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July 28th, Chiang Mai, Thailand

THAILAND | Monday, 28 July 2008 | Views [1117]

We got up and enjoyed the breakfast at our hotel that Mim had suggested.  We both had poached eggs with bacon, ham and sausage.  Of course the sausage is like a hot dog but it is still good, it at least tastes like a sausage.  Kyle went down to upload stuff to the blog but realized that our thumb drive had stopped working so then he went off in search of a new thumb drive while I wrote more stories.  He ended up taking a tuk-tuk to the other side of the city to get a thumb drive.  It was actually a pretty good deal.  $14 for 4 GB thumb drive. 

(Kyle) Finally we headed out to explore the city of Chiang Mai.  First order of business was to get ourselves some new books for the beaches.  We have already blazed through 5 books in the past 2 weeks.  We found the street where all the bookstores are located.  It seems that most of the books are already read through once (used).  But that is ok.  At least they are a little cheaper than normal.  We bought 3 books in two different bookstores.  We also ran into Lache and Sarah and decided to meet them on purpose later that night for a Thai Boxing show followed by a free cabaret show.

Now it was time for a little more food and a drink.  We started walking the streets looking for a restaurant that had a menu that peaked our interest.  We ended up at a pub with a pool table and enjoyed ourselves a nice little lunch.  We each had a cocktail and enjoyed the presence of the two resident dogs.  One of the dogs was a very large golden retriever, who while we were there got a nice little bath by the women who worked there.

(Angy) After lunch we went on a hunt for a place to have some photos printed out.  We had taken pictures in the village in Laos and we promised the villagers that we would send them to Green Discovery so they could bring them the pictures the next time they went to their village.  Finally after walking for a very long time, and it was very hot we found a place that would do it and it would only cost us 120 Baht.  We didn’t really have much in mind for this day so we just walked around.  This at first seemed like a good idea, but then we were really hot and starting to get dehydrated.  We walked for over a half an hour and I was getting really crabby.  So crabby in fact that Kyle accidentally kicked a rock at me while he was walking and I went off on him to be more careful!  I was not being rational; I think the heat was getting to me!  We found a place that looked like we could get some water and something else to drink, but the only water they had was warm.  So we left to find somewhere else.  Finally we found a place to have water and ice cream, and then it was time to find our way back and pick up our pictures.  So again we walked and walked and walked!  The pictures turned out nicely, and then we went back to the hotel to freshen up before our Thai boxing event that night.

Kyle feel asleep on the bed while I read for a little bit.  Then we had to rush to have some dinner before we met up with Sarah and Lache.  We ate at this Italian restaurant that the Japanese man on our minibus to Chaing Mai had recommended.  It was fabulous!  I just wish we could have taken our time but we ate and left within 45 minutes, the staff was very concerned as to why we were out so fast, but we explained the best we could that we had to meet someone and that the food was very good. Kyle ran our leftovers to the fridge in our room while I waited for S & L at the rendezvous point, which was in a square with a huge stage that had a massive picture of the Prince and a happy birthday message to him, well it was more like a thing saying to honor him and give him good luck on the 28th for his birthday.

The four of us were very early for the boxing show, and none of us knew what to expect.  We were one of the first to arrive but we got a ring side seat!  As I sat down I pointed out to Kyle and the others the red splotches on the seat cushion where I was to sit, I swear it was blood!  But I guess it could have been a red colored drink that someone spilt.  So we had some drinks, which were overpriced, and talked while we waited for it to start.  We pondered if the audience would be all Westerners.  It turned out to be just that!  I went to the restroom right before it started and saw some of the boxers all greased up and getting ready.  It started with the lightweight and went up from there, and there was said to be some lady boxers too.  The four of us bet on the different matches between each other, but only like 10 B per match.  They were each 5 rounds.  I didn’t know how I would react to seeing this in person since I had never seen a fight like this in real life.  Kyle took a bazillion pictures and tons of video.  I cringed for most of the first fight, but like with most things I became desensitized as the matches went on.  Some were worse than others, more brutal.  I had to remind myself that they are doing this of their own freewill.  One match had to end before 5 rounds because one guy got a kick in the ribs that looked like it broke some ribs.  The lady boxers were ok, not that interesting.  Kyle thought they should have been wearing bikinis instead of shorts and tank tops and t-shirts, nice.  As almost a halftime show they had 13 year old boys fight, which was hard to watch.  Then four men entered the ring and were blindfolded and then they all fought in this huge Muay Thai orgy.  The referee even got into it, and kicked some of the guys when he would get hit by them, it was a gag but fun to watch.

Kyle seemed to be enthralled with the boxing.  We joked about my friend Adrianne’s boyfriend, Jef was at the match he would leave and be all revved up and want to try the moves on Adrianne! I’m sure she would just love that, hehe.  We took lots of pictures.  The last to fights were the most exciting.  One between a guy from Sweden and a Thai guy, and then the last fight which was called the major fight.  The major fight was very intense.  You could tell that they were both very good and the moves were some much more fierce!  After the major fight we thought it was over but then this talk white guy got in the ring in boxing shorts.  The word in the crowd was that he was just “a bloke from England that was piss drunk and wanted to try”

Ok so I should explain the little I know about Muay Thai, this little bit of knowledge was gleaned from the LP and a show on cable called Fight Quest, Muay Thai.  While watching this show back home I was drinking wine, and decided to show Kyle my Muay Thai kick while wearing a long nightgown.  Well my feet slipped on our hardwood floors and I landed right on my ass.  I think I shook the whole house.  Very painful.  So before the fight the boxers perform a “dance” called ram muay “this ceremony usually lasts about five minutes and expresses obeisance to the fighter’s guru (khruu) as well as to the guardian spirit of Thai boxing” LP page 56.  This was my favorite part.  This is done to music.  Music is also played during the fight.  It sounds kind of like the music a snake charmer plays.  Then they fight, no body part is off limits but you can’t use your head to strike but you can strike the head.

Ok so the piss drunk white guy was in the ring and kind of dancing like the professional do but he looked very wobbely and like he was just going to get creamed.  He was a lot talked than the Thai boxer, so his reach was much longer.  He lasted throught the first round but looked absolutely exhausted at the end of the round.  Then in the second round he got the Thai fighter up against the ropes and just laid into him with many punchs to the head.  The Thai went down, and the white guy actually won.  He was surprised that he won and didn’t want to leave the ring.  He was soaking up his victory.  Most people had left by now but we stayed for the caberet show.  The labyboys came out all glammed up looking like something you would see at the drag show brunch in San Diego!  These “women” liked to show off their nimples and boob jobs.  They were absolutely beautiful even though they came into this world as boys.  After about four songs that they lip-synced to they walked around from pictures and to collect tips.  One went completely topless with just a thong on.  Later we talked to Mim about the ladyboys and she told us that they are revered in Thailand.  They have a better chance of getting hired than a “regular” man or woman because Thai people seem to think they can understand both men and women.  It is a special beautiful thing here which boggles our minds since anything that is different or out of the ordinary in the US is frowned on my a lot of our society.

It was already after midnight so we checked our email, ate our leftovers and went to bed.

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