Yet again from the internet cafe on Soi 2. Every computer is full, I think too many people are trying to use skype at once for it to go through. Limited Bandwidth. And a bit hard to hear with so many on skype at once - though the language mash up is quite entertaining. Supposedly getting my computer back January 14th - fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc., etc.
Today is my 25th birthday. How on Earth did that happen? Yesterday evening I went out to celebrate with just a few people I know - and I met a whole bunch more. I guess three birthdays were being celebrated? I'm not entirely sure, and I know I don't remember everyone's names. I haven't gotten the hang of the tonal language thing yet - though I've had a few successes; so single syllable names that differ by one vowel and a tone are quite tricky. I think I was one of two farangs at this gathering - maybe one or two with another group, everyone else Thai, plus at least one Japanese guy for a portion of the evening. It was a nice laid back gathering away from the insanity of Khao Sarn. Though as always, not without attempts at dating setups.
The evening was punctuated by more Western songs than I can even remember or name, but Sweet Home Alabama stuck out in my memory. And it actually sounded pretty good - the group was full of musicians, several of whom became the live band after the first hour or so.
I think this was probably also the first birthday I've celebrated sans snow or at least freezing temperatures. That was certainly different. I got to celebrate sitting outside with no jacket whatsoever. Though I did get a couple of mosquito bites, it's all a trade off.
Instead of peanuts, french fries or appetizers of that nature, there was a serve yourself soup bar. Various spices, herbs, noodles (ran out), and some sort of fish balls plus a huge vat of broth. It was alright. Of course, various Thai libations and buckets of ice galore (with the heat a lot more is served iced here). And in case you needed to know, Jack Daniels is available in Bangkok. I can't tell you the price for it, as it was my birthday. I can tell you I was doing alright up to that point. After that, well, I got a lot of sleep today.
I appreciated being welcomed into the celebration, and today some of my neighbors similarly gave hugs and small foodstuffs - a few didn't know prior to today that it's my birthday, which I suppose is true since this past week I've been arriving home quite late dealing with traffic, and I'm not connected to all of my neighbors via internet as much as by location. I also met a new neighbor - well, not new but they had been traveling since I've been here. She and her boyfriend work at the Israeli travel hub on Khao Sarn; and they have another friend visiting - I didn't meet the guy yet. The two girls welcomed me to hang out for a little bit, and were conversing in Hebrew - and filling me in with English here and there. So besides Thai, they claim I'll be picking up Hebrew here shortly as a Bangkok resident. I suppose we'll see.