I'd like to take a quick moment to give my Happy Halloween shout out - belatedly, as is my style. I hope everyone had a good Halloween weekend. Matt and I had a good weekend despite the fact that it wasn't very festive. We went to play paintball (again. I know, my life is so rough), and then we watched a movie in the Res. Lounge, per usual, only this time, we dressed up! Well, kind of. Of course we didn't have costumes (no place to wear them even if we did), but we improvised and dressed up in my matching couples t-shirts I got in Thailand. These are huge in Asia... surely I've mentioned them before? Anyway, we were supposed to be Chinese tourists, but as neither of us are even remotely Asian looking, it didn't really work.
Yup, kind of lame. But kind of cute, too?
Here's where we get really Asian: socks and flip flops.
Anyway, as many of you may know, Halloween is my favorite holiday, so it was kind of a bummer to be so lame about it, but what can you do? This is Baroda. We're legally and contractually obligated to not have fun. Ever. Also, as this is only the first of many holidays we'll be spending here (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's, St. Patrick's Day, Easter.... Thanksgiving 2011...), it's probably important to set the tone of a boring holiday season.
Now we can get back to business. When last I posted, I believe I was in the process of describing the highlights of the Best Vacation Ever. Our second day we spent in Bangkok and went to Chinatown (not my idea, nor was it my idea of a good time, but it was interesting... pretty much same same as China) and then toured the Jim Thompson House. Old J.T. is something of a celebrity in Thailand due to his helping build up the silk trade, as well as his mysterious disappearing act in Malaysia in the '60s.
The next day we hired a car and drove about an hour outside of BKK to the ancient city of Ayutthaya to tour around its ruined temples from the 15th and 16th centuries. They were really (you guessed it) amazing and beautiful.
Line of Buddha statues at Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, Ayutthaya.
We spent the entire day traipsing around these different temples, learning little about the history, but loving it anyway. I know I should probably make more of an effort to learn about these places before (or during, or after) I go, but I just don't have it in me. Instead, I will give you some pictures to look at, and if you're interested, you can go to Thailand and learn about the history yourself! Is that mean? I don't mean for it to be, but you take it however you like.
Buddha head at Wat Mahathat. Danielle overheard one guide say something about how a guy was trying to steal the head but then dropped it so nature reclaimed it with her far-reaching tree roots. See I did learn something after all. So what if the facts are fuzzy... or false.
Apparently this is beyond offensive, but in our defense, we didn't know it at the time (yes, I did it too, but Mary's picture is better).
Shortly after we took these offensive pictures, we headed to another temple where I played this game where you shake a can full of numbered sticks until one falls out, then you take the stick up to a lady and she gives you a horoscope which corresponds to your stick number (still with me?). I believe it was directly due to the above photos that my horoscope read as follows:
You are in trouble and unhappy. You face obstacles and interruption. You might have to take the fall for other people's mistakes. No luck, you have to be patient and seek it with wisdom.Are you kidding me? What kind of horoscope is that? I was depressed for the rest of the day... or at least the next five minutes. I guess I had it coming, but still. Come on.
Wat Chai Wattanaram.
Oh how I love these shiny gold leaf-encrusted Buddha heads.
I guess that about wraps it up for this installment of the Best Vacation Ever . I am probably not doing this trip justice, but really, you just had to be there (don't you hate it when people say that? I do, but I'm saying it anyway. India makes me bitter and mean).