I had an idea a couple of weeks ago. I talked with my friend Oath who owns a store on the other side of our town of Hukou, and explained the concept of a block party to he and some other Thai friends. They loved the idea, so we set a date and, well this is the story of what happened:
I invited my good friend Andres Yu to join us for this experimental party. Not really knowing how well it would go over, I knew that no matter what, I would have a great time hanging out with my famous blogger friend.
We arrived at the place and found a couple of tables set up. So, we placed the gear appropriately at the site and waited for the power. These guys had a head start on the drinking.
In a tree overhead, the local Thai people have hung up some fish to be sun-dried. You’ll notice these fish in several other photographs. It was almost like being in Thailand on that day!
Oath handed an extention cord out the window and one of his friends wrangled it across the street for us.
Andres handiwork can be seen in this photo, as he was the one who found and placed the rocks to immoblize the power cord. All day and into the evening, cars and scooters drove over the power cord without incident. Notice the industrial gas grill to the left. It was so windy that we had to take it indoors to cook.
I’ve known these guys for some time and although a bit embarrasing, they always insist that I play guitar. Of course, I began with some of their favorite Thai songs, which always amuses them, as I’m clearly not exactly Thai looking!
Andres took these photos of me. I’m doing a simple duet with one of the guys. This kind of stuff is always fun for me.
Notice the bottle of Singha beer and also the “cool” Sprite. Of course, Andres and I were drinking our favorite Sang Som Thai Rum, with soda and Sprite. The guy on the left has a rather red face. He was pretty much 3 sheets to the wind when we arrived!
A-gu, drummer for The Fong Band was also on-hand to do some singing. And speaking of fong, the wind was quite strong and we had to be careful that the wind didn’t blow stuff off the table or knock over equipment!
After awhile another group of people arrived and a second set of tables was quickly produced. At this point there aren’t too many people here enjoying the party but we’re just getting started.
All day, groups of Taiwanese and Thais walked by and couldn’t believe that a bunch of guys were drinking and singing karaoke in an empty lot, but it was true. We were doing just that.
One of the fellows had brought his portable DVD player and I hooked it up to my Yamaha PA system. This turned out to be the highlight of the party because now everyone could sing to their favorite Thai karaoke VCDs. That’s a Roland DR-880 drum machine to the right of the DVD player. I have some songs for the new Fong Band album programmed into the machine, and I played a few of those songs live with the guys singing.
The DVD player was a big hit.
Andres is not sitting by himself. I got up from the seat next to him to take this photo. With the grass in the background, this could have been a deserted island, or anywhere in the world. The weather was perfect and even with the wind, the temperature was very comfortable.
After awhile, some more people showed up, but I was surprised that many more didn’t show up. At our table, we killed one large bottle of Sang Som. Then Shao-hui’s husband showed up and got another big bottle.
Then I realized that many people were leaving to go off to work (which is why more people weren’t joining us). That’s a company shuttle bus in front of a worker’s dormitory. When I took this photograph, our party was to my back. I’m going to figure out these work shifts and then plan my next party accordingly!
Those who were there were enjoying the singing, and the drinking.
I didn’t mention that we had the gas grill going indoors for most of the day. We had Taiwan sausage, fatty pork and chicken pieces slow cooking. They were delicious! Some of the neighbors came out of the building next door and had something to eat with us. In the photo you can see some of that dried fish that was hanging up. One of the guys took a few pieces down from the tree and threw them on the grill. They smelled exactly like Thai fish sauce (which isn’t surprising if you know how that fish sauce is made). That’s Mr. Noom from The Fond Band to the left with the hat on. Normally pretty shy, we did get him to sing a couple of songs. By this time, it was just after 18:00 and the sun was down. Always looking for an edge when partying, I drank a couple of sports drinks between sets of Sang Som. It seemed to help me feel less dehydrated from the alcohol.
I turned one of the speakers around so that each table had one facing it. The guy in the brown shirt showed up after sundown and sang quite a few songs. He is some kind of local karaoke hero because one of the women served him a drink on one knee!
I spent a few minutes at this table talking with the other group but I went back to my own table after being asked too many “Thai girl questions.” They were very nice, but just a bit too nosey for me. By this time there was a microphone at each table and the singers were doing duets. Not bad!
This is our last shot of the day, with Andres looking on from the end of the table. He got out of the way of the Thai singer!
I’m already thinking about the next block party! Of course I will post it on our Events page so you can join us if you like!
Even though it was small, I declare this block party to be a success! The people who attended had a great time and they will tell their friends too. So, the next party should be even better!
Thanks for taking the time to read this!