Bonfire, Bangkok and Bond

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November 11th 2012
Published: November 11th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Sitting in the Cafe once again, trying to recall last week’s events on one hours sleep. 'Remember remember, the 5th of November..' Bonfire night and we made sure it was celebrated over 8,000 miles from home. Ben worked hard at producing sumptuous toffee/treacle apples and I worked hard scrubbing off the burnt sugar. Alongside the volunteers from Kutchum, Lu nokta and Phana, we sat by our roaring blaze, eating an array of BBQ foods cooked by Bra Yung and the other teachers. Under a starry sky we shot off fireworks, deafened each other with crackers and ‘mistakenly’ hit trees and neighbours roofs with flare sticks. Nothing like the mass gathering of Hexham bonfire night but a good crowd of people, happily messing around with explosives and gluing mouths around sugar coated apples.

On Wednesday night myself, Ben, Pi Ying and Bra Yung travelled in great comfort via Nakronchiair gold class to Bangkok. The purpose was to sign our yearlong visas. However, a standard Thai bureaucratic mix up meant we had never needed to go. Not wanting to waste the trip, we excitedly went to pick up our suits. Despite Bra Yung’s laughter at the price paid, (apparently it’s possible to buy a suit for 4,000 in Ubon), we were very happy with them and I promised to wear it on Saturday to Skyfall. Walking down Khai San road in the straining evening light, we were bombarded with bargains and ‘hey, my friend. You want a suit right?’ from all manner of confident sellers. This direct-to-customer advertising aimed at the hordes of Thai’s and tourists creates a claustrophobic nature that is generated in a city shared with over 8 million. Yet I still look forward to returning here for a decent night out next week!

Back in Isaan, the weekend got underway in watching Ben’s beauty treatment of a haircut and ear piercing (he looks like less of a pirate then I imagined). In the evening I suited up to get into the swarve mind frame of watching Daniel Craig assault, seduce and stare intensely at various characters in the new James Bond. Sitting in my 3 piece cashmere suit and clutching a big box of popcorn I enjoyed it immensely (even if it was the second time round). A far better film than the previous pile of shit and its Britishness brought on a nostalgia for home. Afterwards, and after losing my phone, we pre-drank in the hotel till late. Ben and I got rather ruined on our bottles of Red Cock and Black Cock (74 baht of strong white spirit) and stumbled into U Bar at around half 12. Yet whilst I eventually sobered up, Ben kept going on the infamous Thai generosity, finishing topless on stage in Mixclub singing ‘I’m Yours’ to a baying crowd.

It’s been a great week shared with great friends from bonfire night to nights out in Ubon. I’m looking forward to paying Holly, Beth, Amy and Robyn and visit next week, hoping for more memorable days and nights.


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