Fourth of July weekend turned out to be a pretty interesting sequence of events, from Khao San Road on Friday, to our July 4th celebration on Saturday, and a walking adventure across the city on Sunday. I had a tough time making up my mind on Friday night, as I was torn between two options for going out. Option 1 involved going to the area of the city that included some great clubs like Bed Supper and QBar. Although they were expensive, I was anxious to see more of those clubs. Option 2 consisted of going with the entire group to a new club called "Culture One". It looked like a great place to go, but I was more inclined to travel with a few people rather than a large group. Since I was being so indecisive, I finally decided to join the big group and go to the dance club. I figured it would be a good time, but when we got lost multiple times along the way, I instantly became frustrated. Long story short, we didn't make it to the club, so we gave up and went to Khao San. The night wasn't a total mess because I met two friendly Thai guys at an outdoor bar and talked with them for an hour or so. The one who spoke English well introduced himself as "Beaver," which cracked me up. I guess he did have a rather round face and large front teeth...but the other barely spoke a word of English. Beaver was a nice guy who recently graduated as a chef from a culinary school in Bangkok. He told me that he is well versed in different cuisines, so I asked him to befriend me on Facebook and recommend some places to eat. We'll see what happens!
We celebrated July 4 on July 2 because the US Embassy sponsored an Independence Day party at an international school nearby. Plus we didn't want to party hard on a school night. All of the Loyola teachers piled into a bus with broken A/C and the ride lasted over an hour. Just to give you an idea of how hot it was on the moving bus, we all sweat through our clothes and when we finally arrived and stepped off the bus, the outside temperature felt cold. Keep in mind that the weather is usually around 90 F every day. So I don't want to know the exact temperature of the bus. The extreme heat made everyone a little crazy. The celebration took place outside in the courtyard of the school. The place was lined with food stands and beer stands serving all kinds of American food. I ate a hamburger and hot dog and split a bottle of wine with a friend. I didn't eat as much as I planned because the food was pretty expensive. A storm eventually rolled through and soaked the place for a few hours. I watched from the sidelines during the muddy tug of war, but I eventually went out there to dance in the mud when the music started playing. We all had a great time eating, drinking and dancing outside in the rain. Since the celebration took up most of our day, we decided just to hang out in the dorm Saturday night and relax. I think everyone passed out relatively early.
On Sunday I teamed up with a small group to walk around the city to different temples. We didn't pay any guides to explain the sights to us, so we just wandered around taking pictures and admiring the ancient artwork. I found it interesting that even in such a loud and energetic city, the temples remain perfectly peaceful and silent inside. Sometimes you forget you're in the city when the temples block all the outside noise. My pictures from the day all seem to look the same, but I assure you I walked to three different temples. That day was one of the most exhausting days of walking so far. I think I walked constantly from 11am to around 3pm in the extreme heat with only a few mini pancakes in me from breakfast. Somehow we found it difficult to find a decent place to eat that whole time until we got back to campus. When I finally arrived at a familiar local restaurant nicknamed the "Green Stool Palace," I devoured some fried rice with pork. I find the nickname of this place hilarious simply because we can't pronounce the actual name of the restaurant, so the nickname helps us identify where the place is. The restaurant is so small that the kitchen is outside on the sidewalk, while the inside is packed with small tables accompanied by little green stools to sit on. Another favorite dining locale is nicknamed "MJ's." At first I thought this was the actual name of the restaurant because I'm a moron, but I soon learned that the place apparently got its nickname from the appearance of the male cook who used to wear enough makeup to look like Michael Jackson. Maybe the cook gave up his act when the real MJ died, because nowadays I don't see any traces of makeup. I heard last year he made a striking resemblance to the late King of Pop. I wonder if he can moonwalk... Anyway, after I ate at the Green Stool Palace I passed out in bed for a while, then relaxed with friends until the end of the day. All in all a good weekend.
Song of the Day:
A song that I first heard while working at WLOY this past year, which I didn't think anything of until I heard it on WTMD (Towson) while driving around Baltimore with friends. Then I realized how important the song was. Now it has over 5 million views on Youtube! Sometimes a song takes a while to sink in. But this one is very relaxed and carefree. It seems like a rather fitting song for summer and our antics at the July 4 party.
Foster the People - 'Pumped Up Kicks'