I thought that I would have a break in covering our trips away from home, the subject of three recent posts, and return to a catch-up on the Small happenings in Isaan.
2 Aug – Fiber Optic and more
The first three photos in this set are a great analogy that sums up living in Thailand for me. The first shows the village street outside our home, which is on the left behind the white wall. All very quiet rural and pretty unsophisticated.
In the first photo you will see three wires crossing the road. The top one is optic fibre cable for the new broadband I have ordered. The second photo shows it dropping down to our land and the last one all ready to be finalised once the tech guy gets here to hook it up.
What an amazing mix of development. This is a community where field rats, snakes, lizards and bugs of all type are on the dinner menu and yet if you want you can have high speed fiber optic internet – up to 100 mbps.
So here I have a lifestyle where I can enjoy all the benefits of an engaging Thai rural location, cheap fresh food and wonderfully friendly people and yet connect to an internet with speeds most of Australia can only dream about. I have chosen a 30/15 mbps download/upload package for $32.00 a month unlimited. The installation cost, which included several hundred meters of fiber optic? $8.00!
The other two photos are just because. One of our small but growing turtles pops his head out to say a cautious hello, and a couple of the gorgeous lilies that are in flower at the moment.
3 Aug – Marching Kids
The sound of drums in the village meant that part of the local primary school was on the move marching around the streets. I have no idea why this happens but it seems to be part of the education system that an impromptu parade takes place on a regular basis. The kids looked happy to be out of the classroom and the teachers seemed to be enjoying themselves too.
3 Aug – Celebrating 250 Posts
I thought I would celebrate 250 posts on my blog with some of the favourite photos of my three years in Thailand. What a varied and wonderful time it has been.
3 Aug – A Isaan Toast
In the absence of a bottle of Moet to celebrate my blogging milestone I thought a Mojito cocktail would do the job. It is the ideal end of a tropical day drink and slips down very easily as does the second one. For those Aussies reading hold onto this thought for another couple of months.
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- I juice of a fresh Thai lime
- (mix sugar and juice together in glass)
- A couple of sprigs of fresh mint – leave on stalks
- (use a pestle or something similar to lightly crush the mint leaves without destroying them. Only to release the flavour)
- Add a shot of Sang Som – Thai rum or whatever your fancy is
- Lots of ice and then fill with soda water, if you don’t like it too sweet, or lemonade or lime/lemonade mixer if like me you enjoy a sweeter drink.
Top with a sprig of mint.
Take to chair, sit and consume slowly. Best while watching a tropical sunset 🙂
8 Aug – School Dance Competition
We were invited to a school display of dancing with an ASEAN theme at Nong Bua Lamphu, the capital of the province with the same name. 17 local schools were participating in the competition and the result was a colourful display of those wonderful costumes that Thais seem to throw together so easily for any event.
9 Aug – Butterflies
These small bird sized butterflies made an appearance today and were very pleased to find some flowers in bloom.
10 Aug – Roadworks
I am somewhat disappointed to share the next couple of photos. I was sure that the Thai philosophy of letting people work things out would ensure at least one car or motorbike ended up in the new village canal on this sharp turn to the right (leiyw khwa in Thai pronounced more like “leo kwa” or “leo sigh” for turn left). You can see the potential for an wet landing in the photo below. The road comes out from behind that wall on the left.
The road dog-legs around a temple, and it looks as if someone has borrowed an old robe from one of the monks to add warning to the bamboo railings.
11 Aug – Flowers for Mother’s Day
It’s the Thai Queen’s birthday and Mother’s day tomorrow (the King’s birthday is combined with Father’s Day). What this means is that lots of offerings will be made involving these small flower garlands, which is lucky because the shrub that produces them is in bloom at the family home.
A neighbour called Nit Noy (who also does a killer Thai massage) ordered the entire crop, which had the family picking for a couple of hours this morning. The cost of labour here means that the return for time is measured differently than in western countries. As these flowers get 50 baht (A$2.00) a kilo the combined efforts of Yuan, Gaun, Lud and a brief appearance by mama produced a return of $4.00! The results from a presentation point of view are outstanding.
What the photos can only hint at is the involvement offered by such a simple event like this. I arrived at the family house and a kettle was brought out for coffee and some crisp Thai donuts shared, which had been bought at the markets early this morning.
Neighbours stopped to make comment. The family were all chat and laughter in what would otherwise be a pretty mind numbing job. Gaun’s older sister turned up from the farm on the way to the market with sweet corn. She was stopped on her way out by neighbours who wanted to buy some.
Nit Noy came over to the farm so I could capture some photos. It all made for a fun time.
11 Aug – Gaun’s Farm Garden
Now the first photo may not look much but it is a minor miracle. The next door farm has taken note of Gaun’s work at creating a garden in the middle of the isaan countryside and has started one of their own using cuttings taken from Gaun’s collection. As a group Isaan farmers are only interested in growing to eat or sell so this quite a change. I wonder if others will follow.
Meanwhile Gaun’s farm garden continues to bloom and grow.
The land on the left, which looks to be covered in weeds has actually been seeded by Yaun and Lud with a plant that will be ploughed back into the soil to improve its quality by adding nitrogen (I think). Green fertiliser in farming terms (thanks Google).
12 Aug – A Dog with an Attitude
I spotted this cool dude as we were driving into town and had to follow the pick-up until it stopped. What a great image.
12 Aug – Mother’s Day
A mix of photos to share with you on the Thai Queen’s birthday, which is also Mother’s Day here. The main exercise for the day was the making of small leis by Gaun, Yuan and Peng (the latter in-between Facebook messaging) for mama to be given to her tonight. Even I had a go and can confirm that this is not going to be a new career path for me. A few other little stories made an appearance during the day.
These are royal flags and you’ll see them everywhere you go. The main royal family members have individual flags based on the colour of their birth DAY. For example the king was born on a Monday, and that day’s colour is yellow. The Queen born on a Friday = blue and so on. Small flags cost 20 baht and the larger ones shown here 50 baht (A$2.00) each.
These cuttings are amazing. Having been ripped out of the ground and replanted they continue to flower and look perfectly happy. This will be a field of colour in a few of weeks. New rice in the background with sugar cane in the distance.
It is curently having electricity installed and the power line is being attached to tree trunks along side the track here. The power is up and running already. It just is the power line is lying on the ground! The funny thing is that all these people are villagers and not one Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) person in sight. I don’t know how that works. I doubt that any meter will be part of this package.
Lots more stories to come so keep an eye out for them.
Thanks for reading.