1:45 pm, on the bus leaving Pattaya
Pattaya Travel Blog› entry 11 of 17 › view all entries
I need to reflect on the Ancient City excursion I took on Jan 1st. It seems like ages ago. I'm a bit peeved to be writing out of chronological order [note: I forgot I did write about the Ancient City, so combine this account with the one already written and see if there are any inconsistencies], but mitigating circumstances and all. . .
We got on a bus and really for the first time saw what Thailand looks like during the day as you drive through it. There's a lot of juxtaposition between wealth and slums. I noticed a lot fo homes had mini-temples out front, which are basically replicas for larger Buddhist temples. Incense is burned by them, flowers are placed, and offerings are left, like sweet beverages.
I felt amazed and awestruck. It still strikes me as so odd to be in such a different place.
The Ancient City is essentially a theme park full of Buddhist temples and some statues. It was odd to be at a tourist location where people were actively prating. Chris said later that it felt like that to him when he had been in Europe.
We walked, ate, and shopped there, and then got a bus to go to dinner. We came into Bangkok proper - my first time - and did a bit of shopping at the street vendors, then got to go up to the banquet room. We had a white-linen affair with massive amounts of delicious food. All the excursions met up there, and we ate and chatted.
We got passes to go up to the top of the building, which is essentially liek an open-air Space Needle. In the wind, we saw a 360 degree view of Bangkok. We left, amazed at how yet again we had been treated to an extravagant spectacle. I slept 10 hours that night, and we left for Pattaya the next morning.
(I wrote some about Break Night, but it differs so little I don't care to repeat it).
On January 3rd, we watched debate rounds, drank out of pineapples, swam in the ocean a bit, and then went to the Championship Dinner. I hate formals, so being in a dress was uncomfortable. We watched Public Speaking finals, I left to get changed because GAH FORMALS are yucky, and wound up drinking on the beach with the guys most of the night.
The next day was much of the same. Rounds, meals, swimming, and getting ready for the Grand Final. Also formal, but way better. The Convenor rode into the theater on an elephant. There were *freaking elephants*. OK?
Then the round happened. It was much better than last year. We all thought Sydney would win.
We ate dinner outside the teater. It was an organizational clusterfuck, but good overall. Awards came about, and Josh got 3rd place in Comedy Night, and 2nd place in Public Speaking. It was awesome for PSU to finally get some hardware from Worlds.
Then, Oxford won the Grand Final, and I don't see how because they wern't all that impressive. The crowd had a "WTF?" moment, and then we went back to the hotel and drank on the beach again. Oh, and finals were held at a Thai Epcot or something and the theater looked like the Matterhorn. It was odd, but I've come to expect that here.
I don't think I'll miss Pattaya too much. I'm excited to see what Bangkok has in store.
^^^ Stay Tuned: Tomorrow is the Final Installment! ^^^