trying to convey the things i see, feel and think about after just five days in thailand is like trying to pass on the entire contents of a magazine when you only have time to flip thru the pages standing in line in the grocery store. events and information flys by with each page you flip thru, but you can only catch snatches of text, and glimpses of photos. it's like trying to tell someone the scene by scene contents of a movie while walking back to the car. best i can give back is little snippets.
leaving bangkok was a bit of a struggle. the red shirts had the main road all blocked off. the taxi's couldn't get thru to take us to the bus station. we had to take all our kilo's of baggage up to the sky-train and take the train to Mochit- the end of that line. then taxi to the bus station. since then, the whole red-shirt thing has turned violent, with many dead. i haven't followed the story, tok just comes and tells me "21 people killed today" after hearing it on thai tv. whew. dodged that mess. as my wife says "no red-shirts in Lom Sak" which is where we live.
a few things are different around the neighborhood. there's a nice new house next to ours on the formerly vacant plot in front of tai and sai's house. it's owned and was built for Sai's nephew and his wife and baby. young couple who worked in bangkok, saved their money and borrowed the rest to build the house. they have a business they work under the house makeing sticks for umbrella's. of all things. they buy bundles of wood that come from a kind of palm tree, split them into thinner sticks with a machette, and a worker chucks them in an electric drill and shoves them thru a die that carves the spinning sticks into neat round shafts that will make the ribs of an umbrella that the monks use. so there is the whirrrrrrr whirrrrr whirrrrr sound of the drill going all day.
the back neighbors fighting cocks crow morning and night, their dog barks, and the small deisel pump in the field runs all the time... chuckachuckchucka. since it's sonkran holiday time, they boys next door crank up the stereo and sing out loud to all their favorite rock songs. and of course, the cars, motorbikes and trucks that motor by on the big road in front of the house keep the sound field fresh. quiet in the country it is not.
there is a tree six feet tall and quite full beside the house that i was excited to believe is my plum tree. but to the amusement of tok and mama, that tree is more like a weed (they use it in the curry). my plum tree is behind that. not quite so big, but bigger than it was last year. it's summer season here, hasn't been rain for a few months tok says. all the fields and ditches are dry and brown. looks like california. one of these times i'm going to be here after rainy season, which is august and september, when everything is massivily greened out. one of these times.
i'm very happy to be home, very happy to see teri and mama and the kitties, very happy to be around thai people again. already dreading going back to the states. but such is life. for now.
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