Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

How Did It Get To Be Sunday Already?

Last posting was Thursday's events. Friday was the event I ostensibly came for, to meet the princess, and attend an official thank you at the Thai foreign ministry for 50 years of Peace Corps in Thailand. But they decided to hold it at 8 am, and require a suit and tie. One night in a long sleeved shirt and tie the night before cured me of wanting to do that again in Bangkok's heat. And i don't do mornings. And the whole thing changed because the protocol people got their knickers in a twist and decided only 30 people couold be in the group photo, and I was not one of them. And those 30 people needed to rehearse.

So I had a late dinner Thursday night, went bar hopping (drinking Pepsi or club soda) and watching the show. And processed photos till 2 am. Slept in Friday, then took the skytrain to Victory Monument with plenty of time to walk to the Peace Corps office for their open house. I had never been there before, the PC office was much closer to where I am staying when I lived here. It turned out to be a long walk. It took two hours. And my T-shirt was soaked by the time I got there.

It' a very beautiful building, word is it was a royal residence 100 years ago. Much much classier than when i was in PC. The staff and a bunch of current volunteers had all kinds of things going. Several things to sign, photos to be taken, displays on the walls which showed every decade's main programs except the biggest one (TEFL) my group was part of. Kind of a major fail there. No food or drink to speak of, either. Very odd for a Thai gathering.

Red & blue chairs on the lawn (what, no white ones? ) and a wireless mike which worked like a champ until you touched it. Short speeches from the country director, several RPCVs and current volunteers, all fun and interesting and inspiring. Two people I knew spoke, Nancie who was in my group and is now a world famous cookbook author, and Pete who was our training director.

The new volunteers introduced me to a new concept, called Thai-napping. Apparently this is Thai tradition I had never heard of where one gets kidnapped and taken on a tip or to an event, sometimes in costume, always by surprise or with minimal advanced notice. I had similar trips, but there was always some notice, and it was always consensual.

During the talks  I took a few close-up portraits with the 200mm zoom. My favorite kind of shots. Fell in love three or four times. Amazed at how much energy the new volunteers have. Way more than I ever did. Part of it is they had to compete like mad to get accepted by PC, I was chosen without even applying.

I had my picture taken with one of them, Julia, who has startlingly vivid blue-grey eyes, dreds, and so intense that any day I expect her to achieve earth orbit by sheer will alone. Also had someone take photos with my camera of me & Faith, but all 4 were out of focus. The current generation doesn't know about focus, or viewfinders, they are used to using the LCD screen and the phone camera will automatically focus on faces. Very disappointed.

Minutes after the party was over, we had the traditional evening downpour. Two nights in a row the monsoon waited till the event was over.

Took an air conditioned bus back to the monument, and skytrain back to the hotel. Hit the bars again, restocked at 7-11, processed photos and went to bed early.




Tags: peace corps, thailand

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