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Author Topic: Local life  (Read 884 times)

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Roger

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Local life
« on: April 09, 2017, 04:34:23 PM »

Last evening, my Missis went to a 'weaving' fair near Lamphun with 3 friends - one of them, Joy, a Gran (and probably a looker in her day), gets up at 2-3 am most mornings to go to the local market and buy just a few boxes of veg for the family shop, (where we take a beer some evenings). Then she'll work on the farms all day and cook, clean and wash until bedtime. It's a hard life for many up here. The family I mention have 4 generations living together and they are not poor, having houses, trucks and maybe 5 Lam Yai farms and the shop. But it's all work work work.

I was conned into meeting Wife and Ladies at 'Steak Fong Beer' my local TV spot for footie in Ban Hong, on their way back. We all had fish and chips at B 90 each - Dory fish and very nice too. The 2 older Ladies, apparently, had never been to a Restaurant in their lifetimes. Never. And they much enjoyed UK style fish and chips, but some Som Tum had to be added !

I once lived at Port Navas, Cornwall and my Neighbour 2 doors away, a lady of about 80 years old, had never traveled further than Truro - 17 miles away - in her lifetime.

What a life WE lead by comparison . . .
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Alfie

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Re: Local life
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2017, 06:37:35 PM »

I once lived at Port Navas, Cornwall

It looks quite scenic, but there appears to be no shops. Where did you do your shopping?
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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 04:03:21 PM »

Sorry Alfie - 'Quite scenic' - that's the Helford River M8 - God's own Country !
In Port Navas, we had a Village shop run by Walter Warren, 'The Mayor', and Marjorie. Both sadly now gone. And in neighbouring Constantine, a Butchers shop, a Spar and 'Constantine Stores' run by the Family and my mates Mark and Andrew Rowe. It's an amazing shop now - marketing wines and spirits over the internet and Amazon as 'Drinkfinder' - known to have more than 600 different whiskys in stock - up to £9K for a bottle of 60 year old Glenfiddich. Now there's an Asda Superstore in neighbouring Penryn.

Back to the North of Thailand and walking around after Songkran, missing the birds of prey we used to see soaring - this time I think they've eaten them ALL at the Songkran feasts.

On a happier note, I'd previously noticed a pile of bottles up a mountain trail by a river bed/waterfall. So I went to collect but the forest warden had removed it all and tidied up and left some litter baskets tied to trees down the trail. Pleasantly surprised ! Sat by the water rushing over the stones, in the sun, looking up to a massive sheer rock face on the opposite mountain. Lovely.

The cicada here are prolific and there's a one that makes a noise on it's own, like a small circular saw. Frogs are not so much of a problem here as in the lowlands and as I remember, around Korat.

We've had a succession of big rains up here. These winged ants - how do you get rid of them ? We have windows and screens but still they get in after the rain. Putting the lights out for 10 minutes and leaving a light on away from the house, seems to minimise the problem. Sorry to be thick - are these termites ?

Full marks to 7/11 at Mathoen. A young man who can't speak at all, commutes the 12 km on his motorbike. He sits with us at the shop on his way home sometimes - always wears a helmet, keeps his bike smart and cheerful. Lives on his own. Good for 7/11 to give him a chance - can't be easy.

We've got mangoes coming out of our ears now but they are delicious. The Missis and her Aunt ground 50 down to a paste that's dried in the sun - should taste great that way.

We've heard reports of Thai's from the far South in the troubled area, selling up and coming up to this region. Missis sat on a Bus with a Lady from Songkla who said they were fed up of the violence and tension every day.

My local 'Steak Fong Beer' in Ban Hong has closed down now. No more steak. No more football on TV. Billocks.

It's raining. That's all.
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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 09:41:48 AM »

Last despatch from Ban Pang, T. Siwichai, Lamphun.

It's beautiful up here now. Really. The mountains are lush green with the trees in full leaf (a great contrast to the smoky, dusty, blackened, parched and bare scenes of Jan/Feb). Our 3 local dams are full after an early and very strong rainy season - the unmade roads going up into the mountains have been worn away in parts and the water course coming down the valley has rerouted itself dramatically. The lamyai/longyen harvest should be great this year. The hand tended terraced rice paddies in the valleys are a joy to see.

No sign of the glorious 'changeable eagle hawks' after the pre Songkran shooting spree - sad. Recently we found a 1 metre green snake resting between the window and fly screen of the kitchen window and yesterday a 4-5'' black scorpion on steroids by a fish pond, this boy was chunky! 

The rains are restricting my 'hikes' atm but I did get up one of the mountains on a long path under a massive rock face. And there's a 6 km trash up a path to a remote buddha.

There's a lack of Falang here but the local Folks are very friendly. We've been treated like members of the Family - I think they've enjoyed having one Falang around. Everyone greets me as I trek around and I'll miss my 'celebrity' status when we move LOL. Kindness and generosity abound and IMO this is moreso in the North. For example, my ticker was playing up a bit coming back from a bike ride in a remote spot a few weeks ago - a passing pick up stopped and then reversed 300m to check me out - loaded the bike and took me the 8 km back to the village out of their route. Touching kindness. I'll miss these Folks and feel a bit guilty in a way to leave them behind.

Last night we went to Lee, 33km south, for a meal, and found the Restaurant shut ! Saturday evening ! There's also a 'London' restaurant and hotel at Lee - must be a B7m investment, 60 covers - it is always empty on passing and shut every Sat night to boot. We found another Restaurant - no fish or prawns although they were on the menu and no other customers. The Chang was cold and good though.

Chantaburi is my Missis home town. Plenty of Falangs around and I've met some interesting Guys already. We'll be about 20km from the glorious Laem Sing beach and the wonderful and good value restaurants beachside. Monkey Island too ! We're renting a modern house from the Missis' sister in a quiet spot about 2km from town. The removal truck is booked. It'll be fun taking the dogs to the beach for a runaround and stopping for a meal watching the sun go down over the sea ! Also I'm taking up sea fishing again and with a bit of luck 'Her Indoors' might get a job to keep her busy. There's places to bike out of the traffic and a pool/gym around. Plenty of food and music in the town. Should be good.

I did a pre-move to Chan last week taking down breakables. Met some friends in Pittini on the way back for their usual Tue meet up. No names/pack drill but I'll just recount this - a  M8's 12 year old Son is flying to India soon, to present his dissertation on 'Crystallography' to a scientific gathering. At 12 years old ! Amazing. Returning to the Hotel the Oasis seemed closed but found a nice bar with a couple playing Thai music, (along the 'big wall road'). Korat's great. I love the area aroung Bung ta lua.

I noticed the 90 metre frontage wall on my old house on the K.Resort has been repainted from white - the pillars and cross beams are bright red and the panels strong pink. Striking to say the least. It's up for sale again apparently. If you're looking !

Nice day all.
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Alfie

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Re: Local life
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 02:13:51 PM »

Good luck on your move to Chantaburi, Roger. I hope you like it there as much as Lampun. Exciting times.
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Coolkorat

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Re: Local life
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 08:16:12 PM »

Very interesting series of ' blogs' Roger - I really enjoyed reading them. You should get yourself a decent camera, record some of these sights, and share them here: I always enjoy a well-written photo essay.
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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 08:06:34 PM »

Our move from Ban Pang went smoothly enough. An excellent removals Guy from Chonburi brought the furniture the 820 km to Chantaburi. We took the dogs and stacked up with bits and pieces - 'Uncle' watched over the loading of the big truck so we could zoom off early.

A smooth journey for the first 30 km - I stopped at Lee to check the 'load'. Our 2 dogs were in a metre cubed metal cage, insulated below by a rug to reduce vibration and inside with another rug for comfort. The plastic cover for the load bay was on top to keep out the rain. Unfortunately the wind had caught the cover and tipped the cage backwards over the tailgate, the dogs had jumped and worsened the situation - on first check, they were half in and half out the truck. We bought some more rope and tied it all down again, even more securely. Later we had to remove the cover because the wind force on it was just too great - it was distorting the cage. Fortunately, we had a rain free run.

We were rocketing down the road to Bangkok at some speed - it's a good road from Chiang Mai and at the right time, there's only light traffic. Past Suvarnabhumi and Chonburi before a stop for the Missis to eat - the on board catering was exhausted by then.

At 2.50 pm, about 25 km from Chan, I was moving at about 15 kph along the inside of 3 'ahead only' lanes as the traffic light changed - A Lady in a pickup in the middle lane, changed lane without any signal, into my front right wing - I didn't have a chance even to toot !

Happily, the whole incident was witnessed by a Policeman and was recorded with amazing clarity on a screen in the adjacent Police Station. The offending Lady offered me B2000 to go away - I'd have taken B3000. Anyway, her Insurance Company sent an assessor from Chan and seeing it clearly on screen, he accepted full responsibility - NO knock for knock. It's gonna cost about B15,000 doing it the Toyota Insurance way !

How lucky was that - had her bang to rights on camera. The Policeman made us coffee and put the TV on while we waited - fortunately, he'd been in the same year at School in Chan as the Missis 40 years ago ! A nice contrast to the many tales one hears of Falang being exploited in road accident situation. But my first 'on the road' accident for about 45 years - (excluding scrapes and bumps in concrete car parks).

The whole process took about 2 hours so we arrived around 6 pm. Otherwise we'd have arrived around 3.30 pm - 10 1/2 hours including load resecuring, toilet stops, dog stops and the inevitable noodles stop. A good journey after a slow start. The speeding summons are still to arrive ?

The van left 4 hours after us and via Lampang, but had rain all the way !
Unloaded by the next midday. Brilliant.

2 long moves in 1 year - never again !






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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 08:44:01 AM »

Back in the dusty North for just a few days - needed to check a leaking roof and the Missis wants to 'clean up', and we'll see favourite 'Aunt and Uncle' and old Friends.   :)

I was trudging up the hills straight away - one peacock with fabulous blue feathers took off in front of me, at a 45 degrees flight incline - impressive for a big bird. Later I saw many more - they appeared to be black in flight, with brown wing tips. Lovely to see.

Not much else though - the Dam is still full to the brim - rainy season damage to the track has been repaired - it's dusty but thankfully no burning yet apart from the Lam Yai trimmings.

In ChantaB we see many 'birds of prey', but around Ban Pang at least, they are notably absent, have all been shot by local hunters and eaten !  :-[
 
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Coolkorat

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Re: Local life
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 05:09:20 PM »

I really enjoy these blogs, Roger!

Please please set up an Instagram account and put your camera phone into action: there are things you describe I would really like to see. Sharing to the forum via Instagram is straightforward and fast.
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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2018, 09:27:28 AM »

On Thursday walked to a 'JayDee' - an obelisk with a Buddha, just visible from the village, like a matchstick in the distance. It's a long walk and climb, about 6km each way. Once I had climbed past the Lam Yai farms the walk is on an easy track but it's hard going underfoot - downhill being harder than uphill as the foot can slip on the gritty surface. I was truly knackered when I got to the top - lovely views up to the higher mountains. No sign of serious wildlife just amazingly, some well dried cowpats right at the top ! Nobody at all around. I've done this walk many times and it's rewarding but I'm always glad to get back - very tired - to adjourn for an ice cream and a can of Chang !

Only residents were the odd Peacock, lizard and hoppers ! I've got some photos on the camera CK and will try to get them onto the photo thread.

That evening after dinner and a glass of wine with the lovely Aunt and Uncle, we drove down to the Village for a beer at the 'Shop' - 7pm. I thought there had been a power cut ! Ban Pang had virtually gone to bed at that time. I guess for you Guys who live in remote areas it might be the same ?

Shins and calf muscles groaning a little now.  :-[  ATB
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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2018, 06:34:12 AM »

Monkeys AGAIN.

I didn't know they could swim  :o

On the coast at 'Monkey mountain' near Laem Sing, after they'd vandalised my car, they were playing at the water's edge on some trees. I was 30 metres out to sea on a jetty fishing.

I heard a splash and looked around - they'd climbed up an overhanging tree and were jumping into the sea. One was swimming about 7 metres from the shore ! Just like kids playing. Amazing 6 or 7 of them at the same time. It was lovely to see, going back and jumping again repeatedly  ;D

Now you won't believe it but I saw one doing a creditable 'crawl' stroke - I think CK must have been giving them lessons.

Nice day all.
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Coolkorat

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Re: Local life
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2018, 04:32:27 PM »

Now you won't believe it but I saw one doing a creditable 'crawl' stroke - I think CK must have been giving them lessons.

I'm a terrible swimmer, but I wouldn't put it past No.1 son: he's a right monkey.

BTW my daughter loves monkeys: I'll tell her this, she'll love it! Did you get any pictures?
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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2018, 08:37:05 AM »

Sorry CK - no pics. My camera was in the car but if I'd gone to get it, I would've frightened the little buggers off for sure. Chatting to a Lady who lives at Laem Sing, it's a sight often seen. But a first for me. Great.  :)
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caller

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Re: Local life
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2018, 11:19:39 PM »

Now you won't believe it but I saw one doing a creditable 'crawl' stroke - I think CK must have been giving them lessons.

I'm a terrible swimmer, but I wouldn't put it past No.1 son: he's a right monkey.

BTW my daughter loves monkeys: I'll tell her this, she'll love it! Did you get any pictures?

There's film on youtube of monkey's jumping into the sea and swimming from Khao Takiap in Hua Hin (haven't time to find it now). Also, not much further south in 'Dolphin Bay', there is 'Monkey Island'. jump on a fishing boat to take you out there with some water melon or whatever and the much shyer monkeys will eventually appear. At the rocky waters edge, you will see them getting to limpets and the like using stones to crack the shells and they will swim, depending on the tide, to rocky outcrops to do the same.
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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2018, 08:49:56 AM »

I couldn't find that one either Caller so if/when you have time.
The monkeys I saw were jumping 2 or 3 metres down from an overhanging tree into the sea. This 2 minute Tube shows some monkeys in BIG jumps - watch at 1.33 secs in  ???

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea1Meg6cQ_Q
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caller

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Re: Local life
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2018, 02:19:29 PM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ixnXfcqlQc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ixnXfcqlQc</a>


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hmQqshL8fM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hmQqshL8fM</a>
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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2018, 06:12:32 PM »

Thanks for that Caller. Good videos.
The monkeys seem to 'bomb' or even 'belly flop' into the water - is it painful ? Maybe not - they can fall 5 metres onto a windscreen and walk away !

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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2018, 07:26:12 AM »

You can say THAT again  ;)

''Monkey problems are both troublesome and a challenge because monkeys are clever, fast and agile and difficult to manage."

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1466478/monkey-islands-proposed-to-protect-people?utm_source=enewsletter_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_term=news
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Roger

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Crickets and Monkeys . .
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2018, 06:42:24 AM »

I was amazed to see a 6'' 'cricket' (or similar), sitting on a wall in Reception at the D'Varee Diva Hotel in Chantaburi the other day. Bright green and 6'' long x 1 1/2'' deep body - twice the size of cricket I've ever seen before.

Not so cheerful - later that day on Monkey mountain - a medium sized dog killed an adult monkey and was trying to skin and eat it. Yuck.

Never mind - then a walk with our dogs on Au Krating - a true tropical beach paradise, followed by a supper and beers at Au Sametdang - great al fresco !
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Roger

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Re: Local life
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2018, 05:33:52 PM »

Another trip to Ban Pang in Lamphun region, (800km from Chan).

5 days with 4 long walks up into the lower mountains . . but never seeing any wildlife at all, except Peacocks that is.

For you Guys who live in the 'sticks' - a plus point. Sitting at one of the 'Shops' to sup a beer, the Locals are usually friendly. At Ban Pang we would get invited to new house parties and weddings etc - it's very different from where we live now. Chantaburi is friendly but everyone has their own life and circles. I miss that about living in the 'sticks'. Even when we lived at Korat resort, we were invited to events at adjoining 'Saudio' frequently - all starting with a quiet beer.

As we set off on return, we dropped in at THE local shop to see 'Lungchan' who's about 86 - he had been asleep the previous night at 7pm. I sat down next him and he's getting frail now. He put his arm around my back and there were tears in his eyes - my Missis said he might think he'll not be around next time we visit. 'Pa Pet' his wife then put the string around our wrists before we went. I know it sounds soppy - but IMO, the further away you get from a City, the 'nicer' the people are . . .

Winding up to the annual smog problems around Chiang Rai / Chiang Mai regions, the 'Lam Yai' farmers were trimming their trees and burning the green leaves and branches - big smoke as you look out over the valleys. It's a major problem up there - it's really dry in Jan/Feb and bushfires add to the pollution and the landscape blackens in places.

Nice to return to that peace and quiet for a short while  ;)
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