Why TripAdvisor Sucks.

Holy shit, no wonder Northeast Thailand is so misunderstood:

The closest the Mekong River comes to Maha Sarakham province is around 170 kilometers away, in Mukdahan. One of the tributaries of the Mekong, the Chi River, does flow right through Maha Sarakham province and city, so it is connected, but if you want to use that logic, I nominate the Adriatic Sea as a wonderful Thing to Do in Maha Sarakham Province.

Also, the Mekong probably shouldn’t be grouped into Nature & Parks anymore since the water is barely flowing at times and most of the wildlife is dead and gone. The most accurate description for the foreseeable future is, “Heavily Exploited Power Source Where Giant Catfish Once Lived.”

I clicked the green See 1 Experience button shown in the lower right corner of the graphic above (the actual page is here). It took me to a page called OVERVIEW MEKONG DELTA (My Tho – Ben Tre)… Both of those places are in Vietnam for fuck’s sake! Not sure if Trip Advisor is aware if these two countries are not same same or if they are aware and it’s all just keyword games (because the word “Thailand” is in the link for a page having nothing to do with Thailand), but either way, it’s fucking despicable… Shitty travel sites should at least be responsible for lightly educating the shitheel tourists and backpackers they foist on the locals, yo.

Let me tell you about my day

Tropical Storm Podul (North Korean for “willow”) has been dumping on us since around midnight and I spent the day trying to prevent everything we own from being flooded including vehicles, property, and cats, as well as preparing to sign a lease for our new juku and organizing teaching materials for a seminar at a vocational college in Roi Et city tomorrow (which just got postponed until next week).

My home:

My work:

The highway we were supposed to take:

The area we were supposed to go:

A new skyscraper being built in the shape of a wot (alt spelling: wode; the circular pan flute of Isan):

The newly-created Roi Et Coast Guard station:

And finally, a common sight in the countryside that always brings a smile to my face:

That’s the road to Max and Mina’s school, a couple minutes from our house on the old Maha Sarakham University campus. Nam also found a big pla salit (gourami) stranded in our driveway, and I pushed his armored side along until he could swim back down into the flooded street. When she told a friend about this when we went shopping later in the day, he asked quite seriously why we hadn’t eaten it!

Note: Most of the photos on this page are borrowed from social media and were forwarded multiple times before I used them here. Please let me know if you’d like attribution.

Bad Company Names in Asia (part 2323)

I always mean to stop by this car dealership and ask them about the name, but I only pass it on the way to the Khon Kaen Airport, when I’m in a rush.

It’s quite possible this is an alternate spelling of “Nick.” But somebody should talk to them about it. Maybe their website is a bit more low key? Nope.

Khon Kaen to Maha Sarakham

When Nam is driving, I like snapping photos from the passenger seat. Up here in Isan, this type of photo is defined by capturing the camera in the side mirror and long green fields of rice when it’s the right time of year. Otherwise, it’s just a big, hot, dusty expanse.

I ride a “big bike” in Thailand

This is what it feels like in the city, even when you’re not rushing a kid to the hospital:

Quotes are in the title because my CRF is only 250cc; it’s the correct term for Thailand in both the Thai language and the English dialect of Thailand.

From the YouTube page: This is the incredible moment a hero biker saved the life of a young girl having an epileptic fit – by rushing her to hospital while her family were stuck in a traffic jam. The girl’s father Sorachat Sadudee, 51, was driving home after picking up his two daughters from school in Phitsanulok, central Thailand on Thursday (23/05) evening. His youngest daughter Kaimook, eight, told him that she felt sick and very tired, so he tried to make his way home as quickly as he could.

INSERT ANIMAL NAME – Crap coffee

The only real way to experience true crap coffee flavor!

The most expensive coffee in the world is being produced at the elephant camp we take the kids to almost every new year, on the way to Surin province: World’s Priciest Coffee Is Hand-Picked From Elephant Dung

So here’s my prediction: What started as civet crap coffee and moved to elephant crap coffee will eventually result in the production of human crap coffee. Because, let’s be honest, Kopi Luwak can reportedly be very smooth (the ones I tried were not), but most people drink it because it’s something new and exotic, and because they secretly want to be like the baboon.