I picked up a cold just in time for the weekend, which slowed me down, but didn't stop me from going out and having some fun. First, I'll start with my Thai dancing experience on Thursday. A small group of Loyola teachers performed a traditional Thai style dance in front of the entire school on Thursday morning. It's an annual event that occurs here. The American teachers are encouraged to participate in either a Thai or American style dance, meanwhile some Thai student dance groups also perform. We had been practicing our dance routine for a few weeks, so we were pretty comfortable with the moves by the time of the performance. It actually wasn't as complicated as one might think; we basically marched around and waved our hands in the air for a few minutes. But we all had fun learning the dance and performing, plus we got to wear costumes that made the guys look like Thai princes. Hopefully I'll find some pictures or a video to post. The American dance consisted of a complicated routine set to the song 'Whip My Hair' by Will Smith's annoying ten-year-old daughter. Obviously, I preferred Thai dancing.
On Friday night I went to the club Route 66 to celebrate a fellow Loyola teacher's birthday. We had a great time dancing to a mix of every new pop song out there, and celebrated with a few new Thai friends that we met that night. If you ever see a group of Thai friends partying at a bar or club, odds are they want to party with Westerners if they can. Plus, they're likely to give you free drinks! So, you're always in for a good time. When it came time to get a cab home, a street fight erupted directly in front of us, giving us a great view of the action. I saw a drunken Thai kid yelling at a cab driver from outside the car while repeatedly slamming the cab door with the driver inside. I had no idea what the problem was, but I assumed the kid was angry about getting ripped off, seeing as he was flipping out. This went on for about five minutes, meanwhile the cab driver directly behind them got out of his car and proceeded to get a weapon from the trunk of his cab. He removed a giant nightstick and attacked the drunk Thai kid, but it wasn't long before the kid put the cab driver in a headlock. That didn't seem to deter the driver from further violence, so the kid threw the man onto the street and beat the crap out of him with his own weapon. It all happened in a matter of minutes, with the kid limping away in victory and the driver writhing in pain on the ground. Somehow the man managed to get back into his cab after taking a serious beating. After checking the health of the driver we hopped in our own cab to get back to campus.
Saturday was more relaxing, with a journey to Wat Po (temple of the reclining Buddha). There are many pictures and a video on Facebook, but it was a great day to walk around the city. The heat was tolerable for the most part, so I didn't tire out as quickly. It was as easy as walking to the bridge and taking a riverboat down to the correct dock closest to the temple. The pictures really say it all, but I found the pagodas to be particularly interesting. I had no idea that there was a difference in pagoda styles of Asian countries. Thai pagodas are the giant pointed structures throughout the temple grounds. They were usually built to enshrine Buddhist relics like ashes. As for the reclining Buddha itself, aside from being ridiculously huge, it was quite a sight to behold. It made me question how it was built: whether the Buddha or the temple was built first. I concluded that the statue was probably constructed after the temple, to avoid any damage to the golden shrine. We avoided getting a tour guide because it was more money than any of us felt like paying, and we couldn't get our teacher discount. I think we were all too sweaty and uncomfortable to pay attention anyway. But it was quite a sight to behold!
Song of the Day:
A sombre, yet contemplative song from Swedish singer Lykke Li. You may know her from her popular song, 'Get Some,' which has almost three million Youtube views! This song is more electronic than those on her album, featuring Andreas Kleerup, a Swedish electronic musician.
Kleerup feat. Lykke Li - 'Until We Bleed'