Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Feeling near as faded as my jeans

The night of the king's birthday didn't hold just the excitement of parade, ceremony and abundant free food. After the ceremony, Autumn and I were invited to hang out with Bert's cool friends at the windsurf place. Now Bert's pretty much the coolest guy in Ban Phe, with his aloofness and his irony and his janky fabulous old Mercedes. Autumn and I were confident that if we did not end up covered in pig's blood, this was going to be an awesome time.

Bert's cool windsurfing friends are indeed pretty cool. His friend Ter, who I had met before a few times and whose name I hope I am not misspelling (*I was misspelling it but have now corrected it--Ter is pronounced like "Duh,") was playing guitar and some dozen or fifteen windsurfers and windsurfer groupies were singing and drinking and generally being awesome. I practiced my Thai a little. I regretted still not knowing the words to "Zombie," but did sing the first verse of a few songs in English. It was great.

As the evening went on, Autumn and I decided to go swimming-or-kayaking. Autumn wanted to go kayaking, but my thought process was that my jeans would get wet, so I would have to take them off and if I take off my jeans I might as well just go swimming. So that's what we did. We put our jeans on the rocks by the shore and went swimming in tee shirts and underfrillies. Bert and Ter, having witnessed our decision-making skills, dragged some kayaks into the water and we all went kayaking around Ban Phe harbor at night, with only the light from the moon and the piers and the festival. It was beautiful. And when Ter and I returned to the beach, I discovered that the tide had come in and my pants had been taken by the sea.

Oh how magical evenings can turn sour, even without pigs blood. My fairly nice Seiko watch was in the pocket of those cheap Old Navy jeans. I scoured the shoreline with some of the cool windsurf people but it became clear that my pants were at sea, and it remained unclear whether I would see them again. I was lent a pair of board shorts and lay shivering in a beachside hammock, contemplating my pathetic life for a bit before the other kayakers returned and we searched the shore again.

Lo! What dark matter was this teasing Autumns feet with each wave? My jeans! And my watch! Still ticking! The bountiful ocean was feeling generous that night after teaching us a lesson in humility-and-leaving-our-pants-above-the-tide-line.

Autumn's pants would not wash ashore until the following day, but we made the shameful trek back to the windsurf place in the morning to retrieve my pants, at least, and to cheer for our new friends.


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