An Evening in Pai

Trip Start Jan 21, 2009
Trip End Mar 20, 2009

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Friday, February 27, 2009

An Evening In Pai

For a place where there are tee shirts for sale that say "Do Nothing In Pai," I have found a rich array of activities. The evening Ellen and I spent at the FCCT in Bangkok, was way cool and very interesting. My evening in Pai surpasses that one on the scale of unusual!

On Monday morning I watched the Oscars live with a small group of western film devotees. The Pai Country Restaurant was kind enough to play it for us on their flat screen tv. We had "Breakfast at the Oscars" in this remote corner of Northern Thailand. And the Google map on my blog can illustrate "remote."

This evening was a follow-up to the Oscars. I had heard that last week there was a showing somewhere in Pai of "Slumdog Millionaire." I had seen it at the Nugget in Hanover already. Need I mention that this extraordinary film has not yet opened in Bangkok. Tonight in Pai I saw "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Tomorrow night "The Wrestler" is being shown. (I will skip that one.) On Saturday evening I am looking forward to seeing "Harvey Milk."

There is no "movie theatre" as we know it, in Pai. The "theater" is a sizeable bamboo structure on the grounds of the PS Riverside Guesthouse on the banks of the Pai River. It looks like a "Yurt" to me. The "hut" is made of expertly lashed bamboo, similar, but somewhat more sophisticated than the structures we see on "Survivor." The floor of the tiered seating is lashed bamboo, as are the walls, and, the balcony! The seating space is generous enough to stretch out on Thai mattresses and bolsters provided. There is a welcoming campfire at the entrance, a few candles inside and no electricity (or plumbing) that I could see. Perhaps there was one outlet to play the film, if that. The screen was a white sheet creatively backed. The price was 40 Baht, about $1.25. This creative movie theater is the volunteer project of "Kahlo," an ex-pat resident of Pai.

"Benjamin Button" is longer than 2 and 1/2 hours. The film quality was good on a scale up to excellent, and there were no (0) technical difficulties.
I had a fresh squeezed fruit juice and stir fried veggies and rice, organic and mostly grown in the Guesthouse Garden, at the start of the film.
I looked around more than once during the film and thought, how very unusual, how difficult to capture in words, and how lucky I am to be able to spend time in Pai, Thailand.

As a postscipt, I had two more terrific dinners at the PS Riverside, and saw "Harvey Milk" and "The Reader" too. Check out my photos of the theater!
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