2009 Thailand # 11: Prey Versus Prey and Loyor Enpar

Beautiful Chiang Mai - Outside the wall.

Beautiful Chiang Mai – Outside the wall.

Once again, enjoying lolling around on our verandah, we were discussing snakes and lizards as per usual. Chow told me a story about his cat at his home in the country, who was stalking and catching a bird. Meanwhile, a large snake that he had – a python, I believe – was creeping up behind the cat. The cat caught the bird, the snake caught the cat, the cat turned around to see what on earth was going on and let the bird go, while the snake was having a few problems trying to get this wriggly, furry bit of prey to fit down its throat. So while the snake and cat were tussling, three people were on the other end of the snake trying to pull it off the cat. They finally succeeded and the snake and cat both left looking completely puzzled at their foiled hunting attempts. I’d love to have been there to get a photo of that. Snake, cat and bird, all in a row. 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 # 5: In Which Ma Baker Strikes Again and Our Neighbours Live Down the Rabbit Hole

The neighbours on patrol...

The neighbours on patrol…

Night before last: Full-scale war occurred again. This time there were guys on the verandah next to ours patrolling with huge guns. I sat across the road in front of the ‘Nice Kitchen’ and watched the action from a different viewpoint. Several rums were handed to me in quick succession, which I only drank to be polite. They pour very weak drinks here though, so even though our locals had been drinking for hours, they were still very mellow and easy-going. I was quite impressed at their lack of loutish behaviour. Gill joined us after a while and we sat around talking and playing guitar and bongos and singing. At about 10p.m. I was ordered to get on a tuk tuk and our friend Chow drove a few of us (me the only Westerner) around the perimeter of Old Chiang Mai. He’s a Bangkok driver, so a lot madder than Chiang Mai drivers, but of course I was already used to that from being in Delhi and Bangkok so I just sat back and enjoyed. At one stage we went past some other falang (foreigners) and I called out to them to help me and that I was being held hostage, but for some reason they just laughed and didn’t come to my rescue. So much for solidarity. Continue reading