Sunday, December 23, 2007


As a youth, though a scout, I never liked camping,
I don't like hiking and outdoor sleeping,
Walking long distances, I have always been lazy,
To sit down and read books, for me is a lot easy. Image

"We will go camping", the Head Teacher, one day announced,
I told myself "No way! in your life, not a chance!"
I imagined a wide clearing, a grass bed and a tent,
Oh no, I won't go, I would rather be absent.

But it turned out that an indoor camp it will be,
No tents, no bonfires, just a "mock camp in the city"Image
There will be a scoutmaster, coz there has to be an emcee,
To keep the scouts entertained, and not at all grumpy.

On the day of the camp, everyone was excited
In scout uniforms, the students all lined up and waited,
One by one the teachers started to come in, I see
All of them in scout clothes, something nice, but nothing fancy.

The male teachers when they walked in, I couldn't help but smile,
Just like the scoutmaster, they all wore khaki attire in style,
Khaki shorts and shirts, a kerchief, a glossy buckle,
Brown shoes, knee-length socks, complete with a tassle.

The Scoutmaster was hefty, a good five foot eleven,
a protruding big tummy, he was round all over, even.
"Vitthaya Khun" with a thundering voice, he laughs with a roar,
When he delivers a joke, the whole house is in uproar.Image

As nighttime fell the scouts started getting all ready,
A campfire that night, an excitement, it proved to be,
I was myself expectant, not sure what I will see,
The way the scouts were happy, I hoped it will be wacky!

First order of the night, 15 boy scouts in fire-lighting ceremony,
Bare-topped, wearing shorts, torch in hand, trotted in glee,
They danced around a pile of wood, in the center like a teepee,
They "lit it up" though in reality, the light was from a battery.Image

No way for a real bonfire, there's a net roofing overhead,
Lest a stray piece of ember might get all of us burned,
The effect was as good though, it looked real enough and smart,
That's better than to burn and leave everything charred.

Twelve pretty young girls in their flower ceremony stint,
Dressed in long sleeves, wrap-around skirts in bright-colored prints,
They danced around the "bonfire" hands and fingers in a curl,
I could never bend my fingers like they did, like a twirl.

I waited for some more sights, hoping to see a lot more,
Coz as the night wore on, it started to be such a bore,
Not because they were boring, don't misunderstand on that score,
I just wished I know Thai language, that would have made me enjoy more.

The rest of the numbers breezed through like a silent pantomime,
'Cause I shut the words out, and concentrated on the time,
My thoughts drifted, 'felt there's something, I cannot understand,
A feeling that I was tired, was it the sight? or the sound?

I realized that since the camp started early that morning,
'been hearing the loud tom-tom drums in my head they're pounding,
I know I had enough, 'can't stay on, I'd have migraine,
Another hour and surely, I will be in bed and in pain.

There's something about the camp that I'd like to commend though,
A display of discipline, obedience and cooperation they showed,
Lining up was never a problem, everything smooth, everything well,
For meals, for baths, or taps, at the the sound of a whistle.

Oh well, the night ended, I gave a sigh of relief,
I looked at my watch, past midnight! I stared in disbelief,
I am sure I don't want to sleep over in the camp,
I don't want to miss my bed, and the soft bedside lamp. Image

But then I wonder is there a better choice?
Stay in the camp or listen to my conscience's voice?
midnight... dark street... I'd rather miss the bedlamp
That's better than meet on my way a Thai bogeyman or a vampImage.

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