monkeys in my hair

sa-nguan ying is paad sib!

ever since we met the thai teachers waaaaaay back at orientation, they've been talking about how the school is turning 80. what a big deal it is, they kept gushing. so last night was finally the big night--the dinner party for sa-nguan ying's 80th birthday.

we got to school just after 6:30 pm (because it started at 6 pm) and were welcomed by huge fluorescent lights, huge trees made of lights, a gigantic stage, four giant screens throughout what's usually a soccer field and outdoor gymnasium.

it looked NOTHING like a high school.

noon, another thai teacher in our office, was sitting at our table when we got there. she pointed out that we had water, soda, and whiskey for drinking. a bottle of whiskey for every table. you only turn 80 once. we were served a bunch of dishes and dug in to them collectively. everyone at the 8-person table dug in with their chopsticks. double dipping wasn't of a great concern to everyone.

then, at some point in the night, we heard the distinct, squealing *shoooo* of a firework. we looked up and, indeed, there were fireworks right there--literally OVER OUR HEADS. firework crap was falling in my face and on my food. our whole table (filled with mostly girls under the age of 30) spent half of the show screaming and ducking, half laughing and awing at the show. after it was done, we tried to explain to our foreign friends why this was so weird to americans. we need at LEAST 100m between viewers and the fireworks themselves. in thailand, nbd. safety? what?

anyway, drinking commenced and you can take the story wherever you want from there.

lopburi monkeys

this morning, we woke up realllllllll early to go to lopburi for the monkey festival. we were told there would be hundreds of monkeys running all over this ancient wat, eating human food and opening cans of coke. the monkeys would walk right up to you and steal your stuff if you weren't careful.

not a lie. i think i understand the people who nay say the "monkey as a pet" idea now.

we walked up to the monkeys chillin on the wat and, not really knowing what i was in for and thinking all monkeys must be as friendly as curious george, i touched one. awwww.

then it made a hissy face at me and smacked my forehead. touché, monkey.

after that, i realized maybe monkeys weren't so cuddly, so i sort of let them do their thing. i took TONS of pictures, most of which look the same (but the monkeys never get less cute! damn their meanness). a few of us were just hanging out on one side of the wat; a monkey had jumped on matt and he was busy trying to ask it where his monkey friends took his glasses (because really, they stole his glasses right off his head...bitches). i felt a shove on my back, and at first i thought it was sam pushing me. weird, i thought, because i hadn't really done anything to provoke a shove from him...

...but he was still a couple feet away from me. and a monkey was on my back. then his friend was on my back, and then they were both sifting through my hair like they were looking for delicious bugs. they stole my hair thing and did something that felt like gnawing on my scalp (monkey deep scalp treatment?) i broke into a fit of laughter, because really, what else do you do when there are two monkeys on your back and they're sort of ripping out your hair in an adorably and slightly painful monkey way?

(p.s. kristina, these subheads are completely inspired by your blog. excellent idea.)

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