Friday, September 3, 2010

Same Same, But Different! Part 5: "Busking"

The slang term "busking" had eluded me for years. Being from the USA it wasn't something I'd ever connected with street musicians playing for spare change on a street corner or at a bus depot; actually it reminded me of a way to describe an argument. It wasn't until I was listening to a friend from England telling a story about busking at an underground station for rent money during his university days that the light came on and I understood.

A brother-in-law of mine is a gifted musician, and although he works in an unrelated profession he still enjoys going to an open air mall area near his old college and singing his songs for passers-by. It's therapeutic for him, I'm sure, much as this site is for me: we're able to share what we create with others and, with any luck, brighten someone's day just a little.

I saw that I had three images in a folder that were (as the Thai say) "same same, but different!", and since we hadn't done one of those since the story on 7-Elevens at the end of July it seemed like a good "long weekend" type post, this being the beginning of Labor Day weekend in the US. There are actually nine other posts with the "Same Same" label in the column to your right - the original post with the definition is here. These three pictures today are all of street musicians - or "buskers" for my UK readers - from three completely different places in Thailand.

The header photo is of an actual band playing a gig in Udonthani and not true street musicians, but my friend said he'd seen one of them busking a year or so before this picture, and that's "close enough for government work", as I like to say.

The kids above were sitting along one of the open walkways of Jatujak market, two of the guys playing guitar while the third sang his heart out. I didn't hear anything that would qualify as a happy tune, so perhaps he'd just lost a girlfriend or had some other shake-up in his life. Nevertheless, they were making money - and had a little more in their basket before I moved along.

The last photo was taken on Beach Road in Pattaya just after sunset one evening. The man was so garishly made up I wanted to keep walking, but just had to stop and look. I guess he won, since I dropped a 20 baht note in his basket.

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