High Fives with Hill Tribes (Thailand)

Hi Fives are something I do to irritate more than enthuse. High Fiving unexpected people at unexpected times; old people, awkward people, people who hate High fives, anyone who takes themselves too serious. Hipsters the perfect High Five victims. But now High Fives are ingrained in my daily routine. Admittedly a more awesome daily routine. My original High Five obsession came about years ago from bored drunkeness. UK festival, early hours, dreary. “Lets High Five people?”. The ensuing scenes inspirational as we compete to High Five the least likely of people. The grimmest we could find. You’d be surprised how many shared the embrace of awesomeness. Chavs, neds, hippies, wipeouts. In fact no-one turned them down. All feeling all that more awesome. So I guess High Fiving to irritate tends to backfire on me. Why? Because people love to High Five. Fact. High Fives feel awesome. To me they are the international sign of awesomeness. No matter where in the world you are a high five brightens your day. On this journey I bring a big bag full of them to share with the Northern Hill Tribes in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Bringing some happiness to this somewhat glum bunch.

Before the Hi 5, Chiang Rai Akha Hill Tribes Northern Thailand, AsiaElderly Hill Tribe, Chiang Rai Akha Hill Tribes Northern Thailand, Asia

High Fiving Hill Tribes

These Hill Tribes really need High Fives. Their lives do suck a little. Living as props in a museum. Living a life in limbo; no citizenship or rights within Thailand means they can’t really go anywhere. Day in, day out being prodded by tourists. “Can I count the rings on your neck? Does it hurt? Your life must suck…” Anyway I am not here to preach ethics, today I am here to spread awesomeness via the palm of my hand. Sharing that special High Five moment, the split, spine tingling second between awkwardness and awesomeness. And when I do I am shocked. Hill Tribes do not know how to High Five. I’m guessing they don’t watch much TV but westerners do pass through everyday. Poking, prodding… but obviously not High Fiving. The Hill Tribes endure the same repetitive mundanity each and every day. “27 rings? well done”… Please do something different. High Five them. Dance with  them. Share some happiness with them. After all they are humans not objects. They too want to High Five and feel awesome just like the rest of us. The reaction are well worth it. Some heartwarming. Fake smiles turn to real smiles. Eat to ear grins of betel stained teeth. Kids egg to get in on the action. Everyone wanting to High Five and feel awesome.

Hi 5 with Young Girl, Chiang Rai Akha Hill Tribes Northern Thailand, AsiaYoung Long Necks, Chiang Rai Akha Hill Tribes Northern Thailand, Asia

High Five Haters

Or closet High Fivers as I like to think of them. Fanfan is one of them. Partly due to me High Fiving on everything “Breakfast Time. High Five!… Left hanging. “Down low”….. nothing. To remind her of what she’s missing I High Five all her friends instead. Spreading the awesomeness in other directions. Anyway when High fiving Hill Tribes Fanfan (the High Five hater) couldn’t hold back. Straight in on the action with High Tens. Not quite High Fives but effective all the same. Note I recently did a High Six with disastrous consequences.

 Hi 10 with Hill Tribes, Chiang Rai Akha Hill Tribes Northern Thailand, Asia

Left Hanging

Surprisingly this rarely happens on the road. In fact (other than with Fanfan) it has only happened to me once. I wont name the offender for obvious reasons. The spoil sport I met on the roads of Savannakhet while riding in his dad’s Tuk-Tuk in Southern Laos. I shared 5 offerings of High Fives and am shunned on them all. High Five….. High Five… palm left hanging every time. No more offered than a stern and judgmental expression. Note this was an isolated incident and does not represent the people of Laos.

Tuk-Tuk Savanakhet Laos, Chiang Rai Akha Hill Tribes Northern Thailand, AsiaHi 5 Left Hanging, Chiang Rai Akha Hill Tribes Northern Thailand, Asia

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