Published: May 12th 2007May 12th 2007
For the record, misplaced monsoon seasons are fun.
Though going into our second week, solid, saturated with soggy, it has started to become a bit tiresome. They did finally get it together so that the power didn't go out every time we got a few sprinkles (just after Songkran when the rains came, if there were puddles, there wasn't power -- and during the hottest week of the year, it was an occasion for fine whine). And I did finally buy an umbrella. Which kind of helps. And it's become something of a blanket-excuse for getting out of just about anything -- a little like flurries in Asheville. Maybe all the new age, life-journey, enlightenment hunters attracted to the Chiang Mai wat-scene lantern, are afraid, with their newly acquired powers, they might pull a witch-of-the-west and melt.
And further still -- ask any Thai and they'll tell you it's good a reason as any to close up shop for a bit (along with nap time and the heat and food and ... well, it doesn't take much, really). But there is something kind of ironic about a country not much bigger than a couple of Wisconsins with 2,000 miles of coastline, not to mention an annual week dedicated to soaking each other with buckets of water, to be so skiddish about a touch of rain.
Personally, I rather enjoyed twirling about the empty streets of Chiang Mai in my sopping wet birthday dress and limp pigtails (accompanied by a bald Irishman doing a really bad impression of Gene Kelly). And while there's nothing like a good thunderstorm, there is such a thing as over doing it. We could all use a bout of sunshine to mix things up. And this sort of thing isn't expected for another handful of months. Uh oh, Al Gore, make a note of it.
In other news, I've been enjoying a taste of the international cuisine of the dating scene. And it's true what they say about Frenchmen and romance. And the English really are gentlemen and try, just try, to keep an Irishman from dancing. And it's funny, despite the cultural dents in the body of Thai youth by the blunt hand of American pop-media, you'd think Thai men would have acquired some game. But no. They're frustratingly stuck in this archaic idea of rushed courtship -- boy meets girl, boy wants girl, boy takes girl. Girl is supposedly to be courted by possessive sweet talk which knows no boundaries. I'm chuckling to myself here ... I actually met this Thai guy once, introductions happened around 8 or 9pm -- by 10:00 he was saying I'll miss you when I left for a bathroom break. A bum told me he loved me once. It really changes the rules of small talk. You got out for dinner and on the way home (and five or six times before day break), you're getting text messages reciting lines from such classics as [insert some Jennifer Anniston romantic comedy block of cheese here] in broken English.
So we stick to the travelling banditos and the like, quirky run-aways to the land of everlasting holiday. At the moment, man, I've got such flare for this multi-cultural juggle; it's inspiring a wandering-eye for the next global adventure (preferably one with less consistently beautiful women and taller, less clingy men). France would have to be at the top of list, but I would need to find myself a patron for funding. I heard an npr stream on Crete the other day. And I've always thought Morocco sounded thrillingly exotic. Although Aussies have stunning jawlines. Ahh eternal possibility.