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Graduation party for the class of 2010: gold-digger

Please notice this was first posted in the period 2012-2014 and can be outdated

A couple of weeks ago we got an invitation in our mailbox for the upcoming graduation party for the class of 2010. The name of the class may sound strange, but at Sasin they have a different way of counting and the class of 2010 is the class that starts in 2010, and not the one that graduates in 2010, otherwise the party would be more of a reunion party than a graduation party.

The invitation for the Sasin graduation night for the class of 2010.

The location for the party looked very promising, a 5-star hotel in the center of Bangkok, but unfortunately we had to buy an entrance ticket for about 1,500 baht so again, just as in Hua Hin, we paid for the luxurious atmosphere ourselves. The class of 2011 organized this party with the hopes we will do the same for them next year, when – and if – they graduate, and they even added a theme to the gala to make sure it would become a night to remember. As I later learned the theme was selected in typical Thai democratic style where everybody had the opportunity to vote on the nominated themes, and the theme that was eventually adopted as the official party theme was neither the one that won the vote nor was a close runner-up.

Be over the top; just dress up as a gold digger and make this a real themed party! From now on I know to read this as “wear a suit”.

A themed party is only fun when people take a real effort to comply with the theme, and the class of 2011 made clear to us that they were expecting just that from us. With a theme of gold-digger you can go a lot of ways, from wearing anything gold and shiny to taking “gold-digger” literally and dressing up in a coverall with a pick-axe. I guess this theme would be rather easy for the ladies, since they all already own something gold and shiny or are more than willing to go shopping for it, but for the guys it might be a bit harder since the average straight man does not have a shiny section of shirts and pants in his closet that he can wear outside the bedroom. Here it was time to let my imagination go a little bit, so I just decided to go as a “gold nugget” by wearing everything in yellow.

Since all my golden clothes were at the drycleaners, I opted for a yellow outfit in the spirit of “I am dressed as a gold nugget”.

When going to the party, completely dressed up, by public transport, I got a number of stares from people that made me a bit uncomfortable. Most people probably were in doubt if I am really dressed up for a party or if I am just flamboyantly gay, and one older lady even approached me near the hotel to point out to me that she liked how I was dressed and that I was wearing everything in yellow. Thanks, I hadn’t noticed that myself yet.

When I arrived at the hotel, around 6:20PM, the first disappointment came when I noticed I was one of the first people there. The invitation clearly said it would start at 6PM but the ballroom did not open till 7PM. They probably took the fact that Thais are often late for appointments into their calculations and for the ones who are more punctual it is just bad luck.

The second disappointment came when I started to notice that not everybody had taken the “dressing-up-over-the-top” so seriously. While most ladies did wear something yellow or gold, most guys just wore a suit; some with a yellow tie but some had not even taken that effort. In total there were maybe 15 out of the 250 guests dressed up.

Sasin MBA class of 2012; with a gold nugget in the front

To summarize the evening I would say that the food was not impressive, the photo slideshow of 12 minutes was utterly boring since we knew absolutely nobody in any of those 1200 pictures that passed by, and the speeches and performances were ruined by a sound system that had trouble amplifying complete sentences. There were some opportunities to take pictures of oneself and each other in the hallway though, something every Thai seemed to enjoy to the max. The party ended with live performances of the student band but even the free alcohol being served could not cover up the sound system raping every tonal cord. Against midnight people left the premises in smaller groups to find other clubs and bars for the afterparty, and that is how I ended up in a nice gentleman’s club all dressed in yellow.

Cost savings: instead of letting everyone grab their own raw fish there was a guy cutting it for us freshly. Extra cost to hire the guy for an evening: 1,000 baht. Savings due to small portions and a long line of people waiting: 100,000 baht.

Party location. Shitty sound system is included in the rent.

Live band performance at the end of the evening.

Next year the class of 2012 will be in control of this party, so hopefully it will be even more fun that evening.