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One Week In Udon Part 1

  • Written by Steve
  • June 13th, 2005
  • 5 min read


One Week In Udon Part 2


After nearly a day of travelling I was totally burnt out but she looked a hell of a lot worse when we finally got off the bus in the middle of a crossroads in the middle of nowhere. So where do we go from here came to mind when in the next breath a little scooter stops at the side of us.

"This is one of my brothers“, I was informed. Never did get his name, so off we go on the moped to a small village and eventually to her house where I guess 40 to 50 people were gathered. We were ushered inside and upstairs and then something really strange. We were given a room together, something I definitely did not expect, bags were dumped and I was then paraded in front of everyone like a freak. I later found out I was one of only three people to visit in the last five years.

Not till much later did I find out that has she was the youngest. She was supposed to do all the cooking, serving and general slave work but for nearly a week she did this without complaint and only on two hours sleep a night. Every morning she was up at 2:00 AM to go to market to get the food for the day and start to prepare for everyone. Three times a day this went on until on the third day I told her that we would go to the market together and cook for all together. Not a big deal I thought but boy what a fuss was made over a farang cooking dinner but they ate it all and compliments abounded.

On day five at 4:00 AM it was the funeral and for those of you that have not been but get the chance I advise you to go to one. It totally blew my mind. The next day at 4:00 AM it was announced we were going fishing. Strange never saw a rod anywhere so I waited and waited. At about 2:00 PM I finally asked “when we go fishing”. Out comes the mobile and I get told in 1 hour so after the hour we head up farm. Nearing the farm I hear a steady chug chug chug and when we get there I find their version of fishing is to pump the lake out then walk in and fetch the fish and as many snails, shrimps etc. I could not stop laughing “oh well you learn something new everyday I suppose" but this was nothing as I was about to learn after a good meal and a few drinks with her brother etc. More whiskey, it was getting late well late by the times get up with the sun go to bed when it sets.

At about 1:00 AM she starts talking to her 2 brothers and then leans over and asks me ”you like beef, yes?” so in all my innocence I say “yes“. After another 10 minutes of talking both brothers get up and leave the house. “Where they going", I ask. Stupid fool that I am “get beef” came the reply again I dig my hole a little deeper “market not open till 4 am I pronounce” “no market beef in field" came the reply back oh well I suppose that’s that for the cow then? About two hours later brothers are back with said cow and half the village in tow. I still don’t know what the hell went on then but it seemed everyone in the village appeared with chopping board and knives in hand and so began a few hours of making the cow into mince. It seems every piece got in there somehow.

The whole funeral thing went on for a week. I did not realise they burn you twice, once for the body and once for the bones making damn sure you ain't coming back I suppose. The week seemed to fly by and I must admit even though it was a funeral I really enjoyed seeing a totally different way of life and learnt a lot even in this short time.

I think I also surprised a lot of the villagers by actually staying there as well instead of disappearing to the nearest hotel and I think my g/f really saw that has a good thing even her mother who gave me the that what the hell look in the first few hours seemed to come round and asked via her daughter if I would like to come back sometime to which I replied “yes of course”. G/f full of smiles as we headed to the bus stop with whole village in tow to send us off back to Bangkok.

Seven hours and a thousand years later we arrived back at Bangkok and I hated it. Two worlds totally apart we spent the next two nights in the hotel but strange as it may seem I just could not get comfy also knowing the time to go was getting near. The last day came, the inevitable crying session and the when you come back I don’t want you go but as they say “no money no honey” and so we left for Don Muang and the goodbye. I hate that, don’t know about you?

Well safely back in the UK to 10 missed calls, God knows how many text messages and this continues everyday. Been back 2 more times since and now she has even quit the salon and is going back home to be with family said very nice thing last time “I live in BKK for 10 year but after father die realise family more important than money“. That was very touching and she still did not ask for anything. So maybe, just maybe, there are some real life ladies out there. I will see in the next few months I guess.

Stickman's thoughts:

Time to put a ring on her finger?