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Published: January 20th 2020
Picture a hot Sunday sitting on a raft in the middle of a lake sipping wine, watching fish, chicken and prawns cooking on a bbq, eating them with green papaya salad, then having a swim to cool off.
That was yesterday's activity. We've had quite a few 'pinch me' moments on this trip and this was one of them.
The Ford Ranger was packed in the morning, Jeremy, Ian, Waree (pronounced Walee) , Cody and me inside and Jitt, Adam and Toby in the back sitting on cushions. Off to Lake Pan about 30 kms south of Phon Phisai, near where the house warming was the other night. On he way we stopped off to buy fresh whole fish.
We met Nee and Robert there (they of the house warming) with her sisters Nam and Num. Num lives in Sydney and is very fashionable. Robert is a farang (foreigner) and they live in Salzburg with their little boy. Robert just loves the experiences he has in Thailand when they come for a three months every year. Nee and her sisters come from the same village as Waree and Jitt. So they were happy to have a good old
Not sure it would pass OSH inspection
catch up as they don't see each other that often.
We each had a raft which were joined together as the guy with his long tail boat took us out on to the lake. Two large stones acted as anchors. The operation was very slick but probably wouldn't have passed an OSH inspection. About a hundred rafts are tied up at jetties. this is the slow period as it is winter. I can imagine the lake absolutely covered in rafts in the summer. Each raft has a bamboo building with a reed roof, open at each end which allows the breeze to blow through keeping everyone quite cool. The whole thing is kept afloat by two pontoons of 44 gallon drums supported in the middle by bamboo.
Adam and Toby lead the swimming with bombs off the raft. Waree and Jitt did the cooking on a charcoal bbq. The lake was so calm and refreshing although it was a bit weedy. If anyone needs the loo you just ring up and they send a boat out for you. Similarly if you need food, ring up and they bring out whatever you need. A bit like Uber Eats.
On the way home we called in at Waree's village Ban Pho, met her parents and various nieces and nephews. She is a very astute business woman as are most of the Thai women, owning a couple of farms and other buildings. Farang are not allowed to own property.
We turned heads in the local market as the only farange there and saw interesting food like live frogs, pupae and dead crickets. Adam said they taste just like chips, salty and crunchy. There were lots of lovely fresh vegetables as well. One sort I'd never seen before which we could do with are very small, round aubergines. Cooked just like courgettes.
Waree's parents, in their 70s have a small piece of land which they tend very industriously as you will see by the photos. Their produce is sold at the market of course as well as providing fresh veges for the family.
Oh well it is G & T time now and badminton for Jeremy and the boys. The sun is setting. The river is still calm and sedate. Sometimes a mist rises at this time of night.
We started our second art works today but
that is another story.
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