Peasant “Jokes”, Night Market, Poker, and a New Addition

I’ve got a bone to pick with WordPress, for I’d written almost this entire entry, and suddenly it was all gone, and neither Command+Z nor an attempt to revert to a previous revision could save me. This might have been a blessing for you though, dear reader, because I’m too lazy to try to recreate the whole post and therefore will present to you the nutshell version. (Though it still might be a fairly large nutshell.)

Things all kicked off Friday night with a staff dinner at Satree to bid farewell to the retiring teachers. Expecting a borderline awkward evening attempting to make strained smalltalk with all our fellow employees, I’ll admit I don’t think David nor myself were looking very much forward to it. But we’d been reminded so many times by so many teachers it was clear that our attendance was important. And, as is usually the case, it ended up being an enjoyable evening after all.

two of our coworkers dancing while the principal and another employee serenaded the hall. the principal concluded the song with a quip that drew lots of laughter, and the translation i received was, 'when we sing in different keys, we can't go together.'

Conversation was neither strained nor awkward, but even if it had been we would have kept ourselves entertained simply by watching the steady stream of karaoke volunteers and their accompanying dancing. And even if that hadn’t been sufficient for our attention spans, right before we left a “peasant woman” (complete with drawn-on mole and blacked out teeth) took the stage. She seized the microphone, and in a comic falsetto punctuated occasionally by a hag’s cackle grabbed the attention of the entire banquet hall. She scattered flower petals over the heads of those who approached the stage to drop 500 Baht notes into her basket, and when her song was finished she marched straight into the crowd to collect more money between epileptic dance moves. I asked my coteacher what was happening and she told me it was a “joke, Thai style.” I asked who the woman was and she said, “It’s the teacher of home economics. I think she’s a bit drunk.” I realized not an hour before the Home Ec teacher had joined our table to chat, and that she had indeed been one of the few women sipping on the complimentary Heineken.

Saturday night served as an opportunity to check out the big market that’s temporarily rolled into town. There are plenty of permanent markets around town; some for fruit, some for veg, some for household items, some for clothes, some by day, some by night, some every day and night and others with an unpredictable schedule throughout the week. But just in case all this wasn’t enough, from time to time something really big and special comes through, and they’re usually an excellent photo op. Behold:

a market in asia's not a market in asia without some insects, right?

more on this later.

check it out, more bugs!

quail eggs. a favorite in china, but we've yet to try them here.

true color: curried squids. not bad!

mixing up our mussel and shrimp noodles

The market visit segued right into the Second Weekly Thung Song Poker Night at David’s. (Wayne and I were to sleepy to join the first last week.) This was good fun, and luckily a low-stakes, friendly game of poker in Thailand means that even when you recklessly keep yourself afloat by grabbing 20s from your purse, you only end up losing $10 by the end of the night.

grace is a singha soda water spokesmodel/acrobat.

wayne's pile o' cash, despite being color (and, as it turned out, shape) blind, folding on the odd flush, and thinking he was 'bluffing' when he really had a straight

my pile o' cash, despite my loud boasting that my dad taught me to play poker with jelly beans when i was 11, and the fact that i recklessly kept myself afloat by pulling 20s from my purse

So I guess that brings us to… our new addition. I’ve heard that getting tattoos can be addictive. Since I’m one of the few tattoo-less squares left in the world, I can’t attest to this from personal experience. But if I were to get one, I’m sure I’d end up sparing myself the strain of choosing between that cloud/bird/fish/tree/mantra/line of Morse code and just go for them all. Because they’re addictive, you see. No, we may both be tat-free, but that doesn’t mean Wayne and I aren’t struggling with another, equally serious addiction. Pets.

On Sunday morning Wayne said to me, “I think we should go back to that market. For shoes. And a friend for Trix.” (You’ll recall those tiny, darling, hideous-dress-clad bunnies we saw at the market above.) And it seemed true. Since we got Trix people (Thai people, Internet people, former rabbit-owning people) have been telling us that we should have gotten two, rabbits are social, rabbits get lonely. Of course, we were hoping Ollie and Trix could have an unlikely but adorable friendship such as that in The Fox and the Hound (but without the tragic ending, of course). But the fact that Ollie still seems to consider Trix to be food, and Trix is subsequently terrified of Ollie, this hasn’t been going so well. So we came home with… this:

meet jinx.

fast friends! or are they...

It seemed like a match made in heaven when they met last night. Trix sniffed her out, we set up their boxes right next to each other but they were happy to be communal about the whole thing (read: Trix insisted on jumping into whatever box Jinx found herself in as though to determine, excuse the pun, whether or not the grass was greener). Bottom line, they seemed happy.

But something changed over night. Trix must have learnt all her, well, tricks from Ollie, because this morning it was chase-and-bite central in the rabbit pen. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a rabbit scream before. It’s a fabled noise I read about once as a kid; I don’t remember anything from the story except a hawk swooped out of the sky and plucked a rabbit from the grass, and as they flew away the rabbit screamed. I think this story might have been where I learned the term ‘blood-curdling.’ In all our years (okay, months) of rabbit-owning, Trix has never screamed. But this morning she made that damn baby scream and it was indeed an unsettling noise (though I don’t know if I’d describe it as blood-curdling). So… we’re not quite sure what to do. And this story, as predicted, is beginning to require a very large nutshell so I’ll leave you here. Hopefully Jinx survives long enough to earn herself a video.

About Angela

I'm not actually a sleeping monk (though if I had my druthers...).
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1 Response to Peasant “Jokes”, Night Market, Poker, and a New Addition

  1. Pingback: My Twenty-Fourth Year (a Review in Links and Shameless Plugs) | i'm having the THAIme of my life!

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