Five Star Fun Village Style
By Ferral Freddie
I am living with a Thai woman in Australia and we are soon to have a child together. She has two children already who are able to come to Australia if they want to. We decided to go to Thailand before she has our baby as it will be difficult to travel
once the baby is born.
I had been in Asia previously before meeting my new love as a single male and had spent most of my time in Angeles City and Cubic Bay in the Philippines. I must say that I am happy I have been to both countries now and overall the two countries although geographically close together are like two totally different worlds.
I arrived at around 11 pm and my darling (who had travelled two weeks ahead of me) was waiting to pick me up and take us to our hotel. We stayed in a small motel near the U S embassy and arrived there around 12.30 am. I was hungry and asked her if we could try and find something to eat so she took me to the Nana area at around 1 am when everything was closing. What a sight for tired eyes it was. People everywhere. Johns, girls and katoey swarming in every direction. Well I could only find street food and was not ready to try that yet so ended up going back to our motel and getting something to snack on from 7 Eleven on the way back.
When I arrived I decided to give all my money to my darling for safe keeping and spending. She is fantastic at handling money and I knew my funds would be a lot safer and go a lot further with her in control. This also helped a lot when we were in the village as everybody soon learnt that the walking ATM was out of order and if anybody wanted anything they had to face the queen of the cheap charlies instead of me. We spent the first two days doing the touristy things like the Kings Palace and Panthip Plaza, a katoey cabaret show and a few bars at Nana, the skytrain and visited a few of her friends also.
It was soon time to head for the village and we had decided to go by bus. We went on a VIP bus and travelled at night time which was a bit sad as I would have liked to have seen some of the countryside. I hate to travel so I had a few beer Changs and a couple of sips of whiskey before we left and managed to sleep for most of the way. The bus terminal even at 9 pm at night is just a hive of activity and very hot as well.
We arrived at Kanthrarlak bus terminal at around 6.00 am and immediately my girl knew people there and decided to arrange two samlor drivers to take us to our hotel. I felt sorry for these guys as they had to cart me and all of my stuff a fair way before we got to our hotel. My driver was an old guy and her driver was some younger guy who she went to school with that had been always annoying her through her school life. We stayed at a fairly new motel called the SP hotel which was clean and tidy and well situated in the middle of town very close to the morning markets. We checked in to our room and headed across to the markets for a look around. I wish I could find the words to describe the sights and smells of this place as they are definitely unlike anything I had experienced before. It was kind of funny as we where both walking around in very light attire and these poor local folk where mostly rugged up as if it was really cold. It is definitely cooler in Isaan in the mornings than in Bangkok but it is not anything close to cold by my standards and shorts sandals and a singlet top suited me fine.
We stocked up on some items to take out to the village and grabbed a few foods to eat for breakfast as well. After a shower we took a small knap and woke up reasonably refreshed mid morning. My darling's sister in law and one of her friends arrived on two Honda Wave motorbikes to collect our groceries and take us out to the village. We stopped for lunch first and collected my sweetheart's daughter from school to eat with us. After we ate our lunch we took the daughter back to school and headed out to the village on our motorbikes. I was sitting behind my very pregnant darling and the sister in law and friend took the other bike. The village was around 15 minutes away from the town and soon enough we had arrived at my girl's mother's house. She had pre-warned me that the house was poor with no windows and was in bad condition and I must admit when I saw it I was really happy that she had talked me into staying at a hotel instead of her mother's house. It is basically one large room with some furniture to store things, a large bed, a fridge and TV and some cooking equipment downstairs and upstairs which can only be accessed from the outside is used for storing rice. They have a washing machine and water pump out back.
Well with that shock out of the way I decided to go for a ride around the village on our motorbike and see what's around. It is very quiet during the day time as most people are on the farms working and only some women seem to be around going about
their business. I rode past her grandfather's house and he was being bathed in his front yard by an aunty. Soon after the grandfather, grandmother and some aunties came to see the farang. The old coot has some sort of incurable skin disease
and looks terrible and I think grandma had been on the Lao Kao. Both aunties are chewing that beetle stuff and it freaks me out when I see their red spit. I get my video camera out and start to do some filming and had great fun
showing them footage of themselves. This was an even bigger hit with all the kids when they got back from school.
We went for a ride to her uncle's house but he was not there and then went to a store to get some beer Chang for the evening when all the relatives would come over. We went and picked up daughter two from school and soon enough all the kids had arrived from their various schools and the village came to life. I made friends with all the kids and we had a ball playing lots of silly games and even though we could not speak each other's language the common language of fun was understood by all. I had a whole heap of lollies and chocolates from Australia for these kids and they seemed to like them a lot. We went inside and watched some kid's DVDs until the rest of the family and friends arrived. I was asked to come and meet her uncle who as it turns out knows about 10 English words and has great fun trying them out on me. He is a nice guy and looks and acts differently from the rest of the family.
We start to have a few beers and try to communicate as best we can. I made a big mistake and tried some of that Lao Kao shit. How could any one drink this bilge water. Oh well, when in Rome do as the Romans do. We all sat on these really small benches that were mad from scrap timber and were way too close to the ground and very uncomfortable to sit on for me and also a kind of large table type thing that stood around two feet of the ground. Every front yard seemed to have one of these things and they where used for eating on as well.
The sister in law is a fantastic cook and she whipped us up some very hot and spicy Isaan fare. We had steamed fish, Tom Yum fish and some barbequed fish that was cooked over one of those clay pot type outdoor stoves that they use. It was all delicious and very very hot. Everyone did not think I would be able to eat their type of cooking and were amazed at how hot I could eat my food. I eat this type of food at home all the time and really enjoy it. When the meal was over I went to get some more drinks for every one and was surprised to learn that my girl's family don't drink after eating. From the other articles I have read about trips to the village I was expecting that these people would drink till everything was gone. Oh well I had a good glow up by now anyway and soon we would head back to our motel for the night.
We said our goodbyes and rode back to our motel for a nice hot shower and a good nights sleep and so ends my first day in Isaan.
To be continued (if you want)
Yep, good stuff, we wanna know what happens next. A trip to the appliance store? Or perhaps even to the local car dealer?!