One childhood dream at a time

Let me be really honest with you: I'm in Thailand thanks to a video game character.
OK, that's totally true but not the whole story. I still had to work my ass off and save money, choose and buy plane tickets, go through a 1000 hotel, hostels to finally pick some reasonable ones. And let's not forget the "delicious" 11 hour flight from Frankfurt to Bangkok on which I experienced for the first time the "8€ fee for premium content" extortion. An easy way to get used to it.
Anyway, let me tell you more about MF inspiration: Street Fighter II - The World Warrior
A video game that needs no introductions. Well, at least if you're a guy from the 80s raised next to a television. (Mom, if you're reading this, I'm talking about that game that I used to play together with my brother every Saturday and Sunday mornings really early in the morning. The "dolls" threw light balls with their hands and there was a green Brazilian gorilla that electrocuted everybody.)

Street Figther and Thailand? Hell yeah I'm talking about the mighty Sagat, the Muay Thai king, a Shadaloo boss. His huge legs do devastating damage. One of his eyes is good, the other is covered by a patch. And his trademark scar across the chest, a painful consequence for fighting against Ryu. Let's not forget his shaved head either.

The challengers had to fly all the way to Thailand and face him usually around a huge statue of a laying Buddha.
Oh, what a challenge! I probably spent an embarrassing amount of money and continues trying to overcome him.

The game had characters from all over the world and their correspondent home countries. You could fight in a fishermen village in the amazon jungle next to a huge "jibóia" snake, in an U.S. jet fighter airbase, in a heavy industry corner somewhere in the long gone communist U.S.S.R. and more.
It got me wondering if that's another reason I'm traveling around the world.

Thailand was one of my favorite scenarios. That impossibly big gold statue with its serene pose and gentle smile. The sun setting behind strange temples in the distance. 

How could a kid not be amazed by such image?! But I think I didn't believe it. I mean, there were also hadoukens and levitating rubber yoga masters. That statue had to be fiction too. So it remained in my head for many years.
Until I Googled it and it was real. It resides inside the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok and it is as big as I was expecting.  What's a bit surreal now is that I have a selfie with it!

OK, the real statue and the one from the game are not identical in shape or location but the general concept is. There are many other awesome lying Buddha statues in Thailand that could also be the one from the game but I can't visit them all.

I'm having a great time here in Thailand. It's a country full of wonders and problems like so many others. But it's special to me because it's a place where childhood dreams are real, where video games also are. My sceptical adulthood is replaced by the innocent child within. And it feels great!

Maybe if I'm lucky I'll find an old sir with a patched eye and a scar across his chest, standing by a Muai Tai gym. If I do, I promises that I'll try to make a selfie with him even if I end up taking a Tiger Uppercut in the face.

1 comment :

  1. SO COOL!!! I love this for so many reasons! I never knew you were that much into Sagat...(Dalsin FTW)!!