You Can Go Now
Five Star Village Fun Part 2
By Feral Freddie
Well we woke up to a beautiful Isaan morning and my lovely lady walked out into the foyer of the hotel we were staying at and made me a coffee. I drank this in bed whilst watching TV and she took a shower at the same time. I then showered as well and we headed over to the morning markets to get something to eat and also some supplies for a day out with the family in the countryside.
I really enjoy coming to the markets with my girl as she knows lots of people here and has a great sense of humor, so whenever we stop to talk with someone it's laughter all round. There was one lady who she knows that sells tobacco and bettle and related goods. She sits cross legged on this little bench and likes to have a chat to anyone passing bye. My girl knows her well and tells me she has a lot of money and is always helping people and was real pleased when the old lady told her I was jai dee. We purchased some goods off her for the oldies in the village and then had a hell of a time getting her to take our money but eventually she did. The next time I met her she had brought me a bag of som-oh which is a large grapefruit and very delicious. I guess she won that one in the end then. We also had fun at this large store type stall that sold in bulk to other vendors. The woman who was running this was a real character and could speak a little English. She was complaining to us that her husband was always drunk and that I had to get her a nice farang man. I am quite sure in her day she would have been very pretty and even now looked after herself. I purchased a case of beer Chang cans from her for a princely sum of 400 baht I think it was as well as some other drinks for the kids. We also got heaps of coconuts and various vegetables and some meat for our day out.
We waited for sister in law to come and collect the veggies and meat from the hotel so she could go back to the village and get the food ready for our day out. Soon enough she arrived with a friend and they rode back to the village with the food and we waited for her grandfather to pick us up in his truck which we had hired for the day out. When he arrived we loaded the coconuts and beer in to the back and got in for our ride to the village. I video taped the trip and he was playing some Isaan music on the stereo at a rather loud level which really suited the filming I was doing. When we arrived the sister in law had been cooking up a storm and had made me some rice soup to eat. She really knows how to cook and soon enough had prepared a feast to behold. The men load the esky full of beer Chang, ice and coconuts on to the back of the truck and soon enough where all ready to pile in.
Off we go on our adventure but we still have one passenger to pick who has pride of place in the front seat reserved for him. I am soon to meet the VIP, it's the village monk. We arrive at the temple, pick him up and off we go and head out towards this waterfall called something like Hoay Yai. This is quite a trip going through lots of rice farms and such and eventually on to a dirt road that takes us very close to the Cambodian border. I felt really sorry for the crowd in the back of the truck because every time we passed one of the big trucks roaring down these dirt roads they would get absolutely covered in dirt. I am real glad I was paying and got to sit up front in the VIP section.
We arrived at Hoay Yai and it is a beautiful little waterfall right in front of a Thai military post. Everyone hops out and the kids race for the falls. They and most of the adults or shall we call them big kids scale their way down to the bottom for some aquatic fun. After playing for a while the group decides this place is kaput because the Khmer ruined it with their bombs and now they want to go to a place called Non Sam Ran which is now also a long way from where we have just traveled to. Oh well mai pen rai and off we go and all pile back into the truck for the next leg of our journey.
We arrive at Non Sam Ran and I am impressed by the place. It is a kind of picnic ground surrounding a lake with all of these great little timber and thatch roofed huts surrounding it. They have a restaurant and bar with karaoke there and paddle boats for hire. Overall it is a very well thought out place and very clean and tidy. As you would guess the kids are all straight down to the water for some sanuk. Us big kids have some refreshments and the ladies all start to prepare the food for our meal and are in a hurry to get it ready so we don't go past the time monks are allowed to eat. I think they have to eat by 12 PM. I purchased some Smirnoff vodka and Jameson's Irish whisky in Bangkok and mixed some drinks up for the relatives. They all started their drinks and I poured my whiskey straight over ice as I like. When it was time for the next round the other guys all wanted their whisky straight like mine. You should have seen the looks on faces when they had their first taste. You would have thought I had tried to poison them. We managed to get on well even though we had no idea what we were all talking about. I had a few beer Changs and let them drink as they wanted. I mixed some vodka and coconut juice which the ladies really liked as well.
Lunch was now ready for the monk and all the food was laid before him to eat as he liked. He was only very young I thought to be a monk but was held in great respect by his village and I was told by my girl that he has very strong visions and this is probably because of all the dead Khmer people in the area. Well after he finished eating he disappeared to another hut for some meditation I guess and all the kids where called back for lunch. We all had so much great food and drink that day I thought we would burst.
Lunch was over and the mob all went and hired paddle boats for the afternoon. I was going to pay for them but my girl informed me that they had already purchased their own, so as you see, the farang does not always have to pay for everything. I got some great video footage of the day and especially the fun the kids where having in those paddle boats. I sat around with my favorite uncle and he practiced his fluent ten word English skills on me again. He had a bit of a glow up and to my surprise so had his wife who did not usually drink. After a few more hours of sanuk the mob decided it was time to head back to the village. We all loaded back into the truck and headed back to the village via the temple to drop the monk off. We unloaded the truck and settled in for a few more drinks before dinner.
My girl's daughters decided they wanted to stay in the motel with us so they went for a shower and came back all fresh and ghostly looking covered in white powder. Me and uncle and aunty made sure we polished off the rest of the imported spirits and all had a real glow going by now. Sister in law was busy cooking up some plant they had found at the lake and soon we had yet another meal to consume. It was called something in Cambodian named peeka and we ate it barbequed Laos style with chilli lemon and herbs. Very delicious, especially when you are 3/4 cut.
Night is falling and its time to head back to Kantharalak for would you believe, another meal! My girl and her two daughters and myself and all their clothes for the following day manage to squeeze on to the Honda Wave and we head back to Kantharalak to a very popular outdoor barbeque restaurant. She drops me and the daughters there and takes the rest of the stuff back to the hotel. This was a funny situation as I speak very little Thai and the girls speak bugger all English and somehow we managed to get a table and order some food and drinks before my lady gets back. It was a great place where the tables have a hole in them and they put one of those pots in it with burning coals. On top of that they place a dome with a mote like trough around the bottom and the top has holes in the metal to barbeque your meat on. They give you a plate of vegetables and sprouts and a pot of water and you pour the water into the trough and cook the vegetables in the water while your various marinated meats cook on the top. You get a bowl of chilli sauce to put on top when you are eating what has been cooked. The lady running the restaurant tried to give me soy for mine thinking the chilli would be to hot for a farang but I love it hot and she was surprised when I needed a second bowl of chilli.
Dinner was over and it was time to head back to the hotel but I convinced my darling the kids needed something extra to eat from seven eleven. This became a nightly excursion for the rest of our trip. Well back to the room and we all had showers again and climbed into bed and watched some TV. I crashed out with a fun day behind and more fun ahead of me. Sorry Stick, no electrical appliances or visits to the car dealer yet.
to be continued
Will it all go bang?