Sunday, July 24, 2005

Summer of '05

Aah home sweet home.

Bangkok was amazing. I'm dying to go back there again.

And no, it's not because of the shopping.


Yeah, you heard me.

Day 12: Bodyslam

So, I said TGIF didn't I? Boy, was it TGIF.

As soon as we settled in (the best hotel too), Nu's cousin brought us to this kick-ass club in Kao San Road (amazing nightlife, and you must know a local to have the best time). They are practically siblings to the owner so we managed to squeeze past the longest queue I'd ever seen in my life and proceeded to squeeze past the tightest crowd I'd ever been a part of in my life, up to the coolest second floor of the coolest club I'd been into in my life. (you must realise, I am only 21, and also, like most typical post-adolescents, am ignorant of most things, and make absolute statements like the aforementioned without a flutter of thought. Just thought you'd like to know.)

The whole place is built in old victorian architecture, and what could be made out in the dim flashing lights, showed classy parquet (yes!) flooring, elegant wooden panels and vintage bar tops. The performance and main dance floor is located in a sort of quadrangle to which the second and third floors overlook, and there was a bar on every floor as well as LCD monitors showing the action going on downstairs on the inner part of the upper floors.

The thais are the friendliest people around. Within the first 5 minutes of our showing up, we had a group of young punks (who, if I'd seen randomly on the street, I would've thought could have whipped out parangs in an instant and mugged us on the spot.) had made small talk (screaming on the top of their voices more like it) with us and started to ask about our countries of origin and how we liked Bangkok so far. Before we knew it, we were dancing with them. Hilarious really, and I wish I had footage of Quincy doing the quincy-dance to the music.

So the story is, that night was obscenely crowded (but it's ok cos us VIPs could stand behond the bar for some much needed air-conditioning from time to time) because the very, very hot thai rock band Bodyslam was performing. And boy, were they hot.

By the end of the night, I'd been inspired to purchase their CDs. Which is what I did by the end of the trip. *bunny bounce*

Day 13: My school lies on the bank of the Chao Praya

The day began early, and with our mild hangovers, we headed down to Thammasat University for a dialogue session (Democracy in Thailand: A Survey of State Power and Opposition) and lunch, followed by a guided tour with some students from the school.

A real eye-opener. How many students can say that their school lies on the bank of the very artery of Thailand, the Chao Praya river, boast a cool day market right outside the school gates, that their royal palace lies across the road from the school and right next door is the national museum, and that their school was the one that fought for the very establishment of democracy and a constitution of the very land that theyknow and love?

Uniformly sexy...

Universities in Thailand actually have uniforms, no kidding. But in Thammasat, wearing the uniform is optional, unlike the stricter schools like Chulalongkorn University.

I don't doubt why most girls still choose to don the uniform.

The girls wear plain white blouses, except that their blouses are skin tight, I kid you not. The cutting is so amazingly flattering, the blouse follows the curves of your body and ends tucked into a skin tight black skirt which ends above the knees and has a slit that goes up to goodness-knows-where, topped with a brown leather school belt. It is also a rule, that you can only wear heels with the uniform. Imagine, boys, how sexy they look. And I've not seen an obese thai girl yet, just so you know.

After the trip to the university, we headed to the bestest place to shop in Bangkok: Suan Lom night bazaar. Imagine Chatuchat market, but at night, and less crowded. It's the weekend market experience without the heat and fear of being robbed! Could this get any better.

So yes, I solemnly admit, I bought a shitload of stuff. Funny t-shirts for K li and Tan, earrings for all the girls, pretty slippers, thai snacks, all kinds of girly things omg. Well, I can proudly say I did not go mad. I expect applause here.

Day 14: Row, row, row your boat...

Start the day at 7am and get onto a cruise for 4 hours down the Chao Praya river and tell me, you are not bored out of your brains.

Most of us started out on deck, wind blowing in our faces, admiring the view, taking photos, chit-chatting... Until the 39degC heat started beating down on us, and all retreated to the interior. Thank goodness for poker cards. Good food also, at the buffet lunch in the boat.

When we finally reached Ayuthaya, ancient capital of Thailand, it was noon, and that is not really the best time to be trekking around shelter-less ancient cities.

Nevertheless, we trekked. And it was rewarding.

You never know real respect for divinity until you see the Thais speak of their faith and fear of their own "religion". I say "religion" only because Buddhism really isn't a religion. But that's beside the point.

Before setting foot anywhere in the sacred grounds, we were lectured countless times and told many stories by the guide and thai delegates about respecting the land and the things that happen to you if you don't. Superstition is not the word, these people really believe.

The ruins were amazing, and a regular photograph cannot show completely the sights that surrounded us.

2 hours by coach back to the city and we ended up at the shopping area once again. I don't really see what's so wonderful about MBK but what the heck, it sure beats rotting in the hotel anyway.

Day 15: Holier than thou

It is and has been for ages, that Chulalongkorn looks down on Thammasat. And I was proud of Nu when she had the pride and courage to don her Thammasat uniform when we visited Chula for a dialogue session on the AUN. Acid remarks were made about Chula being the best and that TU wasn't chosen to be in the AUN because it just wasn't nominated by the Thai government.

We ended up again at the night bazaar, but this time we didn't have enough energy to do any shopping, so sat at the coffeeshop to talk.

Day 16: I want a pink pick-up truck, like the one in the Simple Life. Don't laugh.


And I mean, the headquarters, the factory, the works!

We drove to the Samrong plant (there are 2) which manufactures the Vios, Altis and pick-ups. I'd never seen more beautiful pick-ups til I set foot in Bangkok. So many people were driving their sleek 2 and 4 seater Toyota pick-ups.

The corporate tour began with a briefing of Toyota's goals and how they tackled the problems of the auto industry. Also, they touched on their present and future efforts to develop moere environmentally technologies. After the briefing, we were driven to the plant and were taken on a guided tour of the very noisy (we all had to listen through headsets of our personal walkie-talkies) and very cool assembly area.

I love Toyota.

After the rebellion against the organisers to scrap work group on our last night in Bangkok, we all ended up at Siam Sq to well, shop again. Abs and I broke off from the group to shop on our own for the first time throughout the whole trip. And he was so happy he finally had me to himself. Giggle.

Day 16: Air borne once again

Sucks ass to take morning flights but well, we can't help it can we.

Flew SQ back to Sing in the morning and in the afternoon, brought Quincy and Nu to Ab's place, then mine, just to show them around. Had dinner at Chutney in Siglap before heading back to the hotel to check in.

Day 17: I've been workin'

Work work work work work work.

It's amazing, doing all your research and drafting your script in one day. The price of procrastination.

Day 18: Spideys

Rehearsals all morning went amazingly smooth. Popped by the lab for a bit to show Nic, Nu and Janet around. Nic was going crazy over the tarantulas! Pity didn't have time to stick around and feed my babies... forgive me darlings.

Brought the peeps on some last ditch sightseeing in Singapore before herding them back to the hotel to pack. We had a long day ahead on Saturday...

Day 19: Call me the Lao PDR Economic Minister

We had our Model ASEAN Ministerial meetings in the morning, to a poor turnout. Depressing, but fun anyways. The thing ended madly late, I can't believe Dr. Viv had so much time to stick around to talk to us. We had to rush off to the airport right after so that the Honkies didn't miss their flights.

Fatigued and plagued with headaches, I finally lugged my stuff home and concussed right away.


You wouldn't believe what happened last night. That's another story though, that I will tell some other time. All in all, the brother is talking to us again, and actually dragged himself out of bed this morning to join us for Sunday breakfast at East Coast. We'll see how long this keeps up. I'm a cynic, so sue me.

Abs has just flown off to Seattle... I miss him already.


smoggerogeme said...

i miss him already *aww.

piccies! i want piccie!

kungfubunny said...

wah.. lazy la. wat abt my no photos policy? we'll see. miss u smoggie. hyuk.