So Tuesday morning at 8am, Kelly, Shaleas and I were woken up to the soft gentle sounds of gunshots…Yea.
WWIII in our back garden
October 30, 2008 by Marianne
Turns out our guesthouse is right next door to where the local military branch train, which apparently begins at 8am on Tuesdays. After about 20 minutes of lying in bed listening to what sounded like a town massacre, I stepped outside to see what was happening. After seeing our landlady casually doing laundry I decided it was safe, and ventured out a little further into the porch to see dozens of men in green getting dropped off at the field next to our guesthouse where they were apparently running drills. Thanks for the warning guys. Really appreciate it.
After our less than welcome wake up call, I got to ride on the back of a motorbike (our buddy, Jet, who runs the internet cafe gave me a ride home), and we shared beer and a game of gin rummy with a man who invited himself to our table on the porch that evening. He also insisted that we call him if we ever need a ride to Chang Mai, so we have clearly got the hook up. We can’t remember his name, so we have christened him ‘Mr. Dude’ in our usual highly intellectual fashion.
Meeting the locals is definitely helping us out big time. Orn, our friend who runs one of the shops around here, said she’d help us buy motorbikes so that we can find a good deal. So we have officially been accepted into the Tha Wang Pha commuity.
We ate dinner at the Thai version of a fondue restaurant, which I loved. Maybe mostly because I could control the ingredients and the spice level of my food, which is definitely a blessing after the chaos this stuff is starting to create in my stomache…
Next step – figuring out how the post offices around here work. Then maybe some people reading this blog will receive some fun postcards! Also – Tha Wang Pha doesn’t have postcards, because they don’t have tourists; we are officially the first white people to ever step foot in this place, so your postcards will come from Nan, the closest place to civilization around here.
Wednesday – the day of NOT going to Nan…
The only problem with everyone being so desperate to help us around here, is that it’s actually hard to figure anything out by ourselves, because they won’t let us. So instead of figuring out how to take the bus into Nan, walk around, explore, find the post office; we were driven to the Tha Wang Pha post office, where they also do not sell postcards. People reading this might be saying “why didn’t you just say, ‘no thanks, but could you help me find the bus?'” well trust me, we tried. But they just keep asking us EXACTLY what it is we’re doing, until you answer, and they didn’t seem to understand that we just wanted to walk around and explore, I’m not sure why, I guess they don’t really do that here? So when we mentioned the post office, it was all downhill from there. I shouldn’t be so bitter though, because at the end of the day, everyone around here is desperate to help us out which is very nice, and something we certainly don’t get on this level in the UK/US. Tonight we ate dinner at Kru Noy’s house (kru means teacher, Kru Noy is one of our coordinators/a teacher at our school). It was her and her whole extended family. Her oldest daughter spoke pretty good English luckily, and helped us out with some Thai that we were struggling with. So here are some fun things I have learnt:
Thai lesson #3:
Moo = pig/pork. NOT the sound a cow makes
Cow = rice. NOT the animal that beef comes from
Gai = chicken/far away/near/guide depending on how you say it. Thai is made even more fun by the fact that there are FIVE different tones. Whoever though making ‘near’ and ‘far’ the same word was a good idea??
Today Shaleas took off for Chang Mai before Kelly and I even woke up, so hopefully she’s having fun! This morning we were supposed to teach a private English lesson to Jet, but he wasn’t able to make it. So we’ll see what the rest of the day holds for me and Kelly. Possibly the purchase of a motorbike if we can find Jet or Orn or someone to help us out with translation!