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Thai Blog 2: A Tie in Thai

September 5, 2010

We spent just a few days in Bangkok before going to the second place that EVERYBODY goes to, The Islands. There is the southern west coast, where Phuket and Ko Phi Phi are major destinations and the southern east coast, where 3 islands get all the traffic. The largest island is Koh Samui, it has major resorts, private beaches, many western bars and pubs, as well as expensive gourmet restaurants. All this on top of packed local bars, an unbelievable amount of motorcycle gangs and enthusiasts, and a jungle mountain to traverse. But enough with the ad. Basically, its a bit family, but also has whatever is necessary. Our resort had its own stretch of beach, where we swam every evening afer a day of riding the motorbike up over and around the mountain and down all the coasts.

One night, I searched for a place to see how well the US could do in their first game of the World Cup against England. Like I said, the number of English people in Thailand is staggering. I couldn’t find an American bar, nor did I think I would. So I decided to find the most patriotic English bar on the island. I walked into a place filling up quickly, and found a great seat on a bar stool in front of a big screen before I was able to assess the situation. They kept pouring in, then the singing and chanting began. Songs such as Let it Be, quickly lost their all their lyrics to likes of Wayne-Roon-ey. The Jerseys swung around and the yelling increased. Drinks pounded as confidence seemed absolute. As I said my first few words to the lads around me, I was quickly made. Soon the entire bar knew I was the only “yank” in there. They knew my team better than I did. I knew it fairly well, but they knew backups, and where they play club, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. I knew some. They told me how much we would lose by and my confidence in my team, which was little already, was growing weaker. They only thing I knew, is that all of their facts mattered less when it’s the world cup because these players don’t practice that long beforehand and many teams can easily start cold, or beat any team at any time. I knew that if the US won I would be eccstatic, but I didn’t think it necessary. If we could draw, that would be enough to see hundereds of sad englishmen and women. I wanted to jump up in their faces after an American goal just once, and as they became more and more fervent just before the match was about to begin, I came to the conclusion that if they were going to single me out to the whole bar and talk shit then so was I, at every chance. If I get a couple teeth knocked out, so be it. At least I could say I took on a whole bar of English Soccer Fans and lived. I like those kinds of stories. The line between stupid and cool is a fun one. So I started reminding them about their team’s shortcomings, such as hurt players, problems at captain, and no choice yet for a keeper. I told them about the great American big headed confidence to beat anybody no matter the uphill battle. I was toe to toe with their intelligent hooligan swagger, then 5 minutes in, they score. The place erupts louder than a million Indians waiting to see an elephant, a small controlled riot ensued where people jumped all over each other and shoved all chests within arms reach. I sat, trying to be stoic but secretly crushed by how fast they scored, and how good they looked doing it. 5 guys got in my face and were punching my arms and laughing. Soon, they calmed down and play resumed. A long time went by with a few exciting moments, but no exclamations. Then, a US player scuttles a ball at the keeper I told them sucked before the match, he botches an easy save, and the ball trickles in the net behind him. I jump, no leap, no explode out of my seat yelling and screaming as Every Single Person in that bar became uncomfortably silent, and I didn’t care. I didn’t care that they were shocked, I didn’t care that we were lucky. I cared that we just scored, tied the game, against a team and country that has talked more shit about the US than the rest of the world combined (except Canadians). They are the source of the most popular jokes, and I love talking with the quick witted ones even more because of it. The confidence of an Englishman compared to what he has is unbelievable. To call us fat without mentally picturing their own whale filled beaches is spectacular. I love arguing with the English, and more than anything else, I love it when something we are not good at suddenly becomes a source of pride for us as they have to sit and accept their mediocrity. I hop on the back of one the guys that punched me earlier and he kinda threw me off with an angry yelp back toward the bar, where I ordered a shot for myself and a few for the sad lads surrounding me. The rest of the game goes like this: The English have almost no major chances to score for the rest of the match while the US has 2 extremely close chances but fails to take the lead. Afterward, I comment on how a tie is like a loss for them, right? When you’re that confident? I shake a few sad hands and leave with a smile on my face, even though I really wanted to win. On my drive home, hundreds of eyes, too wide for 3am, but not too sad wandered the street quietly flagging down a quiet ride back to a hotel/brothel or a lovely beach resort.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 1, 2010 4:24 pm

    makes me want to drink alchoholic beverages

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