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Under A Full Moon And The Golem Tree Part 5

  • Written by Cent
  • February 14th, 2004
  • 7 min read



Rather than sitting about all day not doing much but drinking, eating, reading my books, or trying to talk the wifey-poo into shocking the sensibilities of our nosy neighbors with an afternoon shag-fest, I try to find things of interest in the area to do a few times a week. Fishing is a good one. Shopping too, if it's for something that "I" want to buy. If it's something the wife wants to buy it can turn into an all day thing. Girl watching comes to mind as a fun way to kill an afternoon also, but the wife isn't into that, so it's not a "couple" activity, plus there are some hungry ducks out and about in the village.

I'm not religious, so sitting about the Wat and meditating with the monks is out, and plays hell on the knees and back. Playing video games with look sow (daughter) can be fun, but she's in school all week. I'd play video games with the wife, but she cheats.

I don't ever want to get the village ladies playing card games in the afternoon. They become obsessed and mental about this, it's also illegal, and they'll play for 24 hours non-stop until someone has lost the water buffalo, rice tractor, all their rai of rice fields, the house and pick-up truck, and next thing you know cute little Noi is being pulled out of school and sent to Pattaya to work in a beer bar to earn enough money to buy the farm and house and stuff back from the winners, with a few of the other village lasses whose parents are shitty card players who are already there in Pattaya and sending home a fortune in baht so their shitty card playing parents can get drunk and lose the money and end up sending younger sis down to join her. (This is not a joke. It happens.) So that's out for recreational possibilities. I've tried to show them some farang kids type of card games to play, but they keep trying to bet on these games too.

Well, I'm fascinated and interested in ancient civilizations and the buildings the ancients erected and such. It's a cheap afternoon out, and cultural and interesting, and educational. Kinda like actually being in a National Geographic or Discovery Channel video of your own it is. And usually you'll run across some other things and places of interest. Something unusual usually happens on these outings to liven up the day and give a laugh or two. Diesel fuel is cheap enough too.

So. Let's go on an Isaan adventure for the afternoon darlings! I'll get to see the countryside in all its glory and splendor, stumble around ancient ruins nearly breaking an ankle or leg while trying to get that awesome angle shot of the carved stella face for my video camera, and you gals can get to stop and eat a couple of times at some unique and cool little noodle shop for some Cobra Venom soup, or minced spicy Buffalo balls and sesame oil fried rice, while I ice down my swollen ankle with a cold beer Chang. Whaddaya say? Up to me darling? I thought so. Let's go.

Plus when we get home we can show the kids in the village tonight the video of some ancient and religious temples that they have never seen in their lives, that is only 20 miles away from their village. (Actually I do this on the weekends sometimes too, and drag along a truck bed full of village school kids so they can see and experience and learn something about the cultural and archaeological sites in their area. It's amazing to watch them, and equally amazing how many kids a few hundred baht can feed at the noodle shops after. It's fun!)

So off we went into the wilds of Isaan to explore. Good ol' Carl Perkins woulda been proud of me, if he was still alive.

We took the info I had gathered, along with the directions and locations of these ruins, and planned out a driving loop around the area which would let us stop and see all the places as we rode out of the village and circled back home later.

We saw a few nice ruins, one that has been rehabbed and was very beautiful and well preserved with a nice pond on the property filled with lovely water flowers and huge carp. I wished I had my fishing rod with me. We stopped and ate some delicious food while searching for one small very old ruin which is on the property of a new Wat. The monks caretake the ruin. It was a bit difficult to find, and even though we asked about thirty fucking people along the way, none of them gave the right directions.

Basically we just stumbled onto the place while the falang driver, me, used his acute directional location abilities. I'm surprised a Thai can find his own ass to wipe it sometimes, well wash it actually. They are absolutely horrible at giving directions, and maps are a totally alien concept it seems, drawn up by foolish farangs, and only meant to confuse.

Actually I drove past the friggin' place three times. Right there, in huge gold lettering on a white-washed cement wall, were words in Thai. Wat Somefuckingthingoranother. Finally I pulled up to this place, I knew this had to be the place, but each time we drove by it wife and Sis said not a word. I pointed out the scribbling gibberish on this wall to them, and pointedly asked the wife, "Can you read Thai?" She grins at me, oblivious to my farang sarcasm, and says, "Yes, can." I press on. "Do you need glasses darling? You see okay?" I fairly growl. "Huh? Sure. See okay no problum." she smiles back at my loving concern for her well being. This ascertained and spoken I asked her, "Can you please read what is written on this wall and tell me what it says?" She peers out her window, reads the wall, exclaims in Lao to Sis, and they both start laughing and howling like hyenas. "Hahahahahahahahahaha! Not see! This is Wat! Hahahahahahahaha!" she chortles, amazed that she hadn't seen it the last three fucking times we passed it, at about maybe 5 kph I'd like to add.

My blood pressure rises, my face hardens, I silently vow to myself not to strangle the both of them, nor the next Thai person that gives me wrong directions who doesn't know where the fuck the place I'm asking for is, yet to save face has to make something up. A lifetime spent in a nasty Thai monkey house just isn't worth the satisfaction this would obviously give me at this moment. I know now why Burma and Cambodia attacked the Thais all the time. They could invade and pillage and plunder all they liked, and then just go back home, secure in the knowledge that the Thais would not be able to punish them for their transgressions, because, the Thais could never FIND Burma or Cambodia!!!!

Arrrrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!!!!

I sat and boiled in my frustration while they giggled like maniacs at this oh so goddamned funny stuff. I glared at the wife, and in my best Ralph Cramden HoneyMooners imitation said, roared actually, "One of these days Alice! One of these days! POW!! TO THE MOON!!!!!!"

She looked puzzled at me and said, "What you say darling? You angly me?" Sigh. I still can't remain angry at her once she does this. It's so damned cute really. I sigh, a big sigh, smile at her and say, "No darling. I'm not angry with you. Just a falang joke. No problem. Mai pen lai. Let's go see the ruins. And next time we're in Surin I'm taking you to the damned eye doctor's and get your blind ass checked out woman."

I backed up to the driveway entrance, pulled into the Wat, and found the parking area behind it.

(to be continued)

Cent
(The Central Scrutinizer)
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"Among the blind the one-eyed is a king."

Proverb

Stickman says:

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