Fourth of July in Thailand

July 4th, 2005. Categories / Chiang Mai, Thailand

Yesterday was my first fourth of July outside of America, and one of the few where I didn’t have fireworks going off in my own hand. I don’t have a clear opinion of my home country, so a holiday celebrating it is a little confusing. Especially overseas. The American consulate was hosting a celebration within it’s compound for citizens. I haven’t been able to pick out my brothers from the crowd as other countries have people that look fairly similar to Americans (in this regard, there was an Australian guy at a bar that from profile looked exactly like a good friend of mine), so knowing everyone was the same nationality was a nice change. But the event was awkward. I didn’t have the courage to talk to anyone, much less some girl that seem suspiciously to be lingering close to to S. and I. And it rained a little. People seemed to be having a good time, and there was a large turn out for such a small town. They had a Thai Elvis impersonator, a band, music, food, a couple games. S. and I left before the fireworks.

We had a few hours to kill before meeting some friends at a bar, so S. and I played a horrible few games of pool on an even more horrible table, went for a walk, used the facilities at a ritzy hotel, sat in the lobby, got some coffee at the Thai equivalent of Starbucks called Black Canyon, and went walking some more.

The rest of the evening was spent at a bar called Heaven’s Beach. It was many in a row of themed bars near the center of town. After a round of introductions a the group of Brits, Thais, and another American, an awesome Thai band began playing. They perfectly covered all sorts of rock songs, and were full of energy. I felt like I was participating in the life that I “missed out on” in college. The place was loud and sandy and tropical, and people were laughing and dancing and shiny. Shirtless, I entered the fray of the other shirtless and danced a little. Trying to carry on conversations was hard, even with heavy leaning in. And this was exacerbated by language difficulties. But luckily, everyone was speaking the language of youth.

The evening was fun if not pointless. I came back tired and sweaty and wanting to meet some of the people outside of the humid beat of that place.

On Sunday nights, they close of some of the streets in the city for a very crowded market and street fair. There are musicians, all manner of cheap food, artists, people. It feels like most people in the town attend. There was a stand selling bugs to eat. Next Sunday I will eat some of the stand’s bugs.

I am at a little bit of a loss as to what I should do today. I feel pretty unsettled in the house and in the town, but mainly because I don’t yet have a good way of getting around.

Our house is so big that S. and I can play volleyball inside.

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