleader routines. The area in front of the east gate becomes a sort of public square. One section had the cheerleaders, another had kids shining up their friends scooters, while their friends were perched atop flirting. Down more kids were tricking with the bikes.

This one are of town seems so different from everything else I'd seen thus far. Almost as if a little piece of Tokyo had fallen through to this specific place.

And there I sat, and read – until the bugs got too bad, and I could no longer stand listening to Cline Dion play over and over again (a curse worse than that of pop music) - at which point i went inside and continued to read. At 8:40 I left, and headed for the boxing club.

Turns out my ticket was legit, and all was alright. So I headed to my fantastic seat, checked my name written on a slip of paper placed under the ashtray, and sat down.

I was reminded why I don't like fights. There ere eight in total. The first was with wee kids, the next was with older ones, three had decent fighters, four was a womens match, for five they blindfolded four guys threw them in, and let them go at it, six was by far the best with two guys of equal skill who knew what they were doing, seven was alright, and eight was an international match with two bigger guys.

Now, aside from fight six (after which half the crowd left) let me tell you why I hate fights. Either the fighters are no good, and it lasts the full five rounds in some sort of god awful bore fest, or the fighters are good, in which case the fight ends in round one or two. So you're either bored, or it's over right as it was getting good.

The blind match? Well that was kinda fun – but ridiculous. And while I do enjoy that I have now seen Sagat's Tiger Knee performed in person a few times (add that with Guile's Moon Kick which I've also seen in the real life and I'm on my way. Now where's the hundred hand slap when you need it?) I still found myself somewhat – yawn. The final match looked as if it could be worth while. The fighters were bigger, they gave it their all, and – it was over in 45 seconds. I don't know why it ended. One fighter was hit by a flurry, but stayed on his feet, looked like he was ready to go, but that was it. It was called. He was done.

And two hours were gone. In retrospect it will be a lot better, as I can focus on the little flurries of action between the posing, and waiting for an opening. I found that when I was recording the fight all I could focus on was the downtime, while when I wasn't those little moments mattered. There's probably a far more reaching message there – but I'll leave it as is.

It was something I am glad that I did. I might even go back again. But it wasn't that fantastic. As I said though, I don't really like fights. It probably has to do with video games. Like when you see a skateboarder do something impressive today, you don't really see it as such – because, you know, in Tony Hawk you could do that grind for twenty seconds, hit up a flip trick, go into a wall ride, and then vert (defying all physics.) Still – Sagat's Tiget Knee? Pretty sweet.

At some point the temperature dropped ten degrees, and a sound like fans called through the entire building. It took us all a few moments to realize what had happened – rain. And, of course, as it had not rained lately I did not have my jacket on me. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's packed at the bottom under all my things, back at the hostel. I could just feel the price of tuk-tuk rides going up.

As luck would have it, the rain was over by the time the fights finished. And as I went outside I was hounded by a group of drivers. I walked a few meters down the street before stopping to talk to any. Pointing out where I was, I asked how much. 100B he said. I was looking to pay 80, but was I really going to haggle over 20B at this point? No. It was late. Nearing Midnight, and while I was thinking of walking home, low hanging wires camouflaged in the night, and the threat of rain kept my thoughts more clear.

I did wonder why he started off with 100 when in was thrice the distance from where the guy quoted me 80 yesterday.

As we got underway I was quickly asked if I wanted marijuana. Oh good – maybe it's jail time again. I said no, definitely not, and hoped he would just keep on target towards my hostel. He did. As we neared the hostel he was quite surprised when I wasn't interested in any of his offered “pretty ladies” that were right around this area. He was even more shocked that I wasn't interested after he assured me that they “gave good boom boom.” No thank you sir. Just the hostel. You know what? Just here, here's your 100 and I'll be running away thank you very much.

And I did.

And then watched more Torchwood. I know – I know! It's an addiction.

At four in the morning I was woken up by an Australian girl on her hands and knees with her head shoved under my bed. It was weird. She normally resides on the bunk above me, but getting in absolutely trashed she had dropped something (so that's what hit my head, causing me first the stir.) She had dropped her back pack. On my head. It was now trapped under the bed. After trying for a minute or so, and drunkenly failing she gave up. And was soon snoring. Of course I was now wide awake. To the internets!

At some point I was sleeping again? I must have been. I definitely woke up and it was morning.

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