We Bring The World Of Art To Your Door

Visual Arts


David's Asia Journal


New Years Day:

Jan 1, 2001
New years was interesting. Ann and I are here in the north of Thailand in a funky town called Pai. Our friend, Andy, from the USA is here getting his tea import export business going with his first venue, the "Jazz Up Cafe". The proprietor of this establishment, Gong, from Bankock, is the most amazing guitar player, by the way. Anyway, Andy invited us to Pai for the new years before we left. And lo and behold, Pai seems to be the center of western back-packing toursists celebration for the new year. It has been the buisiest tourist day this town has ever seen.

So, we started the evening at the Jazz Up Cafe, then went to "BeBop" for blues where a Thai woman belted Janis Joplin like she was channeling the real thing and then with fourty minutes to spare, darted for the Pai swimming pool for the final count down. Two guys from Canada DJ'd as best they could given their equipment, which was pleanty good enough to get the place jam packed with dancing fools.

Around 4:00am the cops showed up drunk but able to stand and pull their guns out and arrest a few tourists smoking the local weed with their wepons wavering around the heads of the suspects.

This was not suprising. Earlier, my new friend, Alvado from Chili attended a party where several local police men fired machine guns into the sky at the screaming joy of the children. As in the USA, public violence is preffered over public affection. It's just more so here.

Still, the serenety of the Buddest culture is prevelent. Ann, Hida and I witnessed the preperation and lift off of a beautiful home made fire work of sorts. It was a large, hand crafted paper baloon about the size of a child, open at one end where a flame magically suspended by woven grass heated the air inside the balloon. Hanging at the bottom was the fire work with a long, long fuse. When the air was hot enough to lift the balloon, the fuse was lit and we watched it accend. About a minute later the show began as modest booms and flairs delighted the passers-bye and family whose work had made it possible. For the next several minutes we watched the balloon continue to accend until it vanished with the most distant stars.


New years resolutions are never interesting to me. They always recall disapointment due to last minute efforts to have one, rather than a real internal commitment. This year is different. Amidst all these wonderful people, the warm Thai people who pleasently permit us to enjoy their beautiful country and taste their amazing food, and the interesting tourists whose brief encounters are rich with the desire to make deep connections as quickly as possible and inspire our interest in the world, it is to my friends at home that I make my new years resolution. Despite the frenetic pace of the world I live in, I resolve myself to invest more deeply in the relationships I have at home.

I love you all and I want you to know it. Happy New
Year. -david bruce