Daily Archives: September 6, 2004

The thais lesser known abilities

You know, for all the things the thais are well known for no one ever seems to mention this – it seems to be that thais can carry almost anything on a motorbike. This is of course also very dangerous but going out on the roads you will always see somethnig that makes you go ‘Oh my God, look at that’. Big T.V.’s held under the arm of a school girl, guitars, drums, 2x4s, trees (that’s not a joke) you name it, I’ve probably seen it. Yesterday I saw a guy sitting on this massive bag – he had so many bags on there that there was no longer anywhere to sit… so he sat on the bags – he was up about two and a half feet higher than he should have been but he seemed to be doing okay.

Are you ready to play?

Well again my entire weekend has been consumed or maybe it was me who consumed….?
They called me on Friday and said, ‘it’s a holiday weekend you ready to play?’. Ready to play? Well, most everyone reading this is aware of Takgraw or Gathaw. For those not familiar, it is an asian game, not sure of it’s real roots but is played by nearly all of the Thai, Philipino, and Lao country boys. There are a couple variations of the game, the style we play is with a net and a court laid our in a similar manner to volleyball. But the rules seem to be a mix of a few games.

Like hackysack and soccer, you may not use your arms or hands. The scoring however is done like volleyball. So basically it is volleyball, but you can not use your hands. Legs, chest, and definately your head are used, but that is about it. Myself I have been playing it since I was a boy of maybe 9 years or so, as I was raised around nearly all Lao refugees in the USA. But for the newcomer it takes ALOT of practice to compete well. Hard to find any white guys here who can learn well enough to play when we are short on a few players.

Somchit, he is the guy with a large tattoo on his arm, he is normally on any team opposite of me. He is one of the best servers I have seen, since I am our team’s server he and I are very competitive with each other. Three players per team, 6 on the court. Two people are at the net and the server in the back, the server gets the workout and the server is expected to recover all the mistakes made by the two players in the front.

Van (pronounced ‘One’), is one of the most well one of the fanciest players we play with. His feet are rarely both on the ground, and nearly all of his spikes are just beautiful even to the white people who do not understand the game.

My team won 7 out of 9 games on Saturday, and 8 out of 9 games on Sunday. The last game was thrown intentionally is was over 90 degrees and we were just tired after the first 8 games. It really seemed non-stop on Sunday, after we won a game there was immediately another team that wanted to challenge our skills.

Here in the States when we play there is plenty of beer and water (now of course we are all of age), and your only break is when you lose a game and your team sits out. I hope by the time I move to Thailand, I will have enough skill to continue leading my team lol yeah right, I have seen school videos and they do flips while kicking the ball perfectly over the net.

All in all it was a very rough weekend, alot of sweat and trash talking. But it was all in fun, we never have any fights or even arguments, except of course when Som cheats as he call the score out to be 7-10 when in actuality it is 7-13. But we all happy when he dishes out a high speed power serve, and it hits his shoe wrong and ends up slamming himself in his faces with a ball going 30Mph+ !! Until next time.