Monday, October 29, 2012

Trip Report, Part 28: Student Blockade At Kung Krabaen

Uh-oh...The car was off in the distance, past this school group.

When we'd arrived at Kung Krabaen Nature Center the parking lots were nearly empty; it was only mid-morning, and we'd only seen a single group of school kids within the park itself as we took our time walking through it - as one should, I'd say. Figuring we'd exit from where we'd entered the park we'd parked in a small lot near the main entrance, pleasantly surprised at our good fortune to find such a convenient spot.

It wasn't quite as lucky as we'd thought.

The walkway where we came out of the park ended up being a short ways from the car, and the narrow bridge leading to the car was blocked by a student group seated on the ground, listening to one of their instructors giving them an introductory talk about the place.  When the group of folks in the top image passed by, the instructor stopped to wait for them as they walked in front of her. She stood, microphone in hand, and waited for them to go by, and then began speaking again.

"So, what do we do?" I asked my friend. "Let's wait and see if they get up and move," my friend replied "unless you want to interrupt them again."  Swell.  Had I understood a word she was saying it may well have been interesting, but I didn't.

We stood there for about 10 minutes as the students listened, took notes and occasionally glanced over at us. Finally my friend said "I guess we just do like that last group did."  I know enough people in the teaching profession that I felt sort of strange doing so, but we began to walk through the blockade, trying to be inconspicuous as we went between the students and their teacher.

I figured, though, as long as we were going to interrupt them anyway, why not have some fun with it, so I put my hand up to my mouth and began to "talk" silently as we walked along, facing the kids who were now watching us more intently than they were their teacher.  They erupted with giggles and laughter as they saw me mimicking the woman, and that earned me a look from her we in the West might call "shooting daggers".  

The talk went on after we passed, and we stood at the car and again waited, our path to drive out still filled with blue shirts.  At that point there was nothing else to do but wait, and wait we did, some in the group still glancing over at us and smiling at my prank. 

Almost 15 minutes later they got up and began filing past the entry sign, returning my waves and laughing among themselves about the farang who'd interrupted the lecture.

I motioned for some of them near the end of the parade to stop for a picture, and they (naturally) grouped together and posed. It probably belongs in one of the "Smiles" posts, but it fits with today's follow-up post, so here it is.

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