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.

Dorilocos, Frito Pies, and Papaslocas! Oh, my!

Why haven’t I heard about this until today? My new mission: Create an equally delicious Northeastern Thai version without ever having tried the original: Yam Praduk foo, pork rinds, gummy worms, and blood sausage cubes thrown together in a bag of Banana Party snack chips!

Maybe I need to spend some more time planning first.

Sunset Cast

Sometimes I miss lugging around a DSLR.

We visited a nearby reservoir, Kaeng Loeng Chan (they really need to simplify the official English spelling), on the weekend. They were holding a work rally to cover the newly-created Health Park with grass sod and quite a few people showed up to volunteer (or as a Thai would say, to make merit).

We got bored of the manual labor after less than an hour and walked around the banks of the reservoir instead, taking photos and looking at dead crabs. The water seems too murky and oxygen-depleted to support fish close too shore, but they must be out there somewhere. Maybe I’ll take the kids fishing out there sometime.

Climate Change in Thailand

The Nation published a cool infographic about what climate change means for Thailand. Having lived here for over a decade, I have noticed huge changes in the seasons and climate. When I came, the first few years contained long drought periods (one year in particular it didn’t rain for almost five months), and the long-term trend since then has been one of persistent flooding instead of drought.

LINK: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30355898

Who Owns Victory Monument?

 

The district where this most famous of Bangkok landmarks (created to mark conquest over territories in Indochina that have since been returned ) proposed building a museum and pedestrian tunnels underneath it, but it was stalled because nobody knows who owns it!

A historian expressed surprise that no government agency has claimed Bangkok’s most iconic war memorial. But he also notes that ownership of a historical site has always been something everyone took for granted.

“We never asked ourselves this question before,” Thamrongsak Petchlertanan said in an interview. “Because we always knew it was government property. We never observed who actually owns it.”

The monument was built in 1941 to celebrate Thailand’s victory in its conquest of French colonies in Indochina. Inspired by modernist aesthetics at the time, it features an obelisk rising from a base guarded by five hulking statues representing the four branches of the armed forces and civilian volunteers.

The victory it marks did not last. After the end of World War II, Thailand – who joined the Axis powers following Japanese invasion in December 1941 – was forced to return the territories to the French government.

So, I guess it’s settled then – it should be auctioned off to the highest bidder, who can turn it into another Bangkok shopping mall (underground!!).