Black People

Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
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10
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Trip End Dec 31, 2009


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Black People

There are no black people in Thailand. I met this girl from South Africa who wore a shirt that said, "I love (heart) black people." I asked her about this shirt. She said that in Cape Town African's will come up to her and tell her how much they love her shirt. I told her that I found it offensive. It's like saying, "I love gay people. I love Asian people. I love Jews." In America we're a little more PC. Not that I agree with this philosophy. In Africa they had a little thing called Apartheid. If I walked down the streets of down town Oakland wearing that shirt I might get killed. It would be perceived as me making fun of black people or just wanting my ass kicked.
    The very day that I met the South African with the funny shirt I decided that I needed to go see a movie. We were on route to Chaing Mai and had a five-hour layover in this crazy port town called Rayong. Robin and I were in luck. Next to the bus station was a huge multi-plex. After much miming (functional language) we discovered that there was only one movie that wasn't dubbed over in Thai. The very gracious movie hostess (a man in his forties. He had no idea that his nametag specified a gender) kept saying the same thing about the one movie in English subtitles.
  
     "Comedy. Drama. About black people. It's a black family"
    We nodded. Okay, I thought. It's a dramatic, comedy about black people. We can dig it. I'm thinking Barber Shop meets some movie with Halle Barry. We settled down in our seats in one of the biggest movie theatres I have ever been in. For the next 90 minutes I watched with my mouth wide open. I thought I was going to escape from the crazy but wonderful Thai world outside of the screen for a little while. I had naively thought I was going to be able to watch an American movie about a black family. What ensued was and will always be the strangest movie I have ever seen. I couldn't tell you what the plot was or really what they were trying to accomplish. I can tell you that it was definitely about a Thai family imitating a black family. They were (and I won't repeat any of it) doing the strangest things I have ever seen.
    After the movie we ate dinner a little shell-shocked and then caught our 17-hour bus ride to Chiang Mai. We haven't been able to talk about it. We started to and all we can get out is, "Yeah that movie about black people." I think I now understand the shirt.
    We made it to Chiang Mai rather tired but feeling good. We are staying at this really chill hostel that Tamara stayed at during her trip to Chiang Mai last year. I got this intense massage where this little woman stretched me like a rubber band, popping every vertebra in my body at least twice. I'm now retiring to bed a little sore but completely relaxed.
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