I met some circus folk yesterday while exploring the afternoon market at the east gate of the Old City! Two lovely characters named Matt and Amy. Matt is from Australia and has his double staffs with him and Amy, who is from Canada, brought along her poi but is a hooper at heart. I can't say how nice it was to meet other young similar minded people! We spun and played on the side of the busy roadway that runs the perimeter of the Old City, distracting the cars and entertaining some of the nearby shopkeepers. We grabbed lunch at a veggie restaurant that has quite good food and split up with plans to meet up at the same gate for the Sunday walking street market that was to begin in a couple of hours. The Sunday walking street turned out to be a massively packed market that evening and getting to the gate on time was a huge challenge but they were there waiting for me! Sweet people. We then staked out a good spot to spin and play, and though our audience was scant due to our off-the-beaten-path location, we had tons of room to spin and a devout audience of about 8-10 adorable children. Shoppers would gather as they perused the stalls in the lot where we played and then would move on to the more main stream sections of the market but those children didn't budge. Oh I nearly died when they would imitate Matt and when he would get down low and make silly faces at them causing them all to explode in giggles. Matt was nice enough to get some video of me hooping which I want to put up here but I'm about to get kicked out because they are closing the internet cafe. I will do my very best to get my videos up tomorrow. It felt so nice to hoop in the cool evening, though I would still get hot quite quickly and have to stop to cool down.
Later on we all three set out into the market when the crowds had died down a bit and I did some serious damage buying presents for family and friends and a paper lantern for myself. At one stall where I bought a very special present, I started talking to the vendor, a very nice young man who spoke English rather well. I really enjoyed being able to communicate and get to know a Thai person my age and took him up on his offer to meet him and his two friends at a Reggae Bar later in the evening. I had massage class this morning so I really shouldn't have gone out but I couldn't resist the opportunity to get to know him and his friends better. When we got to the room at the Reggae Bar where they were staying, we discussed yoga a little, his life as a traveling craftsman, and other such simple but interesting topics that his limited vocabulary could access. He lit palo santo my favorite incense wood and I nearly keeled over in happiness when he offered me a spliff. Nice guy. I gave him space while he called his girlfriend who lives in Bangkok and went out into the bar to sit with his friends, who spoke very little English. I sat at their table and opened my ears to the other nearby tables. The people at two separate tables were speaking French and one table was English. Mine was speaking Thai. I couldn't help feeling entirely silly sitting there in silence, trying to follow the French conversation happening next to me. I wanted to get up, politely excuse myself and then as nicely as possible invite myself into any of the other conversations happening around me in which I could actually take part. I felt entirely out of place so I ran and grabbed my hoop and I slipped into my hooping comfort space.
In the middle of the street, under the dirty orange glow of the street lamps I spun about in my hoop. No one in the bar seemed to notice. I wasn't trying to draw attention. I entered into my own world of practicing this move or that and then letting myself just flow, slipping in and out of moments of grace, in and out of the street light's glare. It was a quiet street and cars or motorbikes didn't pass too often. When they did I would scoot my hooping over to the side and they would drive by, a little perplexed.
In a little while I left my new Thai friend and his cronies to go to sleep. As I made my way back to my bike to bike home, I saw a young man saying goodbye, in rather broken English to two young women with packs. After they parted ways I asked him what his native language was. "French!" "Oh lovely," I thought, "a chance to practice my French and lure along a body guard as I find my bike." We chatted in French and he politely asked me to speak slower and clearer. My French pronunciation has obviously gone quite rusty but he had a point too. I always talk way too fast! As we walked he asked about my hoops and so, of course, I had to show him what I do. I put my things down and picked up my hoop. I then began, slowly and deliberately, to spin that elusive graceful magic that just comes sometimes. I had him floored. Literally. He sat down right there in the street with his mouth open. After I finished he was so moved he asked for a hug! Sweet man. I gave him my card and soon we parted ways after I spotted my bike.
All in all a really wonderful night. I look forward to meeting up with my new circus friends soon to go play at the park here. And hopefully when I go up to Pai I will run into my Thai friend again and perhaps buy more of his crafts because he is quite good at what he does and could use the money. Such adventures all by my lonesome! So perhaps traveling alone isn't all bad after all.
A fiery fairy who has set off to explore Asia and discover new things about the world and herself. The journey is one to fully realize her strength and an unwaivering faith in her personal power.