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Last night I experienced something that I don’t think I’ll ever experience again. At least, not in America.  I asked a worker at my hotel if he could suggest anything I could do that would give me a taste of the “Thai culture”.  He began to describe different activities such as night clubs, visiting ancient temples and Muay Thai, another name for Tai Kick Boxing.  I’ve never been a fan of boxing, but something about the way he was describing it had me intrigued and ready to go.  He said one stadium wasn’t too far from the hotel, and because he was getting off in a half hour’s time, he volunteered to take me there and show me (in his own words) “an experience of a lifetime”.  Who could refuse!???


We got to the stadium around 7:30, 30 minutes before the first fight was to begin.  Chaos pretty much sums up the scene.  People everywhere, fighting and screaming at each other as they were all trying to get into the stadium.  I wondered if they ever heard of “lines”, , since eventually, we were all going to get in to the same place, minus the fussing and fighting.  After getting kicked in the knee, whacked in the back and scratched on my right elbow, we got in and found our seats.  It was about 90 degrees in the stadium, and air conditioning was no where in sight (or touch!!!!).  Luckily, I wore the lightest thing possible, so I was only dripping slightly with sweat.   Not the most attractive I was at this fight, but didn’t think I’d be meeting my future husband there anyway.


At 8:30, (nothing starts on time here), 2 frail boxers came out into the ring.  The crowd went wild, as if there was $10,000,000 in the ring.  Instead, it was just 2 very small and skinny men in the ring, one wearing red, the other wearing blue.  They had a look of evil in their faces, as if they were ready to tear off each other’s head.  A short ritual occurred before the match, where some prayers were said and the boxers bowed to each other.  


The bell rang.  Rows from the ring, I could feel the pain of each kick, swing, batter that came and went from each boxer.  With only gloves in hand, the boxers began ranting and raving, kicking at the knees, elbows, and feet.  No shoes were worn, so every now and then, noses were slammed with the side of a bare foot.  What came next was blood.  Runny blood.  On the nose of one, on the foot of another.  Thinking they would end the match at the sight of blood…I was so wrong.  The match continued, getting bloodier and more gruesome as the night went on.  The crowd got wilder as each minute passed, which brought the 2 fighters even more compelled to beat, to kick, to rage, to win.  A bare foot kick to the right cheek of the man in the blue shorts caused a loud crack sound, and a quick fall to the floor.   The crowd went crazy, and “red” was declared the winner.  With sweat pouring everywhere, mixed with fresh and dried blood, he took the medal and money in hand, kissed them both, and walked out.  Thanking god the experience was finally over, I was told that was just the first fight!  There were 6 more to come, in that one evening.   “What!!”, I shouted.  I definitely was not ready to do view this again….6 times no less!!!!  I told the man I had to go to the bathroom, instead, left the stadium, got my own taxi, and never went back.  There’s only so much blood a girl can see in one night!