My Trip To Korat
Previously I have been up to Korat many times as I once had a partner who has since passed away. However, this trip was a bit of an experience. It was a long time in seeing the family and a bit emotional.
It’s a bus to Nakhon Rachasima which is easy enough. The next part is a little more tricky. Ok, done it before and I know where the bus takes off from. It’s up the back and a little old bus. At this point you are on your own and there is very little English spoken. Ok, find the bus and off we go. Standing room only for a 2-hour trip. Once I get to the main village there I call someone and Papa will come get me. My home (I love this family) is still 15 – 20 km away.
I get there, everybody is excited, Mama is excited and crying. The last thing I need is beer and that’s what Mama is pouring in to me. Too understand Mama; at my partner’s funeral she was crying because she wouldn’t see me again; she just lost a whole segment of the family. I always knew I was marrying the family so have always kept in contact.
I’ve damaged a foot along the way and am in complete agony. I now have 10 people prodding and pocking it. It isn’t helping. It’s been a long journey. I then come down with a fever and Mama and Papa struggle to get me up to my bed (long story) but I am being looked after every 5 minutes. I have sweat pouring off me but am shivering cold.
3 hours later, everything is good (go figure). I haven’t seen the family in some time so stagger downstairs to say hello. Papa has been happy all day and planning what chicken to kill. Mama has warned me about drinking with others and I have no intention of leaving the house. We have a nice meal. Papa is cooking. I have never ever seen this before. He’s not lazy but men just don’t do this. Mama was actually hunted away (in a very lovely manner). Everybody is laughing at it. Must be Papa’s secret recipe!
This is when you know you’re being honoured big time. At the same time I would do anything for the family.
Finish some BBQ chicken and just enjoying a cold beer and checking everything okay with Mama, family is well, my partner's daughter has enough for school etc when a neighbour turns up with 2 mates. Yes, ok, you can have a beer. I’ve been fishing and hunting with this bloke before.
Next minute we’ve finished my box. Then they are off to find more beer. After a few more enough was enough and time to get the riff raff home and go to sleep. A big day tomorrow. A major argument then breaks out as I was presented with a bill. They have just drunk all my beer then gone and bought 6 more bottles and are giving me a bill for 1500. Mama finally comes down to settle things down. I am about to punch the lights out on these fellas (don’t know how successful it would have been). They drunk all my beer and then are charging me for more. They really didn’t liked the comment f* off farang doesn’t pay for everything.
Oh, what happened next. Mama is struggling to get me upstairs, and I haven’t drunk a lot. I’m dizzy and all over the place.
I’m hearing voices out the windows… German soldiers are in the next house preparing to invade Angola of all places and talking about where they are putting mortars and machine guns. I’ve just got Mama out of bed 3 times and Papa once. Soldiers are storming the house. Total utter nightmare. I am totally tripping out. At one point I was telling Papa to call the army and then I wanted the CIA on the phone. I honestly thought I would be dead by morning at the same time knowing this cannot be happening. I am either going to be dead or locked up in some mental hospital.
I eventually escape outside. If they’re real I’ll fight out here. Total hallucination. I have never done drugs but I have no idea what was put in that last beer. I am totally freaked out.
I wake up next morning; I’m still apologising, Mama is trying to get me into the shower. I have a beer in my hand, I certainly don’t want it, but am being told to drink it and be merry and I don’t know what time it is. It’s before 7:00 and we’re all off to this 100 day celebration (this is a post funeral thing). I managed to stay upright through the whole proceedings.
On the way back (total ute filled with people) we meant to go party. Ok, this is where I get arrogant. All kids get 40 baht. I didn’t like the small money anyway. Tesco probably hates me as they suddenly got hit with 15 kids. Looked after Mama and then my friend. Went to go buy beer, ok, we’re partying so I’ll have 5 cases of Leo, Spy for the ladies, two cases for the kids and a few bottles of whiskey for the oldies and a cartoon of smokes. Then there was food. In the end there was not enough room left in the ute for any more They did say party.
Moral of the story? Stick needs articles; Mama and Papa looked after me well. Don’t drink beer that hasn’t been opened in front of you. Be bloody carefully who you drink with. You can actually get killed here for a lot less then you think and the arseholes that drugged me thinking they could swindle 1500 baht has just seen me drop 20K in a blink of an eye.
The next few days were just spent resting, reading a book and doing nothing important. Mama feed me 5 times a day (3 course breakfast!). I would really like Papa to let me help on the farm but that is just a big no no. I get in trouble for washing a plate. My clothes disappear as soon as I have a shower. I just sit and drink, although Mama has learned to let me get it myself. I’m too old for beer and breakfast at same time.
That’s my Korat and I love it.