tok and i went to town for songkran day yesterday. the usual parade, beauty contests, and mass throwing of water. the photos are in my picasa gallery.
today was eventful. if i don't tell you now, tomorrow will fill up with more things and i'll never get caught up.
early in the morning, tok got me to get out of bed, saying something about putting out food for her father. (?) her father died many years ago, so i wasn't sure what was going on. around the side of the house, she had a tray with food on it- rice, chicken, water, vegetables. she lit a candle and incense, said a few words and we set the tray on the ground next to my plum tree. songkran is a time to honor the ancestors also i learn.
i read my book and laid around in the hammock most of the hot mid-day. then a whole bunch of people showed up, kids and neighbors and a few old people. we did a songkran water ceremony to honor the old people right off our porch. photos of that are in the gallery here.
the men hung around for a while drinking whisky and water, so i went around back. 27 years i haven't had a drink and sometimes that brown liquid still looks inviting. jeez. healed, never cured. i worked on putting together the PVC pipe for my new shower. we bought a big submersible pump in bangkok and i'm looking forward to getting it all in place. but most of the hardware stores are closed for like 5 days for songkran, so i'm lacking a few parts. more to come on that.
then tok came and got me to go have dinner at her uncles house. (pictures here) wow, what a spread! 20 people sitting on tarps on the ground. chicken, noodles, vegetables, fish balls, sausage, fish, drinks, cabbage and a few bits of mystery foods, all cooked on charchol stoves korean Bar-B-Que style. YUM! they are all so nice to me, even though i can't talk to them. welcoming me to sit down, offering me drinks and putting food on to cook for me. everyone there was related by family or marriage. everyone there lives there or nearby. nobody had to drive to dinner, everyone lives close enough to walk. i asked tok if this was common in the villages and she said it was. they say what ever words of english they know "you happy?" "anukhun! you like?" and laugh and laugh. i feel so fortunate to be sitting there with these good people. eating food with them, and totally accepted as a mute part of the big family. i was thinking of bar-b-ques in the states and there's little comparison, beyond it being a family get-together. they asked me for a show, so i went back to the house and got my guitar. the first song i sang was all the phrases i kniow in thai. made it up on the spot to three chords: "1,2,3, 1,2,3, thank you, thank you, how are you, how are you," "Nung, Song, Sam...kap khun kap...sabai dee mai" that was a hit. then i badly played a few neil young songs and a couple of beatle songs. totally forgot the words, but it didn't matter, i just made them up to fill in the gaps and nobody knew the difference!
10:20 at night now, cooled down to 85 degrees and time to go shower and get to bed. another day beckons. hope to find a shop open tomorrow to buy the PVC and hose i need to finish my shower.
amazing thailand! onward!
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