Stickman Readers' Submissions March 12th, 2004

Gone Fishing (In Isaan) Part 3

A couple of days after the "Great Surin Elephant Round-up Show" I managed to acquire some wheels for the remainder of the trip from a brother-in-law. Our friends with the frequently rented red shitbox pick-up having sold the truck a few days before to, guess who, a fisherman! The guy wanted some new wheels to bring his daily catch to market and purchased their truck. Once we had the in-laws wheels we planned going to the village for a few days.

It was rice picking season. I was taking the family rice pickers to the fields down the street on a dirt road that heads way back behind the village in the morning in the truck. I would hang out a bit and watch the family pick the fields of ripened rice, video-taping some of this, and the wife too, as she was going to stay and help them in the fields for a couple of days and I had to tape this event for posterity. I even tried my hand at it for a minute or two. Fuck that job! Can't imagine doing this for a living! After a while Sis and I took off to the town where she had bought her fishing rod to get one for me.

He Clinic Bangkok

Actually they had the same fishing rods for sale at Makro right near our house in Surin I'd noticed earlier in the week, but for a hundred baht more, and without any bait and tackle to go with the rod, no lures, no extras needed to outfit the gear to be able to fish….just the rods. Sis wanted to go to this other town anyway to pick up some other stuff for another sister for her shop, and she said they had everything I needed for fishing there, and cheaper too. So off we went. I had nothing else pressing to do. Besides, I actually do enjoy driving about the rural countryside in Isaan.

Once we got to the town, can't remember the name of it off-hand, been there a few times, we stopped at a huge outdoor market, bought the stuff Sis #2 needed for her shop, paid for by Sis, who had the cash already for these purchases, stashed everything in the back of the pick-up, and headed for the fishing shop. This was on the other side of the market across the street in a normal storefront shop.

We wended our way through the maze of aisles through the market, me trying not to poke my eye out on a rusty umbrella spoke as I ducked and weaved and dodged the asian height temporary market "roofs" installed everywhere to keep out the blazing tropical sunshine. And I tried not to step on the myriad available wares spread around damn near every available square meter of floor space as I made my way through to the other side. Sis was saying hello to about half the people there it seemed. This woman knows at least half the people in Thailand I think. Everywhere we go there's someone that knows her smiling face. She is a hot shit.

CBD bangkok

Finally we came to the other side and she pointed out the fishing shop. We ambled over and she started yakking to a guy sitting in the shade just inside the doorway, obviously the proprietor. Sis introduced us and I said my Sawadee krups and started checking out the place. She told the guy what I was looking for and he started pulling stuff out from behind the glass counter for me to look at. I saw the Zebco rods like she had bought, checked out a few, and decided on a bright green one for me. Like she said, they were 270 baht. Cheap enough, and handy as they collapsed down to about 18" and could be easily taken anywhere. I grabbed a few different size Mepps spinner lures he had, an assortment of hook sizes, (not knowing exactly what the hell I'd be catching really) some weights and leaders, a few dozen assorted sized swivel clasp snap hooks, and other assorted gear. The guy kept trying to palm off a funky looking cheap-assed lure that looked like a brass spring with a pink plastic bead inside it on me. I'd never seen one before, didn't know what the fuck it was really, other than some sort of lure, and told him it wasn't what I needed or wanted. All in all he had most everything I needed, though not the best or the largest assortment I'd ever seen. But hey, this is Thailand, Isaan too. My expectations weren't high to begin with. Some of the spoon lures were the cheapest pieces of junk I'd ever seen, but affordable to the average Isaan fisherman/farmer I'd think. I bought a few. Along with a couple spools of extra line too. The guy didn't have any floats or bobbers though, which I thought odd. Hey, I'm no expert fisherman, I just like fishing, and I know how to, and I like having an assortment of ways to try to catch a damned fish. From what I've seen in my life something you have in your tackle box is bound to work, if you have a large enough assortment of delicacies to entice the buggers to bite the friggin' hook. Personally for me though fishin' isn't really about catching fish. It's more of a way to sit around outside not doing much of anything except relaxing. Fishing is meditation. I'll bet Buddha fished quite a bit. Although only catch and release for sure!

Everything, and I did get quite a bit of stuff, came to less than a couple thousand baht. The damned Mepps lures were the most expensive stuff I'd gotten. The guy was so happy at making some dough that day that he threw in the springy brass lure thingie for free! Such a deal.

Sis and I said goodbye to the now broadly smiling shop owner and made our way back through the maze of transient capitalism to the truck. We stashed my new gear and I turned on the truck so the a/c could take the temp inside the cab down a few degrees before entering for the ride back to our village. It had been cool out all week, but today the sun was bearing down like it thought it was over the Sahara desert. Damn, it had gotten hot since this morning!

Sis looked at me and smiled and asked "You okay?" I told her I was fine and had everything I needed. I smiled back at her and said "Well come on! Let's go fishing!" She looked at me as though I was nuts, I am, so I don't mind getting those kinda looks from most people, and we jumped into the truck and headed back out along the dusty road, dodging a few suicidal soi dogs, scrawny ass chickens, a pedestrian or two, and many dilapidated vehicles of two wheels and more.

wonderland clinic

I was happy. I was goin' fishin'! I started hummin' my fishin' song, then broke out in song at the top of my lungs, startling Sis, who said I was Baba Bobo. That I am Sis. That I am.

(to be continued)

Stickman says:

More Magic From Cent.

nana plaza