Andrew, our other host in Thailand, a friend from Middlebury who now works here as an English teacher, went on a mini trip to Laos for two days. We arrived at his apartment before he had returned from the border crossing sojourn. Luckily, in case we were at all bored with the much needed rest we were soaking up on his coach, Andrew’s neighbor, Jeremy, a mysterious French 20something—I have no idea what he does to fill his time in Thailand other than it vaguely involves computers, some people skills and, I imagine, his great French accent—knocked on the door and asked, “are you going to the pillow fight?” What? Oh yes, obviously, that pillow fight. Sorry, I had to send my regrets.
Jeremy is a part of some online network that organizes impromptu gatherings like silent discos in the metro or other totally normal things like that. So… pillow fight via super secret networking! We jumped in a taxi and showed up at Lumpini. It’s the largest park in Thailand, complete with Monitor lizards, swan paddleboats, and Buddha’s birthplace. Now there are also pillow fights. When we arrived I thought we might also be accidentally showing up at an Urban Outfitters sale. Does that give you a sense of the type of people frequenting this kind of thing? Thais were lining the outside of the central welcoming statue in the park, getting ready to watch white hipsters begin their weird pillow ritual.
All I can say is, Bangkok is a strange place. I can’t decide if it is full of possibilities or a mess of constant blinding confusion. Looking down from my pillow fight observation perch on a stone step I could see a hoard of the kind of kids I went to college with and just a bit further, entwining roadways, skyscrapers, and billboards in the beautifully ornate and curving, but baffling, Thai language. The noise blend of pillow thuds, giggles, and motors was suddenly broken by a distinctly British accent, teasing, as her boyfriend chased her down with a pillow, “I knew it! You don’t love me anymore! Ever since I found you sleeping with that lady-man!” A perfectly Bangkok moment.
Public service announcement: all the things mentioned in this Blog entry are real possibilities and events in this city, coexisting or clashing, however you want to see it.