The real Ryu, throwing the hadouken in Ayutthaya.
It was in the ancient capital of Ayutthaya that I had one of those magical travel moments. I rented a bike and was cruising around checking out the town and a whole bunch of ruins.I was about to call it day and cruise back to my hostel, but I was getting a little lost. And as I pedaled down a road I saw this gigantic laying Buddha covered with an Orange robe. I recognized this Buddha from my teenage years - I now stood in the exact spot where Ryu battles his nemesis Sagat in ultimate 1990s video game: "Street Fighter II." I had spent many years playing that game, and dominating a number of them with multiple characters, and now I stood on sacred ground.
The Street Fighter II Photo!
As a matter of fact, I always thought the statue in the game was just a person, maybe even a girl. I had no idea that it was the Buddha, because I am too used to the fat Buddha pictures. So in honor of the game,I took my shirt off and mimicked Ryu in an attempt to throw a "hadouken" (fireball) punch in front of the statue as I had a Japanese tourist take a photo. Others farangs looked at me strange wondering what the hell I was doing. But I had forever honored Ryu, Ken, Guile, Sagat, Zangief, and the other street fighter II world warriors with my official salute to their sacred shrine. After I honored the lords of Street Fighter II, I jumped on the bike and head back with a feeling of mission accomplished, as I cruised along grinning with delight, I heard a noise, and looked over to my left. Shit, there were a whole bunch of elephants. Evidently you can ride them around to visit the ancient ruins. It hit me, I am in Thailand. By the way, I really didnt take off my shirt, but it probably would have been cool :)