Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................

Post 288: Towards Ubon Province

“Kun roo reu bplao waa nai tee nai?” (Do you know where this place is?). “Kun roo waa rohn raem yoo nai?'' (Do you know where a hotel is?). They answered both questions, but what they actually told me in reply I have absolutely no idea. The problem with trying to show-off and speak a little Thai, is that most people then assume that you really can speak Thai and actually answer you. The problem is that they talk too quickly, and as many have never attempted to understand a different language, they have no idea that talking more slowly could be in any way helpful. They speak Thai perfectly, so why would anybody else not also speak Thai perfectly …. mai pen rai
I need not have worried, for this is rural Thailand and my Hotel turned out to be the open-sided room at the top of the house where the question had been asked. Natural air conditioning, the sound of tak-a-tan filling the air until the early morning cockerel took over. Has nobody told them they should wait until dawn?

As dawn breaks, I’m up early and moving East. No I’m not. I showed an interest in the tak-tak. Tak-Tak is the all purpose tractor unit that replaced the buffalo in the rice fields and the bicycle as a means of taking the kids to school and the produce to market. I’ve wanted to ride/drive one since first seeing them back in the 80’s and now was my big chance. What can I say? A lot more complicated than it looks. I really didn’t dare take it out onto the open road but once again, at least I didn’t crash ….. mai pen rai
After the completion of my first tak-tak driving lesson, apparently I’m going fishing. I haven’t been fishing since I was a kid, but this fishing is slightly different. We arrive at a waterhole amid the seasonally dry rice fields. The waterholes catch the water during the rainy season, May to September, and are then used to flood the fields when the rains have stopped. The waterhole is full of weeds but apparently, it will also be full of fish. The weeds are cleared using a wide sweeping net and then the fish taken out for supper. The landowner is happy because the weeds have been cleared and the fisherman are happy with their catch. Life in harmony … mai pen rai

With the fishing completed, it’s then off on my way again ….. But first a little daily exercise 'a la Natthan Milward' at the Temple.

No comments: