Around Mahasarakham: The OTOP Marketplace

Note: With this entry, I’m starting a new category of posts called Around Mahasarakham (AKA Around Maha Sarakham). People have been asking exactly what the town we live in is like, so I’ll try to document it better in the future.

Built to fail just last year, the OTOP marketplace is already sliding into moldy disuse, and the unmistakable stench of broken loser dreams permeates the entire area. It’s one of my favorite places to hang out as its right down the street from work, it’s always deserted, and my old rusty car just belongs in the parking lot.
Also, I buy bottled water in bulk there for half what it’s sold for at Big C or Tesco (that’s saying a lot), and occasionally look at the farm tools, 4th rate electronics, and used Korean black market shoes sold at various loser stores there just for fun… This place is cool because it’s a horrible pit of failure and wasted tax dollars, and everybody there knows it. Most of the shops some how manage to make enough to keep going it seems, but I just don’t know how. I’ve been there 35 or 30 times, and the most cars I’ve ever seen in the huge parking lot (not counting the ones they used to sell secondhand out front) was still less than 10.
Anyway, the various shops and stalls that comprise the marketplace just aren’t very interesting, so I’ve never taken photos of them. A month ago, though, I came across a strange sight behind the administrative office building where I’d parked my car in the shade:

Nice shoes!

Of course, Max thought this was totally hilarious but didn’t appreciate his mother swatting his hand away when he tried to goose them…

No no no no no no no

Currently Mr. Max’s favorite words, accompanied by firm waving off with arms and violent shaking of head. Can be applied to people, objects, or actions, but especially to unwanted food, baths, and authority figures. Has recently been found to actually mean “yes”, probably because Max can’t yet say yes.

Burning bloodsuckers at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

These vids were taken at the teacher’s accommodations we rented (House 109) at Khao Yai National Park from November 9 to 11, 2009. It rained every day, which brings the leeches out in great numbers. I had a few actually on my feet during different times, but none were on long enough to feast on my ambrosial blood. Too bad.

Part 1 is very blurry and hard to see, but contains brutal leech burning imagery as an added bonus:

Thai language note: These leeches, on land, are called “taak.” Ones in the water are “prin” (pronounced like pudding in Japanese without the hard “r”) The hand-sized ones in the water are called “prin quai” (buffalo leeches).

I’m back

Max is on my lap helping to go through the email backlog (actually, he’s singing to Gonzo’s Jamboree vid just now). Two things stand out about our trip this year: Our school’s secondhand Fuso 2-ton truck and the infamous leeches of Khao Yai.
More to follow.

To the mountains!

Tomorrow at 6:00 we leave our university for our International Camp at Khao Yai National Park. Max and Nam will take care of each other at home! The baby isn’t due for another month!! I’ll be back in a few days!!!
Tomorrow is Nam’s birthday!!!!
(bang bang bang) (!!!)

It’s getting harder to sleep

Mommy can barely get any sleep at all these days. Too heavy to sleep comfortably. Daddy wakes up at strange hours to rub her legs and shoulders. Mommy barely sleeping = daddy sleeping less, too. It’s only fair.
Plus, if I complain she might sit on me.