Thai-Style Petanque…

29 Jul

Hello Chicago Petanque Club!

Glad to see the weather continues to be so petanque-friendly this summer in Chicago! Same thing here in Thailand. Although it’s the rainy season, we’re only getting some sprinkles in the morning, so daily petanque action rages on!

I’m in a small seaside University town where there are six lighted terrains on the University campus. Mature Teak trees line the south and west sides of the terrains providing ample shade. The University and High School petanque teams play here as well as the general public. This is where I first began playing petanque and it’s interesting to go back after several years away.

The level of play here is incredible. Not only have people here been playing since they were young, but they have been schooled in petanque as well. The shooting is unbelievable. Ninety-some percent accuracy. And, although not usually a perfect carreau, the thrown boule only ends up about 18 inches from where it landed. Changes the strategy of the game completely.

Basically, each team points a boule within 2 feet of the cochonet and then the fireworks begin. The next ten balls are all shots. The shots don’t end up far from where they hit the ball out so these act doubly as “points”. It’s useless to simply point because your ball will be shot away and theirs will remain within scoring range. You must do a combination of hitting their ball out and taking the point in one fell swoop, or else they’ll end up with five or six of their balls around the cochonet and yours will all be on the sidelines. Another neat thing is that flint is a local rock around here and is mixed with the gravel on the terrain. When steely boules come crashing down on
the terrain, literally sparks fly!

A dozen or more people show up to play every day after five these days. Three times as many during the winter months. Delicious Singh beers are only about a buck here and taste great in this hot weather. People are friendly and happy to play with foreigners (meaning non Thais). Seafood dinner and beer for five comes out to about $25-$30! Short term rentals of a new, air conditioned, cable TV, internet ready apartment with a refrigerator is about $240 a MONTH. And, it’s such a privilege (and an education!) to play “pick up” petanque at this level of play. If you can’t afford a petanqe vacation in the South of France, maybe your next vacation ought to be in Thailand!!!

                                                                        PRATHET THAI CHAIYO!!!

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2 Responses to “Thai-Style Petanque…”

  1. Dustin P Simpson July 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    That’s awesome, Mr Fritz. Have a great time. You deserve it.

  2. brandonmhorn July 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Jealous! I’ve just been playing on those mud-laden courts at night in McGuane…fighting off the bums.

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