Living with the locals

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March 6th 2007
Published: March 6th 2007
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I got the thai experience that I don't think I could have even imagined! Since the last time i wrote, Eve and Derrick took me to the bus station and then I was off to Nakon Ratchasima (also known as Korat), about 4 hours northeast of Bangkok - and definitely off the main tourist path. Especially the little town where I stayed...

My friend Kai, her baby, and her brother met me at the Korat station and then we took a local bus to her "aunt's" place. Once we got off the bus in the middle of nowhere, we walked down some dirt paths and finally reached her house. It was quite rural... as in: houses on sticks around it (but theirs was an actual house!), people in hammocks sleeping or chatting, chickens running wild... a few stray dogs, cats, lizards... (lizards in the house...). oh and it was 37C, and no a/c. Everyone knows that I love the heat... but 37 and no a/c... that's a tad hot!

I don't think any tourists have ever been to that town before. I felt like a celebrity. Everyone staring and smiling at me... saying stuff to Kai and then smiling to me... once in a while i'd hear stuff like "canada" or random thai words i've picked up and knew they were talking about me... kind of awkward, but they were all nice, so i'm sure they were saying nice things! haha (i hope). Although they did have fun making me try all their food. They liked the fact that I am not a picky eater. I wonder what I ate... I dont think it was anything freaky like snake or anything, but there were ingredients I had never seen before. I didn't eat something in my soup that looked like some animal's liver/heart ??

Kai and I went to the "grocery store" to buy some stuff for our dinner. The store was a combo of: grocery, butcher, drugstore, and probably post office, all run out of a lady's living room basically. I was a bit worried about the butcher thing since they don't really use their fridges that much, but so far I feel ok! "What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger"... right?? (I tried to eat more veggies than the meat!)
Kai's aunt made a really good dinner though. However, I did try to forget about the kitchen where the food was prepared... I got some pics... some things were cooked outside in the backyard surrounded by chickens (oh they picked coconuts for me from their backyard!), other stuff was cooked in the kitchen itself... i can't really describe it better than: basic and rustic.

Then it was bed time... this was also quite interesting. Kai, Tammy (baby), and me, sleeping on a rock hard mattress under a mosquito net, with a fan at our feet. The aunt slept downstairs as she gets up at 3:30am every morning to cook food to sell at the markets during the day. - i can't complain about my job anymore! She was still cooking when we got up at 7am!

If we'd gotten up a bit earlier, we would have gone to the street to feed the monks when they walked by with their bowls at 6:30am. Slept in though... I really wanted to do it, but Kai was exhausted so I just didn't bother. Her baby is a lot of work! She cannot leave Tammy for 1 second without her crying! i dont think i've ever seen a baby that worried about the mother leaving as her!! eesh...

We spent the whole day (today) at Phimai. It is a town about 60km from Korat, that has Khmer ruins. It was interesting to see, but I have a feeling that it was just a warm up to Angkor!!

It was really nice to see Kai. A great visit... but I decided to return to Bangkok. 1. a bit tired of being stared at, needed to be with other tourists. 2. a bit tired of not understanding anything - Kai was the only one that spoke english, and I can't really say she is fluent. 3. felt like i didn't have any control over our day, really needed to start backpacking on my own finally! So i jumped on a bus back to Bangkok... wasn't really sure what the plan was. I returned to Khao San Road in BKK. It is the backpacker central street in southeast asia and is a great homebase. As soon as i got here, i went directly to my previous hotel from last time (got a room, just 3 doors down!), and then headed out for some MUCH needed shopping and food. I booked a trip for tomorrow morning to Cambodia. It's just easier to go straight from Khao San... I know the books say not to do it... "get ripped off, they charge more for the visa at the border" i think it'll be fine... 😉 don't worry and a rip off here, means $6 extra dollars... hmm i can handle it.

Next blog will be after seeing the famous Angkor Wat!

Emma - I'm thinking of skipping Sihanoukville and going straight to Phi Phi... is Sihanoukville worth the trip??? anyone else know?



6th March 2007

Cambodia should be fun!!!
Hi Jessica!!! I would like to say that your experience there is making me really appreciate you as a friend!!! By being away from us and being able to read and see that you have been putting some time and effort into this blog, shows how much of a friend you are!!! Thank you so much for the news and please keep us updated with your trip!!! Its always a pleasure hearing how you're doing my friend. Thank you for sending the message on the phone, yes it worked!!! So if you'd ever want to quickly just say a nice hello through the cell please dont hesitate!!! I miss you and wish you all the best experiences on your trip! Take good care my friend! Leticia
8th March 2007

Hey Jess ! I'm soooo jealous ! It's sounds like you're having a blast. I can't wait to go to Thailand myself. Have fun and keep me posted !!
14th May 2007

life in korat
I went to korat to atend a funeral for the grandfather o one of my friend in thailand! it was a long drive from krabi in south. it took about thirteen hours by car, which was very exciting considerig thai-style driving! people in thailand use side mirrors only for decoration, so we were close to crashin a couple of times... luckily my friend the drver lives in thailand and is used to driving there! but it was deffinetely worth it! when we arrived in ko rat we staid in my friends cousins house. it wasnt big but they made room for everyone on matresses on the floor! first thing we did was to go to the local temple and pay respect for the old man who just died! i had no xperiece with uddhism hat so ever but we were taken reakky good care of and the thre days we were there we spent the time in the temple, eating every meal there and attending the seremonies of the funeral! we were almost treated like celebrities,everyone knew who we were (we were the only white people in town and sme of the children had never ieven seen a white person before) and everyone knew were we lived! w could hear children ride their bikes pass our house while they yelled falang,falang!(tourist) it was the best time i had in thailand and the strongest experience of m life! i urge everyone to take a trip up to isan if theyre ever in thailand! theyre rituals conserning funerals made a big impression on us all andif im ever to choose a religion buddism wouldbe it! great place,great people,and also great scenery and culture!

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