My Sister in law's the mia noi of an Army lad...When Taksin wuz clamping down on drugs.....remember him walking through the village.....44 magnum strapped to his waist...shouting..."Anyone caught dealing in drugs will be shot"...It wuz like something out of a Sergio Leone movie...minus the eerie harmonica...
Thank you for sharing!
Last week, we had a morning downpour. I was walking to school and the last 1.5 km, the skies opened up. A woman riding a Honda Wave with a homemade side car and a chair enclosed with clear plastic stopped. She gave me a lift to my school and wouldn't accept any money. (It annoys me when I hear generalizations about "Thais are money grabbing" etc.).
Getting wet is something many Thais dread.
I now keep a fresh shirt at school...
Nice OP Hollow and great topic.
Last year in Isaan the school owner had a house-warming party. All the teachers at school drove out there for the do. It was nice enough, pretty entertainers and good food.
For the hour's drive on the way back I went with the brothers in the back of the pick up plus one of the faces from the village, the girls were loaded into the cab. We stamped some beer cans flat and the singing began of morlam tunes local to and about Si Sa Ket. As I didn't know the words I was the bass drum, thumping the side of the truck. The younger bro took lead vocal, older bro took backing vocals and mouthing the lead guitar solos and our village pal did more backing vocals and tin can percussion.
We were speeding through the Isaan countryside with a backdrop of flashes of distant lightning and the hundreds of green lights of the fireflies on the air. As we sped by, girls on motorbikes would wave and shout to us and despite 7/11 having no more alcohol we were having a great time, one of the very best journeys I've had in Thailand making music at 90km per hour and not a musical instrument in sight.
She phoned me up sounding pretty sad and rather drunk. Jumping to attention might have seemed like I was lost in a power-play but at this stage of the relationship I knew if I surprised her and turned up in front of her friends I would earn major brownie points. There I was and she was all over me with the biggest smile in the world that I'd come. Friends were suitably impressed that I was a good guy and she would get looked after.
Off we go to eat somewhere down a soi off Sukhumvit away from the tourists where it's strictly Isaan workers, the builders, the taxis, the off-duty on their way home. It's a little food market and the Somtam is delicious for me, though it's a tad too spicy for her so she mostly goes for the pork in that sauce that I've no idea what it is other than it's mouth-watering.
She was already a bit tipsy, but now she's thrilled I'd come to take her out and she's ordering more and more beer. She's so drunk she wants to show me off, she wants to show off that she's buying all this stuff for her man. She even invites some complete strangers over. She gone completely nuts tonight, drunk on the beer almost as much as she's evidently drunk on me. To add to her pleasure, a load of songs are playing that happen to be on her phone thus she's even getting her most favourite soundtrack for her moment.
It's a great evening for us both, getting smashed together and not giving a damn, surrounded with the right people who are also not giving a damn, just a couple of stones throws from the ponsy high-sos and falang.
But this story so far is not really about a moment in Thailand, it could be anywhere if not for the atmosphere of that Isaan food market. What places this in this topic is a single instant on the way home...
Normally we don't do public affection, holding hands or whatever, but tonight we're arm in arm as we go swaying up the soi, merrily swaying on and off the sidewalk, in and out of the road. Then, in just one single instant comes the essence of Thailand, as a motorbike zips by our swaying figures and a happy voice shouts out: "Mao maaak!"
Every once in a while we get treated to some gold on this forum...Hollows op qualifies as just that...very well written and it really brought me right into that moment...loved it
"You really want to save the planet?...the next time you see a hybrid car with a childseat... smash the window, remove the childseat and replace it with a box of condoms..." Doug Stanhope
The owner of the guest house was a gem. Obviously she recorded my name and passport number, but after the 5th visit she had memorized it.
We chatted for hours, about this and that. Well educated woman, in her 60s.
Shitty room, great owner.
Every time I visit Bangers i pop past her, even if I stay in slightly more upscale accomodation.
"Those moments" are a bit hazy these days but I do remember one that reminded me how used to everything I'd become. I picked up a friend from the airport late one evening, he was a Norwegian returning home after 2-3 years in Oz. We were having a late meal in a suburban street when an elephant and handler come walking along. He just stared like it was the most surreal thing he had seen in his life, definitely one of 'those moments' and I must say that I did feel a bit of envy that it was something I rarely experienced any more in Thailand. Thankfully I had many more 'moment' when I was in Japan.
Papa was a rodeo - Mama was a rock'n'roll band
I could play guitar and rope a steer before I learned to stand
I have had so many 'moments' in Thailand that I had to think about which ones to talk about.
The Thai people have made Thailand special on the various times I have travelled and briefly lived in Thailand.
Waking up at 6:00am in the morning to practice Muay Thai with my Muay Thai coach who pushed me to my limits. Sitting among the professional boxers as the only female, and them trying to teach me some Thai words.
Trying to find a hotel without directions on Bangtao beach with a taxi driver who spoke no English whatsoever. Barely being able to see a foot in front of us, all the while driving through pot holes and puddles that made me appreciate arriving safely and in one piece.
Being in Patong, Phuket on New Year's Eve. Walking among the throngs of people while firecrackers are being lit all along the road. Having to stop and quickly move as to not get burned by the popping and moving fire. The sound was as loud as an airplane moving closely overhead. Lighting and watching in awe at thousands of Khom Loi floating over the ocean.
Being offered an umbrella at a restaurant that I frequented in Bangkok. Knowing that it was pouring out and I had to walk another few blocks to get to my apartment. I was grateful at the thoughtfulness and the kindness of total strangers.
Being offered out of the blue by a Thai man to give me free English lessons in the park. I wondered whether he would want something in return, but I was quite shocked that all he wanted was to practice his English a little bit. I was happy to oblige and made a friend at the same time.
I hope to visit and perhaps live in Thailand again very soon. Good memories overall. A few that were also moments, but weren't as pleasant...like getting a blocked ear after learning how to scuba dive...and getting food poisoning a few times.... those are also 'moments' of a different kind