Sunday afternoon I went to 7-11 to buy yogurt, stopped a passing fruit-cart to get some pineapple and then walked through our alley to fill up our drinking water at the water filtering machine. The street seemed quieter than usual, except for occasional shouts and cheers that seemed to ring out from all over the alley.
On my short walk through the alley I realized every television was on (every home but ours seems to have one), and people were gathered, fixated, around each them. It was the final moments of the boxing competition that would determine whether or not Thailand would get the gold. As I filled my water bucket and peered over the heads of those gathered in the nearest (open walled) house, the inhabitants of the whole alley began to count down in unison, “3, 2, 1…Hayaaaah!!” All around me the quiet alley erupted in sound.
Many Americans love the Olympics, but I think it means a lot more for smaller countries around the world who have less to be known for. Thai boxing is something all Thais are proud of, and proud to be known for. At least, I know my little neighborhood had their hearts in China that afternoon, and I am proud to be part of them.