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balance (2): la la la la

Sunday, July 24, 2005

la la la la

'o' disappeared for 3 days again and i had just given up on him when he re-appeared shrugging innocently, plopping himself on my bed and sleeping nonchalantly as though he had just gone for a brisk run. sigh.

on friday night my & 'o''s aged hippie friend, 'a' from canada, called up and announced that he was spontaneously marrying his chinese-thai girlfriend, a rather hatchet faced but decent lady who grew up her whole life in the same banglamphu neighborhood that we live in. wandered out to the hole in the wall place they had chosen to celebrate it, which was also one of the few places we could find beer on the first day of a 3-month long buddhist lent. we ate seafood and i chatted with a nice thai boy from chiang mai who related to me like a foreigner (and thus had my clutches in him all evening). afterwards we went back to 'a''s nice hotel room for a little party with canadian smokes and whiskey, making videos of the bride and groom to be.



the next day we awoke rather sluggish, and spent the day ratting through piles of standard backpacker outfits and assorted nerdy office clothes, to find something acceptable to wear to a wedding. i realized with chagrin that everything i own is either hippie style or too slutty. we managed to look halfway normal and decent though- i in my long skirt and white blouse, and 'o' in dark trousers and a button down shirt. i made 'o' buy a bouquet of lovely flowers for about 250 baht, and took my bike to the wine shop for champagne. grabbed our scruffy friend 'd' from his sad little bar and dragged him with us to the royal hotel. we felt like frauds walking into a room full of chinese families and wedding cake. we threw our gifts at 'a, in his starched pink shirt, and ran for the table in the back with his smiley peaceful friends and some thai people our own age, to hide out from all the other discerning eyes.




thai weddings are really just whisky-fueled big karaoke parties. 'a' and his new wife shyly went through a ritual of exchanging jasmine wreaths, triple shouts of "chai-yo!" with raised glasses, and an exchange of rings. when it came time for the kiss she turned her head to get it on the cheek, after which there was an uncomfortable silence, then the tiny, hired karaoke couple headed to the stage for bad (her) and charming (him) renditions of old american music in broken english. we passed around trays of rather bland chinese food (not fond of the chinese in general here) and all the boys got instantly drunk for free (poor 'a' and his eventual bill). the one sweet thai couple we knew ended up fighting and leaving in a huff, slapping at each other and crying. the resident kiddies in pigtails and muay thai shorts made their presence loudly known and posed for cutesy pictures with the newlyweds. 'd' and the hippies exchanged stories about how much they wish they were native american indians. 'o' took every opportunity to hog the spotlight and microphone (but he's pretty good at it), and spent the rest of the evening petting me placatingly and yawning. a grinning and wrinkled old thai man kept trapping me in corners and dragging me out on to the dance floor, where in the eaves i heard inevitable whispers of "farang!". soon everyone was relaxed. and wasted. we danced until the grumpy staff flipped on the flourescent lights and kicked us out. we threw 'a' into bed with his gal and handfuls of rose petals, said goodbye to our returned and amorous as usual thai friends, and i half carried 'o' home to bed slurring and tripping from a purring taxi.

2 Comments:

Blogger The Humble Narcissist said...

Fantastic story! I really like your writing style. It's shy and feminine yet bold and womanly at the same time.

2:21 AM  
Blogger james said...

Nicely written.

9:04 AM  

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