Thursday, February 4, 2010

World Traveler part 13: The Ping Pong Show

Need I say more?  Really?  (sigh)  Well, all right.

First, you might want to spend some time looking for a video of this, um, artform. Actual video of the show itself is hard to come by. And my describing it just doesn't do it justice, really.

Because these are some very talented ladies (and ladyboys). The things they can do with their ping pong balls just BOGGLES THE MIND.

And they really wanted Sami to come and watch. A lot.

When you are walking the streets of Bangkok, you will constantly be asked if you want a massage, or a taxi, or a tuk tuk, or a tourguide. But Sami was special. In addition to all of those requests, every time that man walked anywhere after nightfall he would be asked - repeatedly, by almost every person we passed - if he wanted to see the ping pong show.

We were with other guys throughout this trip. No one asked THEM if they wanted to see the ping pong show. Just Sami. I guess he just looks like the kind of guy who would enjoy that sort of thing.  And after a while, it was a running joke. No matter where we were, or what we were doing, someone would mention the ping pong show. I told Sami that I thought he should go in there with a ping pong paddle, and just start whacking the balls back in the direction they came from.

He demurred.

The joke continued. He did not go to see a ping pong show. The joke escalated. He refused to go see the ping pong show. I offered to go WITH him - he remained uninterested. And so sadly, we left for the airport.....never having seen the fabulous ping pong show.

We were standing in line, at about 8am, waiting to go through immigration and have our passport stamped. There was a very long line, and the kids were exhausted and I hadn't had coffee, and we were all hungry and facing a very long day of travel. And then, like an angel, a petite Thai woman slipped up next to us, and motioned for us to follow her. "Family line" she said. So we followed dutifully with our children - heading for this magical "family line" with a spring in our step. There would be time for breakfast after all !

As we stood at the counter, passports in hand, wiggling children bickering about who got to sit on the suitcase while we waited, a uniformed official walked up to the woman who was processing the paperwork. He gave us a long, steady look, assessing whether we had the credentials for the "family line" - which of course, we did. Then he turned back to the woman behind the counter and said something about the ping pong show.

I am not making this up.
Sami and I stood there with our mouths hanging open. We looked at each other. "Did he just say....?" "Well, that's what I heard....."

And with that, we were handed our passports and escorted throught security, and pointed in the direction of our gate.

We still have no idea what the hell was going on, but the next time we go to Thailand, we are totally going to the Ping Pong Show.

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