10 August 2006

Bangkok - Graduation Day

I don’t think any trials made it to PK during the night. A conversion factor that I think was there yesterday now isn’t. This wasn’t quite so successful a day. People could practice reporting, but not with their own trial data.

Prasert gave everyone in class an electric blue shirt with “AP PRISM Training, Bangkok 2006” embroidered on one sleeve, the Pioneer logo over the left breast and “Technology that Yields” on the other sleeve. We posed for a group picture in the office lobby wearing the shirts.

Jeab made another pitch for the Siam cultural show. Dave and I signed up. Yaobang and Rulik were initially interested but backed out when they found out the price (1,350 Baht, abut $35…that’s with a 10% discount for paying with a Visa card, which we found in other places as well…I don’t know how/why Visa has such an “in” with Thailand.). It includes a buffet dinner, entrance to a “Living History Farms” type display of Thai culture and history as well as a spectacular theater performance.

At the end of the day, we had ‘graduation’ and handed out the dream-catchers. People seemed to really like them.

Dave and I stopped by the hotel to drop off his PC then got back on the sub 1 stop to the Thai Cultural Center station where we met our shuttle to the show with 2 other people. When we got there, they didn’t find our reservation but got us tickets anyway.

The villages were interesting. There were demos of things like pounding rice with a teeter-totter device, processing silk from feeding worms to unwinding the cocoons, playing native instruments, trying food samples, etc. There was free stuff everywhere. At one display where a woman was making fish or cranes or grasshoppers on a stick out of bamboo, visitors could help themselves. Several places cooked up samples of traditional foods for you to try. One place had mini, traditional Thai massage. I got a bamboo grasshopper and would have liked a massage but the line was too long to wait for.

We went to the show and found our seats. The 2000-seat theatre was practically empty…maybe only ¼ full, if that. But the show was spectacular.

If it’s not the largest stage in the world, it’s in the top few. The cast of 150 plus 2 elephants and several goats/chickens did a great job. There was a channel at the front of the stage that was filled with water at one point and used to float boats and things across the stage. One guy jumped in to swim at one spot…got to be a deep spot there as the rest of it was all pretty shallow before the water filled it in. During the ‘thunderstorm’ part of the show, water cascaded from the ceiling several stories up into the ‘lake.’ There were a couple of audience participation bits where people were picked out of the audience. I thought they kind of detracted from the rest of the story but the show overall was definitely a spectacular.

After the show, a shuttle took us back to the subway and we were back at the hotel a little after 10.I did some preliminary packing to see how I was going to get stuff in…to be finished on Friday.