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Saturday, March 03, 2012

Thai Weddings and Border Hippies

I was invited to attend my first Thai wedding ever. It was a lot different than our weddings at home and a lot of fun! This wedding was big even by American standards but by Thai standards it was almost unheard of. I went with Noong and I had no idea who the bride and groom were but they seemed like a good couple. They gave us monogrammed glasses with their names on it. The groom was in a sparkling white tux ( I haven't seen anyone wear a white tux in a while!),the bride was in a white dress of course.

There was 300-400 people there or more there! They had rented out the school grounds (the largest area available here) and had tables everywhere and a live band. They gave each table a free bottle of whiskey (and coke to go with it) We had a six course meal!Appetizers (squid and crab with shrimp) Two soups,a whole roasted chicken,whole fish,and dessert. I was not to keen on the dessert nor the shrimp but everything else was amazing! My only problem was trying to eat most of my meal with only the chop sticks they provided lol.

Here is where it gets a little wild. The entertainment that was provided on the big concert stage was six belly dancers. At first they started out classy enough, it was entertaining and nice to see. But then it started to get a little wild! While they always kept all their clothes on, the six girls kept changing clothing into smaller and smaller outfits and dancing more and more erotically lol. It was really quite amusing to see 400 people watching this. Men,Women and Children. Obviously with the guys (me in included haha) being throughly entertained.

It was one of the craziest weddings I have ever been too and I made a joke to Noong that I wanted those dancing girls at my wedding haha. I can almost guarantee though that if I get married whoever I marry she will not let me have those girls at our wedding lol. I didn't get to see the actual wedding vows/ceremony, this was only the after party but I wouldn't have understood any of it anyway so I guess it was ok haha. This was a really flash/fancy wedding and I am glad I dressed nice (didn't want a repeat of my Temple mistake) and the couple who were getting married must have wealthy families! The next day (Saturday) I had to head off to the Burmese Border for my stamp.

 I left my house at 6:30am to catch the 7am mini bus to the Thai/Burmese border. Well as usual here in Thailand the mini bus didn't leave until 8:30am but, even though it was an hour and a half late to leave and I was on a strict time deadline I didn't stress out. Do you know why? Because it wouldn't have made a single bit of difference! My stress level would not have made that driver wash his van any faster nor made him get going any sooner. So while I was later than I planned I still made it to the border on time.  Mostly because our driver seemed to think we were in some kind of death race and he sped like he was going to be killed if he didn't get us there super quickly! He went to pass a slow truck and veered into oncoming traffic and we almost got hit!

That scared everyone pretty bad including him I think because after that he slowed down a little. I don't know why all these drivers feel like they have to drive so fast! You are trusting them with your safety and when a 10 seater van is loaded up with 17 people as mine was there is nothing you can do but pray lol. I mean I had to get down to the border and I had no other choice! But don't worry I am fine and alive. Third world transportation is always an adventure though.

I argued with the boat drivers on a price to take me across to Burma and back and of course they overcharged me because im White but I really had no choice. Well Burma needs 10 USD as a fee for doing this border crossing and last time I did this I didn't know I needed 10 USD so the Thais charged me 16 USD (and kept their 6 dollar commission just to give me 10 bucks!) well this time I thought I would outsmart them and I dug way into my bag and found 10 USD I have left over from home. All good right? Wrong! Apparently my money was too old to be used (BS!) and they charged me 16 dollars again :(

So after all of this haggling and me getting angry but realising there is nothing I can do I get a boat ride over to Burma (the water crossing is disgusting) They throw trash/litter/chemicals in the water all the time and I keep my mouth firmly shut! I wouldn't get in that water if you paid me! In all seriousness I wouldn't drink a glass of that water for anything less than 10,000 dollars that is how bad it is :( So I get over to the other side and get my stamp in literally two minutes or less. It has taken me 7 hours at this point to get here and a lot of money just for two minutes to get this stamp!

Well my boat driver who took me over (and I paid to take me back) disappeared! Of course just my luck! I had to wait one hour for him to come back but he finally did come back. I get back over to the Thai border get checked back into Thailand. Before I leave though, I see this sign: I was at the Thai border yesterday waiting to cross over into Burma for my stamp and I noticed they put up a new sign it said "Reasons for no permission to hippies to enter the Kingdom of Thailand" : If you have long hair.  if you have shorts with no undergarments. if you are dirty or have offensive smell. "The Immigration officier in charge will allow or deny you to see if you are hippie or not". That is exactly what it said LOL, I wish I had a camera on my crappy phone because I wanted to take a picture of that sign so bad haha. All of the mistranslations make it even better :P

 So I get on a mini bus from the border headed back home and that was uneventful but, I had to take the train part of the way back. I book my train ticket (I bought second class instead of third class) and I was told it came at 8:30pm. So the designated time rolls around and I see a train pull up. I had been talking with a German guy I met on the platform and we board the train. Well about twenty minutes or so down the line the conductor comes by to punch our tickets (we are having a beer in the dining car) and he tells me in broken English that I am on the wrong train! Well that is JUST what I needed to cap off my day lol. Great! So we come to find out that the 7:30pm train was an hour late and it pulled up at 8:30pm which I thought was my train (they don't do announcements in English) so I ended up getting on the wrong train!

Well luckily this train was still going to my town and they let me stay in the dining car. So, while I paid for a seat that I didn't get to use it was only a 2.50 USD ticket and I got to share some beers and have a good chat with that German dude. Helped pass the time. So I finally made it home after a grueling 15 hour round trip journey for one stamp in my passport! Thank God I won't have to do that again for a while!

You know that game, Patong I told you about? Well today there is tournament at our local bar here and Noong is really super good so I hope she wins! Wish her luck :) I am new to the game and still pretty terrible haha. One last bit I forgot to mention, well you know how I told you they throw all kinds of trash and rubbish and chemicals into that river well they also throw lots and lots of cigarette butts. I even saw a child smoking right in front of his mother and she didn't say a thing :(  See in the Western world and in developed countries smoking has been on the decline for years. I wouldn't say smokers are really completely ostracized but, everyone knows how bad it is for you and in many countries it is just too expensive to smoke! Not so in the third world :( People here can get cigarettes for less than a dollar a pack and many many people smoke. If they do know how bd it is for you they don't seem to care. Tobacco companies make money here and elsewhere in Asia and South America hand over fist and can freely advertise everywhere, not giving a crap about people's health only their profits :(   Well that is all I have for now. Yall take care,Ty

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the blog. Would have loved to see the hippie sign. See ya soon, love mom