August 25, 2013 – Day 025
I am a big fan of the video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. One of the elements of this game is the ability of the player’s character to use a Shout. Different Shouts do different things, but the most famous one is called “Fus Ro Dah”. It is so famous that it has its own entry in the on-line site, Urban Dictionary. What this Shout does is to physically repel other characters (usually those coming at you with a sword, warhammer, or battle axe). For a good series clips of what happens when the player’s characters shouts, “Fus Ro Dah!”, jump over to here.
Now the reason for the bit of Skyrim-related exposition above is that I had the “pleasure” of actually executing a Shout. Okay, so no one flew forty feet backward and did a triple gainer off a cliff, but I did feel that my voice had the power to physically repel others.
On this Sunday, the family decided to venture outside our semi-porous mesh trapezoid (SPMT) and experience Bangkok proper. We started with a drive to Chatuchak Park where we attempted to visit the Butterfly Garden or go to the Children’s Discovery Museum which resides in this park. However, we were unsuccessful in located either of these attractions, so instead, my daughter and I took a ride on the swan boats that can be rented for thirty minutes.
After that, our Sunday continued with a trip on the BTS, Bangkok’s public transportation system, also known as the Skytrain. We travelled to the Siam stop and spent some time in three malls, Siam Paragon, Siam Central, and Central World. These malls house an aquarium and a Madame Tussaauds Wax Museum. And shops…lots and lots of shops.
We had lunch in an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet, which actually has a time limit on how long you can sit in their restaurant (80 minutes, in case you were wondering).
We took the Skytrain to its last station and from there we expected to simply grab a taxi and make our way back to our SPMT. Well, that was the plan, anyway. We walked onto the street and approached the first gaggle of bored taxi drivers that we found. After exchanging greetings, we gave them the name of the road where we wanted to go.
Blank stares were what we received.
It was possible that we weren’t pronouncing the name of the road correctly so we said the name of the road again, but this time stressing different syllables.
More blank stares.
Changing strategies again, I then said the name of SPMT.
That is when I became the Dragonborn, the legendary hero of Skyrim, for the mere mention of the name of SPMT was like a Shout that caused all the taxi drivers to physically back away from me (sort of like this, but without the music and the voice over by Max von Sydow).
The taxi drivers all waved us away and we had to walk down the street until we came across another band of taxi drivers who had nothing else better to do than to stand around the sidewalk. Once again, the simple utterance of the SPMT caused them to inch away as if our family had Ebola.
Third time was a charm as we finally found a taxi driver to take us home.
Ah, a horse, a horse, my video kingdom for a horse. And a carriage.