Day 2: Okama Way

2/16/15, Monday

I woke up and opened the sliding door of the balcony to take in the scenic view once more.  Thailand seems to have a distinct smell of damp ashes that permeates everywhere.  I reminisced on my previous trips here as the smell took me on a nostalgia trip.  I checked my phone that morning, and it was forecasted to have thunderstorms all week.  A little disconcerting.

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We headed down to the lobby to have breakfast with the ocean in view.  I ordered the Khao Tom, a rice soup dish with pork meatballs.  I enjoyed it because those meatballs tasted a lot like the ones my grandma makes.

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After breakfast, my uncle showed us a little more of the hotel.  We stumbled upon a little art exhibit, where I snapped this pic:

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After exploring, we headed to the Sriracha Tiger Zoo.  It was kind of cool since it had almost every animal of the Chinese zodiac around to see, and in some cases, touch.  Part of the attractions of the zoo included a crocodile show, tiger show and elephant show.  At best, these shows were mildly amusing.  That was in part to the more obvious animal cruelty involved in training these creatures.

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For the crocodile show, several minutes were spent setting up the show.  Which meant the handlers actually had to grab them by the tail and drag them onto the platform.  Part of their shtick involved almost getting bitten or tripping over the crocodiles while setting up.  Then again, you can only do so much with crocodiles.  Sticking your head in their mouth is as exciting as it gets.

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Tigers are fierce beasts.  But during this show, they were more like house cats.  You could tell they were doing their circus acts out of fear or out of the want for snacks.  Makes you appreciate sea world a little bit in the sense that they probably hide it better.

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Elephants seem to know how to smile.  As far as I know, that could just be their normal face.  Some elephants were branded with numbers or shapes on their hide.  This show was most entertaining since they involved volunteers from the audience.  One of their acts included having a balloon blowing contest between volunteer and elephant.  The other was having the elephant essentially do everything but step on the volunteer.  You could imagine how frightening it could be to entrust your life on how well trained a 7 ton elephant is.

After those shows, we had a chance to feed a baby tiger.

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As well as take pictures with a full grown tiger.

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Make no mistake, those were all very live animals.  Something as simple as an animal in a bad mood could have spelled disaster.  That tiger growled at me, as sedated as it probably was.  Those were pretty much all the main attractions of that zoo, so we left for lunch.  When in Pattaya, have lunch by the sea; and so we did.

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 My uncle enjoying fresh coconut    /    The freshest mussels

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Oh-Luak    /    Fried Tofu and Fried Crab Rolls

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to rest up a bit.  Then, we headed for the Tiffany’s Show.  That is, Thailand’s version of a drag show.  We booked these tickets because my brother and aunt really wanted to see it for some reason, but they ended up not coming with us on this trip..

It was weird.  Really weird.  It’s not like the way it’s portrayed in anime where they’re obviously guys.  The only difference between some of these Tiffanys (as we decided to refer to them as) and some super models is that the Tiffany has an Adam’s apple.  And that’s it!

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Yup, those are dudes..

The performers in this show ranged from a spectrum of men that are good at dancing to full transvestites.  Things inbetween included men that you could still tell are men and just effeminate men.  At one point during the show, I thought to myself “Maybe this all a hoax.  Maybe some of those ‘Tiffanys’ are actually just women, and we’re just gullible.”  But then I heard their voice and I didn’t question it again.  Although, one thing was always off beat.  Their winks.  Whenever they winked at the audience, it felt like this:

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Here’s a taste of the show I found on YouTube:

Apparently this is a huge thing.  I’m talking 40% of the male population in Thailand consists of guys such as these.  Another 30% are somewhere in transition to there.  In any case, we left that show feeling weird.  Which lead my sister and my dad to think that these people need Jesus.

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We had dinner at the nearby Central World Mall.  Central World is like the Westfield malls of Thailand.  We ate at a ramen shop to take a break from Thai food.  I ordered a duck ramen (wasn’t that great).

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We got back pretty late, so the gym was closed already.  I decided to walked around the hotel campus to get some sort of activity in.  By day’s end, the Thai dating service number increased drastically to 23!

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