Well I’m back in Hua Hin after my exciting and exhausting weekend in Sukhothai. I didn’t do an enormous amount in the past 24 hours. After writing last night I went to bed and for the first time out of my four hostel stays in Bangkok, I had roomates who were out all night. Some of them came back around 5 am and had a full volume conversation in the room while I was trying to sleep (I forgot to bring earplugs). Also for the first time in my four hostel stays in Bangkok, I was the first one up. I’m used to roomates who get up at the crack of dawn. I got up at 9am and was the first one up (and I wasn’t the first one to bed)!
After breakfast I headed towards the shopping district. It was my mission to find the Bangkok Build-a-Bear Workshop, my former place of employment in Las Vegas and St. Louis for many years. I did find it on the 6th floor of the Central Department Store. And aside from English and Thai writing on the signs, nothing was different. They didn’t even have any unique Thai items! Someone told me they had a Thai costume coming but it wasn’t there yet. Ah well!
On the way there I passed one of my favorite spots in Bangkok…the shrine at the Erawan Hotel. It’s such a magical place, especially amidst the chaos of the streets surrounding it. I’ve previously mentioned about all the activity going on there, with Thais giving offerings to the spirit enshrined in the, well, shrine, of flowers, incense, and trays of food and drinks. People also hire traditional Thai musicians and dancers to perform for the spirit, and as I noticed today, the people who hired them kneel down with their hands in a Wai (pronounced why), which resembles a prayer. It was also cool to see that business men in passing would stop and put their hands in a Wai briefly, before moving on.
I think the spirit realm is one of the most interestng aspects of Thai culture and it is totally seperate from Buddhism. There are a variety of kinds of spirits, the most common of which are the domesticated spirits that inhabit plots of land. Around Thailand, nearly every building and house or complex has some sort of spirit house. People keep the spirits happy by making offerings to them…flowers, insence, food, etc. People can also ask the spirits for favors, which is what many of the people at the Erawan Shrine do. However, they must uphold their end of the bagain as well.
Anyways, after my stop at Build-a-Bear I set out on two missions. The first was to find a copy of this Thai film called “My Girl” (Faen Chan in Thai) that we watched in Thai class that I just loved. It’s been really hard to find though! I found it at only one store at MBK and it was really expensive…over 500 baht, while all other DVD’s are between 100-200 baht. It was more than twice the price of the Thai version without English subtitles! Ah well, maybe next time.
I also thought it might be cool to go to see a movie, as they do play English movies in Bangkok (while all the ones here are dubbed in Thai). Unfortunately at each of the 4 movie theaters I visited, Casino Royale was virtually the only movie playing, and I have no desire to see that!
I headed back to Hua Hin around 2pm, arriving around 4:45pm. Other than that I vegged out and showered! Now I’m heading to bed!