Village Farang is no Weatherman ...

 Well, the rains have returned to scrub the mountains and sky.  My views have been refurbished to their original splendor.  This morning was cool and clear with just a hint of cloud decorating the mountains around the dam.  My wife and I were serenaded at breakfast, by the gentle cooing of doves.  New, calming and distinctly different from the high pitched calls of our other feathered friends.

The other day on a whim, I set off down the road on the motorbike.  With my new license in hand, I felt better about venturing further afield.  That day was not meant to be, however.  Halfway to town and the sky darkened and with my recent fall still vividly in mind, I abandoned my road trip and returned home before the rains slicked the roads.

As it turned out, the next day was well worth the wait.  There is a back road, near the main market in this area, that I had yet to put rubber to, in any form.  With not nearly enough time to explore all the side roads, I settled for a general reconnaissance, a couple of hilltop temples and a reservoir.  The two temples were very different and provided some nice pictures.  The reservoir was large and the views soothing with a surprise scene that presented as I turned a corner on the trail that follows the left bank.  As if stepping back in time I was confronted by a large herd of water buffalo.  These days they are relatively rare, having been replace by the “iron buffalo” and cows.  As they enjoyed swimming and wallowing I stretched my legs and happily clicked away with my camera.

Their caretaker made an appearance after a while, with several of his dozen or so dogs.  He was very proud of his charges, both bovine and canine, and bid me wait until he took them home in the evening.  Assuring me that a picture of them huddled in their little valley shelter, would be worth the wait.  With too far to travel and having been away for quite long enough I bid him farewell.  He was a nice enough guy but was far too familiar for a first meeting.  People often take liberties with farangs that they would never consider with their fellow countrymen.  As importantly, he didn’t speak “Thai”, which made conversation challenging.  Me speaking Thai as he conversed in the local dialect left much to be desired.

I returned home with more than one hundred pictures and a fair bit of editing to do.  Halfway between town and our home there is a roadside vendor, renowned for her somtam (papaya salad).  A thought of my wife, a quick call on the cellphone, and I was placing an order to be hand delivered to my always ravenous wife.  How she can eat so regularly and retain her shape I will never know.  Returning home bearing gifts or food is always a good way to distract from the length of time spent away.  Another good day where everything fell into place.