Every day brings something beautiful with things to laugh about.
For instance, today after breakfast in the morning, I discovered that the back tire of my bike was completely flat. Even before I left there were some issues with it going flat-ish here and there but it seemed to stay put for a few days when i last filled it and so I thought that it would be ok, though I also thought that I'd better keep an eye on it.
I asked the wonderful Boon Tao, who runs the information/impromptu camp spot here if she knew of a place nearby where I could get the tire repaired. She said that there was a place just a little up the road. After writing out some instruction in Thai for me, she decided that it would be good if a couple of the guys that work the grounds went there with me as well. So one of them took my bike and the other took me and we went to the place which took all of 3 minutes to get to. They talked to the fellow there and he set about replacing the tube straight off.
I did find a little piece of metal in the tire - it looked more like a little stone than a piece of metal - and so figured out what the problem was. I had brought a can of stuff that can repair a tube. It's pressurised and has some gunk in it for an emergency repair. The problem was that I pulled it out to show Boon Tao, then replaced it under the seat in the storage area and wouldn't you know it, it gushed all over the place to the point which it was no good at all. 500 baht down the drain and a giant sized mess as well! I must try and get some more of that stuff someplace down the road though it could take a while before i find a place that has it.
At any rate, I had a great time at motorbike repair guy's place and visited with his son and mother and wife while he quickly got me back on the road. Plenty of laughs were had all around.
Here is a photo of them all together.
So bike now once again road worthy, I headed out to look for the road I'm going to take on Sunday on my way to Pa Hin Ngam Nat'l Park. I've decided to hold out here for an extra day so that I get into the park on a sunday.
While on my little trip today I found a stall selling grilled chicken, somtam and sticky rice. My first authentic Isaan lunch on this trip. It was aroy mag (very tasty) I asked for the somtam to be maipet (not spicy) which means it was perfect and quite spicy for me and I can handle (or rather I think I can handle) spicy food pretty well. We had some good laughs here too. It very easy to make people laugh by simply trying to speak Thai (and, of course, laughing at myself first!) A good one is to say, in Thai, "di chan poot thai" (I speak Thai) and then put my hands around my head and make them go like my head was exploding. That gets'em every time!
Here is a photo of where I stopped to eat before heading back to my camp.
So, like I said, having a blast in rural Thailand. More to come! Cheers, Cath
p.s. not real elephants in the photo. Wouldn't THAT just be crazy luck!