Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Thai Must Think They’re Under Attack – July 4th one day in hindsight

I waged war on the ants tonight. I’d given them more than ample time to leave my apartment peacefully, but they remained defiant. I couldn’t stand to watch my desk move with them anymore, so I took back the Raid from Ben and went to town. Those strip things would probably be more effective as new ants continue to pop up where the other ones had been wiped off the Earth just minutes earlier.
Yesterday was July 4th and a bunch of us attended the festivities put on by the US Consulate. It was a pretty surreal spectacle – some might even say a freakshow. Who knew that there were what seemed like a 1000 Americans in Chiang Mai? We also musn’t forget about the few pretty little Thai girls in attendance on the arms of various sleazy old Yanks. The shindig cost 50baht to get in and got you a raffle ticket to boot, but sadly I didn’t win anything – not the jade necklace, nor the 2 night stay at the Four Seasons, nor the airfare for two to Taipei or Laos, nor the membership to the American University Alumni library with books as current as 1950. Within the walls of the consulate, the party was held in the outside courtyard. The Thais walking along outside must have been completely confused about the weird patriotic karaoke blasting from inside and the fireworks display later on must’ve led them to believe they were under attack. If I do say so myself, the fireworks were rather impressive considering my expectations consisted of a solo firecracker smuggled in from Kentucky. Speaking of Kentucky, a lot of the people in attendance looked right out of the “Bluegrass State”. I still can’t figure out what so many hickish families are doing in Chiang Mai. Of course, there were the expected missionaries, some meatheads, disenchanted twenty-somethings from the NGO’s or fake Reuters knockoffs, and so many little kids that seemed to come out of nowhere. Many people had on patriotic shirts and donned flag-painted faces. One odd woman had cat whiskers painted on instead for some enigmatic reason. As for food and drink, there was Subway, McDonalds, Starbucks, and some other random stations, like the hotdog one that ran out within the first hour. If the food stations and Coca Cola sponsorship ads abound weren’t American enough, there was always the watermelon eating competition. Maybe it was the inner mom inside me, but I was worried that someone could easily choke on the seeds. On a side note, I just learned that “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “God Save the Queen” are the exact same song with different lyrics. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

1 comment:

helen said...

keep writing! hope things are going splendidly

manila says hullo!