Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So Many Germans, So Little Time

  Even a brief amount of time spent on Khao San Road can influence the rest of your night. Keep in mind that this road itself attracts foreign travelers from all over the world. I'm sure I'll encounter my blonde haired, blue eyed Scandinavian wife one day soon. A guy can dream, right? It certainly seems like a possibility considering the constant flow of European travelers through Bangkok. Somehow I always meet German people when I'm out and about. I find it curious that I naturally meet them by coincidence as opposed to other Europeans, but I'm sure that will change in time. I'm always happy to meet Germans! It gives me a chance to learn more about their culture and practice my language skills, even if it's only for one night. Now to the recap.

  My purpose for going to Khao San early Saturday night with a Loyola friend was to watch the Arsenal v. Liverpool game. We visited the same bar that projects the matches onto the side of the adjacent building for everyone to watch. After a few drinks two German guys my age sat down at the table next to us. Before long a conversation developed about football and my curiosity for German culture. I can't even remember all the topics we discussed; from European chicks, to the state of the American economy, and to the possibility of someone like me teaching English in Germany one day. Although I'll surely need a Master's degree if I want to teach my whole life, there are ways of getting around it for now. Sometimes the most direct route is a detour. It all depends on what teaching programs I can find. Maybe my detour will take me through Asia or even to Australia, but my goal is to live in Germany and teach there so I can pursue my travels and my interest in the language. I hope to become fluent one day and I was reassured by my new German friends, Phillip and Julian, that my background knowledge of German is good enough that I could perfect the language in no time. With that in mind, I'll have my eyes on the prize while I enjoy my tour of southeast Asia. 

  When the game ended I decided to stay with Phillip and Julian to see where the night would take me. We took our time on Khao San Road, enjoying our drinks and conversation until I received an unexpected message from my long lost friend Max. He was back on Khao San after returning from a trip to Hong Kong. Soon enough the four of us wandered together off of Khao San Road to Rambutree Road, the next street over. This street has a vastly different feel to it that comes as a refreshing break from the loud and crowded Khao San. Once you step onto Rambutree there are no clubs or bars blasting club songs. It's lined with restaurants completely laid back with low lighting, comfortable chairs and chilled out lounge music. My plan was to take them to a one of my favorite restaurants to get a few drinks, but more importantly to show them what a local Thai bar was like. I guess the stars were aligning that night or something because on the way my Thai friend, Boom, called me to see what I was up to. He just happened to be relaxing at the same bar we were going toward! How convenient! I was sure that the Germans had never interacted or partied with Thai people, so I was happy to bring everyone together. As you can see from the picture below, the atmosphere of Rambutree is great for drinks and conversation. This is one of my favorite places to go in Bangkok. 
  It was pretty cool to be sitting at a table with Thais and Germans while intermittently speaking three different languages. We spent a good amount of time there talking, drinking and puffing a giant hookah in the candlelight. With the end of our night in sight, the only logical thing left to do was invade The Club. Unfortunately, Boom couldn't join us because his girlfriend had to model for a television commercial the next day. So, the Germans and I took The Club by storm. Not really. We just floated around the dance floor and hit on British girls, but The Club is always good times. It's a curious night when you make friends on Khao San - the people you befriend may be gone the next day never to be seen or heard from again, but for one night you live it up like you'll surely meet again one day. 

Song of the Day: Same Same But Different
  It's that time again, where I post two different versions of the same song back to back. This time the spotlight is on Animal Collective. Although they are originally natives of Baltimore, the group currently resides at its home base in New York. Today's post focuses on their most popular song, 'My Girls'. Maybe you can think of these two versions as the Rabutree version and the Khao San remix. 
Animal Collective - 'My Girls'

Animal Collective - 'My Girls' (Gigamesh Remix) <<<Download

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