Sunday, January 31, 2010

Parks, Video Games and Shot Glasses

I'm not going to hide anything. I did a lot of nothing today. Welcome to Thailand. I'm beginning to be okay with that.

I started off by wandering the city perimeter for three hours. This walk would justify the rest of my wasted excuse for travel. I headed to the south west corner along the base and height of the triangle, rather than shaving ohh a fair percentage by walking the hypotenuse. But the hypotenuse was not direct, and probably would have led me to all sorts of terrible places. Plus I'd yet to see the South Gate. I didn't expect anything from it – but I wanted to see it, just to say that I had, should it have turned out to be as wonderous as the East Gate was.

It was not.

But the park hidden away down there was quite great. Lots of rivers, and bridges, and flowers, and places to sit, and shade to enjoy, and tra la la la la.

It as a great place to while away the day. But I could last only so long under the heat. I keep telling myself it's winter and that this is as good as it will ever get – but my goodness, that doesn't make it not hot now.

I wandered back, grabbed some food, another fantastic lemon shake, and then tucked into my hostel to watch hours of video game news. Yes, I was catching up on all the episodes of co-op. Theme song by Jane Pinckard. Sigh.

I managed to devour all of season one and catch up with the video games from six months ago. If you can't play them, you can at least watch media about them. And I quite enjoyed it. And I will have you know that I did spend three hours exploring, so back off! 'kay?

When the night hit I went through the East Gate and headed straight on to the night market to see what they had to sell there. Lots of t-shirts, fake bags, and little trinkets. But did they have any shot glasses? Just one, perhaps? No. What type of country doesn't sell shot glasses. It's a standard. A go to. But no, there were none here.

So despite the enjoyment of the bright lights, and the big city – there was nothing there for me.

Starting to head back home, I stopped in the middle of the street when I saw hundreds of little explosions in front of me. A man was throwing fireworks blowing up like flash bangs juggled by some sort of twisted mini-boss. And behind him a parade of people started to scream and cheer.

Something was amiss.

I followed this entourage, as they screamed and whooped their way along the road into a gate, towards a wat. Some people had trees loaded with money, others had chairs held high above their heads. Monks dressed all in orange ran around with the most expensive digital cameras you'd ever seen, while a camera man sent a live feed to a big screen t.v. affixed to the front of the temple.

If I had to guess, I would say that I just crashed a wedding. There was traditional dancing, and excitement, and many many drunken elderly people. Yes, this could only be a wedding.

You see, that was some more cultural experience for the day. It's like I say – life happens outside. All you need to do is head out, and the world will surprise you. It always does. You may go out looking to kill time, and see nothing but perhaps a shot glass for sale (or not) and then come across something like this – something you'll most likely never see again in your life.

Travel. Neat.

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