Visiting Noi’s Village
Yes, I am going to Noi’s home…. Why, why, why? Oh, yeah, I forgot how much I disliked all my previous visits to “the Village”. Noi grows flowers and works part time as a cashier at a Karaoke bar about 5 miles outside the village… A real hoot.
My wonderful darling who turned out to be a nightmare….
Of course, I could have visited another nice college grad student’s home or a bank teller lady’s family with proper facilities, but no, I have to go to the outskirts of humanity… I am laughing at myself… It is definitely a place I could never live, but to be honest, most of the folks there seemed happy and were nice. I had made promises to myself before that I would NEVER visit the villages again…
After a couple of almost impossibly polite visits with upper class educated Thai girls, and meeting the parents, discussing future plans and being so proper, I was stiff with posture and scared to death of saying the wrong thing. Yes, most of the very nice educated ladies I have met DO bring one or both parents with them to meet the first time.
Noi says everything very cheap in her village… No spend much money.. Of course she does not speak one word of English, and I’m busting my brain to speak my very best Thai, which is about equal to that of a three year old child.
I was thinking it would be a good idea to rent a car at the airport in Udon or hire driver… Oh, no, say Noi… I have friend pick up up… Driver too much money… Well, what a great idea…. So the friend shows up with 6 other friends and we cram into his truck and shortly thereafter stop at a very nice little pond to eat…. Of course the Farang pays for everything and it’s about 1,800 baht for all the fish, shrimp, booze, etc. Haha.
Guess I decided it was time to go to the opposite spectrum, but I still had to meet Noi’s mom.
Well, guys, I am truly in another world right now. I should have known when I started down the road to her home that I had made a big mistake, one that I have made before, but seem to forget every couple of years that I really should not be going to a girl’s home to visit the family….
I have gone to Noi's home, and it is much much much different than even I imagined… I have been to small villages before, but I think this one tops it all… It's a rolling hills area with very, very small thatched roof homes… The home that Noi was born in and has lived in for 30 years is no bigger than many bathrooms. I would say maybe 150 square feet inside, built on stilts and just a few pieces of cheap would on the outside with palm leaves on the top. A make shift homemade ladder is used to climb into the home, two beds inside with mosquito nets, and a bed on the porch. Underneath the house there are hanging hammocks. A family of 6 or 7 live here…. the bathroom is a small block structure in back with a squat toilet and couple buckets of water…
They grow about 2 or 3 acres of flowers to sell, and appear to make a decent living from that. They are all happy, mostly shoeless and carless… Have a couple bikes…. There is a small outdoor kitchen… and yes, I have photo documentation of all this…. Of course all the relatives show up to meet me… You could tell they had had their hair done and really tried to look their best even though they live in the most primitive conditions that I could ever imagine.
Yes, there is a full kitchen available also.
Everyone was quite kind and friendly…. They gave me a chair while everyone else sat on mats on the ground and shared food and drink… Oh, yeah, of course, the Farang buys all the whiskey, beer and food for every lost family member…and it can get quite expensive. <This is a good point to make. While village life is cheap, when a farang comes to town, the expectation can be on him to treat all and sundry to a nice meal, unlimited alcohol as well as stock up the pantry with food for the next week as well as finance any new appliances – Stick>
Depending on the time of the day the mats would be moved to more shade or a cooler area. There were a few toddlers half naked just running wild with a couple wild puppies. Haha. The whole village and this area are spectacularly beautiful and peaceful with most of the folks in the are growing flowers, rice and running other small businesses. We are on our way out to karaoke now. Already check in to a gorgeous Thai cottage on a lake that equals the nicest environment of any hotel I have ever stayed at for 450 baht per night. Anyway, the whole thing is turning into quite a lovely experience..
Well, at least I thought it MIGHT be… haha
Now to the karaoke… this should really be fun… Wow where did all these people come from… They must be spending a lot of money. There is whiskey and beer bottles everywhere. Everybody is so nice. It’s very hard to hear with all the music and singing. Noi has a lovely voice. Wow, tons of food coming to our table too. I wonder who is ordering all this food? Such nice people…
Well, it’s getting late and time to go back to our lovely cottage. Check, please?
2000 baht! What? Yes, the farang is buying everything for everybody.. haha.
Very difficult for me to keep my cool, but I did… Okay, first night… I won’t allow this to happen again. Yeah, sure…
So the next day we go to Nongkhai near the Laos Border and I quite enjoyed the day.
There’s a long story behind this place, and I have all the info on it, but I won’t bore you with the details.
To be fair, Noi and her friends did take me to many nice places and I have hundreds of photos of the countryside and national parks, streams and waterfalls…. It was very enjoyable, but somehow for three days, it seemed every time we sat down to eat there would end up being a huge bill where I was not only paying for the food and liquor that were all consuming at that moment, but later I learned they were ordering bags of food to take with them also… <Hehehe, just like I said! – Stick> Yes, I did like Noi very much, and for a rare few days allowed myself to be taken advantage of…
It was a very good learning experience, and I did see many sights and meet many people that I never would have met on a tour. Frankly, I knew that I would be spending a lot of money there, and it probably would NOT have bothered me if there had not been so much drinking leading to squabbles and fights, and even one night a family member knocking on our cottage door and 2:30 in the morning asking for money…
Noi truly was a very very nice person, but I just can’t handle her family, her life and everything that would go along with her… Of course she wants to spend the rest of her life with me… I have been single my whole life and will stay that way.
I will still talk to Noi now and then. She is crushed that I do not want to go back to her home, or for that matter, do NOT even want her to visit me in Jomtien… But it was another one of those experiences that is best to only experience one time… haha
So those who read this know, I am not a newbie. I spend much of my life in Thailand, speak the language, have a condo here and have dated women from every walk of life. Just one of those things I got caught up in, and wrote about it to laugh at myself and maybe give a bit of a warning to anyone thinking of visiting their new honey’s village…
Peace and love,
Khun Eddie (Village Peaceman)
Really nice submission and I liked the photos a lot.
The village trip is one every Thai loving farang should do at some point in time. Take a camera and don't be shy to wander around and take heaps of pics. But do be aware that for sure it will end up costing more than you thought!