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Party Time in Our Village

Our local Bun Bang Fai street party

Having prepared the saling (motorbike and sidecar) yesterday ready for it’s outing in the moo ban’s Bun Bang Fai street party, see my previous post HERE, it was time to dress-up, makeup and play-up! A truly fun post helped along with a few early evening SangSoms (Thai rum) on the author’s part so jump in and enjoy.

The Morning

A day off for everyone in the village. Yuan and Lud were up extra early to get produce to the market so that they could party for the rest of the day. For us the family home was the base for music and make-up. Beer appeared very quickly for some while whisky was the go for others. I have been here long enough that my stomach doesn’t go into shock at having beer straight after my morning coffee. In my previous life I can’t think of a situation where I had a beer before midday but here, weddings, funerals, monk ordinations and events such as Bun Bang Fai (today’s Isan rocket festival) are good enough reason to break out the barrel anytime after daylight!

Gaun and Peng seemed to be the two people with the most make-up assessories, which I can understand with Peng as she’s an enthusiast, but Gaun almost never touches it. This provided the incentive for neighbours from our Koom (see previous post) to drop in and turn the morning into a creative event. I just brought the music.

Gaun with ‘crazy hair’ but no makeup.

……..and after. The whole idea is not to achieve a subtle look and I think she’s done well 🙂

Peng was more traditional in her look.

I was going to stay out of the makeup process, having been attacked in a big way last year much to the amusement of the locals. In the end I weakened but went for a more laid-back look with just a touch of rouge, eyeliner and lipstick 🙂 🙂

I am SO glad to be male. A quick shave and that’s my morning public presentation routine done! Having said that I do tart up very nicely 🙂 That is a joke and no correspondance will be entered into!

Brother and sister, Tom and Puk, children of Gaun’s elder sister Bear who runs the other half of the family farm with her husband Tham.

Puk working on Yuan who was going for the wild schoolgirl look.

Like something from a zombie movie – sorry Yuan!

This is Phum, the son of Thoy, a friend of Peng. Long time readers will have met Phum before but it’s been a while since he’s been on the blog. He has a handfull of small rockets donated by Gaun.

Yuan being fitted out with a condom! The sort of button looking additions are 10 baht coins attached to the shirt with a rubber band for good luck.

Condom accessory in place.

The gang were looking pretty colourful at this stage.

Our team’s saling then turned up ready for its first public outing. Funnily a food saling also made an appearance. I told you that half the business in Isan is saling based in my last post.

Plenty of saling and dick photos were taken. It’s the ideal combination and I don’t know why you don’t see more of it in the west 🙂 I know I shouldn’t say, because they are my own photos, but what a wonderful mix of laughter and colours.

Loaded up and off to the temple. Yes, the street party starts at our local wat and then winds through the moo ban picking up people as it goes along. 

The sign says something like ‘a koom behaving badly’. Those with Thai partners (Yuri I am thinking of you helping Greg out here) will give a more accurate translation.

One of the houses fronting the street had set up a small stall selling fireworks. A young guy was monking the stall as we went past. 

Just one of those ‘right time, right place’ photos. This is a neighbour with a couple of family members on board.

Gaun is lip syncing a song using that mini-dick as a microphone, but you’ll have to take my word for that 🙂

I am thinking that maybe some of our western religious organisations wouldn’t be so accepting of a saling like this one dropping in (555). No problems here. BTW the number five in Thai sounds like ‘ha’, so when you see 555, it is a farang way of saying ha,ha,ha.

At the Wat

Thais love formalities and speeches and this was no exception. The official opening of Bun Bang Fai for the moo bans of Chomphutong (ours) and Nong Mueang (next to us).

We had a combined dance group this year. It doesn’t usually happen so it was nice to see. Here they are waiting for the talking to finish so they can get going.

Meanwhile our lot were just getting warmed up and speeches weren’t high on their agenda. Gaun being shy and Yuan with her back to the camera on the right.

Stunningly beautiful as always. A young ladyboy on the far right.

The young person on the right is another ladyboy and has known that’s what he wanted to be from a very young age. She loves dancing and joins in everything going. Very little descrimination here – how refreshing.

So with speeches over, dancing started and the village waiting, it was time to hit the road. There were two music trucks. This super ancient one, a farm truck loaded up with speakers, who provided the music for the formal Isan dancers and then a smaller pick-up based one that would follow playing music more suited to younger people mixed with Isan dance songs (mor lum) for the young at heart who wanted to play-up (Gaun).

On the Streets

Heading out of the temple and onto the streets. Unfortunately too many people wanted to get aboard the dick-saling and it had collapsed. Not to worry because there’s a guy close to the farm who would weld it back together in time to join us shortly. Isan is so flexible with stuff like that.

I can never get enough of these group photos. I can’t help myself smiling when I see them again writing this post. Thai smiles are infectious in the best way. Spot Peng in the background. The lady on the far left is Thoy, a friend of Peng and Phum’s mum.

This is what always happens in that the music truck and formal dancers head off and are soon almost out of sight.

The reason is that the second truck with the party animals is often stationary because the people who have attached themselves to this part of the procession want it to last as long as possible. Efforts are sometimes made to keep the two groups together but it’s a hopeless task 🙂 This photo gives you an idea of the gap that’s developed between the formal and informal groups and the procession has just got going!!!!

Not the best photo but it’s the concept I wanted to get across rather than the image itself.

You can see this same young girl in the photo second above. She’s on her own and is walking from the formal dancers back to our group. Where are mum and dad? Who knows. I sometimes mention what a pleasure it is to be in an environment where kids can be kids without the fearful over-protectiveness we insist on imposing on them. The reason for her walk from one group to the other becomes obvious in the photo above because she was just loving the music we were playing and was in a joyful dance world of her own.

Gaun in the middle of a group of her mates.

And posing with Pan, a friend of Peng.

I went on ahead to catch up with the formal group who were still dancing away. It must be a couple of km around the village streets and although they do get a few breaks, a lot of it is done while dancing. Luckily it wasn’t a super hot day, but the temperatures were into the 30’s.

The procession starts small and then the informals pick up lots of people who peel off from these groups to join in. Many villagers and visitors just come to observe.

My makeup was holding up pretty well even at this late stage and here are the photos to prove it. I can pass on tips for anyone interested. Email me 🙂 BTW I had a friend  on Facebook complement me on my shorts!!! Those aren’t shorts but a skirt. I mean REALLY, who do you think I am!

Meanwhile back at the rowdy end one of our group had managed to get herself pregnant (this is Bun, the lady we bought our land from) while another has blown up a condom for that extra classy effect 🙂 The conservative nature of Isan women wasn’t in evidence on this day!

The moo ban’s resident ladyboy always puts in a special effort and the end result is pretty good. That mug she’s holding in the photo on the right won’t be coffee but a whisky mix!

I once had someone ask me if it was OK to take photos of Thais. No, no they get very offended if you point a camera at them 🙂 I have no idea who these two guys are but they wanted me to capture the moment. I think that answers the question about Thai shyness!!!

My darling wife enjoying herself as always, whatever she is doing.

A lovely photo of Peng and Pan.

Yuan and Pan, the latter who popped up a lot wanting my photos for her Facebook page. Tell me you didn’t smile seeing these two. It’s hard not to isn’t it?

Because of Peng’s moblity limitations she normally bases herself at the family home and only sees the procession as it passes. This year with the availability of the saling (which had rejoined us ages ago after its repairs) for the first time she was able to properly join in and was she a happy girl? I think so.

At this stage I headed home for a break while Gaun and mates were just warming up. The photo on the left gives you an idea of the village streetscape while the one on the right is in tribute to our mightly saling, a hit on the day and a permanent contribution to Bun Bang Fai celebrations in future years I am sure. You saw it here first.

And the last photo for the day is of my mate Lud, Yuan’s husband. He’s sometimes lost a bit in the background when compared to the large characters of Gaun and Yuan but if you ever need a hand Lud’s is always there. A good bloke, as we’d say in Australia.

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  1. Nobby

    A very enjoyable post Tony, you scrub up very well, nice to see that you are all enjoying yourselves!

    Chris and Nong

    • Tony in Thailand

      Hi Chris. I have been out of action on the blog due to two road trips in the one week to Chiang Mai to settle Peng into university there. I am back in action now, catching up on comments and getting ready to publish a lot of new stories I think you’ll enjoy. I will do a bulk thank you for your comments on three stories. Always good to know you are still following happenings.

      Cheers. Tony

  2. Greg Carroll

    Yuri and I spent an enjoyable five minutes going over your latest post Tony. She isn’t quite up to speed on Laos – Thai translation but gave a good interpretation. “Love to ride and party” was her more modest translation. There was another one she offered but I’ll refrain from posting it here 😉
    Brian’s right, your photos are great. Except there should have been a few more of you in the skirt with those flirt eyes of yours.

    • Tony in Thailand

      I had forgotten the language difference Greg. I suspect her ‘modest’ interpretation is best left online 🙂 I will make sure there’s a full photo-shoot next year!

  3. Jim Busby

    Sort of like Halloween, a Sorority/Frat Party, but all in daylight! Good times! It’s funny they sort of, maybe, intentionally, separate the more conservative dance troupes from the rowdy hooligans (besides blasting two different music songs at the same time would bite). Say your dick saling collapsed. Should have put some Viagra in the gas tank. You are right in saying that Thais are more accepting of young boys that wish to become Ladyboys Unfortunately, in other countries that would be a reason for psychotherapy or worse. And we say, we are the advanced country. Of course Tony, don’t let your makeup go to your head, and make you think about changing your stripes. You captured the vibrant color and spirit of another great Isan celebration. P.S. Thanks for the email photo of Lud watching mama. If I was up that early in the morning, I would probably do the same.

  4. Brian Marshall

    Another great post thanks Tony.
    It just goes to show the Thai people can really enjoy themselves without having to spend bundles of money!
    Once again, your photos are just brilliant.
    Thanks mate

    Brian M

    P.S. Like the ‘over shorts’!

    • Tony in Thailand

      Thank you Brian. It was a fun day and I think that is reflected in the photos.

      I appreciate the comment.



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