Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Simple Enjoyments in Life

Updated 9th December 2017

I re-visited the rustic Thai night carnival last week, something that made me really, really happy once upon a time when I first came ploughing the lone furrow in 2010.

Lonely no more.
7 years on, much has changed. My visit was less lonely. It was a bid to introduce this simple enjoyment to my little ones, to tell them life's pleasures can be uncomplicated. The games were largely similar, but seemed a little harder to win than before. Nevertheless, it's all for the fun of it and not whether you win or not, right?

Not as easy as it seems.
If there is anything I can advise after 2 visits to the Thai carnival, is that if you are aiming to give your kids a present, buying one could be more efficient that winning one. The games are deceptively-challenging, but extremely good fun at the same time.

Enjoying the novelty of playing the Thai way.
Some things never change, and it's better that way, isn't it?


One of the biggest things I have understood after nearly 1 year in Bangkok, is that life can be very simple, and a simple life can also be just as enjoyable as a complicated one.

Since I've been here, I've done my very best to live like a local Thai. There are many people here who are struggling to make ends meet, and their salary is just a small fraction of what we are getting in Singapore, but alas, they have no complaints at all. They organise their own field trips, they have their own celebrations, their own feasts, their own holidays. Having grown up in Singapore, naturally I am more realistic and materialistic, therefore it's been very enlightening to see and feel the culture here and be less concerned over the superficial material joys of life.

I have sat by the beach to paint clay figurines, celebrated the King's birthday, went shopping at 2am at the local garment wholesale market, went to a cattle ranch that conducted its tour in Thai, made friends with the stray dogs in my neighbourhood, and this time, I am gonna give you snippets of my visit to the temporary 'funfair' currently held near my office.
I do not know whether Bingo is considered gambling, but if it is, I have completely experienced the devil, because with my 1st ever game (that costs 20baht), I bingo-ed! My staff/friend Rit also bingo-ed a while later, and he said it was the 1st time in his life he won something, so I guess it's not that easy to win. Talk about the evils of gambling.......

This next game I am going to introduce was something I have never seen before. First you pay 20baht, and you pick 9 out of this mess of hidden numbers.

Like what I did here.

Then you go to the back and you open every number to tally with the numbered prizes. When the number tallies, you bring it home!

After a good 15 minutes of hot sweaty searching, I conclude that my luck has run out.

However, by this time, the little boy in me has jumped out to take over my clumsy lanky adult body. I continued my mad indulgence in the carnival by going on a bumper car ride, cheered Rit on as he threw darts at balloons to win a stuffed frog for his wife, and went rifle shooting.
The grand finale came when I bought 5 paper fishing nets to catch fish. I've never seen this game before in Singapore, but maybe there is. You can keep the fish you catch, but the big ones would most definitely break the paper nets with any bit of acceleration.

We ended up with 8 small fish, but we returned them to the owner as we just wanted to have some fun.

Once again, I experienced how the Thais enjoy their simple life, and I realise that happiness is not proportional to our standard of living (I agree with you Wenguang). I believe this kind of simple enjoyment is possible anywhere we are, it is whether we are willing to slow down our pace and look around, and not be so bothered over the unimportant things in life, which we are blindly chasing everyday in a bid to make our lives "better".
Anyway, congratulations to the grand opening of the Marina Bay Sands, and while we are drooling over the architectural brilliance of the 3 towers which has become a companion on Singapore's coastline along with the Singapore Flyer, let me share with you a conversation I had with my staff over this puny little Ferris Wheel (the picture above, at most 2.5 storeys high) that was the highlight of the funfair.
Rit : Eddie, have you ever sat on the Ferris Wheel before?
Eddie : Yes, of course I have, there is 1 in Singapore, it is the largest in the world. This is very small compared to the one there.
Rit : (looking bored)Oh...
Eddie : What about you? Have you sat in 1 before?
Rit : No, look (pointing at the top of the mini Ferris Wheel) I think it is so high, I am afraid.
Is it really important to have the BIGGEST Ferris Wheel in the world?
Nah, I don't think so.

1 comment:

  1. Becoming too Singaporean?
    Everything needed to be the (insert the superadjective) in the world.. how about the most stoned people in the world?

    Sigh... Singapore.


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