This weekend I was invited to join some friends at a penthouse condo in the big city, we were picked up in the Soup by our hostess, Et, and her driver on Friday after school and ushered to our suite on the 25th floor. We were psyched to find a shower with hot water (although it only worked once) and beds that actually had a little bit of cushion to them as we're used to sleeping on rock like mattresses. We were treated to a sweet balcony view of the city from across the river and a delicious Thai meal with Et upon our arrival.
On Saturday we attended a retirement party for Et's husband that featured a Chinese menu of shark fin soup, suckling pig, octopus soup, and ginger balls for dessert. I think there were about 14 courses - I did not actually sample any of the above items, it was too disturbing to try the pig when it was looking right at me! After a few speeches (lovely toasts I'm sure, too bad it was in Thai) the party got a little wild and crazy when the karaoke started with a fantastic ode to Elvis. We were surprised to find that we were part of the entertainment when we were pulled onto the dance floor and asked to sing - we butchered our way through Hey Jude - but did receive a good deal of sympathy applause from the crowd and a few flowers for our skills. It's hysterical to me that karaoke is EVERYWHERE here and everyone does it, and loves it. Thai people sure do know how to break it down and have sanuk (fun)!
|Thanks, but no Thanks!|
That night we hit the town for a night on Khao San Road which is known to attract lots of backpackers so they had quite the street party going on for Halloween. We ran into several fellow CIEE/OEG teachers and met a few new fellow farangs (foreigners). Nell and I also had quite the dance party with a group of Thais, we taught them some of our fave moves and picked up some good ones from them. Afterwards we were very proud of ourselves for carrying on a fairly decent conversation with them thanks to some assistance from my pocket sized Thai phrase-book, word of the night = Bam! (dance). Nell and I also staged a sweet jumping photo shoot in the middle of the street with anyone who felt inspired to join in, it was pretty hilarious trying to explain that we wanted them to jump on the count of 3, "neung, song, saam...whaaaat?"
We finished off our trip with an outing to one of Bangkok's floating markets and lunch on the river with Et and her husband - it is SO nice to go to a restaurant with someone who knows how to read the menu and can order for us and then explain what we're eating - the lunch also featured some interesting items like frog and duck blood - once again, I refrained...maybe someday...
Et was so kind to treat 6 strangers from America like we were part of her family. It is so refreshing to meet people from a different culture who speak a different language and still feel welcomed and at home, it is easily my favorite part about traveling - there are so many interesting people to meet! I hope to be able to pay it forward one day when I meet someone who is traveling and have the chance to welcome them to my home, I know my parents are masters at this art as well and now I really understand how nice it feels to be on the receiving end!
Time to get back to my lesson planning, happy Halloween and Happy November!