More Thai Village Life ...

Abrupt, unexpected, unannounced, yet oh so welcome.  From hot and wet, to cool and breezy.  It took a few days but even the heavy morning ground fog has reappeared.  Overnight it feels as if we are back into the depths of last year’s winter, Chiang Rai style.  The first stiff breeze brought out children and their kites.  We had our annual fishing day at a local catchment area in the fields, with a much lower turnout, as many found it too cold.  Taking advantage of the beautiful weather I took the motorbike for a little outing, to the boarder town of Chiang Khong.  The harvest has started in earnest as the fields seemed to turn from green to yellow, almost overnight. 
Last night was Loy Krathong and where many flock to the rivers to enjoy the crowds, we stayed home.  It was a lovely evening, however.  Friends and neighbors, old and young, gather pond-side under a full moon and clear skies.  The children played with sparklers but nothing loud or explosive.  Off in the distance one could see larger fireworks from three neighboring villages.  As the sky darkened we released a couple dozen paper lanterns (Khom Loy) into the heavens.  The slow, lumbering path to the stars is mesmerizing and to avert ones gaze is no easy task.  Later, all and sundry, drifted to the water’s edge, to float their Krathongs on the still, reflective surface of the pond.

As happens in a village, many more people arrived than were invited.  Our house is known as a “dry zone” and generally “G” rated so those looking for a free drink or entertainment went elsewhere.  I noticed a couple of older gentlemen who were unfamiliar to my gaze.  They spent some time standing together, talking and watching the evening activities.  My wife later informed me that they were there to checkout her mother.  One was playing matchmaker to the other as he had recently lost his wife and was in the market for a replacement.  Apparently the matchmaker had proposed sizing up the mother-in-law.

This of course was not the first time this particular mating ritual has played out.  Once she even got to the wedding day with guests and all, only to have a misunderstanding over the agreed upon bride price and called the whole thing off.  Obviously that wasn’t the end it but this is not the time for that story.

I spent the evening, sitting off to the side with my friend Jubby, talking and watching the evening events as it gradually grew cold enough to begin turning uncomfortable.  The cold temperature, and it being a school night, meant he packed up his family and got them home at a reasonable hour.  The last guests didn’t linger long and even helped us clean up a bit.

Jubby and I made plans for a morning start for a much needed bike ride on the nearby trails.  As I sit here writing, the fog is beginning to lift but my wife has requested that we delay our ride until noon.  Today is the final day of the most recent wake and our village requires the presence of at least one family member from each household.  If my wife pays her respects this morning, then she might be able to give the procession to the crematorium a miss this afternoon.

So that is village life over the last few days, but life doesn’t stop there.  Tomorrow we have an appointment to get Cookie’s “oven” fixed so that we won’t have to worry about her baking a batch of little Cookies and having them running around our house, causing havoc.  One Cookie is more than enough sweetness for us.  While she is busy at the vet, we will have a cab fitted to the back of our truck as she is rapidly outgrowing the backseat.  We have opted for the low profile, removable type cab, so the truck can still be used as a truck if need be.  Quiet yet eventful, there is always something going on in our remote little house in the field.