Road Trip Part 3, Nong Wua So …

First order of business upon arriving, was to get a room at Nong Wua So Resort, the only place close to where we wanted to be.  We stayed there a couple of years ago but that time we made the mistake of not getting a room early in the day and had to settle for the last and least desirable room they had available.  The room and bed were not as nice as the White Inn Nong Khai but the wooden standalone bungalows were rustic and more interesting to look at.  Being able to park by the front door was a welcome convenience, as well.  In the morning light I was able to capture a shot of the pond at its absolute best.  Believe me it doesn’t usually look that good.

After seeing the nephew, and meeting the new Swedish husband and luk-khrung baby, we walked to a nearby temple compound with the ex-sister-in-law and the kids.  It was a huge area with old growth trees and a large pond with equally large fish and at least one good sized turtle.  Even the temple dogs were huge and their greeting echoed through the forest of trees, like the sound of thunder. 

The extensive temple grounds seemed to serve as a community park, at least for the ex-sister-in-law.  The fish and other wildlife entertained our five year old nephew, while the infant slept in her arms.  I wandered around taking pictures, generally doing my own thing, as usual.  On our walk back to their home we passed through the Nong Wua So Market, around sunset. 

While my wife did the shopping, I managed to capture my first passable iPhone 5 image.  I was lamenting not having my camera on me, and the numerous obstructions blocking my view of a very interesting sunset and cloud formation.  The best of the clouds had passed by the time I realized I had a camera in my phone.  Still I did compose one decent shot combining, the dramatic yet peaceful sky, with the vibrant and colorful market.

Sleep did not come easily, nor in adequate quantity for either of us that night, but soon enough it was morning and time to gather up family to go visit the grandmother in another village.  While the women folk lavished their attentions on the half-farang infant and the five year old played with friends, I occupied myself with the camera searching out interesting angles and portraits.  When I tired of that it was time to focus my attention, once again, on the writing of this blog post.

I tire quickly of the incessant questioning about why we don’t have, or want children, so I have learned to separate from the group and entertain myself with hobbies more to my liking.  My wife runs interference assuring others they need not be worried about me as I am quite capable of taking care of myself.  I forgot all about the Swedish guy finding out only later, he had gone off to visit friends in the village and to enjoy some home cooked Swedish food.

As I sat writing, there was a constant din of village talk in the background, in the Isaan dialect with which I am not fluent.  Still I understood enough, but I chose to focus my limited attention more on their emotive style of presentation which I find entertaining, or at least I did on this particular day.  Village people have an earthy, expressive way of communicating in general, but there are also distinct regional differences which I took note of.  It was all just background noise, really, while I sat writing with the laptop.

At some point my attention shifted to the route we should take the following day and I began looking at Google Maps on the iPhone.  This trip was my first encounter with GPS and I was learning as I went.  In the car I had to turn the navigation lady off, as she kept telling me to go in a direction not of my choosing.  I must admit, marking where I was occasionally, did make reproducing a Google Map for this blog a little easier in the end.

Later the second day after leaving the family, my wife thought it might be a good idea to have a massage in Udon.  She found a place on her iPhone which sounded like it would do.  We have massaged together many times over the years but this was the first time we ended up in separate rooms, as well as the first time I had been offered a special or what is sometimes refer to as a Happy Ending.

The girl seemed unfazed by my somewhat parochial suggestion that her offer might not be entirely appropriate considering my wife was figuratively, if not literally, in the next room.  I did sense a little disappointment at the loss of a bigger tip but that was all.  When I asked about her standard procedure she casually offered, she was required to ask but it was no big deal.  I just couldn’t get over her casual naïveté, unusual questions and limited insights.  She was young, however, so perhaps she was representative of modern girls in her profession. 

The wife and I had a good chuckle in the car on the way to dinner.  We had clearly chosen a place that specialized in sensual, as opposed to therapeutic massage.  Speaking of dinner, we had both noticed a nice modern looking restaurant on the highway and my wife suggested we try it out.  Surely we couldn’t be wrong twice in one day. 

She was eager to eat something other than village food for a change, feeling the need for something more substantial in a nicer environment.  Considering the number of patrons, both Thai and Farang, we had high hopes for the food at Faroh House, but we were sadly disappointed.  The best part of the meal was the garlic bread and desert.  Nothing tasted anything like what we expected.  Everything was too sweet and there were strange fillers, like peas, in my lasagna.  Her fish was not much better.

So it appears we are indeed capable of being wrong on multiple occasions, all on the same day.  Chalk it up to experience and try not to be too disappointed, I guess.
The pond at Nong Wua So Resort.

Our bungalow.
The poser.

Facebook time again.

The temple lake and buildings.

The temple grounds.

The temple turtle.

Sunset at Nong Wua So Market.
Grandmother

Ex-sister-in-law and new mother, again.

Nephew and friends
Grandmother weaves straw mats with this stuff.

Little boys and their ice cream.