Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Scraps, Odds and Ends of the Summer

My laziness has been somewhat out of control lately, and I have simply failed to purge my photographed experiences on the internet for the past month. For that, I'm sorry. I know I suck at this. But here's the rest of the pictures from Thailand;
 I need to add this picture to my collection of creepy statues found in Asia. Wasn't Ronald MacDonald created to be an inviting figure for children all over the world? Not the 10 foot ominous piece of plastic seen here.
 This is a poster recruiting for the police department and army in Thailand. Totally badass.
 This sign seems normal at first glance, but if you read it you'll notice something a little abnormal...

(This picture was taken in the Bangkok International Airport. I would be surprised if the employees of this restaurant could have found Canada on a map.)

 I hope you can read this, but in case you can't, # 702 is listed as "Vagetable Noodle". For all the Vagetarians out there :)
 For the low, low price of 400 Baht,  you could enjoy the local custom of "Cockage" where I believe they put a *cough* rooster in the neck of your wine bottle to preserve the flavour for later.

And that concludes our trip to Thailand. Moving On!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Earlier on the in the summer before my vacation, I went to a Taiko Drum Festival in the boring town of Utsunomiya, where I still technically live. Except on that day, Utsunomiya was anything but boring (finally). Thousands of people lined the streets, and thousands more marched in parades or preformed in huge drum demonstrations. It was a colourful, stunning and deafening preformance of tradition and Japanese culture.  Observe;

These pictures would be significantly more impressive with sound, but like the moron I am, I forgot to turn the sound on in my camera, so they visuals lack the necessary impressive *BOOM* sound. I thoroughly encourage you to bang on some pots or pans to simulate the lost effect. Or if you don't feel like acting like a three year old, then you could just look at this;

Carrying a Portable Shrine to the Temple

An example of Taiko Drumming

A friend who has also documented this crazy drum tradition

 These groups of guys dress up in short-shorts and walk around with these giant portable shrines that (I think) represent their family name. Some of the short-shorts were a little too.... short.

 Sometimes there would be a small child standing precariously on top of the 2x4's they used to carry the shrines. It looked incredibly dangerous, but there was always someone holding the kids down so they couldn't fall off. The kids would have the honor of yelling which direction the shrine-holders should go.

 As with any other local festival, the ladies all look their best in kimonos.

 Closer to the heart of the city, the "portable" shrines got bigger. And there were even a couple with Taiko drums built into them. These guys in white g-strings would balance on the beams held high in the air and bang on the drums for hours.

 Does it look like these guys aren't wearing any pants? That's because they're not. It's the middle of July in Japan; it's 42 degrees outside. Pants are no longer an option. I can't tell you how much man-crack I saw that day.

 Hey look! It's white people!

 I didn't have the opportunity to visit "Pub Mistake" but I definitely intend to go there some time and see what happens.
 There's more bits and pieces from the rest of the summer, but I'll put it in the next blog.

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