2009 Thailand # 10: Tribal Rolls Royces and Flintstone Lizard Earrings

King cobra. According to the Thai people, touch one of these and have good luck for life. Personally, I think it's better luck not to go near one at all...

King cobra. According to the Thai people, touch one of these and have good luck for life. Personally, I think it’s better luck not to go near one at all…

Saturday – It got up to 39 degrees yet again, so we had brunch at the usual cafe then slept through most of the day or lay around under wet sarongs right in front of the fan, wishing it was a ceiling fan. We don’t know how to stop it turning so we get cool for a few seconds then have to wait for it to come round again – by which time we’re sweltering already. At the cafe an old lady came along selling little jellyish cake things that looked like fish roe to me. Gill was brave enough to try one and it turned out that they were a kind of chicken jelly with satay inside. They were tasty enough but the texture was pretty weird so we turned down offers of more from the cafe owners, bless them. Continue reading

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2009 Thailand # 8: The Laughing Tuk-Tuk Driver and Fluffy Snake Fodder

Sign at Wat Umong, Chiang Mai

Sign at Wat Umong, Chiang Mai

Yesterday we travelled out to Wat Umong. Yes folks, we made it outside The Wall. We jumped into a tuk-tuk with The Laughing Tuk-tuk Driver who giggled at everything he said, so we figured either he must be a very funny man or we’re extremely amusing from his point of view or he’s slightly gaga. Or maybe all of the above. He had by far the slowest tuk-tuk we’ve been on by far so we got to appreciate the unlovely eau-de-exhaust coming off all the other vehicles as they passed us most the way there. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why he giggles so much – he’s high on carbon monoxide or whatever it is that cars breathe… Continue reading

2009 Thailand # 7: The Case of the Mysterious CupCake Lizard and the Meditating Chicken

Blind buskers at the night market, Chiang Mai

Blind buskers at the night market, Chiang Mai

On Saturday night we went over to Waialu Road to the Saturday market.  It’s held in one long line of outside stalls along the road and it goes for ages! It was nice to be in an outside one though – nowhere near as sauna-like as the inside ones. There are many disabled and blind people there with amps and instruments – some traditional and some modern – busking for money. This is really good value as you get entertained as you shop, and I’m sure it’s financially rewarding for them, as well as satisfying that they can do something to help themselves. Continue reading

2009 Thailand # 6: Thai Karaoke, Cooking Classes and Dubious-Smelling Market Stalls

The 'Let's Go Crazy' tuktuk, decked out and ready for action!

The ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ tuktuk, decked out and ready for action!

Continuing from my previous post, on the afternoon of the 14th, Chow kindly donated a large bucket with a huge block of ice in it to the NZ troops and we made very good use of it from our verandah. This made the results of our shooting even more effective than ever. Watching our victims shudder as the ice water hit their back was quite satisfying. Continue reading

2009 Thailand # 4: In Which Reinforcements Don’t Arrive and We Sleep in Wonderland

Cute but deadly...

Cute but deadly…

We ate in a streetside cafe last night – Pad Thai and Fried Rice. Yummy. I love cafes where you can watch lizards running around the walls. Lends a unique ambience, I feel. Waiting for our food, we saw our English friends from the train go by. They had just bought enormous waterguns, so we lined them up as reinforcements for Day 2 of the Great Water Battle. Back at the guesthouse, we had a brief engagement with the enemy, then a truce was put in place for the night. Gill went to bed and I went downstairs to study fricatives and alveolar plosives (grammar and stuff) for a while, then off I went for some zzz’s as well. Our bedsheets are ever so glamorous – they have characters from Alice in Wonderland all over them. Continue reading

2009 Thailand #3: Songkran Begins – Ma Baker and the Hard Out Water Fight

Ma Baker lies in wait for her next victim...

Ma Baker lies in wait for her next victim…

I’m slowly getting used to this country now and slowing down on expecting cows, potholes and dirty streets, with weaving, beeping traffic. It’s quite a pleasant change really, to only have one shower a day and not have to avoid spit and streetdogs and piles of strange-looking rubbish. Even the alleyways are paved – good grief, how amazing! No clouds of flies flying up as you stroll along, or crawling down your drinking straws… Continue reading