General, Travel

Happy Birthday, and Happy Father’s Day

Today, December 5th, is an extremely important day in Thai culture. Today is King Rama IX’s birthday, and therefore, Thai Father’s day. It is a national holiday over here, which means one awesome thing for everyone – the day off. I can’t say I’ve done much mind, but a day off is always welcome. They make a huge deal about this day, and their monarchy, in Thailand, aside from Loi Krathong, it’s been our only proper look into Thai culture.

Jade and I have been thinking about visa run for weeks, since the orientation to be precise. This weekend we have to do one, thankfully not across the border, just to a neighbouring province. My co-teacher Pat has kindly offered her services to help us find our way  to the province, and to find the immigration office, which is most helpful considering how little we had planned. We have no idea how we’re getting here now, or what form her help is coming in, but we know it mean we have to be up and ready by 7am.Urgh, on a weekend and everything. I guess it’s a good thing we have gotten used early wake-up calls.

Pat’s kind offer came out of the blue last night, at a ‘Success Party’ presented by our school to celebrate the King’s birthday. Earlier in the week, well on Wednesday, school finally decided to let us know that it was also a holiday for the school yesterday, which yes, means we had two days off. Considering we have Monday off for our visa run, we have had an awesomely long weekend. The day off was to prepare, and rehearse for the success party held at Jade’s school site last night. The students at both Jade’s and my school had been practising for weeks for the show that will be on during the ‘Success Party’, so we decided that we’d attend. Well, they said we should, so we did, and we were glad that we went.

When we arrived we had not bought a table because Jade had been told we didn’t have to, and we knew it cost a lot of money. When we arrived, Pat offered us spare seats at her table for a cut price, to sit with her, her boyfriend, another co-teacher of mine, and her husband. Very nice of her to offer, we got a good view but we out of the way of the deafening speakers, and we were fed with an awful lot of Thai food. It was a really lovely meal.

Timothy made an appearance, quite often. Well, he made a prolonged appearance. Timothy is the awkward turtle that makes an appearance during awkward situations, which last night definitely was. I’m really pleased that we got to go, it was a good experience and definitely worth seeing/attending, but as much as it was a kind offer, sitting at that table was awkward quite a lot of the time.

It’s a good job the show was good. We were a little far away so I couldn’t make everything out, but there was a large variety of Thai dances, singing, and spectacles, which was amusing and entertaining. That, combined with the Thai food and the yellow wearing locals, made it quite the Thai event to attend. I *think* we were the only westerners there, hence the relief at sitting out of the way.

Yellow really isn’t my colour. Red hair and pale skin is never ever improved by yellow. Which is why I am less than delighted that I have to wear yellow every school day in December. The whole month, and not just today is dedicated to the King. To show their support, the Thai people where yellow, the King’s colour, especially people such as teachers. I am glad they’ve asked, because I do want to fit in as much as a white westerner can do here, it’s just going to be weird to wear yellow.

All in all, we’re finding more ways to get out of the house now, even if we have spent all day inside today. This weekend we’re getting to go to somewhere we haven’t been before, who knows what will happen. As long as we come back with visa extensions, I’ll be happy.

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