Monday, June 2, 2008

Pattaya Three: Kara-OK

I had another successful gig as a karaoke singer tonight. Only one song, “Wonderful Tonight,” which happened to be a favorite of one of the women professors in my department. She was a “judge” of the impromptu contest at the party on the last night of a seminar/retreat weekend for staff and professors at our university. There were a couple of other women in attendance that I am pretty sure find me interesting, and they were also mightily impressed. During the song I was handed flowers by five women and one swish guy, I feel on these occasions like Julio Inglasias on a good night.

After my Farang song I pretend sang a Thai song with the help of one of the Masters of Ceremony, in full Thai costume with makeup and everything. The whole thing was a gas, I even allowed myself to be dragged into dancing by a couple of gay guys, I hammed it up something shameless, I’m ok with stuff like that. I like having fun, I always have. Besides, I was a little lit. Just a little, a couple of cocktails beforehand and wine at the party, Penfolds, from “South-East Australia,” and Penfolds is very good too, and pretty expensive, this was Shiraz.

It was a swell party. All of the food was excellent, hotels in Pattaya can all be trusted to cook up a storm. They throw in regional stuff too, for the rubes. Isan sausage; Northern Larb. The seafood is always a treat, they had some grilled shrimp as big as Tea-Cup Chihuahuas.

The most interesting part of this “Seminar Weekend” was the casual approach to implementing the agenda. Friday’s schedule showed lots of stuff for the morning, none of which took place; we just left on the buses at two p.m. That evening dinner was superb and lasted a couple of hours in the penthouse banquet room.

Saturday’s schedule was some kind of serious exercise in the morning, it was done shallowly with flair and fun, and wild games in the afternoon. We were split into teams of about ten people. I was, of course, the only Farang at this event, a situation that I seem to relish, and that I have been in on literally dozens of occasions. It’s a little like being Helen Keller, who knows what’s really going on but I’m having fun. And Saturday night the party, wildly successful if fun was the goal.

Sunday morning’s schedule had something serious on it, which was totally ignored in favor of walking on the beach or swimming in the pool. The agenda, clearly, was just a smoke-screen to facilitate the budgeting of the money. There’s a lot to love about this country.

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