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Journals from Jan Term 2014 - NURS 398 Traditional and Modern Healthcare in SE Asia

2013-01-12 Taking on Bangkok

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Learning to Sit Properly as a Thai

Day 2


 The epic ness continues.


 We started early at Origins, the nice house in the middle of nowhere that we were at yesterday. Rather than learning more lai Thai or proper etiquette we were scheduled to learn some martial arts and a traditional flower offerings. I was personally very excited about the martial arts. Not only were we going to learn some traditional may thai, which teaches how to fight with the 9 points of the body, but we also got to learn some basics of sword fighting. Um...hell yeah! My enthusiasm was slightly apparent to some.


 While getting a breakneck lesson on Muay Thai was fun, watching it was better. The two students of the Muay Thai master were very amazing to watch. I know the fights were candid, but it showed off the moves well enough and no one actually got hurt...badly. Watching it, though, I find it no wonder that it is called martial arts. There is a strange beauty in the movements and flow of the fights.


 Next we made flower symbolic. The flower arrangements are very symbolic because they are actually offerings to deities and spirits. They have food for the spirits in the arrangement, such as rice, egg cucumber and banana. To make the arrangement, banana leaves are rolled to create signs that represent the countries and mt sumura which are all in the holy level of the world. There is also a cutout fish which represents the fish that holds the world on its back. These were quite enjoyable to make.

 Lunch was provided at Origins again. As it was the previous day, it was awesome. The dessert was a bunch of fruit and sweets. The best fruit I think was a fruit called mangkoot, or sometimes called fruit nut.

 After lunch we went to the national museum, where we had a shotgun tour before heading to the theater to catch the last two acts of a Thailand royal court play/dance. The play was an incredible experience. It was not what I would like to watch every time I go to the theater. There was not much moving around by the actors and lists of monologuing. Didn't help that they were only speaking Thai and the only words I recognized were 'yes' and 'knee'. Thanks to a handy pamphlet with the storyline in English it was fairly easy to follow along. All those silent films in my youth paid off. Thanks, Buster Keaton.

 When the play was over we trekked it around Bangkok till we got to a pad Thai restaurant that has served phad Thai for 60 years and has ONLY served phad Thai. After dinner we made our way back to the guest house and as far as I was concerned, it was bed time.


 Looking forward to tomorrow,
 Michelle

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