Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jeeez...almost every nite for the past three days there's been a party going on somewhere around here. The sounds of terrible Karaoke music keep drifting into my bedroom, which sits relatively high since I'm on sort of a hill.

The later it gets, the more terrible the sing-along gets.

Ah-blah, mala, tonie, least that's what it sounds like.

Most of them drunk off their posteriors, grabbing the microphone and slurring their words while trying to peer at a tiny little television screen.

This one tonight is a ways away, probably around a kilometer or so, but it doesn't matter...

Have you ever seen one of these parties being set up? Well I have. I'm an old pro at it. First the truck arrives with about a billion blue and red plastic chairs in the back, rope strung all around them. They get out of the truck and within seconds all the chairs are stacked by the side of the road (This occasionally occurs directly across from my cottage, on the takraw court).

The truck leaves and then another takes it's place. This one is seriously laden down with metal poles and heavy blue tarps.

The tent.

I can never tell if these guys are always the same, or if every truck load of them are different. They drop all the poles and tarps next to the plastic chairs, not bothering to set the tent up yet. Somebody will likely let them know where it is to be set.

Then another truck...or is that the same one as before? This is the sound equipment. Speakers that rival those at a rock concert. Huge things...always black. Why is that? Why don't they paint speakers...uh, pink? Or green.

They drop off the sound equipment but they leave a guy there. Most likely since that stuff is wicked expensive and if they were to just drop it there, somebody could just pick it up and drive off. Finally somebody arrives in yet another truck. They get out and stand around pointing.

The dreaded pointing Thai.

Thai's love to point. You see it on the news all the time. Pan the camera to the man on the side of the road...somethings there in the grass...I'm not sure what because, well, everything's in Thai...but, the guy is pointing. Arm extended out, index finger rigid...not moving, just pointing and occasionally looking at the camera as if saying, "It's right there."

About ninety-nine percent of the time you can't see anything, or it's digitalized out. When that happens, you know it's a body...and blood. But, the camera always moves too quickly for the digitalizing guy, and you get a momentary glimpse of an intestine hanging out, or something.

Anyway, the pointing Thai's have finally figured out where the tent is going....they begin. It goes up rather quickly. They must have done this before. Once it's up, everybody stands under the tent and then there is more pointing. Probably sound equipment pointing, or stage pointing. Out of nowhere comes the Thai whiskey bottle...or maybe it was always there...I just didn't notice. Everybody takes a swig.

The plastic chairs get picked up and plopped down under the tent, still stacked. That job is for the women and kids. Then they attend to the sound equipment. Those speakers stand at least four feet tall, and there are four of them. Damn. I'm not going to sleep tonight.

The rest of the afternoon, for the men anyway, begins to deteriorate into a heavy drinking session. Most of these guys will be passed out before the damn party even starts. Tables are set up and chairs are arranged. The women descend on the place and begin preparing the food. Thai women love doing that stuff.

It isn't like in the West, when you start seeing people, Thais seem to just appear. One minute you turn around and there's forty more people under the tent than when you last glanced over there. When darkness begins to descend on the place, the music starts. Then the singing.

I've yet to hear any Thai at one of these outside parties who can sing on key. Most are terrible and it just gets worse as the night bears on...

My bed is moving. The sound from the speakers is actually vibrating the bed...and walls. Heavy sigh...I turn over and flop my pillow over my head. It doesn't work. I know the music will die down around midnight, when most of the party goers are passed out or too drunk to hold the mike. Somebody gets up and starts talking into the mike. He's slurring his words. I'd love to know what he's saying but I can only catch a few words...nothing that really makes sense. But then, I don't suspect he's making sense anyway, even if I could understand everything he was saying.



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